Mac & Cheese Cups

Happy Hump Day, friends!

I hope you're all having a wonderful Wednesday and week!

On my end, this kids have seemed crazy this week!  I think having the 100th Day of School on Monday got them so excited that they've had a hard time calming down since then.  Hopefully today will be better!

I'm so glad to say that Bryce and I have been sticking to our meal planning goals for 2014.  We both love to cook, but in the past, have been really bad planners.  The last thing we would want to do after long days at work was a) pick a recipe, b) go to the store, and then finally, c) cook.  Now that we have been planning ahead, though, cooking together has been so enjoyable and also means I can share more recipe finds with you!

Today, I am sharing a Mac & Cheese Cup recipe, that I actually made last week for my girl's Bachelor Night, hosted by Erin.  A post with more details about our Bachelor viewing sessions, is definitely in order, but the short version for now is that we are divided into two teams (Juan Direction and Don't You Juan't Me Baby?) and compete in a format similar to Fantasy Football.  The teams alternate bringing food and it has been fun for me.  It has also been a challenge, because Mondays are our kindergarten team meetings; so usually by the time I get home, I am short on time and try to come up with something based on the ingredients I have on hand.

That being said, we always have plenty of pasta and cheese in this house, so I thought last week was the perfect chance to try my hand at Mac & Cheese Cups!

You can find the original recipe here; I am posting my tweaked version!

  • 2 cups uncooked pasta (I always like to opt for a fun noodle in my mac, so I used my favorite, cavatappi.)
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 cups of cheese (Change it up according to your mood, we had Mexican, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses in the fridge, so that's what I used!)
  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Seasoning of your choice (I used salt, pepper, paprika, and an Italian herb blend.)
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Grease a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray (I sprayed the heck out of the pan to ensure the cups would come out easily!)
  • Stir together bread crumbs, seasoning of your choice, and olive oil in small bowl. Set aside. (I used the Italian herb blend to season the panko.)

  • Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, still a bit firm.  Drain.
  • Add in butter, egg, and milk, mixing until well coated.
  • Stir in cheese, setting aside about half a cup.  (Here I added in the Mexican and mozzarella cheeses)
  • Season (I added salt and a whole lot of black pepper & paprika!).

  • Spoon into muffin tin.

  • Sprinkle remaining cheese and panko on top. (This is where I used our really yummy, fresh parm!)

  • Bake for 30 min in oven, or until lightly browned on top.

  • Allow muffins to cool ~5 min, so that the cheese can set and cups will hold their shape.
  • Enjoy!

This recipe was surprisingly easy...honestly, the hardest part was waiting for them to come out of the oven.  The whole house smelled like cheesy goodness as they were baking!

What are some of your go-to finger food recipes?

Are you as big of a fan of mac as I am?

Have a great day!