Recipe Image

Jalapeño Popper Mac & Cheese Bites

  • 20 m
  • 1 h
Karen Rankin
“When you're craving jalapeño poppers and mac & cheese and you want to eat with your hands, these easy cheesy bites—which are baked in a mini muffin tin—are just the ticket. Serve them as part of a family-friendly dinner or put out a platter for a casual party. A crispy breadcrumb topping provides a wonderful contrast to the creamy mac & cheese, while the optional fresh parsley and pickled jalapeño garnishes add a nice color contrast and bright flavor.”

Ingredients

    • 6 ounces small elbow macaroni
    • 5 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 1 large egg
    • ¾ cup whole milk
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño pepper
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapeños
    • 12 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend (about 3 cups), divided
    • Cooking spray
    • ¼ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
    • 12 pickled jalapeño slices, halved (optional)

Directions

  • 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
  • 2 Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, omitting salt. Drain and return the pasta to the pan. Add cream cheese and butter, stirring until the butter is melted and the cream cheese is smooth and melted. Set aside.
  • 3 Whisk egg, milk, garlic powder, onion powder and mustard in a large bowl. Add the pasta mixture; stir to combine. Add chopped jalapeño and chopped pickled jalapeños. Reserve ½ cup shredded cheese; stir the remaining cheese into the pasta mixture.
  • 4 Lightly coat a 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the pasta mixture into each cup; top evenly with the reserved cheese. Sprinkle evenly with panko, and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  • 5 Bake until set and lightly browned on top, 22 to 24 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with chopped parsley and top each bite with a halved pickled jalapeño slice. Serve immediately.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2019 EatingWell.com Printed From EatingWell.com 9/22/2019