Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Bites make eating your vegetables just that much more fromage. In just one bite, growing kids get the calcium they need to build strong bones and also a sneaky serving of veggies. That’s right, cauliflower is hidden in layers of cheese!
Take a classic favorite and turn it into a bite-sized snack that can easily be packed into lunchboxes, gobbled up as an after-school snack or served as a tasty appetizer at tailgates or upcoming holiday parties. Mac and cheese is on the Top 10 list of kids’ favorite foods! It’s been served since the late 1700s.
Cheese is a quality source of protein and vitamin A. Adding cheese can also often help children eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This snack can help picky kids get more of the nutrients they need, including dairy!
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Bites
- 12 servings
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 cups cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 cup milk (regular or lactose-free), divided
- 1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large pot, cook the noodles to al dente in boiling salted water according to package directions.
- Remove the pot from heat, drain, and return the noodles back to the pot. Set aside.
- Steam the cauliflower florets either on the stove or in the microwave for 5 minutes, or until tender.
- Add the steamed cauliflower to a blender and pour in 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend until the cauliflower becomes a smooth puree.
- Add 1 cup of the cauliflower puree, 1 cup of the cheese, egg, butter, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to the pot of noodles. Stir until completely combined and spoon into the greased muffin pan.
- Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Allow to cool 5-10 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of each muffin tin to loosen the mac and cheese bites.
Note: You can use a regular-size muffin pan or mini muffin pan for this recipe. It will make about 12 larger muffins or 48 mini muffins.