Someone in our family...you know who...is going through a serious macaroni and cheese phase. It's funny how kids get something in their heads and just fixate on it. This has happened to Kenya with tons of foods such as pizza, pasta, yogurt, muffins, cheese, even string beans (seriously, he couldn't get enough of them) and now he's obsessed with mac and cheese.
I've been having a blast coming up with fun pasta and cheese recipes and these Mac, Chicken and Cheese Bites are a tasty way to give your kids a double boost of protein. I especially love these bites because they fit beautifully in a lunch box and even little kids can easily hold them in their hands. When Kenya first saw these he asked, "What are those" and I said, "mac and cheese muffins". "Macaroni", "cheese" and "muffin" all in the same sentence? They were a winner before he even tried the first bite! I wonder if that means this phase will last three times as long?
Mac, Chicken and Cheese Bites (Makes 20 Mini Bites)
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 Cup Milk*
- 1 Cup White Cheddar
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, divided
- 1/4 Cup bread crumbs
- 1 Cup shredded cooked chicken
Preparation1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions (the pasta I used said to cook for 9-12 minutes, so I cooked it for 10 minutes).
3. Drain the pasta and set aside.
4. In a small heavy bottomed saucepan melt 2 Tbsp of the butter.
5. Whisk in the flour and salt and cook for 2 minutes.
6. Add the milk in a slow stream and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally .
7. Add the white cheddar and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
8. Pour the cheese sauce and chicken over the pasta and stir to combine.
9. In a bowl, combine the 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
10. Grease mini muffin cups.
11. Pour about 1/4 cup of the macaroni mixture into the muffin cups, sprinkle the top with the bread and cheese mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes (I cooked mine for 20 mins) or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
12. Cool in muffin cups, remove and serve.
*Allow to cool and place in ziploc bag,label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, place in toaster oven or oven at 300 for 10 minutes or until heated through.