As many of you know, I am not a fan of savory cupcakes but I am making an exception today. I happen to like mac & cheese, so how could I not like a mac & cheese cupcake!
This recipe comes from Giada DeLaurentis - an episode called Giada's Kidz Kitchen on the Food Network.
Macaroni & Cheese Cupcakes
· Vegetable cooking spray
· 2 cups dried bread crumbs - divided
· 1 tablespoon olive oil - plus extra for drizzling
· 8 ounces ground turkey or chicken - preferably dark meat
· 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt - plus extra for seasoning
· 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper - plus extra for seasoning
· 8 ounces small pasta, such as penne, shells, or elbows
· 2 cups grated Parmesan
· 1 1/2 cups grated white Cheddar
· 1 cup cherry tomatoes - quartered
· 1 pound asparagus - cut into 3/4-inch pieces & blanched
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray 24 muffin or cupcake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Using one cup of the bread crumbs, coat the inside of each muffin cup with bread crumbs, shaking off any excess.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey or chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl. Stir in the cooked turkey and the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the prepared pasta mixture into the cupcake molds, filling evenly to about 2/3 full. Arrange a few pieces of tomato and asparagus into each cup. Top with a thin layer of the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully unmold with a spoon.