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Three-Cheese Mini Macs
© Kana Okada

Three-Cheese Mini Macs

  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 48 mini macs
  • FAST
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN

Anything big made small is ultrafun for cocktail parties, and these quick, one-bite mac and cheeses are the ultimate example. Cooked in mini muffin pans, the mini macs can be assembled early and baked just as guests arrive.

  1. 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
  3. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  4. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  5. 3/4 cup milk
  6. 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
  7. 4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
  8. 1 large egg yolk
  9. 1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
  2. Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; tap out the excess.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni.
  4. Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top.
  5. Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.
Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Plummy, full-bodied Merlot.