recipe

Fried Mac and Cheese Balls: the effortless recipe for a tasty party appetizer

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 12 people
By Cookist
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Ingredients
macaroni and cheese
3 cups
vegetable oil or more
2 cups
Large eggs
2
panko
1 1/2 cups
fresh chives
2 tbsp

Looking for a clever way to use up your leftover mac and cheese? Why not try making fried mac and cheese balls? This delicious comfort food is perfect as an appetizer or snack and is always a popular bite-sized dish you can serve up over the holidays or any time you're entertaining friends and family at home.

With its cheesy flavor and creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside texture, mac and cheese balls are hard to resist! Fried mac and cheese balls are super easy to make and an easy appetizer that both kids and adults will love.

For a tasty comfort food that will satisfy everyone's taste buds, fried mac and cheese balls are the way to go!

How to Make Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

To make the perfect fried mac and cheese balls, start by putting the mac and cheese in the fridge for at least 3 hours. This step is essential as it allows the mac and cheese to become firm, which will make it easier to shape the balls and ensure they stick together.

Once the mac and cheese has firmed up, heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Shape the mac and cheese into balls using an ice cream scooper. Dip each ball into the beaten eggs, followed by the panko.

Fry the balls in the oil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Garnish with chives and serve hot with your favorite dipping sauces.

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Tips for the Best Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

Use your favorite type of cheese. Cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, provolone – anything you'd normally use in mac and cheese.

For healthier mac and cheese balls, bake them for 18 minutes at 400F, flipping once halfway through, or cook them at 375F in an air fryer for 10 minutes.

You can use homemade or store-bought mac and cheese for this recipe.

You can add your favorite herbs and spices to the panko to give your fried mac and cheese balls extra flavor. Chili powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, Creole seasoning, and taco seasoning are all tasty options.

To make gluten-free fried mac and cheese bites, use gluten-free pasta and gluten-free panko.

For extra crunchy, use crushed crackers instead of panko.

Make sure you leave the mac and cheese in the fridge for a good few hours so it can get firm. This will make the balls easier to shape.

To make sure your mac and cheese balls are creamy on the inside if you're using leftovers, add an extra splash of milk or cream to the mac and cheese before placing it in the fridge.

How to Serve Fried Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

Mac and cheese balls are a delicious appetizer that you can serve with an array of dipping sauces before a meal.

Enjoy them with your favorite dips like ranch, barbecue, Louisiana hot sauce, aioli, or buffalo chicken dip.

Enjoy them with a side salad, some veggies, and chicken wings for a delicious party spread that everyone will love!

Can You Make Mac and Cheese Balls Ahead of Time?

You can assemble the mac and cheese balls, then either freeze them or store them in the fridge until you're ready to cook them – they taste best when they're fried on the same day they're served.

How to Store Mac and Cheese Balls

Keep your mac and cheese balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To reheat them, place them in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes at 350F.

Instructions

Put the mac and cheese in the fridge for at least 3 hours to firm up.

Pour the vegetable oil into a Dutch oven. Heat the oil over medium-high heat.

Beat the eggs in a bowl. Pour the panko into a shallow bowl.

Roll the mac and cheese into balls with an ice cream scooper.

Dip each ball into the eggs, then into the panko.

Fry the balls in the oil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Garnish with chives and serve hot.

Notes

Use any type of neutral oil with a high smoke point for frying the mac and cheese. Canola oil, vegetable oil, and sunflower oil are all great options.

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