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Apr 22
171

Mac & Cheese Muffins

Oh, how I love homemade macaroni & cheese. Unfortunately, I love it so much that I rarely make it for fear that I will lose all portion control abilities and end up eating far more than I planned. Enter the Mac & Cheese Muffin. These individual sized portions of creamy, cheesy pasta are the perfect solution to satiate your cravings without going overboard. I ate two of them for dinner with a side salad and was happily satisfied. I think one would also make a perfect side dish to chicken, beef or pork. There’s even spinach in these so you can feel good about getting in some veggies! I used real, full fat cheese in these (at still only 4 WW Points+ per muffin that seemed worth it to me) but if you want to lighten them up further you could use reduced fat cheeses. I chose sharp white cheddar and Gruyere but feel free to get creative and use any of your favorite cheeses instead!

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Mac & Cheese Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked whole wheat or high fiber macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained and patted dry (or you could use 1 cup cooked fresh spinach)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400. Lightly mist a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, mixing it into the butter until thick. Stir in the milk and garlic and raise the temp to bring the mixture to just under a boil. Add the cheese and whisk mixture together until thoroughly combined into a cheese sauce.
  3. Remove the cheese sauce from heat and then mix in the egg and egg white (binding agents) until combined.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, cheese sauce, salt and pepper and mix together. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cups of your prepared muffin tin.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tops slightly brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints:
7 per muffin (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
4 per muffin (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Nutrition Information:
149 calories, 15 g carbs, 1 g sugars, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 9 g protein, 2 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)

adapted from Slender Kitchen

171 comments on “Mac & Cheese Muffins”

  1. Hey Emily! I love this idea- I’m making them right now with cheddar and broccoli. I really love how the veggies bulk them up a little. Yeah power foods 🙂

  2. Do you think this would freeze well? I like the idea of being made in the muffin pan for portion control. It would be perfect for taking to work for lunch and just popping in the microwave.

  3. Can any other cheese be used instead of gruyere?

  4. Sure, use any cheeses you like!

    I think they would probably freeze well, but I’ve never tried it. Let me know if you do!

  5. What pasta are you using? When I put this recipe into the Recipe Builder, I’m getting 8 P+ per ONE muffin! The only thing I’m doing different is using a reduced-fat cheddar.

  6. Are you making it into 12 servings? I have no idea how you would get that. I used 4 cups of “cooked whole wheat macaroni” in the recipe builder. Are you maybe choosing “uncooked” in the recipe builder?

  7. That’s it! I was using uncooked. Thanks. 🙂

  8. I can’t believe how good this recipe is and I love the individual portions which allows me to easily decide how much I will eat. My husband devoured them (and he wasn’t on WW or any diet). Will be making them again this week and I can’t wait.

  9. I haven’t made mac & cheese since I started WW in May because I was worried that I would devour an entire day’s worth of points in a sitting. This recipe looks fantastic and I love that it’s so low in points. Guess I’m making mac & cheese tomorrow!! Oh, and I love the idea of freezing them. Might have to try that too.

  10. I love your recipe and posted it on my community foodie blog. Hope you can come check it out at http://www.facebook.com/thefrenchiefoodie

    C

  11. For those who were wondering, yes this freezes very well! Of course, you lose some of that nice crustiness you get when it’s fresh out of the oven, but that’s to be expected.

    Also, for those looking to get their healthy oils in, I suggest drizzling some olive oil over this. Very yummy!

  12. What are the nutrition facts? like the calorie content per serving?

  13. I don’t currently post the NI for my recipes. I determine the Points + per serving by using the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers web site and that does not provide nutrition information. It’s something I’d like to add in the future. Thanks.

    • I used reduced fat old cheddar and Swiss emmental cheese and everything else the same as the recipe and this is the nutrition info I calculated per muffin

      Calories: 220
      Fat: 5.65
      Carb: 30.3
      Fibre: 3.89
      Protein: 11.93

  14. I’m completely in love with this idea. Totally trying it.

  15. Sara – do it, they’re yummy! 🙂

  16. When you put the pasta in the mix, is it already cooked or uncooked? I know some baked pasta recipes dont require the pasta to be cooked first.

