These little individual servings of macaroni and cheese--or noodles and cheese, if you prefer--are incredibly good and easy to do. I actually prefer to make the little casseroles with egg noodles, which boil in about five minutes, rather than macaroni, but either will do. You just need to boil the pasta to the point of almost, but not quite, done. The pasta will soak up additional liquid as it cooks in the air fryer, so you want the pasta a bit "under done" to start. Unlike some stove top "mac n' cheese" casseroles, this version enrobes the pasta in a custard mixture as well as plenty of cheese. The casseroles air fry in about half an hour and come out of the air fryer golden brown and with a slightly crunchy top, as the noodles on top are crisped in the air fryer. You can let the ramekins cool a little, then run a knife around the edges to tip the casseroles out of their ramekins to serve. Or you can just serve the little casseroles in their ramekins. They are quite cute and incredibly tasty either way. You can also make the casseroles ahead, refrigerate them, and reheat them on 50 percent power in the microwave for a minute or two to warm them. Enjoy!
Air Fryer Southern-Style Macaroni (or Noodles) and Cheese Casseroles -- Makes 6
1 1/2 cups of egg noodles or macaroni and cheese
2 cups of milk
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of minced dried onion
1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
2 - 4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese cut in small blocks or crumbled
Boil the noodles for 5-6 minutes or until they are just barely cooked (or boil the macaroni until it's barely cooked). Spritz 6 one-cup ramekins well with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl or measure whisk together well the milk, eggs, salt, pepper, minced dried onion, Parmesan cheese, mustard, and dried parsley flakes. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and the cheese blocks or crumbles. Drain the noodles well and stir those into the mixture. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins. It's easiest to use a big spoon and spoon some of the noodles and cheese into each ramekin, then pour/spoon on the remaining liquidy mixture. Line the bottom of your air fryer basket with baking parchment or foil (it helps if you have spills/boil overs) and place two to four filled ramekins in the basket. Air fry the casseroles at 320 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until deep golden-brown and crispy on top. Remove the ramekins from the air fryer basket to cool and repeat the cooking process with the remaining casseroles.