New Year's Eve is the perfect occasion to indulge in something elegant and decadent, let's face it, it's the last hooray before all those resolutions kick in! The nice thing about this appetizer recipe is that it can be made the day before refrigerated and then placed in the oven moments before your guests arrive.
If you are looking for such a nibble for your New Years' Eve Party, I highly recommend these Mac and Cheese bites with Bacon. They have all the goodness of my full-scale Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe but in a dainty bite-sized form!
Why You'll Love This:
- Rich, cheesy, and salty, these little macaroni bites are the perfect morsel to serve with a glass of champagne.
- Due to their bite-size portion, you don't feel too guilty popping a few in your mouth in one sitting.
- There's something so lovely about greeting your guests with a hot appetizer and a chilled glass of champagne just as soon as they walk through the door.
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Step #1: Boil The Pasta
- You'll boil the pasta just until it is "al dente".
- You don't want to overcook the pasta because it will continue to cook in the oven as it bakes.
- Look for the small macaroni pasta. Remember it needs to fit in a mini muffin tin once it's cooked. So the smaller the better!
Step #2: Make Your Cheese Sauce
- The cheese sauce is a basic mornay sauce with your favorite type of cheese.
- I think a sharp cheddar works well for these since it's a great flavor combination with the bacon. But you could also use Gruyere cheese too.
Step # 3: Add Sauce, Bacon, Eggs, and Flour
- You'll toss your pasta with your cheese sauce until all the pasta is coated.
- Then you'll add your cooked bacon, eggs to bind the mixture together, and a little flour to help with the stability of the bites.
- If you have any leftover bacon you can put it to good use in my Potato Bacon Cheddar Soup Recipe. A great one for the winter months!
Can you reheat mac and cheese bites?
Yes! To reheat these mac and cheese bites, place them on a baking sheet in a 400F (204C) degree oven for about 10 minutes, until warmed through.
Step #4: Portion Out Batter
- Scoop out the mixture with a small 1" cookie dough scoop. This is the perfect size to fill the mini muffin tin.
- A non-stick mini muffin tin is really the best size for a macaroni bite that you can just pop in your mouth in 1-2 bites!
- I'd also highly recommend using a non-stick mini muffin tin since these bites are cheesy and sticky and you want to make sure they just pop out of the tin.
- Be sure to top each well with a generous amount of grated cheese. The cheese will melt over the mac and cheese and create a wonderful little crispiness to the top of the appetizer as it bakes.
Make-Ahead Tips for Macaroni Bites:
- Prepare the filling ahead of time and then portion it out in your tin.
- Cover your tin with foil and keep refrigerated until ready to bake.
- Moments before guests arrive, pop the macaroni bites in the oven and your guests will be greeted with the most fantastic aroma coming from your kitchen.
Do mac and cheese bites freeze well?
- Yes! Just like other cheesy kinds of pasta dishes, these mac and cheese bites freeze beautifully.
- After baking, portion out the bites into a freezer-safe container.
- Then to reheat place them on a baking sheet at 375F for 20 minutes.
- The mac and cheese bites will keep for about 3 months in the freezer.
These Mac and Cheese Bites look really pretty when placed on a rectangular platter and sprinkled with chives. It's a great way to get the party started! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! xx
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- 1 tablespoon (15 g) butter for greasing tins
- 1 cup (140 g) tiny elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoon (45 g) butter
- 2 tablespoon (15 g) flour
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
- 1 minced garlic clove
- freshly cracked pepper
- 1 cup (240 ml) sharp cheddar cheese + ½ cup (120 ml) mozzarella for topping
- ½ cup (120 ml) cooked bacon, chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup (40 g) flour
- ¼ cup (60 ml) chives
- Preheat oven to 375F (190C).
- Grease a mini muffin tin lightly with melted butter and set aside.
- Boil pasta according to package instructions.
- Cook bacon in skillet or in microwave. To microwave line a plate with paper towel, place bacon on top, and then place more paper towel on top. Microwave on high for 6 mins until browned and crispy. Allow to cool on towel, and chop into a rough chop.
- Then in a large skillet prepare the cheese sauce, melt 3 tablespoon butter, add flour and whisk and cook for 1 minute then slowly whisk in milk, whisking all the while, a smooth sauce will develop. Add cayenne, salt, garlic and pepper.
- Then add cheddar cheese, and whisk until smooth. Remove from flame and allow to cool slightly.
- Drain pasta and transfer it into a large bowl. Add cheese sauce and stir to combine. Then add egg and egg yolks, flour, and bacon. Stir to combine.
- Using a mini ice cream scoop portion out into muffin tin, and top with the mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 13-15 mins until golden brown and cheese has melted. Allow to cool to set up and become stable.
- Place on platter and top with freshly snipped chives. Serve with champagne! Enjoy!
- Be sure to buy the smallest macaroni pasta. Remember these need to fit into a mini muffin tin, so smaller pasta works better!
- Be sure to grease your muffin tin well. Otherwise these can be hard to remove from the tin once baked.
- TO MAKE AHEAD:Scoop the batter into the tin. Cover your tin with foil and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Moments before guests arrive, pop them in the oven and your guests will be greeted with the most fantastic aroma coming from your kitchen.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 39Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g