This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cooper Cheese for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. These two-bite chard-stuffed mac ‘n’ cheese bites are the perfect party appetizer or comfort-filled side dish!

spicy chard mac n cheese bites

January is a tricky month.

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Everyone is shoving veggies at you and trying to brainwash you into believing that cauliflower pizza crusts taste “just as good, I swear!” as their carby gluten-filled counterparts (<–LIES).

While simultaneously trying to convince you that you should wrap everything-but-the-kitchen-sink in a refrigerated crescent roll and call it football food.

These feel like mutually exclusive propositions. Of the worst kind.

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I’ll take my chard WITH my spicy creamy cheese sauce thankyouverymuch.

And I refuse to apologize for it.

chard mac and cheese

Mac and cheese has been around since the beginning of time (or…since Thomas Jefferson imported both mac and cheese from Europe, into the US, so that he could serve it at a state dinner).

That pretty much categorizes it as “comfort food that is not to be messed with”.

I mean, if it’s good enough for TJ, then it’s good enough for me.

Similarly, the Cooper deli cheese that I used in these delectable little bites, has been around since 1893. Well, not the actual cheese itself, but the company that makes it, and the process that they use hasn’t changed either – from the craftsmanship of the cheesemaking right down to the packaging. Why fix something that isn’t broken, you know?

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Well, this American cheese melted down perfectly with some pepperjack that I had in my fridge to make a spicy creamy cheese sauce that rivals the stovetop mac’n’cheese of my childhood. Tossed with macaroni and wilted-down swiss chard, and baked into muffin cups, these make for the perfect single-serving handheld mac and cheese bites that will satisfy all of your comfort food cravings.

Now we can all have our creamy cheesy comfort food. And eat it, too.

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To find out more about Cooper Deli Cheese, check them out on Facebook and on Twitter!

Spicy Chard Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites
 
These two-bite mac 'n' cheese bites are the perfect party appetizer or comfort-filled side dish!
Yield: 14 bites
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches swiss chard, destemmed and coarsely chopped
  • ½ lb elbow or other small macaroni
  • 1½ tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 8 oz Cooper Deli Yellow American cheese
  • 4 oz pepperjack cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425.
  2. Heat ½ cup water in a large pot. Add in the chard and steam until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pot and let cool. Squeeze out as much water as possible and finely chop. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the macaroni for 5 minutes, then strain and toss with the chard.
  4. In a small pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and, whisking constantly, cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in the cheeses and cook until milted, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolk.
  5. Mix the cheese sauce with the pasta and chard.
  6. Grease two muffin tins. Scoop the batter among 14 of the cups, really packing it in. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until top is starting to brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
An Eats Well With Others Original
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bite

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74 Responses to Spicy Chard Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites {Cooper Deli Cheese}

  1. I LOVE a good mac n’ cheese and this one looks great! The addition of chard sounds really good and turning it into little bites is a fun idea!

  2. Sarah Toasty says:

    i love this! i hate waiting for mac and cheese to bake and love the crispy bits, this sounds to die…

  3. Monica says:

    Looks so good! The chard is reminding me of the farmer’s markets and I sure miss it. Making mac & cheese in a muffin tin is really fun and a good way to portion control (unless you’re like me and unlikely to eat less than 6 or 7…)

  4. These mac n cheese bites made with some of my favorite ingredients look so good. Can’t wait to make this soon!

  5. debbie says:

    The mac n cheese bites look adorable and delicious. Love that it has swiss chard mixed into it!

  6. How unique and fun! I could easily eat a few of these bites…or several! :)

  7. Wait, is that thomas jefferson thing true? Because that’s pretty interesting! Josh has been drooling and waiting not very patiently ever since I showed him your instagram photo of these. I think he’ll demand these for dinner!

  8. So clever to use swiss chard. These are a must-make!

  9. Teffy says:

    I just want to shove those bites into my mouth! Looks so so yummy!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  10. And at the same time it is so cold so all we actually crave are comfort foods……. this is the perfect solution to all of these desires!

