What Mac And Cheese To Use
This recipe works with pretty much any mac and cheese recipe you like! I love to make homemade mac and cheese , but boxed mac and cheese will work as well if youre shorter on time!
You can even mix it up with additional fillings. Try adding bacon, hot sausage, shredded chicken, or even swirl in some veggies
How Do You Make Fried Mac And Cheese Bites
First you have to make mac and cheese. You can make it with from scratch from any recipe you want, though my bacon mac and cheese recipe is my current favorite! Or you can just use a store-bought box mix or pre-made frozen mac and cheese. Totally up to you!
Once you have your cooked mac and cheese, refrigerate it until it solidifies. Scoop out balls of the stiff mac and cheese, dip it in a beaten egg, then coat it with panko bread crumbs and chopped parsley. Then fry the balls in oil until done! Easy.
Tips Tricks And Notes For This Recipe
- Chill the mac and cheese. Youll want the chill whatever mac and cheese you use for around 6 hours in the fridge after you make it. This helps dry it out so its easier to form into balls.
- Drain off excess egg. After you dip the mac and cheese ball into the egg, let the excess drain off. You want there to be enough so the breadcrumbs can stick, but not so much that they just end up soggy.
- Dont fill the pot too high with oil. For safety, make sure you leave a little bit of space at the top of the pot. The hot oil can splatter.
- Dont add more thean three mac and cheese balls. If you put too many mac and cheese balls into the hot oil, it will cause the temperature to drop. I would keep the limit at three so the oil stays hot and the mac and cheese balls get nice and crispy.
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Best Fried Mac And Cheese Balls
These cheesy appetizer balls are filled full of cheddar cheese and fried to a perfect crispy texture. Seriously, it doesnt get better than this. If you have leftover mac & cheese, then this becomes the easiest recipe to make. It is recommended to use refrigerated leftovers because it will be easier to shape the balls.
You turn delicious comfort food, into the perfect finger food, by rolling them into breadcrumbs and frying. As a result, you will end up with a portion of phenomenal tasty comfort food!
The best part is that if you dont even need any leftovers to make this recipe. You can use store-bought Macaroni and Cheese to make this dish.
Just shape the leftovers into meatball-sized balls, or make them smaller or bigger based on your preference. It is important to remember to put them back in the freezer, after breading, for at least 1 hour before frying.
This way they will turn out crunchy and crispy on the outside while being cheesy on the inside. Next time you host a party, go ahead and try these. They will be a huge hit with everyone!
How To Make Fried Mac And Cheese Balls
ONE: In a bowl, combine the leftover mac n cheese and the extra cheese. Scoop into 1.5 inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes.
TWO: Beat two eggs in a bowl with a little water. In a separate bowl, add the Panko crumbs. Remove the balls from the freezer, dip fully in egg wash, roll in Panko to completely coat, and place back on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining balls.
THREE: Return the balls to the freezer while you heat the oil to 375F. When the oil is ready, fry the balls 3 to 4 at a time for 2 minutes or until golden brown.
FOUR: Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.
For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- start with leftover mac & cheese
- scoop into balls
- fry until golden brown
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What If The Cold Mac And Cheese Is Crumbly And Doesnt Stick Together In A Ball Shape
If your mac and cheese is more on the dry side no worries! I have instructions on how to fix that in the recipe. But you basically just need to melt some extra cheese in the microwave or the stovetop. Toss the crumbly mac and cheese with the melted cheese, and it will bind it together, making it easier to form balls.
Fried Mac And Cheese Balls
It’s impossible to eat just one!
With a crunchy potato chip coating and a flavor reminiscent of pimiento cheese dip, these fried mac and cheese balls are an irresistible appetizer that will disappear quickly at any gathering, be it Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl, or fancy dinner party. Though you’ll need to plan ahead , this recipe is delightfully easy to pull off. The dredging set up is much like the three-part breading situation you’re used to when making chicken Parmesan, and using an instant-read or candy thermometer significantly eases the process of frying. Leftovers are unlikely, but if you do have them, it’s best to reheat the mac and cheese balls in a 350°F oven.
