Learn how to make quick Mac and Cheese Bites (with veggies!) for an easy kids lunch or dinner. These mac and cheese cups are so fun, and they’re a nutritious kids meal that can easily double as an appetizer to share with adults.

mac and cheese bitess on wire rack

Mac and Cheese Bites

We love to rotate through lots of types of pasta in our house, and these muffin tin mac and cheese cups are a fun option that I make for lunch for the kids—or as an appetizer to share with grown-ups. It’s so easy, too!

You start with a box of mac and cheese, then add an egg and optional veggies. They bake up in about 10 minutes and are a fun food that the kids can eat with their hands.

I for sure don’t make these every time we have mac and cheese, but it’s a fun option…especially for a day that needs a little mealtime surprise (like snow days or days when you’re just stuck at home).

You can use any brand of mac and cheese you like, with any shape of pasta. So use what the kids might prefer!

mac and cheese bites ingredients on counter

Ingredients You Need

Here’s what you need to make this recipe for mac and cheese muffins:

  • Box mac and cheese (any brand): I use Annie’s here, but any brand will work similarly.
  • Egg: A large egg helps to hold the mixture together when it bakes into little muffins.
  • Broccoli: I cut up fresh broccoli with kitchen scissors so the pieces were nice and small.
  • Shredded cheese: This is optional, but it looks nice on top of the mac and cheese bites.
cutting broccoli with kitchen scissors

Ingredient Swaps

Use a gluten-free mac and cheese if you need to.

The broccoli and cheese are optional, though we love using them.

Trade in peas or cauliflower rice for the broccoli if you prefer.

Homemade Mac and Cheese, especially if you have leftovers, would work similarly in this, too.

how to make mac and cheese bites step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s how to make this recipe so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.

  1. Prepare the mac and cheese according to package directions.
  2. Add in the egg and broccoli, if using.
  3. Stir together.
  4. Divide into the prepared muffin pan. Add a little cheese on top if desired.
  5. Bake until just golden brown.
  6. Let cool just slightly and serve warm.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of mac and cheese is best in these bites?

You can really use any type of boxed mac and cheese you like. We usually buy Annie’s Homegrown, but any kind will work similarly.

Do I have to use the broccoli?

No, though it’s a nice way to add a veggie into the mix. You can use peas or cauliflower rice if you prefer, or skip adding the veggie altogether.

Can I make these as mini muffins?

Sure; here I have them shown in a standard size muffin pan, but you can use a mini muffin pan. Fill each about full and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown on top. Be sure to grease the pan first with nonstick spray.

mac and cheese cup on wire rack

How to Store

Store leftover mac and cheese muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Heat for 15-30 seconds in the microwave to serve. You can warm and pack in a thermos for your kids lunch, too, which is really fun and unexpected.

TIP: Find my go-to thermoses for kids to ensure you have one that holds heat well.

mac and cheese bites on plate with orange slices

Best Tips for Success

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share.

mac and cheese cups on wire rack

Easy Mac and Cheese Bites (aka Mac and Cheese Cups)

Learn how to make quick and easy Mac and Cheese Bites for an easy kids lunch or dinner. These bites are fun and a nutritious kids meal that can easily double as an appetizer! You can even add in veggies like broccoli for the most delicious mac and cheese cups.
4.6 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dinner
Calories 205kcal
Servings 4 -8 (makes 8 cups)

Ingredients

  • 5.5 ounce box mac and cheese (1 standard box)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup minced broccoli (optional)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease 8 cups of a standard-size muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  • Prepare the mac and cheese according to the package directions, cooking the pasta, draining it, then mixing it with the butter, milk, and cheese powder in the pot.
  • Stir the egg and broccoli, if using, into the mac and cheese. Divide among the prepared muffin cups, using a heaping ¼ cup each. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, if using.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Heat for 15-30 seconds in the microwave to serve.
  • Use kitchen scissors to finely mince the broccoli so it’s about the same size as the noodles.
  • Use whichever type of boxed mac and cheese you prefer. Cook according to package directions.
  • Use peas or cauliflower rice instead of broccoli.
  • To make in a mini muffin pan, fill each cup about full and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups, Calories: 205kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 322mg, Potassium: 114mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 259IU, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

    1. I haven’t done it, but I think they would freeze fine and then thaw fairly quickly. You could do 15-30 second increments in the microwave to warm

    1. Hmmm, maybe stir a little more to make sure the egg is incorporated throughout and then let sit after baking so they firm up a little?

  1. 5 stars
    These were yummy and did encourage my picky 4 year old to try them even though they had broccoli in it. Sadly the fact that there were holes in them turned him off. Oh children.

  2. Love this! Making a batch today. If I add an extra egg (understanding it may change the consistency a bit) would I need to add baking time? Thanks for another wonderful idea and recipe, Amy!

    1. I think so, just let it thaw a little and then chop up with kitchen scissors into small pieces. I would still try to use mostly the top parts of the florets (frozen broccoli can sometimes have a lot of stalks which won’t be as pleasant to eat I wouldn’t think)

  3. 5 stars
    Made these tonight as a change up to the easy Mac. Even with a few extra steps it was easy enough to put together after daycare pick up. I helped myself when they were warm from the oven.