Fried Mac and Cheese Balls Recipe

Mac & cheese shaped into balls, then breaded and deep fried. 

  • Author: Jessica Pinney
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 15 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: American


4 or 5 pieces of bacon

½ pound large elbow macaroni

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup whole milk heated

1 tablespoon flour

3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

3/4 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese

3/4 cup shredded Italian blend cheese

salt and pepper (I don’t think I put enough in so be generous)

Another ½ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons milk

1 box Panko bread crumbs

Peanut oil (or canola. Whatever you have available)


  1. Put your bacon in the oven at 425 degrees and cook for about 15min (You don’t want the bacon all the way cooked because it’ll cook more when you put it in the fryer!). Let cool and then cut into little pieces and set aside.
  2. Cook the macaroni according to the instructions on the box. Also set aside for the moment.
  3. In a saucepan, melt your butter.
  4. Once the butter is melted, mix in the flour making sure there are no lumps.
  5. Add the milk (Make sure not to wait too long, or else that butter might burn!) and cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  6. Remove the sauce from the heat and mix in all the cheese.
  7. Immediately fold in cooked macaroni and bacon, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Chill in the refrigerator for two hours.
  9. Now shape the cold macaroni and cheese into balls. These weren’t as big as Cheesecake Factory’s cheese balls, just a little smaller, but not bite sized. You can make them any size you want though!
  10. Place the formed balls into the freezer for an hour or so.
  11. Take them out of the freezer and compress them into even tighter balls and put them back in the freezer for another 45 min or so.
  12. Set up three bowls.In the first bowl, combine the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and sugar.In the second bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.In the third bowl, put in a pile of Panko.
  13. Heat up your oil in your deep fryer (I use this one) or large, deep skillet.
  14. Roll each ball in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and finally the Panko.
  15. Drop each ball in the fryer until lightly golden brown.
  16. Remove balls from fryer and let dry on a paper towel to drain off excess oil.
  17. Serve immediately!


  • Calories: 420