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These Mac & Cheese Balls Are What Dreams Are Made Of

Delish logo Delish 8/17/2022 Lauren Miyashiro

It’s pretty hard to believe anyone who doesn’t like mac and cheese. Take that and fry it into a crispy pasta and cheese round…also not sure who wouldn’t love. These are such a great idea for anyone who loves mac and cheese and wants to mix it up. The best part is showing up to someones party with these. Everyone will be scrambling to the buffet line. We kept this fairly easy for you incorporating a boxed mac and cheese into the recipe with additional mix ins. But if you want to make everything from scratch our 3 cheese mac and cheese is a great start.

My mac and cheese balls fell apart in the oil

The addition of egg and flour is important here because it acts as a sealant around the outside of the mac and cheese. Another reason may be not chilling them for long periods of time. Freezing mac and cheese balls will help the frying process. It may take a little longer to fry but heck if they stay together that’s what’s important.

Best cheese to use for mac and cheese

A really creamy melting cheese is recommended for mac and cheese. A cheese with a silky texture like American, cheddar, Monterey jack, or mascarpone are good to use. Stray away from ricotta, fresh mozzarella, and sometimes Swiss cheese too. These don’t give you the final cheesy mac texture you yearn for.

How can I make this if I’m vegan?

We have everyone covered. Vegan mac and cheese can produce just the same type of result using different ingredients. Almond or oat milk subs in for liquid, vegan cheese is easy to purchase, use vegan eggs or flaxseed in place of eggs, and you’re pretty set. Just make sure you’re using an eggless pasta. But if you rather follow one of our vegan mac and cheese recipes, no problem.

Can I prep this ahead and freeze?

Mac and cheese can be made a few days in advance. That way you can pull from the fridge, roll, freeze and fry. There are a few steps to the process so making things ahead is helpful.These can be rolled into breadcrumbs and place in the fridge for up to 5 days before frying off. The great thing about freezing them is that they will hold for up to 2 weeks and you can take a few out at a time and cook as a midday or midnight snack.

Made this recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This recipe was updated on August 16, 2022

Yields: 15-20

Prep Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 3 hours 40 mins


  • 1

    box macaroni and cheese, plus ingredients called for on box

  • 1 1/2 c.

    Shredded Monterey Jack

  • 1 1/2 c.

    shredded Cheddar

  • 1/4 tsp.

    cayenne pepper

  • 2 c.

    all-purpose flour

  • kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2

    large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 tbsp.


  • 2 c.

    panko bread crumbs

  • Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Prepare macaroni and cheese according to package instructions. While the macaroni and cheese is still hot, stir in cheddar, Monterey Jack and cayenne until the cheese is completely melted. Transfer mac and cheese to a large bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
  2. Set up a dredging station: In a small shallow bowl, season flour with salt and pepper. In a second shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Place bread crumbs in a third bowl.
  3. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop small balls of mac and cheese. Toss each ball in seasoned flour, dunk in the egg mixture to coat, then dredge in bread crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to fry.
  4. In a large heavy pot, heat about 1" vegetable oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, place a wire rack inside of a large baking sheet. When the oil is very hot and shimmering (and about 350°), add four to five mac and cheese balls. Cook until very golden all over, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the fried bombs to a wire rack and sprinkle them with salt. Repeat with remaining mac and cheese bombs.
  5. Transfer bombs to a serving dish and garnish with parsley. Serve warm.
Mac and Cheese Bombs vertical © Jonathan Boulton Mac and Cheese Bombs vertical

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