Banish the Box with Fun Mac and Cheese Recipes
There are many variations on the comfort food we call mac and cheese. Some recipes call for a dozen different cheeses. Others add ham or other smoky meats. Regardless of the ingredients, macaroni and cheese remains one of the most popular and classic American meals. If you are looking for a way to add interest to this beloved dish, Cabot Creamery is here to help.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls are a healthier take on the fried version of this snack while taking the well-known formula to a new level. The next time you are having guests over or the kids are hungry after school, this recipe is easy to put together. Here we have the full recipe, including making the macaroni and cheese from scratch, but you can make the baked balls from leftovers as well. Try them with a marinara dipping sauce for a tangy punch!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 8 tablespoons butter one stick
- ½ cup Muenster shredded
- 3/4 cup medium cheddar shredded
- 3/4 cup sharp cheddar shredded
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half
- 2 eggs beaten
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the oil and the macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly undercooked; drain well and return to pot.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 8 tablespoons butter; stir into the macaroni.
- In a large bowl, combine the Muenster, two cheddars, and Monterey jack; mix well.
- Add the half-and-half, 2 cups of cheese mixture and eggs to macaroni; mix together and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a lightly greased deep 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese mixture and 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbling around the edges. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm.
- For the balls: Prepare three bowls: One with a cup of all-purpose flour mixed with a little pepper and garlic powder, the next with one lightly beaten egg, and the final one with a cup of seasoned breadcrumbs or panko. Scoop out three tablespoons of macaroni and cheese at a time and roll them into balls. Roll the balls first in the flour, then the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Place two inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until crispy.