  17. Candee – definitely cooked

  18. Oh thank you!!! Making this for the Thanksgiving dinner today[–looks yummy already and the family is looking forward to sampling “diet ‘ food…lol thanks again! sherry

  19. Would this be good party/finger food? Or should it be eaten with a fork? Either way it looks yummy and I can’t wait to try!

  20. Hey there, great idea! I am going to try this for my picky 14 month old who LOVES mac n cheese. I was wondering though how many calories each cup is? thanks!

  21. I ate them with a fork but I think they’d make great party food too!

    I don’t know the calories, sorry. I only calculate the Weight Watchers points + using the Recipe Builder on weightwatchers.com. Hope you try it and love it!

  22. I love this!! Thanks for calculating the points, makes it even better for me. Going to the store after work to make them. Did anyone try broccoli instead of spinach, that sounds delicious.

  23. Hiya! Just lifted these delectable delights out of the oven but they’re not super muffiny. Like, they don’t hold shape too well getting out of the pan. where did I go wrong? 🙁

    • Mine didn’t hold together at all!! I just had to scrape them into a glass bowl. Stuff yummy, but no portion control…

  24. Wonder if they will work with gluten free pasta? Will have to try it out!

  25. Sorry but what do you mean when you say “1 T”?

  26. thank you so much for this recipe! I think this is my 14 month old’s favorite food in the world! I will try to freeze some as well – i ended up with tons of extra….i made the cooked vs uncooked mistake.

  27. Tzipeee – I’m not sure…it’s hard for me to tell not being in the kitchen with you. Mine held together well. They’re not really supposed to be “muffiny”, as in pick them up and bite in like a muffin. They’re a knife and fork kind of thing. Mine held their muffin shape though. Try again! 🙂

    Anonymous #1 – I’ve never used gluten free pasta, but if you try it out let me know if it works!

    Anonymous #2:
    T = standard abbreviation for Tablespoon
    t = standard abbreviation for teaspoon.

    Hope that helps 🙂

    Julie – oops! I wonder if I should bold “cooked” in the pasta ingredient or something since a few people overlooked it. Glad they were still good!

  28. Made this tonight. We didn’t do the muffins since it was for the whole family and we did add some Cajun seasoning. All in all, it was a hit.

  29. This is going in my arsenal for lunches I can make ahead of time and take to work. Awesome recipe!

  30. I used gluten-free pasta and froze them. They heated up great, no mushiness at all. Thanks for the recipe, they are perfect for a last minute lunch that is nutritious and gluten-free!

  31. I did gluten free also and they came out great. I under cooked the pasta a little cause I knew they’d cook more in the oven. I used other cheeses, mixtures of what I had in the house. They are best piping hot. By the time they were out of the oven 10-15 mins they were loosing their creaminess.

  32. What do you think about freezing these? Have you ever? Do they hold up well?

  33. I just made these minus the spinach–only because my kids wouldn’t eat them! So easy to make! I know it changes the calories/points, but I added crushed up croutons mixed with a little bit of butter to the tops! Creates a great crunch!

    Oh, and I also tested them in a mini muffin pan. Made Mac & Cheese Bites! Would be perfect as an appetizer!!!!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  34. These are amazing! So delicious!!

  35. I am going to try these, they look amazing!

  36. I love your blog! I just shared this recipe on my blog for fun macaroni & cheese options:

    Check it out at natlizmac.wordpress.com :: I’d love a shout out 🙂

  37. My ten year old just ate 2 1/2 of these. He’s a mac & cheese expert, so that’s high praise. I enjoyed them, too. I used broccoli instead of spinach, and only made a half batch, but followed the recipe otherwise. My son also asked why I don’t make these more often. I guess they’ll be on the menu again soon!

  38. I made these tonight and they are amazing. I used gouda and gruyere and had to do half macaroni, half penne because I didn’t have as much macaroni as I thought. The portion size is small but they are so good and when I plug in my stats it said 2 were 7 points which is not bad for two. I plan on taking them as snacks for my call day/night tomorrow. I think my husband will love them when he gets home from work too. As always thank you for the wonderful recipes.

  39. Just made these, so simple and delish! Used Fontina with the Cheddar:) Thanks!

  40. Dear Emily,

    I just made this and it was amazing! Very simple and healthy. Instead of using 4 cups of the macaroni, I used 3 cups and added a cup of green beans as well and it turned out great!

    Thank you so much!

