Oh, how I love homemade macaroni & cheese. Unfortunately, I love it so much that I rarely make it for fear that I will lose all portion control abilities and end up eating far more than I planned. Enter the Mac & Cheese Muffin. These individual sized portions of creamy, cheesy pasta are the perfect solution to satiate your cravings without going overboard. I ate two of them for dinner with a side salad and was happily satisfied. I think one would also make a perfect side dish to chicken, beef or pork. There’s even spinach in these so you can feel good about getting in some veggies! I used real, full fat cheese in these (at still only 4 WW Points+ per muffin that seemed worth it to me) but if you want to lighten them up further you could use reduced fat cheeses. I chose sharp white cheddar and Gruyere but feel free to get creative and use any of your favorite cheeses instead!
Mac & Cheese MuffinsSource: adapted from Slender Kitchen
4 c cooked whole wheat or high fiber macaroni
1 T butter
1 T flour
1 c skim milk
1 garlic clove, minced
3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 egg white
1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained and patted dry (or you could use 1 cup cooked fresh spinach)
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400. Lightly mist a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a small sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, mixing it into the butter until thick. Stir in the milk and garlic and raise the temp to bring the mixture to just under a boil. Add the cheese and whisk mixture together until thoroughly combined into a cheese sauce.
3. Remove the cheese sauce from heat and then mix in the egg and egg white (binding agents) until combined.
4. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, cheese sauce, salt and pepper and mix together. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cups of your prepared muffin tin.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tops slightly brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.
Yields 12 muffins. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 4 per muffin (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Nutrition Information per serving from myfitnesspal.com: 149 calories, 15 g carbs, 6 g fat, 9 g protein, 2 g fiber