Individually Baked Mac 'n Cheese

When my husband and I got married we received so many wonderful wedding gifts, most of which came from our registry. One of our most used gifts, though, was a set of ramekins we had not even thought to ask for. I was surprised by just how useful the mini dishes are! Whether its with prep work, melting butter, storing sauces, or even being used as bakeware, we use the ramekins all the time! I've even shared a couple recipes on here that utilized these handy dishes - mini chicken pot pies and microwaveable deep dish cookie.

Today's recipe that uses ramekins was inspired by our favorite steakhouse. One of their best sides is the baked macaroni and cheese, which is baked and served in a ramekin. It got me thinking that we could cook our favorite baked macaroni in ours!

I love the look of mini dishes baked in ramekins, they are perfect for a dinner party. Another great aspect of the mini mac 'n cheese dishes are that you can individualize them to different tastes. You could mix in different flavors or ingredients in each ramekin to customize each dish. We kept ours simple with some bacon bits. We did personalize them slightly by topping them with different types of cheese for mine and my husband's. He used the sharp cheddar we used in the dish, while I used a spicy pepper jack cheese to give mine a little kick.

This baked mac 'n cheese recipe is delicious and I can't wait to make this mini version again!

Individually Baked Mac 'n Cheese ingredients:
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni pasta (or your favorite small pasta)
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter (half stick)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Mix ins: bacon bits, veggies, ham, etc.
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (for the topping)
Individually Baked Mac 'n Cheese instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Prepare pasta per instructions on box
  • Drain pasta and set to the side
  • Grate block of cheddar cheese
  • Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat
  • Gradually whisk in flour and salt
  • Heat until mixture sarts to bubble and turns pale brown (approximately 3 mins)
  • Slowly mix in 1 cup milk
  • Once combined, mix in the second cup of milk
  • Continue cooking and whisking until sauce begins to thicken
  • Season with freshly ground black pepper
  • Slowly mix in cheese
  • Once melted, remove pan from heat
  • Stir in cooked pasta 
  • Mix in bacon bits or any other add ins (you could also mix them in the smaller dishes)
  • Split mac 'n cheese between ramekins
  • Mix together breadcrumbs and melted butter
  • Top mac 'n cheese with breadcrumbs and a little more cheese (I used spicy pepper jack cheese, my husband used just sharp cheddar)
  • Top with additional black pepper, if desired
  • Bake for around 15 mins

I've shared quite a few savory dishes lately. It's been fun experimenting with cooking, but I'll be back to sweet treats next week. I have some new lemon cookies I'm excited to share!

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