  41. Emily, I just found your site through seeing a pic of this recipe on Pinterest. Made a single batch, with three of them sans spinach for my son, and the rest were overloaded with greenery. Incredibly delicious and a brilliant way to manage portion control!

    Tomorrow we try out three other ‘cupcake’ recipes 🙂 Thanks for sharing dishes that aren’t only delicious but are healthy as well!

  42. These looks wonderful! I love mac and cheese and spinach. I might be adding bacon to this as well! Yum Yum!!!!

  43. Hi! I have a question…How should these be strored over night? I am making them today for work tomorrow. Also should they be served warmed? Room temp? Chilled? Please hit me with some suggestions! Thanks!

    • You can just store them in a sealed tupperware in the refrigerator. You can serve them at any temperature but I ate them warmed. I hope they’re a hit!

  44. I made this today with mini farfalle and daiya cheese. I added about 3oz. of pepperjack with my 3oz of cheddar & 3oz of mozz. (dairy allergy) I think next time I’ll use pepperjack only! I also made mine in 6oz ramakins instead of a muffin tin. But that’s because I was cooking a bunch of stuff today. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your terrific ideas. Heading to the store in a bit to buy what I need to make the breakfast muffins! 🙂

  45. just made these for the first time and they are awesome 🙂 I suck at cooking,but i couldnt mess these up 🙂 I even got creative throwing in alot more cheese,and then putting chunks of bread on top (didnt have breadcrumbs) which toasted up nicely and then some more shredded cheese on top…i know its not WW,but the crunchiness of the bread vs the pasta is amazzzzzing!!! Plus it looks even more like a cupcake!!

  46. Just made these the other day and they were delish… My boyfriend loved them too and couldnt believe they were weight watchers friendly. I found one of your receipes on Pinterest and I am absolutely in love with your site and I cant wait to try all of the other receipes. Also I recently shared your site with my weight watchers meeting, so expect to see more traffic from the Spring, TX area.

    Thank you

    • Thanks so much for the shout out! I’m glad you found me and that you and your boyfriend both loved these. Let me know what else you make 🙂

  47. I made these last night and they were delicious, but they didn’t stay formed. I think maybe the spinach was too wet. I’l make them again and try to dry the spinach better – but really they were delicious and my kids LOVED them!!

  48. I haven’t made these yet but saved them for my next pasrty. Thank you for includng the points plus points!

  49. I think I must have done something way wrong. With 4 cups of pasta I had wayyy more muffins than 12 and the consistancy didn’t hold them together. The macaroni was good though and my kids liked it. How is this just 12 muffins though? What do you think I calculated wrong?

  50. Omgoodness! These are amazing. An easy side dish or like you I might heat up a couple and add a salad. I also found this on pinterest. Do you have a site with other recipes? Or even better a cookbook? If not you should!!
    Bravo:-)

  51. I made these a few months ago and the result was NOT pretty! The cheese mixture turned out brownish (I know – ick), it was super greasy and it didn’t stick together. I obviously did something wrong. I made them again tonight and they were AMAZING! Just as they were supposed to be. Not sure what I did wrong the first time, but glad I gave it another shot! It’s a keeper!

  52. Love these! I just made them although not as much spinach as I was too lazy to go pick a bunch and used the cheese I had on hand(sharp cheddar and motzzerella). I only had a 6 muffin pan so I pulled out my mini muffin pan and used the leftover mixture to make 20 mini bites! Baked those for 8 minutes and amazing…however makes it easier to just pop in your mouth and eat too many.

  53. Like so many others, I haven’t had mac and cheese since joining Weight Watchers. I’m so excited to try these! They’re in the oven now and smell amazing. Also, I’ve never made a cheese sauce from scratch before. That was surprisingly easy! I’m so glad this recipe made me try something new.

  54. These are awesome! my 14 yo son loved them, too, which is wonderful as he’ll have access to a microwave at lunch next year so we’ll be looking for freezable options for quick to pack lunches.

  55. I made these vegan, with veggie “cheddar” and ” “mozzarella” shreds, almond milk and crumbled tofu instead of egg (I didn’t use flour either) and a lil shallots, nutmeg, pepper, and other spices to enhance the flavor. I also thaw the spinach in the same boiling water the macs were being cooked. They were great, I loved thm, this idea is terrific.

