Baked Mac And Cheese Bites

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Mac and cheese is one of those comfort foods that so many people love. These little baked mac and cheese bites are perfect for little hands to hold and eat!

Mac and cheese bites served with green beans and raspberries

I’m a mac and cheese lover and it doesn’t have to be complicated to make! These mac and cheese bites require only a few ingredients and come together in one pot. They are a great size for babies and toddlers and can be customized with added sources of protein and veggies!

If you love these mac and cheese bites, these broccoli and cheese bites and mini chicken pot pies are other bite-sized meals to batch-make for a fun lunch!

What You’ll Need

Here is what you’ll need to make these baked mac and cheese bites:

Mac and cheese bites ingredients.
  • Pasta Noodles: I usually use elbow noodles, but any type of small pasta noodle works well.
  • Butter: To cook the peppers and onions.
  • Onions/Peppers: For added flavor and texture.
  • Flour: To help thicken the cheese sauce.
  • Milk: I use evaporated milk in this recipe, but any other type of milk works as well.
  • Shredded Cheese: I use a 4-cheese Mexican blend in this recipe, but other shredded cheese may be used.

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Recipe Substitutions & Additions

  • Milk: I used evaporated milk in this recipe, but you may replace it with whole milk, half and half milk, heavy cream, or a dairy-free alternative, like coconut milk.
  • Butter: For a dairy-free version, substitute with a non-dairy-based butter or coconut oil.
  • Cheese: For a dairy-free version, substitute the cheese for dairy-free shredded cheese.

Step By Step Instructions

Steps to make Mac and cheese bites.

STEP 1: Boil the pasta noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

STEP 2: Melt butter in a pan on medium heat (Image 1).

STEP 3: Add in chopped onions and peppers and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour until incorporated (Image 2).

STEP 4: Add in the milk and stir as it begins to bubble (Image 3).

Steps to make Mac and cheese bites.

STEP 5: Turn down the heat and add in the cheese. Stir until it is melted and the mixture thickens (Images 4 & 5).

STEP 6: Add in the pasta noodles and toss to coat. If the mixture seems a little thick, add in a few more splashes of milk (Image 6).

STEP 7: Divide the mixture into a mini muffin pan and use the back of a spoon to pack the mixture down into the pan to ensure that it all sticks together when baked (Image 7). Sprinkle a little more cheese on top (Image 8).

STEP 8: Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Let the bites fully cool before removing them from the pan.

Mac and cheese bites laid out on a tray

Storage Instructions

Once cooled, store bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, microwave for 15-20 seconds or until warmed through. To freeze, place the cooled bites in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag in an even layer and freeze for up to 2 months. 

Tips For Success

  • This recipe makes 24 mini bites. You can make regular-sized bites by adding a few more minutes to the total bake time.
  • I like to use a silicone muffin pan to bake these bites as they pop out easily without any sticking. If using a regular mini muffin pan, be sure to coat it with a cooking spray beforehand. Avoid using paper liners as these bites tend to stick. 
  • Finely chop the onions and peppers as small as possible so that there aren’t too many large chunks.
  • I used a 4-cheese Mexican blend in this recipe, but feel free to use any type of cheese! Mozzarella cheese is a good low-sodium option.
  • Add salt and other seasonings for a bit more flavor if serving to adults. I usually make a batch for my baby and add salt and a little spice to a batch for everyone else!
Mac and cheese bites served with green beans and strawberries

Recipe FAQs

Can I make these bites in a normal-sized muffin pan instead of a mini one?

Yes! This recipe makes 10-12 normal-sized bites. Add an additional few minutes to the total bake time if making in a 12-cup muffin pan.

What should I do if my cheese sauce is thick?

Cheese varieties vary, so if your cheese sauce seems thick, add in a few extra splashes of milk to help thin it out. You want it to be thick enough so that the noodles stick together when baked, but not too thick to the point where it is hard to mix.

How can I ensure that the bites stay together when baked?

Make sure to really pack in the macaroni into the muffin pan using the back of a spoon. Also, make sure that the bites cool completely before removing them from the pan to serve.

Other Bite-Sized Recipes You’ll Love

If you tried these Baked Mac and Cheese Bites, please leave a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. I love hearing from you!

