Fried mac and cheese balls are crispy on the outside, creamy and cheesy on the inside, and have the perfect crunch. Best way to use leftover mac and cheese.
- 3 cups macaroni and cheese, refrigerated at least 4 hours
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- Scoop out a spoonful of mac and cheese using a cookie scoop and shape into a 1.5-inch ball. Repeat with with all mac and cheese.
- Place beaten egg into one bowl, and panko breadcrumbs into another bowl. Coat each mac and cheese ball into the eggs and then dredge in panko to fully coat.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat until shimmering and sizzling hot, about 4 minutes. Carefully add the mac and cheese balls, about 4-5 at a time (you will have to fry in batches). Fry until golden and crispy on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Serve hot.
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 mac and cheese 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 (you will have to do this in batches as to not overcrowd the basket). Air fry at 350 F for 15 minutes until crispy.
How to bake in the oven: Assemble the mac and cheese 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.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Deep Fry
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: fried mac and cheese balls, mac and cheese balls