This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sargento. All opinions are 100% mine.
Today I am sharing with you this delicious and fun appetizer or party food! It is such a fun and creative way to serve a simple dish like Mac & Cheese! I got it from a neighbor and it was a hit at their gathering and it’s been a hit each time I have made it! I plan on serving it at our upcoming Christmas party!
The other day when I was walking past the cheese isle I saw the Sargento Shredded Cheese section and I immediately felt inspired to make these Mac and Cheese bites and wanted to share them with you! I made them in two different sizes, to show you some fun variation. I prefer the bite size pieces, that I make in my mini cupcake pan though. They are just easier to eat!
When I first tried them at my neighbors she had them in two variations. One version used a Sharp White Cheddar and the other used a Cheddar Jack. We are Sargento fans in our house, their Off the Block cheeses are fresh tasting and we love all their varieties that help inspire our tasty meals! My husband prefers the Mac and Cheese bites using Sargento Cheddar Jack! He likes the traditional taste of the two combined, where I prefer using Sargento Wisconsin Sharp White Cheddar or their 4 Cheese Cheddar for the creaminess! This particular day I was feeling nice though and decided to make them with the Cheddar Jack for my hubby! But, when you make them, feel free to choose what version sounds better to you!
- 1 and 1/2 cups Ritz Crackers, crushed
- 2 cups grated Cheddar Jack
- 4 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted
- 4 and 1/2 cups cooked Elbow Macaroni (about 8 ounces uncooked)
- Approx 5.5oz Garlic and Herb cheese
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cold
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/4 cup Sour Cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 3 strips of Bacon, chopped (optional)
- Parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and prepare your mini cupcake pan by spraying it with cooking spray!
- Either by hand or using a food processor crush 1 1/2 cups (approx 1 1/2 – 2 sleeves) of Ritz Crackers. In a large bowl, combine the crushed Ritz crackers, 1 cup of the shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese, and the melted butter. Mix well until everything is combined!
- Divide the mixture through the mini cupcake pan, pressing the mixture firmly down into every spot to create the base of each bite!
- In a new bowl, combine the freshly cooked (still hot) macaroni noodles with 1/2 cup of the shredded Cheddar Jack, the garlic and herb cheese, and the butter. Mix everything together!
- In a third bowl smaller bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, cayenne pepper and salt. Mix with a whisk! Add the egg mixture to the cooked macaroni mixture, mixing everything until all the ingredients are melted!
- Scoop enough of the macaroni mixture to have each muffin cup heaping full! Sprinkle each muffin cup with you extra Cheddar Jack and if you want the chopped Bacon!
- Bake the Mac and Cheese Bites until lightly golden on top, about 15 minutes for the Mini Cups and more like 20 minutes for the regular Cups! Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, before removing from the pan! Serve immediately!
Also, Sargento is hosting a fun contest right now on their Sargento on Facebook you guys should check out! Submitt an original recipe and photo of a dish featuring a Sargento Shredded Natural Cheese variety, plus an explanation of why using real, fresh-tasting ingredients like Sargento Shredded Natural Cheese matters to you! The winner will receive $2,000 toward kitchen supplies and ingredients for the perfect holiday meal, plus a year’s supply of Sargento Shredded Natural Cheese. Ah-mazing, right?
Also, head on over and visit Sargento on Pinterest for some major inspiration! There is some good stuff on there!