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Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword fried-mac-and-cheese-balls, macaroni-and-cheese
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 32 servings


  • 1 recipe double cheddar macaroni and cheese baked, cooled and chilled
  • 2 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ 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.