  56. I’m going to try making these with Broccoli and all cheddar cheese, since I’m allergic to spinach and do not like Gruyere cheese. MyFitnessPal.com recipe builder says that per serving it’ll have approx. 116 calroies, 6g of protein and 16 carbs. Since I just had Weight Loss Surgery a month ago, I’m looking for meals I can make and freeze, then take out of the freezer and heat as needed, since I do not care to cook! Thanks for your ideas!

  57. This was awful! I couldn’t get one muffin to turn out…NEVER again 🙁

  58. I made these for Dinner Last Night and It was a HIT!!!
    These Are Fantastic!!!

    Thank You Emily
    🙂

  59. Just made these and they are awesome, going to post on my mommas site
    http://www.portlandsprouts.com my 15 month son has eaten half the pan already and he isn’t messy like when he eats regular macaroni.
    -Catherine

  60. Oh my goodness these are delicious Emily! I made them last night. We put a little bit of franks red hot on top after they were cooked and it was amazing! (John didn’t even care that there was spinach in it 🙂

  61. I really want to try this but I’m lactose intolerant. What can replace the milk in the recipe?

    • Hi Maria. I’ve never tried anything besides milk, so I’m not sure. Maybe try non-dairy milk?

    • We have dairy intolerances in our household (1 = lactose, 1 = casein) and I make cheese sauce similar to above using either Rich’s Coffee Rich (add water in whatever proportion you prefer using the chart on the carton), plain soy milk (rice would work too), or Silk’s PureCoconut plain, and about 5 slices of Tofutti “American” dairy-free slices (Daiya shreds also work). The coconut milk works the best (because it has more fat than the other milk substitutes).

  62. I am definately going to make these as mini muffins for my next party..one batch this way and another with bacon and cheddar for the men 😉

  63. I Just have to say that I LOOOOOVE ur blog! I made these last week for dinner & my sister snarled her nose @ the sight of the spinach mixed in…how about dont knock it til u try it! SHE LOVED IT! Mr.Hooah(the hubs) loved it too! I cannot wait to fix this again! Love all ur awesome recipes, we are trying the amazing cheesy rice tonite! (:
    -Carrie Eve @
    a-hooahs-housewife.blogspot.com

  64. For whatever reason mine dont seem to be sticking. Ive tried it twice now. They just seem to fall apart. In Australia we dont really work in oz but rather grams, and even with the conversion… I feel like I’ve missed something. Maybe I’m not baking long enough or something… I dont know… its starting to annoy me given how many successful responses. lol. I have a gas stove so its hard for me to figure out how long to leave them in, after 10-15 min they are still well under cooked… so… Hmmm will report back after my third batch lol.

    • Mine all fell apart too. I am so bummed because this is such a great idea. I will try again but I followed the directions. The mac was still good though, I just ate in like normal.

  65. I take everything back! I made it, it worked out perfect. I had the conversion wrong. I did have a little bit of left over pasta though, I think 3 cups would have been suffice, also I added just a little bit more cheese than you originally had in your recipe, next time I might try it with broccoli… They are so yummy! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time out to share your recipes with us.

  66. Holy Macaroni and Cheese, BATMAN!!!!!

    This was delicious.

  67. Just came across these on pinterest! They are brilliant! Can’t wait to try!

  68. This looks delicious. Found your site through pinterest.

  69. Do you think you could serve these room temp? Thinking of lunch for kids??

  70. Thanks so much for the recipes, Emily! I just joined WW last week and was dreading the idea of eating diet food….then I found your recipes on Pinterest! So far I made the Chicken Parm Meatloaf Muffins, the Southwest Eggrolls and the Mac & Cheese! Loved them all…even my kids are eating this stuff up. They don’t even know it’s good for them!! The recipes are so easy to make and they take very little time! Love them! I need to get a mini muffin pan because I can’t wait to try those Banana Pancake mini muffins!!

  71. going to try it
    thank you

  72. Made Mac & Cheese Bites! I would in to make these in a mini muffin I think they would make a perfect appetizer, but how long should I bake them and what is the best way to rewarm them

  73. What a great twist on an old standard, taking ‘n Cheese to a whole other level. I love this recipe idea. And for me, it’s a definite “must try”. Oh, I also like how someone said to switch it up by changing the cheese and the vegetable to cheddar and broccoli. That also sounds good.

