Our family loves to attend sporting events, from watching our own kids compete, to our favorite college teams, to our various professional teams. When the Championship games come on television, we enjoy having people over to cheer our teams on. I tend to make finger foods and appetizer items for everyone to enjoy throughout the game. They are easy to prepare ahead of time, so that I don’t spend the entire evening in the kitchen, I can enjoy the event with everyone else. The 3 Cheese Mac-N-Cheese Mini Bites are always a hit, and they’re also great to take to potlucks, family gatherings, work parties, and to send when the PTO sponsors Teacher Luncheons or Dinners!
These 3 Cheese Mac-N-Cheese Mini Bites are one of my favorite things to make. They are SO good. While my entire family loves Mac & Cheese, they also enjoy it when I make these easy to eat bites. I must warn you though, once you let them taste this delicious version of Macaroni and Cheese, they may not want to “settle” for a boxed mix or microwave snack size pack. My kids used to eat those after school before sports practice, now I make extra mini bites to freeze, so they can still microwave themselves a quick snack.
To begin, I always like to gather my ingredients. It helps to know you have everything you need, before you start mixing and preparing the dish. It’s also a good idea to shred, chop, slice, dice, etc. ahead of time, so when the recipe asks you to add something like shredded cheese, it’s ready to immediately mix it in. Turn on your oven, so it can begin to preheat to 350 degrees.
Boil 2 cups pasta in water on stove top for approximately 10 minutes, or according to the package directions. Be sure to add a bit of salt and olive oil to the water so it will season the pasta and prevent it from sticking together. Drain. If pasta is sticking together, add an extra drizzle of olive oil and stir. Set aside.
Melt butter at low heat in stove-top pan. Slowly stir in flour until evenly distributed. Add half and half to butter/flour mixture. Continue to stir with heat on low for 5 minutes. Add shredded cheeses: cheddar, Parmesan, and Truffle Gouda. Stir until cheese is completely melted. Mixture will thicken and become a cheese sauce. Add salt and garlic powder. Stir.
The melted cheeses look so yummy! I also want to mention that you CAN substitute another type of cheese, if any of these aren’t what you prefer. The deli area of my local supermarket has some wonderful employees who are always willing to help out. If someone needs a specific portion size of a particular item, they’re happy to take a larger package and cut it to the size any customer needs. This makes it much more affordable to use a cheese that may be more expensive per pound than other cheeses. For example, the Truffle Gouda can be REALLY expensive per pound (Currently $25.99/lb in my area). However, I only need 1/8 cup. Since it takes about 16 ounces to equal one pound, and one full cup is about 8 ounces, the portion size I need to use is usually under $2, when the deli slices me off a small chunk. This post isn’t sponsored or endorsed, but I do want to share a link with you. If you ever have a question about cheese, I like to use Cheese.com as a reference tool. I’ve linked it here to the Truffle Gouda page since it’s a cheese included in this dish. If my store doesn’t have the cheese I need in stock, I just ask the deli associate to recommend another type that would work well as a substitute, and they haven’t failed me yet 🙂
Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs into mini muffin cavities. Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, place 2.5” macaroni balls into each cavity. Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs on top of each bite. Spritz each bite white with truffle oil or olive oil would work as well. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Top with diced Green Onions or even diced jalapenos, if desired.
When I’m serving these 3 Cheese Mac-N-Cheese Mini Bites at a party in my home, I tend to prepare them in advance and refrigerate until I’m ready to bake them. It helps me keep things on track logistically. If I’m making them ahead of time, I prepare as directed in the instructions, stopping after I mix everything, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until I’m ready to bake them. About 30 minutes before my guests arrive, I pop them in the oven to bake, so they’re hot and ready when it’s time to eat! As I mentioned earlier, this recipe does seem to reheat really well, either in the oven or microwave, so if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, you can save some for lunch the next day.
This recipe makes 24 3 Cheese Mac-N-Cheese Mini Bites, so if you don’t need quite that much, halve the recipe. Or you could make these in a regular sized muffin tin and get around 12.
- • 2 cups Macaroni
- • ¼ cup Butter
- • 2 tbsp. Flour
- • 2 cups Half & Half
- • ¼ cup Cheddar (shredded)
- • ¼ cup Parmesan (shredded)
- • ⅛ cup Truffle Gouda
- • 1 tsp. Salt
- • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- • ⅓ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- • White Truffle Oil (spray bottle) or Olive Oil
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
- Boil 2 cups pasta in water on stove top for approximately 10 minutes. Drain. If pasta is sticking together, add a drizzle of olive oil and stir. Set aside.
- Melt butter at low heat in stovetop pan. Slowly stir in flour until evenly distributed. Add half and half to butter/flour mixture. Continue to stir with heat on low for 5 minutes.
- Add shredded cheeses: cheddar, parmesan, and truffle gouda. Stir until cheese is completely melted. Mixture will thicken and become a cheese sauce.
- Add salt and garlic powder. Stir.
- Pour cheese sauce over pasta. Stir well.
- Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs into mini muffin cavities. Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, place 2.5” macaroni balls into each cavity. Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs on top of each bite. Spritz each bite white with truffle oil.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Spray with additional white truffle oil as desired. Serve and enjoy.