Gooey and cheesy on the inside and crispy and crunchy on the outside, this Fried Macaroni and Cheese Bites Recipe is perfect as a party appetizer or a game day snack.
This family favorite can be made in a skillet, deep fryer or air fryer.
I usually don’t make fried foods at home, but some things just beg to be fried and this Fried Macaroni and Cheese Bites recipe is one of them!
We all love mac and cheese as it is, but once you add some seasoned breading and make them all crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside – YUM!
These little mac and cheese balls make a perfect game day food or party appetizer.
Macaroni and cheese is good in any form, but we especially love it in this “party perfect” deep fried form.
While I like to eat the fried macaroni and cheese bites AS IS, other family members and party guests have found that they love them when they’re dipped into a sauce.
That can be almost ANY type of sauce – from ketchup, to mustard, to ranch, to barbecue sauce, salsa – even guacamole!
I’m thinking a fun idea for our next party would be to set up a Mac and Cheese Bites Bar complete with a whole array of different sauces so everyone can experiment and find out just what combination they like best.
To fry the Mac and Cheese bites you can use an ordinary skillet filled 1/2″ to 3/4″ deep or you can choose to use an electric deep fryer. The main benefit of a deep fryer is that it offers uniform high heat throughout cooking. You’ll also get a super crispy and crunchy coating.
Air Fryer Appetizer:
If you want to decrease the amount of oil, you can also make this as an air fryer appetizer.
For air fryer mac and cheese bites, follow all the directions below, except when it comes to cooking them, brush with oil and cook in a single layer in your air fryer at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
(You might want to make just one or two for the first batch and adjust the cooking time and temperature to best work in your model of air fryer.)
Making Fried Mac & Cheese Bites with Boxed Macaroni and Cheese:
Our recipe includes making your own mac and cheese from scratch, but you can make the bites using a boxed mac and cheese.
We recommend using the deluxe mac and cheese that comes with a package of cheese sauce (not powder). This will give you a more creamy bite.
I also recommend adding in up to an additional 1/3 cup of shredded cheese to make it even cheesier.
Fried Macaroni and Cheese Bites
1 lb Macaroni
2 (8 oz) Packages of Sharp Cheddar Cheese Chunk
1 1/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Butter
3 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
Salt & Pepper to taste
Vegetable Oil (for frying)
How to make fried mac and cheese bites
Boil the macaroni until tender. Then drain and set aside.
Shred your cheese and set aside – you’ll be using it to make your sauce.
In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat.
Add flour and mix until light brown color (make a roux).
Add 1 cup milk and whisk until thick.
Add cheese one handfull at a time.
Mix until cheese is all melted and smooth.
Add cooked macaroni to pan and mix until well coated.
Add salt and pepper.
Transfer to a container that will fit in your refrigerator, and refrigerate for at least one 1 hour or until cold.
Form cold macaroni and cheese into 1″ balls and place on prepared pan.
Place in freezer for 1 hour.
Beat eggs and add 1/4 cup milk in a bowl to make egg wash.
Dip balls into egg wash then roll in bread crumbs to coat completely.
Heat oil in deep fryer to 320 or fill skillet 1/2-3/4″ deep and heat over medium high to 320.
Fry for about 3-4 minutes and drain.
Be sure to pin this recipe on Pinterest or save it to your Facebook wall so you can find it later!!
Fried Macaroni and Cheese Bites
- Boil macaroni until tender, drain and set aside.
- Shred your cheese and set aside.
- In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add flour and mix until light brown color (make a roux).
- Add 1 cup milk and whisk until thick.
- Add cheese one handfull at a time.
- Mix until cheese is all melted and smooth.
- Add cooked macaroni to pan and mix until well coated.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Transfer to container that will fit in your refrigerator, and refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold.
- Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.
- Form cold macaroni and cheese into 1" balls and place on prepared pan.
- Place in freezer for 1 hour.
- Beat eggs and add 1/4 cup milk in a bowl to make egg wash.
- Dip balls into egg wash then roll in bread crumbs to coat completely.
- Heat oil in deep fryer to 320 or fill skillet 1/2-3/4" deep and heat over medium high to 320.
- Fry for about 3-4 minutes and drain.