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.
- 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.
Mac and cheese bites recipe tips:
- 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.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes (includes cooling time)
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: appetizer
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Vegan / Party
- 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