Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes
- prep time45 min
- total time 80 min
- serves 6 - 8
A fun meal or snack for the whole family.
Vegetable cooking spray
2 cups dried breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
8 oz ground turkey or chicken, preferably dark meat
½ tsp kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
8 oz small pasta such as pennette, shells, or elbows
2 cups grated Parmesan
1 ½ cups grated white Cheddar
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 cups chopped broccoli, blanched (see Cook's Note)
1 lb(s) asparagus, cut into 3/4" pieces, blanched
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray 2 12-cup muffin or cupcake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Using 1 cup of breadcrumbs, coat the inside of each muffin cup with breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess.
2. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, or chicken, if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until cooked through. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl. Stir in the cooked turkey and the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the prepared pasta mixture into the cupcake molds, filling evenly to about 2/3 full. Arrange a few pieces of tomato, broccoli and asparagus into each cup. Top with a thin layer of the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
4. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully unmold with a spoon onto a serving platter.
Cook's Note: To blanch vegetables, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the vegetables and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until very crisp. Using a small strainer, remove the vegetables and immediately plunge into a bowl of iced water. Drain and use.