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How to Make Baked Mini Mac and Cheese Bites Recipe

Baked Mini Mac and Cheese Bites are perfect for parties and also make a great side dish. Macaroni and Cheese lovers rejoice!

Why This Baked Mini Mac and Cheese Bites Recipe is So Amazing

If you are a mac and cheese lover, I’m guessing this baked mini macaroni and cheese bites recipe will become your perfect appetizer. Or a side dish. Or snack.

As I’ve mentioned before I’ve never been a mac n cheese lover, but these fun appetizers made in a mini muffin pan and baked until the tops are golden brown, just might convert me.

No, these aren’t as creamy as the real thing, but they certainly are fun to eat.

And if you want to serve them as a side dish feel free to make them in a regular-sized muffin tin. These cheesy bites pair well with a delicious barbecue pork loin!

golden Baked Mini Mac and Cheese Recipe with bits of green on top.

This Recipe Will Convert Non-Mac and Cheese Fans

Whether for game day or Thanksgiving Day, these elbow macaroni cheese cups are sure to be devoured.

Imagine my surprise several years ago when I went to a volunteer Thanksgiving dinner for at-risk teens and found that macaroni and cheese was more popular than any other thing on the table, even the childhood favorite classic mashed potatoes.

My mom never made me mac and cheese, whether from a box or scratch, so having this dish on Thanksgiving day was new to me.

Zoe would have loved if I had served it, as she is my pasta lover of all sorts and it is because of her that I learned about Kraft mac and cheese.

(My head must have been in the sand!)

On play dates, she was often served mac and cheese for lunch, and I soon had to start doing the same.

But still, I never became a convert, even if I made it from scratch!

Now she is a grown-up, and I’m guessing she already knows about this great recipe.

Ingredients & Substitutions for Baked Mini Mac and Cheese Bites

The simple mac and cheese recipe is made with a combination of sharp or white cheddar and any soft spreadable herb cheese like Alouette, Boursin, or Cracker Barrel. I especially love these delicious bites with sharp cheddar!

Of course, you can use any great melting cheese such as Gruyere, Havarti, and even a jalapeno Jack. Or toss in a bit of cream cheese if more creaminess is needed. Basically, you just need some cheesy goodness! This is my favorite recipe to use up bits and pieces of cheese.

The key thing in this recipe is to create flavor.

This finger food appetizer tends to be a bit bland on its own, so adding in lots of herbs and spices, such as garlic or onion powder can amp up the flavor.

For that matter, stirring in crisp bacon bits or well-drained green chilies could work, too.

But this simple recipe made with al dente macaroni and an easy cheese sauce will surely hit the spot whatever you choose!

golden Baked Mac and Cheese in mini muffin pan.

How To Make Baked Macaroni and Cheese Bites

Prepare the Simple Crust

This recipe begins with a simple crust of melted butter, Ritz cracker crumbs, and some shredded Cheddar cheese.

Grease the little mini muffin tins, unless you want a larger size for a side dish.

Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the greased bottom of each muffin cup. You can skip the greasing if using nonstick mini muffin tins.

Set aside until you are ready to add the cheese filling. No need to prebake.

Cook the Pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions but cook it al dente because it will still have to bake in the oven.

Drain the cooked pasta well and put it back into the dry pot.

Mix the Creamy Ingredients & Seasonings

Then while the burner is still warm add the herbed cheese, 2 cups of Cheddar cheese, sour cream, milk, eggs, 2 tablespoons butter and lots of seasonings.

No need to mix this in a large bowl. I try to limit the number of dirty dishes in my kitchen! Just mix it all up in the large pot you used to cook the macaroni.

I actually added harissa seasoning, not the paste, because I wanted to give these little bites some extra zing!

Assemble the Mini Mac and Cheese Bites

Spoon macaroni into the crumb-crusted mini muffin pans.

Sprinkle with more shredded cheese, cheddar, parmesan cheese, or whatever you prefer!

