Macaroni and cheese is a delicious dish at any time of year, day or night. It’s the perfect meal for fool-proof family dinners or for a time when you just want something extra comforting. Now you can serve it as an appetizer so that everybody gets the same warm and fuzzy feeling without having to immediately recline due to indulging a little too much.
These mini mac ‘n cheese pots are a creative starter that will impress family and friends; it won’t look as if the main course got all the attention and left you throwing a rushed cheese platter together! (Although we adore a good cheese plate.) People will be just as excited about these pasta bites as what comes next, and it will set the tone for your whole, yummy dinner!
Mini Mac & Cheese Pots
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 4 cups cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing ramekins
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cream cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, garnish
- 12 small ramekins
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook macaroni according to packaging directions, or until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400º F and butter your ramekins.
- Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook shallot until softened and translucent. 5-7 minutes.
- Add flour, spreading it evenly around the pan, and stir continuously until mixture forms a thick, smooth paste.
- Whisking constantly, pour in milk, cream, cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir until sauce is smooth and thickened.
- Once thick, stir in mustard and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust to your liking.
- Pour in cooked macaroni and toss until everything is evenly and thoroughly coated with sauce.
- Divide pasta and sauce equally among the ramekins, transfer them to a baking sheet and cover with a layer of Parmesan cheese.
- Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Simply Scratch