How does the mac and cheese hold together?
This recipe starts with a homemade macaroni and cheese that’s intended to be chilled, rolled into a ball, and deep-fried. On the stovetop, you’ll notice that it’s thicker because per pound, there’s much less milk than there typically is in more traditional stovetop and baked versions.
What’s the best cheese for mac and cheese?
Meltability is key. Here, a combination of sharp cheddar and creamy Monterey jack compliment the pimiento peppers. Other good macaroni and cheese options: Gruyère, fontina, and mozzarella.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Once the mac and cheese balls are coated, freeze them in an air-tight container. Then proceed with frying as instructed.
kettle cooked potato chips
Vegetable oil, for frying
If you are a dip lover- try these with ranch!
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How To Make The Best Fried Mac And Cheese Balls
How To Fry Macaroni And Cheese In The Air Fryer
Once the macaroni and cheese mixture is cold, you can form it into meatball-sized balls. I used an ice cream scoop to form and shape the mac and cheese.
Next, you need to prepare the coating for your mac and cheese balls. First, beat together your eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk. In a separate shallow bowl, pour in breadcrumbs.
Then, dip the balls into the egg mixture then into the breadcrumbs. Repeat this twice so that each ball is thickly coated.
Now is the fun part! Preheat the air fryer to 375°F for 5 minutes. Once preheated, place the coated mac and cheese balls into the air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes at 375°F. You want the outside to be golden brown and the center hot. You dont need to flip halfway through.
Once your mac and cheese balls have been thoroughly fried, you can enjoy the best part of cooking- the eating! Dip these air fryer mac and cheese balls with your favorite marinara or alfredo sauce.
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Fried Mac And Cheese Bites
I don’t know about you, but I love party appetizers. It doesn’t matter what the occasion is, I’m always up for bite-sized party food and if I’m completely honest, the unhealthier, the better! Parties and celebrations are no time to count calories!
One of my favorite appetizer recipes is for Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls Yes, you heard me. Fried Mac and Cheese … does it get any better than that!? These little balls of cheesy goodness take some time to prepare, but the payoff is totally worth it! You can even use leftover macaroni and cheese to make these tasty morsels!
Serve these mac and cheese bites at your next party, Game Day, or even as a special treat for the kids. I promise, your guests are going to love them!
How To Make Instant Pot Mac Snd Cheese Balls
- Assemble the mac and cheese balls, following steps 1-3 above.
- Put the Instant Pot Air Fryer Basket into the Instant Pot and add the mac and cheese balls.
- Lock the Air Fryer Lid, Select air fryer function, set to 350F / 180C for 16-18 mins, and press start.
- Cook until done, at which point they should be golden and cooked through.
- Open the lid, remove the mac and cheese balls and serve.
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Alternative Cooking + Storing
If youd rather not deep fry these, there are other methods for cooking.
- Oven: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the frozen Mac N Cheese balls onto the pan and bake for 15 min.
- Air Fryer: Preheat the fryer to 360°F. Place frozen Mac N Cheese Balls into the basket of the air fryer and spray with cooking spray. Fry for 8-10 min.
Leftover Mac and Cheese Balls can be STORED in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months. To REHEAT, bake in the oven at 400°F for 5-8 min or until heated through. If frozen, heat for 10-12 minutes.
Seriously?! Look at the cheesy center!! SO GOOD!!! This cheesy, delicious appetizer is definitely a new favorite, and we hope you like them as much as we did.
For more mac and cheese recipes, check out:
How To Make Air Fryer Mac And Cheese Balls
Chefs Tip: Air Fryer temperatures can vary depending on the make and model. I recommend starting with less cook time, checking for doneness and then adding more time as needed.
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Can You Freeze Mac And Cheese Bites
You bet. Make some extra and freeze it for another day. Id suggest freezing the mac and cheese balls prior to breading, however you can freeze after breading and cooking as well. Place in a zip top bag or airtight container and store in the freezer. This will keep for 4-6 months.
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Tips And Alternate Cooking Methods
- How to freeze: Arrange uncooked, assembled mac and cheese balls in single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You can deep fry directly from frozen.
