Have some shredded hash browns in the freezer? You could bake them and serve them with ketchup, or you could break out your muffin tin and turn them into something a little more creative: Crispy mac and cheese-stuffed hash brown cups. Crisp savory potatoes cradle mac and cheese that's topped off with buttery breadcrumbs.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
Divide the hash browns between the muffin tin cups and firmly press into the base and up the sides of each to create a cup shape. Bake until golden around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and whisk constantly until the milk thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the salt, cayenne and nutmeg. Slowly fold in the Gruyere and Cheddar and stir until the cheeses are melted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the macaroni.
Divide the macaroni among the hash brown cups. Bake until the tops of the cups are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and combine with the breadcrumbs.
Remove the mac and cheese from the oven, top with the breadcrumbs and bake until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 5 more minutes. Top with chives.
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