  11. Simply Life says:

    comfort foods + veggies = a perfect combination!

  12. this looks absolutely heavenly! I love all types of cheese and when it’s baked, well, oh my! :)

  13. Love these bites!! They make the month less confusing that’s for sure.

  14. patsy says:

    I’d be all over this type of mac and cheese… but, my boys… not so much. Boo! I’ve made various homemade versions of mac and cheese (which I LOVED), but was overruled by those who prefer the blue box… ughhhh!

  15. Christine says:

    Such nummy brilliant bites! Although for myself, I’d drop the spicy part down a notch. Still, this could work on so many levels and with an amazing assortment of ingredients! Thanks for such a great idea!

  16. yum! Swiss chard would definitely make me feel better about wanting to eat mac & cheese non-stop in the winter. I have some leftover fondue sitting in my freezer just waiting to become mac & cheese!

  17. My daughter loves mac n cheese and I am always trying to sneak in something healthy – these bites would fit my mission TOTALLY! Love these and your photographs are AMAHZING Joanne!

  18. Deena Kakaya says:

    Mac’n’cheese on the go with lovely chard…could it be any better. X

  19. Pretty cool idea to make them into bite size and I love the addition of swiss chard in there as well!

  20. Kristi says:

    These look so good, and perfect winter-football-comfort food to make anytime. I don’t really use Swiss chard too often, but I love finding reasons to pick it up when I’m at the store.

  21. Handheld, individual servings of spicy mac and cheese is pure genius. I’d just have to keep myself from gorging on the whole pan in twelve little “just one more” bites throughout the day!!

  22. SallyBR says:

    Looks awesome to me! I have (somewhere) a recipe for little lasagna muffin thingies – but I like your version better, easier to put together, and finger-food style.. what’s not to like?

  23. Not going to lie, I totally saw something like this on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. But yours look way better with the chard in there!

  24. Biz says:

    Okay, swiss chard is on my list of veggies to try in 2014. When you say “destemmed” does that mean the middle part too – so you just eat the leafy part??

    And yes, everything is better with cheese. Oh, and bacon too. :D

    • joanne says:

      Yes, I basically just eat the leafy part of the chard. The stems are totally edible, but they take a bit longer to cook and I find that people tend to have a stronger aversion to the texture of the stems than to the greens.

  25. These look so so cute! Do people actually try to convince that cauliflower crust tastes the same way as real one? Seriously?

  26. Pam says:

    This is mac and cheese grown up. Love it, the cheese sounds delicious and the swiss chard addition has to be great! This is a must try!

  27. sandra says:

    hurray for the bite sized food. I made some awesome brownie bites that lasted, um, a day (oops, sorry thighs). I need to use chard more often in my dishes. thanks for the suggestion.

  28. Bite size mac and cheese with a veggie mixed in! Comforting with a smidge less guilt! LOVE it!

  29. What gorgeous golden nibbles, Jo! Love at first bite!!

  30. These are so cute! I think there’s no better way to fit in greens than to put them in mac and cheese!

  31. I’m all about spicy mac and cheese with good for me greens tossed in.

  32. These mac n cheese bites look droolworthy, Joanne.

  33. Eileen says:

    YES. Greens and pasta are one of my favorite dinner combinations ever! And the cheese just takes it over the top. Yay!

  34. Tara says:

    Everything tastes better when it is bite sized, doesn’t it? Especially cheesy macaroni, yum.

    PS: I was in your hood this weekend! Did not want to leave!

  35. Wow these are awesome – and I actually HAVE chard!!! :D

  36. Lynn says:

    I don’t know – these look so good, I think I might want to eat all of them. :)

  37. i love the idea of a spicy mac n cheese!!!!

  38. Kate says:

    Chard is a great mac and cheese addition.

  39. This looks freaking fabulous AND I learned about mac and cheese origins. All the more reason to love ya!! ;)

  40. KATHY says:

    A healthy mac and cheese…pure joy!!

  41. Thank goodness the Superbowl involves awesome dips, so I can at least pretend to care. Lol. Who loves mac and cheese? <<< This gal. And the rest of the world.

