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Fried Mac and Cheese Recipe

Lil' Luna
This copycat version of Cheesecake Factory's Fried Mac and Cheese appetizer is to die for! It's made of creamy mac and cheese inside a delicious and crispy breading.
4.80 from 20 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Refrigerate 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 20
Calories 387 kcal


  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk warmed, plus 2 tbsp for egg wash
  • 1 lb grated cheddar
  • 1 lb grated smoked gouda
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • marinara or alfredo sauce for dipping


  • Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and set aside.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and stir with a whisk. Cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in warm milk, working out any lumps. Cook for about 2 minutes until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat. Add both cheeses and stir until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in macaroni noodles and pour into a shallow pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until macaroni is cold.
  • Shape the cold mac and cheese into meatball-sized balls and place them onto a waxed paper-lined tray. Freeze overnight.
  • Beat together your eggs with your 2 tablespoons milk and pour it into a shallow bowl. Pour your bread crumbs into another shallow bowl. Remove the mac and cheese balls from the freezer. Dip the frozen balls into the egg wash then into the bread crumbs. Repeat these steps twice for each ball. This will give it a nice thick coat. Put back into the freezer until you are ready to fry.
  • Fry the coated mac and cheese balls for 5 minutes, until golden brown and center is hot. Serve hot with your favorite marinara or Alfredo sauce for dipping.


Calories: 387kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 19gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 670mgPotassium: 199mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 516IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 403mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Fried Mac and Cheese Balls
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