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‘Macnificent’ Mac and Cheese from the Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook

Great individual servings of a delicious macaroni and cheese 'cupcake.'
Author Creative Culinary


  • 2 cups dry small pasta shells
  • Olive or vegetable oil for tossing with the pasta optional
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 2 & 2/3 cup shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese
  • 1 & 1/3 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • cup Monterey Jack Cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh curly parsley
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Butter or canola oil for greasing muffin tins.

For the Crumb Topping:

  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp butter softened


  • In a large saucepan, cook the pasta according to directions. If holding while making the sauce, toss with a bit of olive oil to keep noodles from sticking to each other.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large pan, melt the butter and incorporate the flour, stirring to blend. Add the milk and cream and heat on medium while continuing to stir until thickened.
  • Add all of the cheeses and whisk with a large whisk until all of the cheese is melted and combined.

Add the spices and parsley and mix to combine:

    For the Crumb Topping:

    • Mix the panko, cheddar, Parmesan and butter and pulse briefly in a small food processor or mix thoroughly with a fork.
    • Spread a heaping tablespoon of topping on each cheese cupcake; using all of the crumb mixture.
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes until top is brown (I put mine under a broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the crumb topping.
    • Let cool for a couple of minutes then run a knife outside the other edge and use a knife to remove. Serve immediately as an appetizer or as a side dish.


    The original recipe uses large muffin cups making about 6. I just had regular muffin tins so mine made a dozen which are definitely mounded a bit.
    I'm glad I put a cookie sheet under the muffin tin...the cheese did not dribble a lot but it did a bit!
    Once the cheese starts to melt; if the top is not brown enough, put the muffin tin under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the crust. Watch CAREFULLY; browned is good. Black is not. :)