If you’re anything like us, you still have Thanksgiving leftovers floating around the fridge. A few pieces of turkey here, a few spoonful’s of cranberry sauce there. Those might not get eaten (I mean seriously, how much turkey can one possibly shove down?) but, thanks to Food and Wine, these individually-portioned sides of homemade, crispy and crunchy macaroni work splendidly to eat up (literally!) that leftover Thanksgiving ham.
And if you don’t have ham? Make these macaroni and cheese cups vegetarian!
Macaroni and Cheese Cups with Ham
Keywords: bake side appetizer Thanksgiving Christmas Super Bowl Italian
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 12 oz (one box) cavatappi (or other shape) macaroni
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk (cow’s or otherwise)
- 4 oz Havarti cheese, shredded
- 4 oz cheddar (sharp, if you like)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup Panko or homemade breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat your oven to 425°. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente (just tender), about 7-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Using your extra butter, brush one 12-cup muffin tin with butter on all sides and bottoms. Press Parmesan cheese against sides and bottom until evenly spread. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the tablespoon of butter, then whisk in the flour over moderate heat. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, then whisk in the milk and cook, consistently stirring, until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and Havarti and whisk until melted. At this time, if the mixture seems too thick, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until creamy. Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the egg yolk, paprika, and garlic powder. Fold in the macaroni and ham.
Spoon the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Mix the breadcrumbs with olive oil and sprinkle on top of each cup. Bake the macaroni cups in the upper part of the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a spoon, carefully loosen the cups and lift up to serve.
One of the tricks to this recipe is to create a “cup” with butter and Parmesan. It turns into somewhat of a crust for the macaroni. Each cup ends up crunchy, with an incredibly breadcrumb crust. There’s no soggy macaroni left in the bottom – every bite is like it’s from the top of the casserole!
The other trick is to let it rest for the full five minutes, if not longer! The macaroni and cheese cups will fall apart if you try and take them out too soon.
Love that crunchy macaroni and cheese cup topping.
What’s your favorite kind of savory cupcake?