It’s a super easy recipe to try out for Cooking with Kids too. Kids love to help make them by fitting the muffin cups with paper liners, filling in Mac ‘n Cheese and stirring the sauce. My kids instantly fell in love with the idea of these lunch muffins even before they had tasted them. Just after the first bite my elder one started complaining that I had baked too few of them. Looks like I’ll be making more tomorrow for her but this time I’ll definitely double the recipe.
Two, three muffins with some fresh salad make a great lunch. You can be creative with the recipe; add left over chicken or mince, add chopped vegetables like carrots, peas or broccoli to make them more nutritious. Add your favourite herbs or load up on cheese if like me you believe there is no such thing as too much cheese!
For Mac ‘n Cheese Lunch Muffins:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoon plain flour
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup milk
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Another 1/2 cup cheddar cheese for topping
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter for greasing the muffin cups
1/4 cup fine breadcrumbs
For Quick Pizza Topping:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika powder or 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
Salt to taste
Pickled chillies or olives for garnishing(optional)
This Is What You Do:
Cook macaroni according to the instructions on the packet till just tender. Drain well and set aside.
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and mix. Let the roux bubble up for a few seconds.
Remove from heat. Add mustard and gradually stir in milk while whisking the mixture.
Return to heat. Keep stirring with a whisk till the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
Add grated cheese, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix and let the cheese melt it’s way into the sauce. Add cooked macaroni and mix to coat it completely with thick sauce.
Brush a 12 cup muffin tray with butter and generously coat the base and sides of all muffin cups with breadcrumbs. OR you can line the muffin cups with paper liners.
(I experimented with both ways and personally I found the butter and crumb way better. After removing from pan you can move them to paper muffin cups to serve anyways).
Fill the cups with two heaping tablespoons of Mac n Cheese. Press down lightly into the cups to the full capacity. Sprinkle some grated cheese over the top of each muffin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or till the tops begin to turn golden.
While the muffins are in the oven we can prepare our Pizza Sauce.
Blend all the ingredients of sauce in an electric blender. Cook in a saucepan for 8-10 minutes or till the sauce turns darker in colour and gets thick.
Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the tray. Loosen the edges with a knife. Top with a spoonful of pizza sauce. Garnish with pickled olives or chillies. Serve warm with fresh salad to make a complete meal.
Makes 12 medium muffins.