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Mac and cheese bites served with green beans and strawberries
5 from 10 votes

Mac and Cheese Bites

Mac and cheese is one of those comfort foods that so many people love. These little mac and cheese bites are perfect for little hands to hold and eat!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 24 mini bites

Ingredients 

  • 8 oz pasta noodles, 1/2 standard box
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions and peppers
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese, + more to sprinkle on top
  • salt to taste, optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Boil the pasta noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Melt butter in a pan on medium heat.
  • Add in chopped onions and peppers and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour until incorporated.
  • Add in the milk and stir as it begins to bubble.
  • Turn down the heat and add in the cheese. Stir until it is melted and the mixture thickens.
  • Add in the pasta noodles and toss to coat. If the mixture seems a little thick, add in a few more splashes of milk.
  • Divide the mixture into a mini muffin pan and use the back of a spoon to pack the mixture down into the pan to ensure that it all sticks together when baked. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Let the bites fully cool before removing from the pan.

Notes

  • This recipe makes 24 mini bites. You can make regular-sized bites by adding a few more minutes to the total bake time. 
  • I like to use a silicone muffin pan to bake these bites as they pop out easily without any sticking. If using a regular mini muffin pan, be sure to coat with a cooking spray beforehand. Avoid using paper liners as these bites tend to stick. 
  • Finely chop the onions and peppers as small as possible so that there aren’t too many large chunks.
  • I used 4-cheese Mexican blend in this recipe, but feel free to use any type of cheese! Mozzarella cheese is a good low sodium option.
  • Add salt and other seasonings for a bit more flavor if serving to adults. I usually make a batch for my baby and add salt and a little spice to a batch for everyone else!

Nutrition

Calories: 83kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 58mg, Potassium: 69mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 352IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 0.2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!
Until next time, Lily!

About Lily Payen

Hi, I’m Lily! The mama behind Feeding Tiny Bellies. I’m here to help you take some of the stress out of meal times for your little ones. My goal is to create simple recipes with baby in mind that can easily be adapted for the entire family.

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hello Lily!

    First, thank you for your amazing recipes! My sweet granddaughter has ignited my passion to cook and I love that while you cater to tiny bellies that you don’t shy away from seasoning your food! Second, I am trying your meatball recipe and wanted to combine with your Mac and cheese bites. Is it okay to use milk or heavy cream instead of the evaporated milk?

    Oops! I just looked at the other comments and see your response to the milk questions. Still posting because I want to express my gratitude!

    1. Hi Joenell! I love the idea of combining the two recipes, I hope that it turns out well! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback!😊

  2. 5 stars
    These almost didn’t make it in the oven because the mixture was so good. I’m surprised there was enough to make 24 since my daughter and I kept eating it. I was worried it was gonna be bland but it was very flavorful. This will be my go to homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. Thank you for sharing! I appreciate your page a lot!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed these bites! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, Britney!😊

    1. Hi Ashley! Yes, you can definitely omit the onions and peppers or replace them with something like finely chopped broccoli! The onions and peppers do provide some flavor, so you may want to consider adding a little onion powder to the cheese sauce.😊

  3. Hi! Everytime I make these they taste good but they don’t stay together very well. I did use 2% milk. Any ideas?

    1. i Samantha! I would suggest trying to really press down and pack the mixture into the muffin pans so that it helps them stay together while cooking. You can also try stirring in little flour into the cheese mixture to help thicken up the sauce to help with sticking as well. I hope that helps!

  4. I used a bagged yellow sharp cheddar. I do think maybe the heat was too high and I may have cooked the milk too long? I tried again (thank goodness for always having alllll the cheese on hand haha) and it worked out a little bit better and they were delicious!

    1. Oh yes! I always try to keep the heat low so that the milk and cheese mixture melt together slowly. I’m so happy they turned out well the 2nd time around!😊

  5. When I added the cheese, it melted but got clumpy. Not sure how else to describe it. It does not look like a sauce at all. I used regular whole milk.

    1. Hi Kristen, I’m so sorry that happened! What temperature did you have your heat on when you added the cheese? What type of cheese did you use?

  6. 5 stars
    These turned out amazing! I used a combo of whole milk and half and half instead of evaporated milk, and added a little garlic powder and paprika. So yummy! Thank you!!

    1. You can replace it with another type of milk like whole milk, or a combination of whole milk and heavy cream! I find that the evaporated milk helps the cheese mixture become a little more creamy, but other milk alternatives work as well!