Kid (read toddler) friendly, portion control, yummy mac n’ cheese flavor, healthy greens….well you name it – this recipe had it! I used “Texas” muffin tins (the big ones that are 6 to a muffin tin) and used two of them for 12 muffins total. If you have regular sized ones you will need 2 pans and will get 24 small ones. Do use non-stick pans, you need the release.
Spinach Mac n’ Cheese Muffins
- 1 lb macaroni
- 6 ounce bag baby spinach, chopped
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp garlic, minced (4 cloves)
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- 4 or so dashes Tabasco sauce
- 12 ounces 2% sharp cheddar cheese (3 cups), divided
- ½ cup liquid egg substitute (Egg Beaters®)
Preheat the oven to 400°, spray two Texas muffin pans or two regular muffin pans with cooking spray
Bring a large pot of water to boil, cook macaroni for time on package. Add the chopped fresh spinach to a colander, pour the pasta water slowly over it and then the pasta, the heat will wilt the spinach, drain well.
Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute, then whisk in the flour, let cook for a couple of minutes, whisking often. Add the milk in slowly, whisking until smooth and thickening. Add in the seasonings and 8 ounces (2 cups) of the cheese, whisk until melted and smooth. Turn off the heat and add in the egg substitute, whisking while adding.
Mix the pasta ans sauce in a large bowl, divide evenly between the muffin cups, packing down gently. Top with the remaining cheese, bake on the top rack for about 20 minutes, until golden on top.
Let cool for a couple of minutes, gently pop out with a small spatula.
Makes 12 large or 24 small muffins, serves 4 large servings or 6 smaller ones.