Mac and Cheese is a kid favorite, and an indulgence for many of us grown-ups too. Today, I’m sharing a fun gluten-free mac and cheese ham cups recipe that you and your kids will love. For this recipe, I recommend gluten-free mac and cheese from Trader Joe’s or Annies gluten free mac and cheese.
I wanted to use the gluten-free macaroni and cheese to create a meal that the kids could help make for an easy lunch.
While I was brainstorming one day (okay, okay, in the shower, if you must know – that’s where I get all my recipe ideas), I had the idea to line a muffin pan with ham slices, fill with the cooked mac and cheese, top with extra cheese, then bake a bit. I was thinking this would be a fun meal for lunch at home or to put in my boys’ lunches for school.
With a little trial and error, these worked just like I’d pictured in my mind. Better yet, the whole family enjoyed them!
This is definitely a meal your kids can help make, and soon be able to make on their own. My boys are always asking me teach them how to cook. This is a great recipe to get your kids in the kitchen with you.
Here’s my youngest son helping with serving up the cooled gluten-free Ham Mac & Cheese Cups to everyone to enjoy for dinner. (Obviously if this pan was hot out of the oven, I’d have him wearing oven mitts and using a spatula to remove them.)
We enjoyed them with sides of green beans and apple grape salad, both of which my boys could help prepare. Honestly, I think after another practice run, this is a meal my kids could do start to finish by themselves while I kick back and relax nearby! With the recipe taking only 30 minutes start to finish, this is a great weeknight meal!
Note: I also froze a few and they were great reheated also. This makes them a great option for making ahead, freezing, and sending in school lunches like I did here:
- 1 box (6 oz.) Gluten-free Mac and cheese (includes cheese packet)
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 10 round slices gluten-free deli ham
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used mixture of white cheddar and sharp cheddar)
- Bring 6 cups water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Stir in macaroni noodles and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook 8-10 minutes or until done, stirring occasionally.
- While macaroni is cooking, spray 10 cavities of a metal muffin tin. Line each cavity with a slice of deli ham.
- Drain macaroni in colander/strainer, then put back in pot.
- Add butter to macaroni. When butter is mostly melted, stir in milk and cheese sauce from packet. Stir until combined.
- Add black pepper and garlic powder and stir until combined.
- Fill each ham cup with mac and cheese mixture until full.
- Top each with a sprinkle of the shredded cheddar.
- Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until ham is firm but not burnt and cheese is melted.
- Let cool in muffin pan until you can remove from pan easily. Serve immediately or let cool and put in freezer bag for later use.
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