Do I even have to say anything about these little genius muffins? Legit, mac & cheese in muffin form. Handy. Convenient. Delicious. Versatile. And I can’t wait to try them in a mini-muffin tin for parties. Yum.
Truth time: I blatantly failed at following this recipe. I put the butternut squash in the microwave to defrost and promptly found it still sitting in there hours after we were done eating. Oops. And I also forgot the cream cheese, which I think would make almost anything better. Truth be told, as I made them, these were a teensy bit on the bland side — but still amazeballs good because it’s handheld pasta and melted cheese. Try making the recipe as it was originally written, though – I know I will (try)!
Mac & Cheese Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Just the Tip / Inspired by What’s Cookin, Chicago
Here’s what I almost used:
- 8 oz Barilla Plus elbows
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cups butternut squash puree*
- 1 1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
- 2 tbsp cream cheese*
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoons pepper
- 1/8 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs for the topping
Here’s what I almost did:
- Preheat the oven to 400. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add pasta and cook a couple minutes shy of the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pot, melt the butter over medium low heat and whisk in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes, and slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly.
- Add in the cream cheese, monterrey jack, butternut squash, salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir until combined and add the pasta to the sauce.
- Fill each muffin cup with the mac & cheese about 2/3 of the way full.
- Sprinkle the top of each muffin with panko and bake for 7-10 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp.