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Mac and Cheese cups

These baked mac and cheese cups pack all the creamy, cheesy flavors of your favorite dish in bite-sized form. With just 5 minutes of prep time, it’s the perfect way to kick off your next game day party!

A hand holding the mac and cheese appetizer held over the plate
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Cheesy goodness

The flavor of these mac and cheese appetizer is so delicious. What I love about them is that you can either eat them straight out of the muffin cups or eat them with a fork. I like eating them straight from the cup.

And talk about satisfying.

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I love that this recipe calls for pre-made cheese sauce. The taste of this RAGÙ sauce is so good that I can eat it with a spoonful. It has a wonderful combination of sharp cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese and Romano cheese.

They make for the perfect game day appetizer. I also love these beef appetizers in phyllo cups. They make for the perfect snacks.

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Another great thing about this recipe is you can prepare it ahead of time and cook it right before you want to serve it.

Helpful tips

  • Using jarred cheddar cheese sauce makes this mac and cheese appetizer easy. I use Ragu, but you can use any brand of cheese sauce.
  • You can also make your own with sharp cheddar cheese. I use a homemade creamy sauce on another mac and cheese recipe.
  • Storage – you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can freeze this appetizer, but only if you put lots of cheese sauce before you do.
Blue plate with muffin cups of mac and cheese in them
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

How to make this mac and cheese appetizer

Pre step

Fill a stockpot with water and set it on to boil. And line a muffin tin with baking cups.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – elbow macaroni pasta, cheddar sauce, and crumbled Ritz crackers. (A)

Step two

Once it comes to a boil, salt it and add the elbow macaroni to the pot of salted water. Stir and set the timer to 8 minutes.

Step three

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Set a colander in the sink, drain the macaroni, and place it in a mixing bowl. (B)

Left - ingredients - raw elbow macaroni, cheese sauce and cracker crumbs. Right - cooked elbows in a metal bowl
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step four

Time to pour the cheddar on the macaroni. Look at how thick and creamy that is!! (C)

Step five

Fold the cheese in and mix it with the macaroni with a rubber spatula or large spoon until it coats all the pasta mixture! (D)

Left - cheese sauce being poured on the macaroni. Right - the sauce mixed with the pasta
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step six

Fill each muffin cup with the cheesy macaroni. (E)

Step seven

Time to sprinkle the crushed butter crackers on top of the macaroni cups. (F)

The cheese macaroni in the muffin cups and the cracker crumbs sprinkled on them
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step eight

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the mac and cheese cups out of the pan to a serving platter.

A blue plate with muffin cups filled with the appetizer
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

I pick one up and take a bite.

So delicious!  When you serve these at your next game day party, all you are going to hear are people saying, “Mmmmm!”

I hope you enjoyed this mac and cheese appetizer recipe!

And as always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

A hand holding a mac and cheese in a muffin cup with a bite taken out of it

Baked Mac and Cheese Appetizer

This baked mac and cheese appetizer packs all the creamy, cheesy flavors of your favorite dish in bite-sized form. With just 5 minutes of prep time, it’s the perfect way to kick off your next game day party!
5 from 21 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: mac & cheese, mac and cheese appetizer
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 76kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • water to boil
  • salt for water
  • 1/2 jar RAGÚ® Double Cheddar Sauce (or more)
  • 1/4 cup crushed butter cracker crumbs or bread crumbs

Instructions

Make it

  • Set water on to boil and salt the water.
    water to boil, salt for water
  • Place elbow macaroni in boiling water and set the timer for 8 minutes until al dente
    1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • Preheat oven 350℉.
  • Drain elbow macaroni and place in a mixing bowl.
  • Pour as much of the cheese sauce as you want over the macaroni and mix to combine.
    1/2 jar RAGÚ® Double Cheddar Sauce
  • Fill 12 muffin cups with the mac & cheese.
  • Sprinkle butter crackers on top of mac & cheese.
    1/4 cup crushed butter cracker crumbs or bread crumbs
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Eat, smile, and enjoy.
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Notes

If you used a lot of this delicious sauce, you can serve the muffin cups with spoons if the mac & cheese is too gooey.

Helpful tips

  • Using jarred cheddar cheese sauce makes this mac and cheese appetizer easy. I use Ragu, but you can use any brand of cheese sauce.
  • You can also make your own with sharp cheddar cheese. I use a homemade creamy sauce on another mac and cheese recipe.
  • Storage – you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can freeze this appetizer, but only if you put lots of cheese sauce before you do.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pieces | Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 42mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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54 Comments

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. Not only are these adorable, but they look SO good, too! Appetizer, though? I think I’d rather call them dinner. 😉

  2. These look so delicious and pretty!! I bet they would go quickly once served… al that warm cheesy goodness n that also baked is definitely a Hit!

  3. You just can’t beat Mac and cheese – it’s classic comfort food. I love that this is perfect party food size.

  4. Mac n Cheese is good in EVERY way, shape and form. What a fun little party app this would be. I know they would not last long on the tray either. Double batch for sure.

  5. Simple and mess free eating. These would make a fun replacement for regularold mac & cheese at cookouts and parties.

  6. I love the sound of these, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and savoury is always my mojo… I reckon I could even do these as a “dessert” 😉 😮

    1. Hehe Brian! I’d rather some cake for dessert but hey, they are so delicious that you’d be satisfied having these for dessert. 😉

  7. Oh my goodness! Those look AMAZING! and what a fantastic idea to serve them in muffin cups so they can be eaten without utensils… wicked smaht! 😉

  8. Oh how I love mac and cheese! Any kind of mac and cheese is great with me! I’d love to pack a couple of these portable cups in my lunch! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Such a great idea to put the mac and cheese into a muffin paper. Your cheese ragu sounds fantastic and I would put it on everything. I am a cheese fanatic, you know

  10. That is so clever making these in the muffin pan, so convenient. I am a big cheese head so saving this for maybe tomorrow if its not too late. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

  11. I find that alot of mac & cheese appetizer cups are baked until they resemble mac & cheese pucks, but these look nice and soft and saucy – just how I like it!

  12. I never thought of myself as a “big” eater, but there’s something so satisfying about eating a bunch of these cups as opposed to a pile of mac n’ cheese on a plate that I have to wonder! Fun recipe and great appetizer.

    1. I’ve used both paper and foil. Foil does seem to hold up better but either will do. I’ve never had to worry about keeping them warm as they usually go real fast. I have seen people use an electric griddle and set it on low with the individual mac and cheese cups on them, but I’ve never done it myself. Let me know what you came up with. Thanks for your question Kim.

    1. Brenda, I’ve never had to do that as I make them right before I serve them. I’m thinking you could keep them warm on 200 degrees Fahrenheit for a half hour. I hope this helps.

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