Fried Mac and Cheese

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  • Fried Mac and Cheese – Perfectly crispy and cheesy fried macaroni with a flavorful breadcrumb topping. Take one bite and you’ll be in heaven!

    Is there anything more comforting than mac and cheese? It’s one of my favorite side dish recipes and is so delicious! This fried macaroni is a favorite, as well as smoked gouda mac and cheese, one pot bacon and chive macaroni and homemade baked macaroni and cheese.

    fried mac and cheese balls on a plate with a bowl of marinara sauce

    Fried mac and cheese balls

    I blame a couple of my girlfriends for this yummy recipe! One night a couple of good friends invited me to go out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I am always game for a good piece of cheesecake. Well, we didn’t just have cheesecake. I was introduced something amazing: fried mac and cheese. Pretty much life changing!

    This is one of those recipes that I always feel should be started with a disclaimer – “I can not be held responsible for excessive calorie intake!” But boy, is it delicious. Perfectly crispy and cheesy fried macaroni balls with a flavorful breadcrumb topping. Definitely not a “light” recipe, but 100% worth the indulge!

    I adapted this fried mac and cheese recipe from the Food Network and it is pretty much heaven. You could say that anything tastes great deep fried and you’d probably be right, but fried mac and cheese is pretty much brilliant. Serve it with marinara sauce for the ultimate combination!

    whisking together cheese mixture for fried macaroni

    How to make fried mac and cheese

    Step 1: Cook macaroni

    Cook the macaroni noodles according to directions on package. Drain and rinse with cold water. Then set aside.

    Step 2: Make the cheese sauce

    In a pan, melt the butter over medium-heat. Then sprinkle in flour and whisk together. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add in warmed milk and whisk until there aren’t any lumps. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.

    Remove pan from heat and stir in cheese until melted and smooth. S&P to taste. Then pour cheese over macaroni and stir to combine. Pour macaroni into a shallow pan and refrigerate for 2 hours, so that it sets up enough to form into balls.

    coating mac and cheese balls in egg wash and breadcrumb mixture

    Step 3: Form into balls

    Use your cookie dough scoop to form the balls and then place on a lined cookie sheet and freeze (overnight is good). You want them nice and frozen.

    Step 4: Coat with breadcrumb mixture

    In a shallow bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon of milk. Mix breadcrumbs and seasoning together and place in a shallow bowl. Dip mac and cheese balls into egg wash and then cover with breadcrumb mixture.

    Step 5: Fry the mac and cheese balls

    Heat oil in a large pot to 350°F and fry the mac and cheese balls until they are golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Turn them halfway to evenly brown.

    Remove and set on baking sheet lined with paper towels. Serve them with a little marinara sauce (or ketchup) and enjoy while warm!

    fried mac and cheese with marinara

    More appetizer recipes:

    Fried Mac and Cheese Recipe

    Course: Appetizer
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: fried mac and cheese, fried mac and cheese balls, fried macaroni, fried macaroni and cheese
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 291
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    Fried Mac and Cheese - Perfectly crispy and cheesy fried macaroni with a flavorful breadcrumb topping. Take one bite and you'll be in heaven!

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
    • 1 Tablespoon butter
    • 1 Tablespoon flour
    • 1 cup milk , warmed plus 1 Tablespoon
    • 1/2 pound cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 pound smoked gouda
    • 1 egg
    • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Optional: Marinara sauce for dipping

      Instructions

      • Cook macaroni according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
      • In a pan, melt the butter over medium-heat and sprinkle in the flour. Whisk together. Cook for 2 minutes. 
      • Add in warmed milk and stir to get rid of lumps. Cook until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
      • Remove from heat and add in cheese, stir until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour cheese over macaroni and stir to combine.
      • Pour into a shallow pan and refrigerate for 2 hours.
      • Form macaroni and cheese into balls using a cookie or ice cream scoop. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze overnight, or until cold and firm.
      • Mix together egg and 1 Tablespoon milk to make a wash in a shallow bowl. Mix breadcrumbs and seasoning together and place in a shallow bowl. Dip macaroni and cheese balls into egg wash and then cover with breadcrumb mixture.
      • Heat oil in a large pot to 350°F and fry macaroni and cheese balls until they are golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Turn them halfway to evenly brown.
      • Remove and set on baking sheet lined with paper towels. Enjoy while warm with marinara!

      Notes

      • Be sure your oil isn’t too hot so they don’t cook too fast. You want them to heat through so you don’t end up with frozen mac & cheese in the middle! 
      • Extras can be stored in the freezer.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 3mac and cheese balls | Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 394mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 383IU | Calcium: 327mg | Iron: 1mg
      PIN THIS RECIPE

      Adapted from Food Network.

      fried macaroni and cheese with a bowl of marinara

      Post originally written by Leigh Anne from Your Homebased Mom.

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