How to make Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls with leftover macaroni and cheese - recipe

Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls (Easy Appetizer)


Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls hit all the right notes for any kind of party or addition to an appetizer board!  These crispy, creamy little bites are perfect for game day or an elegant affair alike! Best part? Both kids and adults love them!

You’ve found it.  This recipe for Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls (easy appetizer) is one of the easiest appetizers that I make!  And what’s the base for this easy appetizer? Leftover mac and cheese!  The first time I tried fried macaroni and cheese balls was at a place near D.C. when we were on our way down from Connecticut to Florida.  They were so good.  So good that I went ahead and ordered a second plate of them.  THAT kind of so good.  

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Check out this article on the history of macaroni and cheese – I was fascinated!

The question then became: Where can I find fried macaroni and cheese balls near me?  

The answer? Nowhere.  So, it was on me.  I needed to create my own recipe (which became a really easy appetizer regular in my house). The recipe combines my mom’s famous macaroni and cheese (the leftovers from dinner the day before), a little egg, and breadcrumbs.  They’re completely delicious!

How to make Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls with leftover macaroni and cheese - recipe



These appetizers would be perfect for all sorts of different gatherings:

  • Gameday
  • A kids Halloween or birthday party
  • A holiday get-together where comfort food is king
  • As part of an appetizer board for a fun family dinner that’s out of the normal routine!
Recipe for easy fried macaroni and cheese balls using leftover macaroni and cheese

Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls (Easy Appetizer)

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A crispy, creamy, dreamy appetizer made with leftover macaroni and cheese that brings back all of the memories of childhood in a little bite!


  • 3 cups of leftover macaroni and cheese - cold
  • 1 3/4 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp milk


  1. Use a 2" scoop to scoop out balls of the cold macaroni and cheese.
  2. Roll into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Freeze the balls for 20 minutes.
  4. Whisk eggs and milk together.
  5. Remove the balls from the freezer and immediately start to dip them into the egg mixture and then roll into the breadcrumbs (as you would if breading a protein).
  6. Place the coated macaroni and cheese balls into the freezer to keep and heat your oil. The oil should heat to 350 degrees before starting to fry.
  7. Only drop 3 balls at a time into the oil so the temperature does not come down too much. Cook for only 2 1/2 minutes until they are golden brown.
  8. Place the balls onto a paper towel to drain any extra oil and then move to a serving platter.


Don't let your oil get too hot! Over 375 degrees and your balls will cook much too quickly!

Make sure you use a heat resistant slotted spoon to remove the balls from the oil!

Complimentary Cocktail for Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls (easy appetizer)

There are so many amazing cocktails that pair with these Fried Macaroni & Cheese balls, but the one in my Digital Cookbook (to be released later this fall) includes one of my favorites.  PLUS it shows you all sorts of other amazing pairings for cocktails and appetizers! Make sure you check it out! 



More content I think you’ll love:

Prosciutto & Fig Bruschetta Appetizer

Mini Quiche Appetizers (Onion & Cheese)

Halloween Party Food for Kids

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