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Crispy Crumb-Topped Mac and Cheese Cups

Sneak in extra vegetable nutrients with these cheesy macaroni cups!

You may not believe us, but we did end up finding a way to eat vegetables that tastes like mac and cheese. How, you ask? By making these mac and cheese cups with veggie elbow macaroni! Sneak in some extra vegetable nutrients by swapping out regular elbow macaroni with veggie elbow macaroni! You can even sneak in some extra greens within each cup to add an extra punch of veggies in every bite.

While mac and cheese may be known for being an "unhealthier" comfort food, there are ways to make this beloved childhood snack healthier for you. Our Healthier Mac and Cheese Recipe is proof of that concept, using Greek yogurt to add some probiotic goodness in your pasta. We also have other amazing mac and cheese recipes for weight loss that will help cut the calories, but still taste like your favorite dish.

Or simply swap out the pasta used, like we do in this recipe! Here's how to make simple mac and cheese cups that you can feel even better about eating.

Nutrition: 500 calories, 28 g fat (15 g saturated), 828 mg sodium

Makes 6 servings


12 paper muffin liners
Nonstick cooking spray
8 oz veggie elbow macaroni
3 Tbsp butter, divided
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup 2% milk
2 1/4 cups reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley

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How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 12 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Cook, whisking, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Slowly whisk in milk. Heat just to boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 cups of the cheese. Stir in cooked macaroni. Divide mixture evenly among cups.
  4. In a medium microwaveable bowl, microwave remaining 1 tablespoon butter, uncovered, 30 to 45 seconds or until melted. Stir in breadcrumbs and parsley. Spoon on top of macaroni mixture in cups. Gently press to adhere. Sprinkle with remaining 1⁄4 cup cheese.
  5. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until bread crumb mixture is golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Eat This Tip

Mom tip: Give your kids extra fiber and vitamins by mashing up some steamed broccoli to hide inside this cheesy cup.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

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