Fried Mac and Cheese Balls are a restaurant favorite you can make even better at home. Homemade macaroni and cheese is coated with a crispy panko breading and fried, taking this comfort food favorite up a notch.
Easy Fried Mac and Cheese Balls Recipe
I’m not sure whose idea it was originally, to make fried macaroni and cheese but, without a doubt, it’s an indulgence that’s fun to make and eat. Most often, my kiddos order these when dining out but, imagine their delight when I began making them at home. Using my own homemade macaroni and cheese, of course. That was one of those moments, I got Mom brownie points.
How to Make the BEST Fried Mac and Cheese Balls
- I use the recipe for either my Double Cheddar Macaroni and cheese or Twisted Macaroni and cheese to make this dish.
- Other ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Fried Mac and Cheese Balls: Panko bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, all purpose flour, granulated garlic or garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, large eggs, milk, green onion or chive for garnishing plus vegetable or peanut oil for frying.
- Kitchen tools you’ll need: Dutch oven, sheet pan, scoop, measuring cups and spoons, shallow bowls, whisk, slotted spoon or stainless steal spider
- The key to making this dish is, the macaroni and cheese needs to be fully baked, cooled and thoroughly chilled. This is necessary for the balls to hold together when frying. Don’t skip it.
- It’s best to use a non-flavored oil to fry these balls. Either vegetable, canola or peanut oil.
- When frying, keep the oil around 350°F. Fry just until the panko breading is crispy and golden.
- There’s no wrong size to make these mac and cheese balls, it all comes down to the size of the scoop that you use. For a bite size appetizer version, roll them meatball size. Snack size, a 2 ounce scoop works well. As a side dish, use a 4 ounce scoop, the most typical size used for scooping ice cream. Just know, when you change the size, the recipe yield could be more or less than stated.
- Store Fried Mac and Cheese Balls chilled in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven on a sheet pan or an air fryer until crisped and heated through.
- You can freeze cooked macaroni and cheese balls for up to 2 months.
More Macaroni and Cheese Recipes to Make
There’s no shortage of classic macaroni and cheese recipes to make. A few variations you may like to try:
- This Macaroni and Cheese Pie is topped with Roma tomatoes and a buttery bread crumb crust.
- Individual serving Bacon Macaroni and Cheese Muffins.
- Crab Macaroni and Cheese is a special dish for a special occasion.
- Skip the blue box and make this Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese instead.
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese is a one dish meal.
- Top this Taco Mac with your favorite taco fixings for a complete meal.
- Macaroni and Cheese Pizza from The Gunny Sack.
Thanks for visiting come back soon!
Disclosure ~ If a purchase is made using one of the affiliate links on this website we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
Helpful Kitchen Items:
Fried Mac and Cheese Balls
- 1 recipe double cheddar macaroni and cheese baked, cooled and chilled
- 2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- few dashes hot sauce optional
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- green onion, chives or parsley for garnishing
- vegetable, canola or peanut oil for frying
- Make macaroni and cheese, cool and chill overnight.
- Use a medium-size ice cream scoop to divide cold macaroni and cheese into balls. Place onto a pan and keep chilled.
- Prepare the dredging station:First dish: All purpose flour. Second dish: Whisk together eggs. salt, pepper and hot sauce for the egg wash.Third dish: Whisk together panko, Parmesan, garlic and onion powders.
- To coat: Lightly dust each ball with flour, then dip into egg wash, roll in panko. Roll into a ball. Repeat until all are coated. (It's handy to have nearby a large baking pan to place breaded mac and cheese balls on until frying.)
- To fry: Heat oil in a deep pot or dutch oven to 350-360°F. Fry mac and cheese balls in batches for around 2-3 minutes, until golden, turning as needed for even browning. Keep oil around 350°F. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
- Serve immediately garnished with green onion, chives or parsley.
- I use the recipe for either my double cheddar macaroni and cheese or twisted macaroni and cheese to make this dish.
- The key to making this dish is, the macaroni and cheese needs to be fully baked, cooled and thoroughly chilled. This is necessary for the balls to hold together.
- It's best to use a non flavored oil to fry these balls. Either vegetable, canola or peanut oil.
- When frying, keep the oil around 350°F frying just until the panko breading is crispy and golden.
- There's no wrong size to make these mac and cheese balls. It all depends on the size scoop you use. For a bite size version, roll them meatball size. For an appetizer, a 2 ounce scoop works well. As a side dish, use a 4 ounce scoop, the most typical size for a scoop of ice cream. Just know, the yield could be more or less.