It’s a brand new year and it’s going to be an amazing one! When thinking of this next year there are probably many instances you’ll spend them together with family and friends. Whether it’s for a game or a game night, a summer gathering or holiday – Mac & Cheese balls will never fail you. Mac and cheese balls are fun and so tasty you just can’t pass them up! They are also pretty easy to make. If you need cute little party bites or a good appetizer these will please the youngest to the oldest person in the room!
These little cheesy mac & cheese balls are first and foremost, cheesy, but also moist and soft on the inside and have a perfectly crunchy outer crust. They still have that familiar taste you love, but they’re poppable! No mess, but all the flavor that keeps you coming back for more. In my experience, if you think you have made enough, make sure to double it. They go super fast, so over compensating is good!
Making Mac & Cheese Balls
I made these semi-homemade, but feel free to use your favorite recipe if you have a favorite homemade Mac and cheese. Or simply use a box and dress it up with extra cheese! There is no wrong or right. I used Annie’s traditional Mac and Cheese and made it exactly per the directions on the box. The very fist step will be to start cooking your mac & cheese.
While your noodles are cooking gather the rest of your ingredients needed.
- Panko – seasoned with a pinch or salt and pepper
- Oil for frying
Get out three small bowls and put flour in one, 2 eggs in another and your seasoned panko in the last bowl and line them up. You will use this as an assembly line for your Mac and cheese balls once they are rolled and ready.
When your Mac and cheese is completely done and made per the directions, you will need to cool it off. I like to place mine in the freezer for a bit – 30 minutes to 2 hours. This will help the Mac and cheese congeal so it can be pressed into balls easily.
Time to Fry: Oil or Air!
After the Mac and cheese has cooled off take your hands or a cookie scoop and press into one inch balls (or whatever size you so desire). You’ll need to use some pressure and squish the noodles together so the ball will keep its shape. Keep this up until you have used all your Mac and cheese. Next, place in the freezer for about 20-30 more minutes to set the mac & cheese balls up for coating and frying.
On a side note: You can also make these ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for a later date. When completely frozen they are perfect for an air fryer – all the crisp and crunch the traditional oil fryer will get you sans oil!
Or option two, you can make these and go ahead and oil fry them. Then you can freeze and eat as wanted. Just simply heat them up in the air fryer!
Lastly, take the mac & cheese balls out of the freezer and it’s time to crisp them up! Place each ball in flour, then egg and then panko – exactly that order and coat the whole ball evenly! Place back onto the baking sheet. When they have all been coated, place them in 350 degree Fahrenheit oil for about 2 1/2 – 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Don’t forget a delicious dip! My favorite is marinara sauce, but Alfredo and pesto are wonderful too. Or, make all three for a fun dipping experience!
Mac & Cheese Balls
- 1 Box Mac & Cheese Make per directions on box - you can also make your favorite homemade recipe too
- 2 Each Eggs Lightly Beaten
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- Oil for Frying - if applicable
Make your mac & cheese - make from a box per the directions OR make your own homemade
While cooking your mac & cheese line up three medium sized bowls - one with the eggs, another with four and another with the panko bread crumbs (add salt and pepper to taste: optional)
After mac & cheese is made per direction on box - place in the freezer to congeal for 20 - 30 minutes
Take mac & cheese out of the freezer and make one inch balls with your hands or a cookie scoop. Make sure to press them firmly so they will stay together through the dredging process and frying them.
Dredge each mac & cheese ball - place in eggs, flour and then panko - then place on a baking sheet
Place back into freezer for 20 minutes
Mac & Cheese balls are ready to fry either in oil or your favorite air fryer
Pre-fried Mac & Cheese balls can be kept in the freezer until ready for use
Keep it Sweet!
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