Fried Macaroni and Cheese Balls

Fried Macaroni and Cheese Balls Recipe

Macaroni and Cheese Balls Recipe are the ultimate snack for any time you’re craving something cheesy and crispy. This dish takes the comforting flavors of classic mac and cheese and adds a crunchy outer shell, making each bite a perfect mix of textures.

You’ll need basic ingredients like macaroni, cheddar cheese, and a few others to create the cheesy center. For that irresistible crunch, breadcrumbs and spices come into play, wrapping up the macaroni in a golden coat.

Whether you’re throwing a party, need a snack, or just want to spice up mealtime, these balls are a go-to choice.

They’re easy to share, fun to eat, and guaranteed to be a hit with anyone who tries them. So, get ready to enjoy a snack or appetizer that’s as satisfying to make as it is to eat.

If you’d like some Tips and Tricks, I have them below the recipe.

Crispy fried macaroni and cheese balls are arranged on a white, rustic wooden paddle board, with a few basil leaves for garnish. One ball is broken open, showing the gooey cheese inside. A small white bowl with tomato sauce is also on the board, ready for dipping.

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A wooden serving board holds golden-brown fried macaroni and cheese balls, garnished with fresh basil leaves, alongside a small bowl of red dipping sauce, on a dark blue textured surface.

If you need to change the amount of servings the recipe will make, click on the number of servings in the section under the “Print Recipe” bar, and move the slider up or down to change the number of servings you want.

Or to double or triple the recipe, click on the 2x or 3x next to “Ingredients”.

Crispy fried macaroni and cheese balls are arranged on a white, rustic wooden paddle board, with a few basil leaves for garnish. One ball is broken open, showing the gooey cheese inside. A small white bowl with tomato sauce is also on the board, ready for dipping.

Fried Macaroni and Cheese Balls

Nesting Lane Indulge
Fried Macaroni and Cheese Balls Recipe. The perfect delicious comfort food appetizer the whole family will love!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling & Freeze 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 8



  • Fill a large pot with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  • Add macaroni to the boiling water, then let it come back to a boil. Cook it without a lid, stirring now and then, until it's done but still a bit firm, which should take about 7 minutes.
  • Drain the macaroni in a colander.
  • In a bowl, stir the cooked macaroni with butter, ¼ cup milk, and the cheese packet that came with the macaroni and cheese box.
  • While the macaroni is still warm, mix in the Cheddar cheese, pimento cheese spread, and Italian cheese blend until everything is nicely melted together.
  • Transfer this cheesy macaroni mix into a container and put it in the fridge until it's firm, which will take around 4 hours.
  • Get a baking sheet ready by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Once the macaroni mix is firm, use a cookie scoop to form it into balls and place these balls on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze them for at least 2 hours.
  • Heat oil in a deep fryer or a large saucepan until it reaches 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Prepare a breading station: In a shallow dish, whisk together bread crumbs, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, sugar, salt, and cayenne. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of milk.
  • Take the macaroni and cheese balls out of the freezer, dip them in the egg mixture, then roll them in the breading mixture until they're well coated.
  • Fry the coated mac balls in the hot oil in batches until they're golden brown, which should take about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Place the fried mac balls on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess oil.
  • Serve hot.


Calories: 543kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 20gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 1204mgPotassium: 265mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gCalcium: 332mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Let us know what you think!Mention @nestinglaneindulge or tag #nestinglaneindulge!

Tips and Tricks

Enhance the Cheese Flavor: For an even cheesier taste, consider adding a small amount of Parmesan or blue cheese to the cheese mix. These cheeses add a sharp, distinct flavor that complements the milder cheeses.

Spice It Up: If you enjoy a bit of heat, add diced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to the cheese mixture before chilling. This will give your macaroni balls a nice, spicy kick that contrasts well with the creamy cheese.

Crunchier Coating: To make the coating extra crispy, mix some panko breadcrumbs with the Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are lighter and flakier, which will add a delightful crunch to your macaroni balls.

Avoid Sogginess: Make sure the oil temperature doesn’t drop below 350 degrees F when frying. A consistently high temperature keeps the exterior of the macaroni balls crispy and prevents them from absorbing too much oil.

Batch Preparation: If you’re preparing for a party, you can make these macaroni balls ahead of time and freeze them. They can go straight from the freezer into the fryer when you’re ready to serve. This makes for a stress-free appetizer or party snack.

Serving Suggestions: Serve these with a range of dipping sauces to keep things interesting. Classic marinara, ranch dressing, or a spicy buffalo sauce can elevate the overall flavor profile and offer your guests variety.

Keep It Clean: To keep your hands from getting too messy when rolling the macaroni balls in breadcrumbs, use one hand for the wet ingredients (egg mix) and the other hand for the dry (breadcrumbs).

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