GoldenBaked Mac and Cheese Bites on white plate with bits of green on top.

Appetizers or Side Dish

I put half of this mixture in a small dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and then topped it with the leftover crumb mixture.

Now I have a small casserole that is ready at a moment’s notice!

A perfect finger food is one in a bite-size portion, don’t you think?

This fun appetizer would work great on most any appetizer menu for your next party, the Super Bowl, or even as an after-school snack.

Don’t forget kids’ parties either, because I guarantee kids would love these!

There are many recipes out there for these mac and cheese bites, but I like this one because there is no need to make a cheese sauce.

Have fun with this party appetizer. This recipe makes 48 mini bites so that should be enough to feed a crowd. My guess is it could be the hit of the party!

golden Baked Mac and Cheese Bites piled up on a white plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the mac and cheese bites need to be hot when served?

They can be served at room temperature but please do not serve them straight from the fridge. That kind of reminds me of eating cold pizza at midnight!

What are good additions to spice up mac and cheese?

A bit of cayenne pepper mixed in would be a nice addition that can be altered to the level of spiciness desired. Or add in some Buffalo sauce or drizzle it on top after they are baked.

Other Appetizer Recipes You Might Enjoy

Brussels Sprouts Tots

Brussels Sprouts Tots.

Mini Quesadillas

Lots of Cheese Quesadillas.

4 Ingredient Fettucine Alfredo

fettucine alfredo.

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Bake Mini Mac and Cheese Bites

Baked Mac and Cheese Bites

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 Minutes
  • Total Time: 32 Minutes
  • Yield: 48 bites! 1x
  • Category: Appetizer/Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Mac and cheese bites makes great finger food a for a large crowd. They  can also be served as a side dish when made in regular muffin cups.


Units Scale


2 c crushed Ritz crackers – about two sleeves (I put them in a zip-lock bag and crushed them with a meat mallet.)

6 T butter, melted

1/2 c shredded Cheddar cheese

Mac and Cheese:

12 oz elbow macaroni

5 oz of garlic herb cheese-the spreadable kind-your favorite variety

2 3/4 c shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or your favorite melting cheese, but not mozzarella because it won’t add enough flavor

2 T cold unsalted butter

2 large eggs

3/4 c milk, heavy cream or half and half

1/4 c sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 t of Cayenne pepper or I used 1 1/2 t harissa seasoning,

1 t garlic powder


Preheat oven to 375.

Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray. This will make 48 mini muffins, approximately.

Melt 6 T of butter in a large 4 cup mixing cup and then add cracker crumbs and 1/2 c of cheddar. Mix well and press about 1 t of the mixture into each muffin cup. Press firmly so that it comes a bit up the sides. Set aside.

Cook elbow pasta according to pasta directions and only until a few minutes shy of al dente.

Drain well and place back in warm pot. Add the herbed cheese, 2 1/2 c shredded cheddar, sour cream, milk, eggs, cold butter and seasonings. Taste for salt! Mix well until cheese is melty and no large clumps remain.

Spoon about 2 t of cheese mixture into the prepared mini muffin tins. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cheese.

Bake for 12 -14 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let stand about 10 minutes until you can safely remove them without them crumbling! Just run a knife around the edges to gently remove each one.

Leftovers can be wrapped and kept in the fridge and then safely reheated in the microwave on a lower setting until just warm.


Feel free to add other seasonings. Make these Mexican style if you’d like!

Add ins could include crisp bacon, ham, green chiles or whatever you can think of.

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


Sunday 5th of December 2021

Well these are decadent as all get out! So being honest with me, how easy is it to stop eating these? :)


Monday 6th of December 2021

If you are a mac and cheese lover, you will probably have a tough time! But maybe everyone else will get to them first!

John / Kitchen Riffs

Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

I do like mac and cheese, so this would be a wonderful dish for me. Such a fun idea. And I really like the idea of adding something spicy to add a bit of zing. Fun stuff -- thanks.


Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

these look cute and fun abbe. great little canapes.