Sink into breakfast with this incredibly creamy mac and cheese loaded with cherry maple meatballs and perfectly fried eggs. Yep, I just made your favorite comfort food a breakfast favorite.
There are moments in life when we must ask hard questions like….
Can I eat mac and cheese for breakfast?
Well. If there was ever a reason not to, now is your chance for a clearly positive yes. Yes, you can eat creamy cheesy macaroni for breakfast.
Mainly because I put an egg on this creamy macaroni. And anything with the addition of an egg, can be included in the brunch or breakfast category. Fact, you read it on the internet.
But, this recipe also has maple-infused breakfast meatballs, so it’s perfect for a hearty fun brunch or ‘breakfast for dinner’ idea.
My taste-testers had it midday for a late brunch and no one complained as they went back for seconds. It’s worth the calories that kind of good.
And as a professional connoisseur of cheese coated over the top crazy good macaroni dishes (like this pulled pork version or a double-smoked one) I may be an unofficial expert on the topic.
What you need for Maple Meatballs and Breakfast Mac
This is a quick and easy stovetop mac and cheese recipe that uses pasta, butter, milk, mustard and cheese.
Don’t have dry mustard?
No worries, you can substitute any mustard you have. Just use a teaspoon and swirl it in if it’s wet.
For the Breakfast Maple Meatballs
These meatballs look like a lot of work, but come together quickly with ground country sausage, spices like egg blend, sage, thyme, salt and a zesty pepper mix with a dash of chunky cherry preserves and real maple syrup.
Once you mix it all up, you roll them and bake them or fry them up in a skillet. Bam! See, told ya it was easy.
You can even make them the day before and store them overnight in an airtight container in the fridge.
If you don’t want to make these meatballs from scratch, using premade breakfast sausages works as a great alternative.
But pause, what’s the best cheese combination for mac and cheese?
For the perfect creamy cheese sauce, it’s all about how the cheese melts. You want a smooth velvet texture when you take your first, and last spoonful, not one with clumps or cheese or oil pooled on top.
Try blends that melt smooth with bold flavors like sharp cheddar and gouda, and then a little mozzarella for creaminess. I love sneaking parmesan in for that signature pop of flavor too.
Girl Carnivore Tip: Avoid pre-shredded cheese. Yes, I can actually hear your eye-rolling. But, the preservatives they use to coat the cheese can affect the outcome. For perfect creamy gooey mac and cheese, shred your own.
Also, as for the best pasta for mac and cheese? I love using ridged pasta when I make macaroni and cheese because the ridges grip the thick sauce helping more to coat the pasta.
Girl Carnivore Tip: Egg yolks enhance the richness and velvet texture in the pasta by thickening and giving it a custard-like finish.
This creamy macaroni and cheese is also a super fun base for Smoked Grape Jelly Meatballs too!
Need sides? Serve these favorites:
I paired this mac and cheese with a burger. But, that may be a little on the indulgent side. Try a crisp apple salad, green beans, or a shaved Brussels slaw. Any fresh green veggie will help round out this meal and help offset the heaviness.
More breakfast recipes
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Maple Meatballs Breakfast Mac and Cheese
- 10-12" Cast Iron Skillet or other oven safe skillet (See Notes)
Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- 6 oz Cavatappi or Elbow macaroni
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 milk
- ½ tsp dry Mustard
- 10 oz cheese see note
Cherry Maple Meatballs
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- Black pepper blend
- 1 tsp Girl Carnivore Egg Blend
- ¼ tsp Sage
- ¼ tsp Thyme
- 2 tbsp Cherry preserves
- 2 tbsp Maple syrup
- 1 lb Country Breakfast Sausage
- Salt and Pepper
Cook the Pasta:
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions.
- Drain and rinse the macaroni. Set aside.
Make the Cheese Sauce:
- Meanwhile, in the now empty pot, over low heat, melt the butter.
- Stir in the egg yolks, milk, and mustard to combine.
- Slowly add in the cheese, melting and stirring to combine.
- Once the cheese has been added, return the pasta to the pan and toss to coat evenly.
Roll the Meatballs:
- Combine the garlic, salt, pepper, egg blend, sage, thyme cherry preserves, and maple syrup in a large bowl with the country sausage.
- Mix with your hands so that everything is evenly combined.
- Roll into tiny 28 meatballs.
Cook the Meatballs:
- In a preaheated skillet, cook the meatballs in batches, rolling to brown on all sides.
- Cook for about 15 minutes, rotating as needed to avoid burning, until the meatballs are cooked through to an internal temperature of 160F.
Bake the Breakfast Macaroni and Cheese:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine 12 of the meatballs with the macaroni and cheese and spoon into the now empty skillet.
- Arrange 4 divots around the mac and cheese by pressing with the back of a spoon. This allows an area for the eggs to form while baking.
- Carefully crack and egg over each divot, filling each.
- Sprinkle with additional cheese and bake for 25 minutes, until the eggs have set and th breakfast macaroni is bubbling.
- Remove from oven and garnish with additional meatballs and fresh herbs, if desired.
- Serve hot.
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