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Mac and Cheese Bites

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These mac and cheese bites are crazy good! These delightful snacks will have your family grinning from ear to ear, and asking for more.

This appetizer is great make-ahead recipe. A perfect way to create something special from left-over cheesy pasta. Assemble mac and cheese balls during the week for enjoyment on the weekend! Serve with crispy air fryer chicken wings or mini pigs in a blanket.

PIN MAC AND CHEESE BITES TO MAKE THEM LATER!

Mac and Cheese Bites sprinkled with parsley and served with bang bang sauce on the side.

FRIED MAC AND CHEESE BITES INGREDIENTS

This is an easy appetizer recipe. Conveniently, the ingredients are common refrigerator and pantry items you may have at home right now!

Here’s what you’ll need to make a batch of these scrumptious fried mac and cheese balls:

  • Macaroni and cheese, prepared and refrigerated overnight
  • Diced fire-roasted chilies (mild) OR diced pepperoncini
  • Corn chips, finely crushed
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Large eggs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • OPTIONAL GARNISH: Italian parsley

MORE EASY SNACK IDEAS


Ingredients for mac and cheese bites laid out on a maple John Boos Board.

HOW TO MAKE MAC AND CHEESE BITES

It’s important to note why I call this a “make-ahead” recipe! Because of the required down time between steps, these fun appetizers are meant to enjoy later. Maybe it’s the anticipation, but once you bite into them you’ll agree they were worth the wait!

Prep these mini mac and cheese balls on a weekday. Keep them in the freezer until Movie Night or Family Game Day on the weekend. Then fry up these snacks in no time flat, and experience immediate enjoyment. Mmm…they’re so good!

Mac and Cheese Balls served in a restaurant-style metal dish with a newspaper liner.

RECIPE PREP: Fold fire-roasted chilies into prepared macaroni and cheese. Use a rubber spatula to firmly compress the pasta inside a small freezer-safe baking dish. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Leftover pasta and diced fire-roasted chilies for fried mac and cheese balls.

FRIED MAC AND CHEESE BALLS

These yummy mac and cheese bites are double coated for extra crispness! In order to successfully form the balls and later coat them with crumbs, the mac and cheese mixture must be super cold.

Don’t skip any steps for using the freezer to firm up the macaroni!

RECIPE PREP:

  • Transfer the mac and cheese dish from the refrigerator to the freezer. Freeze for 45 minutes.
  • Place corn chips in a zip-top bag. Press out air and seal. Finely crush chips with a rolling pin or the back of a measuring cup.

Here’s how to make these easy party snacks, step by step:

  • STEP 1: Portion out the mac and cheese using a medium-size, stainless-steel scoop. With clean hands, firmly compress each ball. Place the balls on a lined baking tray. Stick the tray into the freezer for 45 minutes.
  • STEP 2: Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Transfer panko crumbs and crushed chips into small bowls. Remove the mac and cheese bites from the freezer. Work with one ball at a time: dip it into the egg. Roll it in the bowl of panko crumbs. Dip ball back into egg. Roll it in chip crumbs. Return ball to the lined tray. Repeat with remaining balls.
  • STEP 3: Return tray to the freezer for 30 minutes or until you’re ready to fry the batch. When you’re ready to fry them, heat oil to 350°F in a small pot. Use a candy thermometer to continuously monitor the oil temperature. The oil should completely cover the balls and allow them to freely float while cooking. 
  • STEP 4: Fry 3 balls at a time for 1 minute, or until they’re golden orange/brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Four-image collage showing how to Make Mac and Cheese Balls, step by step.

EXPERT TIPS FOR MAC AND CHEESE BITES RECIPE

Nothing beats a homemade recipe! These mini mac and cheese bites are 100% better than store-bought. They’re deeply satisfying comfort food.

Enjoy these fun snacks during relaxing weekends at home with the family!

  • HOW TO GET MAC AND CHEESE BALLS TO STAY TOGETHER: The mixture must be extremely cold. If you can’t get the macaroni to easily hold together, return it to the freezer until it’s extra firm.
  • NO CORN CHIPS? NO PROBLEM! Use kettle-style potato chips, nacho-cheese tortilla chips, or all panko bread crumbs.
  • NO FIRE-ROASTED CHILIES? Try banana peppers or pepperoncini. Or you can omit this ingredient and still have super tasty mac and cheese bites!
  • IDEAS FOR TASTY MIX-INS: Try cooked and crumbled crispy bacon, diced fried baloney, or chopped salami. Fold the add-ins into the cheesy pasta before refrigerating overnight.
  • AIR FRYER RECIPE: This is an ideal air-fryer recipe for mac and cheese bites! Prepare the basket with cooking spray. Add the balls to the basket in a single layer, leaving room between each. Air fry at 350°F for 6 minutes. Turn them over. Cook an additional 6-8 minutes, or until golden orange and crisp. 
  • HOW TO FREEZE UNCOOKED MAC AND CHEESE BITES: After coating the balls with the crumb mixture, freeze them on a baking tray for one hour. Once they’re frozen solid, transfer the balls to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 weeks.
  • DIPPING SAUCE FOR MAC AND CHEESE BALLS: Try bang bang sauce, ranch dressing, marinara sauce, ketchup, or your favorite hot sauce!
Mac and Cheese Balls in a black, oblong metal serving dish with dipping sauce.

