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Jalapeño Popper Mac & Cheese Bites
“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.”
1Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
2Cook 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.
3Whisk 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.
4Lightly 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.
5Bake 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.