  74. How do you think there would do made ahead a day THEN cooked?

  75. My kids love this recipe. I substituted the spinach for chopped broccoli and use all cheddar cheese and they come out great. They freeze pretty well too.

  76. This looks really good I’m going to try this.

  77. I love these 🙂 I made them last week and I’ve probably had one a day since!! its
    so nice being able to eat mac and cheese again!

  78. I want to try these but it’s only me and I want to freeze them and reheat. Just not sure how long I would reheat them and if in a microwave or a toasteroven? any idea?

  79. I made these last night for my book club and they were so good! Thank you 🙂

  80. OMG – these look incredible. as I’m starting back to WW tonight I’m looking for great recipes that I’ll enjoy. Can’t wait to make these!

  81. what an awesome way to serve up mac & cheese! I am so trying this!!!

  82. I SO want to try these but I don’t like adding egg in my mac and cheese. Do you know of any substitute for the eggs?

  83. This looks so good! I’m definitely going to try it. I pinned this one to my Dinner Deelites Pinterest board. I found you from the Aloha Blog Hop. Hope you stop by.

  84. Made this last night for dinner, after reading about some people having trouble with these holding together I decided to use cupcake liners…worked like a charm! My husband was obsessed and wants me to make more later on this week. They were wonderful!

  85. Made these tonight – they are the BOMB i LOVE spinach and feta so i substituted feta cheese and mozzerella and crumbled feta on top before baking it was awesome, thanks so much for the recipe! (thanks to Pinterest too :P) Looking forard to seeing what else you have at your site!

  86. I made a double batch for the office and they are going fast! Everyone loves them!!!! Another winner from Emily!!! yahoo!

  87. Really want to try this! Does T mean tablespoon, and also do you cook the noodles before combining with everything else?

  88. That’s actually a great idea. It’s weird that I have never thought of this before. I am so glad that I found this post. Thanks!

  89. I recently made this recipe to review on my recipe review blog, TheGOODPins.Blogspot.com, and I have to say that I really loved it. The ingredients were a bit pricey, so I can’t say I would make these all the time, but what a special treat for a special meal. Thanks so much for sharing!

  90. I just made these last week. They are phenomenal. I froze most of them and take out one each day. I used pepper jack cheese instead of gruyere, because that’s what I had on hand. My boyfriend and my mom both loved them. I now have a new favorite. This is perfect to cook for entertaining, too. Thanks!

  91. I made these this week and love, love, LOVE them. I have been taking two for lunch each day along with a side of veggies. I love the cheese variety and the chewiness of the spinach. I have some in the freezer and when I bust those out I will let you now how they taste.

  92. Just make this for lunch with my 8yr old! My family and I absolutely loved it! Very easy to prepare if you are in need to fix something rather quick and satisfying! I let them sit to cool for a few and tipped them right out! Thanks! 🙂 P.S.I also put a little bit of chicken in the middle of my husband’s!

  93. This is really a great idea. Hope My family will enjoy this dish.

  94. Make these mac and cheese muffins all the time. Excellent! This last time I used the gruyere cheese and a three pepper jack cheese to give some spice. This was a real hit.

  95. I totally just featured these yummy bites of joy on my latest blog. When I think of comfort food I totally think of mac & cheese. I love that I can simply add in broccoli or spinach into the mix and bam this is a dish I could bring to any holiday party! I’m soooo excited to make more. The first batch was a success and my Fiance. Loved them. Sneaking veggies in his food is helping me prepare for our family we hope to have. Gosh I hope my kids don’t turn out to be picky eaters… but I digress.

    Please check out my latest blog. I would love your feedback!

  96. We don’t eat eggs… What can I use to substitute eggs?

    • Hm, honestly, I’m not really sure. The eggs are what bind it and hold everything together in muffin form, so they’re pretty important if you want to make it into muffins. If you just want to eat it like mac & cheese you can omit them!

  97. These were very good! Gourmet mac and cheese. Used 3 oz. of Boar’s Head hickory smoked gruyere. Even my teenage son who supposedly hates spinach said, ” That is like really good mac and cheese! Will definitely make again!

    • Yay! I love hearing that he liked them even with the spinach. Thanks for letting me know!

  98. I added crumbled bacon.. GREAT!!!

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