- How to air fry mac and cheese balls: Assemble the balls as directed in the recipe, then spray lightly with cooking spray oil. Place the balls in an even layer in an air fryer basket . Air fry at 350 F for 15 minutes until crispy.
- How to bake in the oven: Assemble the balls as directed in the recipe, and place on a half sheet baking pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake in a 350 F preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until crispy on the outside. Rotate them every 5-10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
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How To Make Fried Mac And Cheese
1. Boil macaroni until tender, drain and set aside. Shred cheese and set aside.
2. In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and mix until light brown color .
3. Add 1 cup milk and whisk until thick.
4. Add cheese one handful at a time. Mix until cheese is melted and smooth.
5. Add cooked macaroni to pan and mix until well coated. Add salt and pepper.
6. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until cold.
7. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.
8. Form cold macaroni and cheese into 1″ balls and place on prepared pan. Place in the freezer for at least 1 hour .
9. Beat eggs and add 1/4 cup milk in a bowl to make an egg wash.
10. Dip mac and cheese balls into egg wash then roll into bread crumbs, coating completely.
11. Heat oil in the deep fryer to 320 degrees, or fill skillet 1/2-3/4″ deep and heat over medium-high to 320 degrees.
12. Fry 3-4 minutes, until golden, and drain. Serve immediately.
How Do I Reheat Fried Mac And Cheese Balls
The best way to reheat them is to place them on a foil linedbaking sheet and heat them up in an oven or toaster oven. Place them in a 350°Fheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until they are heated thoroughly. You caneven reheat the mac and cheese balls directly from the freezer this way,without thawing them! Just increase the heat time to 10 to 15 minutes.
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Veggie Mac And Cheese Balls
One of the best things about air fried mac and cheese balls is that they are healthier than the traditional deep fried versions. But if youre looking for a way to make them even more healthy, try adding in some veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and kale are all great options.
Just make sure to chop the veggies into small chunks and mix in to the mac and cheese before chilling. This is such a great way to get some extra veggies servings in for the kiddos..and I bet they wont even notice!
Deep Fried Mac And Cheese Bites With Summer Sausage
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.
I love making party food and this time of year is ALL about parties! From Holiday parties, to New Years Eve and Saturday football games its always good to have a few great appetizer recipes in your back corner. I make homemade mac and cheese at least once a week so its easy to add some extra cheese and some delicious Johnsonville summer sausage and deep fry it for an easy and delicious hor doeuvre that everyone will love!
You can use any mac and cheese for this but you want to make it a little gooier than you might normally have it, I add extra cheese you could also just add less pasta.
Personally I love cheese and carbs and these are taken up a notch by adding some diced summer sausage. I mean SERIOUSLY delicious. Johnsonville has used the same recipe for 70 years why mess with a good thing! I usually get a summer sausage in my stocking every year, Ive always loved pairing it with smoked cheddar and carbs .
Then you want to press it into a pan and either refrigerate or freeze I go straight to freezing then the next day cut into triangles BUT if youd rather scoop them into balls youll want to refrigerate them scoop and roll the next day THEN freeze them.
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How To Make Deep
In a large bowl, mix the bacon into the mac and cheese. Cover and chill for 6 hours in the fridge.
Set up your rolling station by arranging the eggs in a bowl next to a bowl of breadcrumbs.
Remove the mac and cheese from the fridge and use a cookie scoop or your hands to form the mac and cheese into tight balls.
One at a time, dip each ball into the eggs, drain the excess, then roll them in the breadcrumbs.
Place the breadcrumb coated mac and cheese balls onto a baking sheet, then freeze for 4 hours.
When youre ready to fry, fill a large pot with oil and heat the oil over medium-low heat until hot enough to fry. Preheat the oven to 180ºF.
Use a long-handled slotted spoon to dip the macaroni and cheese balls in the hot oil. Fry until golden-brown, then set over a rack on a baking sheet to drain and keep in the preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat with all the mac and cheese balls.
Allow the balls to cool for three minutes, then sprinkle with salt and serve hot!