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MAC AND CHEESE BITES > JOIN THE CONVERSATION! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

These bite-sized snacks are crazy good! If you agree, give this easy recipe a 5-star rating in the comments below! 

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Mac and Cheese Bites sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Mac and Cheese Bites


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes + Freezer Time
  • Cook Time: 7 Minutes
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 7 Minutes
  • Yield: 21 Balls 1x

Description

Mac and cheese bites are crispy on the outside, and cheesy on the inside! This is an easy make-ahead recipe using leftover mac and cheese that’s been refrigerated overnight. These mini snacks are the perfect comfort food. They’re crazy good!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups macaroni and cheese, prepared and refrigerated overnight
  • 3 tablespoons diced fire-roasted chilies (from a can), well drained
  • 3 1/2 cups corn chips, finely crushed down to 1 cup of crumbs
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • OPTIONAL GARNISH: Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions

RECIPE PREP THE DAY BEFORE

This is a make-ahead recipe! You’re preparing now for enjoyment later! Fold fire-roasted chilies into prepared macaroni and cheese. Inside a small freezer-safe baking dish, use a spatula to firmly compress the pasta. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

FRIED MAC AND CHEESE BITES RECIPE

In order to successfully form the balls and later coat them with crumbs, the mac and cheese mixture must be super cold. Don’t skip any steps for using the freezer to firm them up!

RECIPE PREP:

  • Transfer the mac and cheese dish from the refrigerator to the freezer. Freeze for 45 minutes.
  • Place corn chips in a zip-top bag. Press out air and seal. Finely crush chips with a rolling pin or the back of a measuring cup.

Here’s how to make these easy party snacks, step by step:

  1. Portion out the mac and cheese using a medium-size, stainless-steel scoop. With clean hands, firmly compress each ball. Place the balls on a lined baking tray. Stick the tray into the freezer for 45 minutes.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Transfer panko crumbs and crushed chips into small bowls. Remove the mac and cheese bites from the freezer. Work with one ball at a time: dip it into the egg. Roll it in the bowl of panko crumbs. Dip ball back into egg. Roll it in chip crumbs. Return ball to the lined tray. Repeat with remaining balls.
  3. Return tray to the freezer for 30 minutes or until you’re ready to fry the batch. When you’re ready to fry them, heat oil to 350°F in a small pot. Use a candy thermometer to continuously monitor the oil temperature. The oil should completely cover the balls and allow them to freely float while cooking.Fry 3 balls at a time for 1 minute, or until they’re golden orange/brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
  4. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately!

 


Notes

  • HOW TO GET MAC AND CHEESE BALLS TO STAY TOGETHER: The mixture must be extremely cold. If you can’t get the macaroni to easily hold together, return it to the freezer until it’s extra firm.
  • NO CORN CHIPS? NO PROBLEM! Use kettle-style potato chips, nacho-cheese tortilla chips, or all panko bread crumbs.
  • NO FIRE-ROASTED CHILIES? Try banana peppers or pepperoncini. Or you can omit this ingredient and still have super tasty mac and cheese bites!
  • IDEAS FOR TASTY MIX-INS: Try cooked and crumbled crispy bacon, diced fried baloney, or chopped salami. Fold the add-ins into the cheesy pasta before refrigerating overnight.
  • AIR FRYER RECIPE: This is an ideal air-fryer recipe for mac and cheese bites! Prepare the basket with cooking spray. Add the balls to the basket in a single layer, leaving room between each. Air fry at 350°F for 6 minutes. Turn them over. Cook an additional 6-8 minutes, or until golden orange and crisp.
  • HOW TO FREEZE UNCOOKED MAC AND CHEESE BITES: After coating the balls with the crumb mixture, freeze them on a baking tray for one hour. Once they’re frozen solid, transfer the balls to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 weeks.
  • DIPPING SAUCE FOR MAC AND CHEESE BALLS: Try bang bang sauce, ranch dressing, marinara sauce, ketchup, or your favorite hot sauce!
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mac and Cheese Bites, Mac and Cheese Balls

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

FRIED MAC AND CHEESE BITES > YOUR THOUGHTS

Have you ever tried mac and cheese balls at a restaurant? Are you excited to make this recipe at home? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “Mac and Cheese Bites”

  1. These are one of our favorites when we go out to eat! I’m so excited to make these for my boys at home now. They’re super addicting!

    Reply
  2. What a fun way to make mac and cheese! I think I’ll make these with the kids this weekend!

    Reply

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