Getting ready for the Big Game? Score a touchdown with these cheesy, gooey vegan mac and cheese bites ! Made with chickpea pasta and baked instead of fried, for a lighter twist.
I’ve never been a huge football fan ( I’m more of a hockey girl, really). As much as I love sports, I was never able to understand what the heck was going on during a game. I mean, I got the main concept. I got what the goal was. But anything in between? I was totally clueless. I’m pretty sure the fact that my metric brain gets lost every time the word “yard” gets thrown into the conversation, had a lot to do with it. After YEARS of people unsuccessfully trying to explain the game to me, last year, I got it. It was during the Super Bowl ( a pretty exciting one, as you might recall) and someone finally explained it to me in a way I could understand it… and enjoy it! This year, I’m actually looking forward to it, since our team will be in it ( Go Eagles!!)
But anyway, whether people like/understand football or not, doesn’t really to make too much of a difference. Truth is, the whole thing seems to be more about the show and parties more than it is about the sport itself.
Here’s another truth: people LOVE bite size foods, especially when they’re made in muffin tins. Quite frankly, what’s not to love? Portion controlled, easy to eat, and best of all, super easy to prepare! You can pretty much make a “muffin” out of anything. It can be sweet, it can be savory. It can be a cute little appetizer, a quick grab and go breakfast or snack or even part of a light dinner.
These vegan mac and cheese baked bites are easily prepared on the stove, then portioned out, coated with Panko bread crumbs and baked in mini muffin tins until golden brown and crispy. For this recipe we used Explore Cuisine’s Chickpea Spaghetti, to increase the nutritional value. This pasta is:
- Gluten free
- Rich in plant based protein
- High in protein
- Our recipe calls for vegan cheese, but you can sub regular cheese if needed.
- You can make the recipe gluten free by using gluten free flour and gluten free Panko.
- The mac and cheese baked bites can be prepared up to 2 days ahead of time. Just refrigerate the base. When ready to serve, portion, bread and bake.
- For a touch of heat, add a splash of buffalo or hot sauce to the mac and cheese, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to the Panko.
- Serve the mac and cheese bites warm, with a side of marinara sauce.
This post is sponsored by EXPLORE CUISINE. All opinions are ours. Thank you for supporting the brands that support “May I have that Recipe”
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Getting ready for the Big Game? Score a touchdown with these cheesy, gooey vegan mac and cheese baked bites! Made with chickpea pasta and baked instead of fried, for a lighter twist.
- 8oz Explore Cuisine Chickpea Spaghetti
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (you can also use any gluten-free flour)
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (here we used coconut)
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1/4 to 1/8 tsp black pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced (optional)
- 8oz vegan shredded mozzarella cheese (you can sub dairy cheese if not vegan)
- 4oz vegan shredded cheddar cheese (you can sub dairy cheese if not vegan)
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs ( you can use gluten-free Panko)
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Coat mini muffin tin generously with cooking spray. Set aside
- Break the pasta into approximately 2-inch pieces and cook it according to the directions on the box. Rinse very lightly and drain well (the pasta should be slightly sticky). Set aside
- Melt the coconut oil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the flour and cook over medium heat for just 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly and breaking up any lumps that might form. Add the salt and pepper and continue cooking for 5 to 6 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken
- Turn off the heat, add the basil, garlic (if using), both kinds of cheese and nutritional yeast, and keep whisking until the cheese has melted. Add the cooked pasta and will well. Transfer to a large baking dish and let it cool, just enough so it’s safe to handle with your hands
- Place the Panko bread crumbs in a bowl. Working with approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons at a time (use a small ice cream scoop if you have one), scoop the mac and cheese, roll it into a ball using your hands and coat it with Panko (make sure it’s well coated on all sides). Place the ball in a muffin tin hole, and repeat the process with the rest of the mac and cheese. Coat them lightly with cooking spray and place then on the top rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown
- Serving Size: 1 ball
- Calories: 119
- Sodium: 165.6
- Fat: 6.2
- Saturated Fat: 3
- Unsaturated Fat: 0.7
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 12.2
- Fiber: 1.1
- Protein: 3.6
- Cholesterol: 0