  42. Megan says:

    I love that these are bite-size and have a good-for-you component. I made baked mac and cheese last night… leftover’s for dinner tonight. I probably should have added some sort of vegetables to it!

  43. These sound unbelievably good to me right now. I am a firm believer that good mac & cheese must have some American Cheese in it. I could eat the whole pan of these!!! (Yes for craving something other than sugar!)

  44. Christina says:

    Yes please! These are on my weekend menu!!!

  45. Reeni says:

    I love vegetables in my mac & cheese! These are spicy, cheesy bites of goodness! I could devour like 10 of them.

  46. I would love to have mac and cheese in a little bite size. They look so cute and yummy!

  47. love turning kid food to adult food. Made ones like this for myboys but not with the chard of course! I can’t wait to make this for ME MYSELF AND I

  48. The swiss chard makes this healthy right? Love these!

  49. There is no way I would be able to resist these little bites. I want one!

  50. I totally can’t have cheese right now and you are making me cry! So good!

  51. The amazing things you can do with a muffin pan. This looks SO good!

  52. Anjali says:

    Would you believe it , I devised something almost like this because I had overcooked two kilos of elbow macaroni , though my guests enjoyed it but I was a little doubtful about putting the recipe on my blog , but seeing your recipe looking absolutely amazing has given me the confidence to put mine as well , though it will take a while to prepare the post . Great site , will go through the other recipes as well

  53. When I saw these, my brain was all “omg omg oooooooh my god”. Yep…

  54. Looks amazing Joanna, I love the idea of adding mac and cheese to little cups, better portion control I suppose.
    I have to admit, I am dying to try that cauliflower pizza… although you don’t think it tastes good. :-(
    I’ve never had swiss chard to mac and cheese, great idea.

  55. Screw football – I am all about the SNACKS! These look absolutely delightful!

  56. Esi says:

    I’m definitely on board with adding some greens to these bites. They look awesome.

  57. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who feels like I’m being pushed in different directions…Drink green smoothie…no eat this dark chocolate 7 layer cake?! The insanity.
    I love anything having to do with mac and cheese so I’m all over these tasty bites. Awesome snack or appetizer! Beautiful pics as always. :)

  58. Bring on the carbs and the mac and cheese and oh, the spice too! Holy Moly, these look delicious, and the mini-format is the cutest thing ;–)

  59. These bites look sensational. What a great idea. This would be a hit in any household. I mean, who doesn’t like mac and cheese? By the way I totally agree w/ you on the cauliflower pizza crust, not even close to the real thing. It good, but not as good :-) By the way congrats on your engagement..I just saw it!!

  60. grace says:

    i love this idea, joanne! the greenery that you’ve added is a marvelous touch.

  61. Johanna GGG says:

    so cauli pizza bases don’t work for you either! but some veg with a creamy sauce always works – sounds delish

  62. Serena says:

    2 things: 1st: So is that true about Thomas Jefferson? Even if it’s not, it’s a fun picture in my mind of him importing both my fave foods…and it makes a nice connection to Cooper’s cheese…both going way back and all! 2nd, did you use mini muffin pans? Or 2 regular sized 12-cupped pans…since it makes 14 cups, I’m assuming two 12-cupped pans? Thanks!

  63. Oh boy, that spicy cheese sauce looks so good!!! Now you’ve got me craving mac n cheese :)

  64. […]  Spicy Chard Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites via Joanne Eats Well With Others […]

  65. […] Spicy chard mac-n-cheese bites […]

  66. sarah says:

    Can you substitute Soy or almond milk for regular milk and it still come out decent?

    • joanne says:

      I would go with almond milk since it has less of a “flavor” than soy milk. I’ve made a lot of mac and cheese with almond milk in my day and it’s always worked out!

  67. […] Spicy Chard Mac n’ Cheese Cups from Joanne Eats Well with Others […]

  68. Sarah Gaines says:

    This looks unreal. Thanks for sharing, now I want mac & cheese!

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