Damn Delicious

Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

A comfort classic that everyone will be fighting for! Crisp on the outside yet so soft, creamy and cheesy on the inside. YESSS!

Fried Mac and Cheese Balls - A comfort classic that everyone will be fighting for! Crisp on the outside yet so soft, creamy and cheesy on the inside. YESSS!

Guys. I’m alive.

 After 3 days and 2 nights in Death Valley, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it.

But I did.

I won’t get into the details of the sand storm and the 18 degree cold we were sleeping in, BUT!

I will get into this.

Fried mac and cheese balls.

Great for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Or for Game Day.

Works great on either occasions.

Or both.

That way you have a convenient excuse to make this more than once a year.

Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

A comfort classic that everyone will be fighting for! Crisp on the outside yet so soft, creamy and cheesy on the inside. YESSS!

15 minutes15 minutes


  • 3 cups macaroni and cheese, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, or more, as needed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Place macaroni and cheese into the refrigerator until firm, about 3-4 hours.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.
  3. Using a small cookie scoop, roll macaroni and cheese into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch balls, forming about 12.
  4. Working one at a time, dip balls into eggs, then dredge in Panko, pressing to coat.
  5. Working in batches, add balls to the Dutch oven and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with chives, if desired.

Did you Make This Recipe?

Tag @damn_delicious on Instagram and hashtag it #damndelicious.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories 223.3 Calories from Fat 59.4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.6g 10%
Saturated Fat 1.0g 5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 37.6mg 13%
Sodium 195.4mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 33.0g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1.3g 5%
Sugars 1.8g
Protein 6.8g 14%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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  1. The first time they worked great. Not this time!!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    I haven’t tried these but was just wondering if they could be made in an air fryer instead?

    • Rated 5 out of 5

      Just made these in the air fryer for about 10 minutes at 400*. They came out great! Just make sure they aren’t touching very much.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    My grandsons absolutely love Mac/Cheese and always have. However, serving it the basic same ways all the time becomes boring and plain. When I saw the “damndelicious” recipe for fried Mac/Cheese balls I just knew they would go over well during weekend lunch. They serve them at basic delivery restaurants so I figured it couldn’t be very long to prep them & cook them. I then put my request to make Mac/Cheese other ways and up popped “damndelicious”.  I followed the instructions and was done in no time, (of course beyond the 3-4 hrs to make the Mac/Cheese cold in fridge).  They were awesome!! Thanks so much “damndelicious”. We will definitely make them again and again. 

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    So I know what I will bring to my friend’s baby shower. My word these look delicious and we LOVE mac n cheese. These instructions seem super easy to follow too. Thank you so much!

  5. Rated 4 out of 5

    Hi, Made this last night, it was delicious! I will definitely be making this again.

  6. when I tried to make Mac into balls they fell apart. why

  7. Do you think I can fry the mac n cheese balls in advance and reheat them in the oven later ? 

    I’m gonna try that tomorrow !!

    • Hello, did you end up making in advance and heating later? I was hoping to do the same! wondering how it came out!

  8. Rated 4 out of 5

    Wonderful tasting but couldnt keep them in a bal

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    If I made this I think it would be the best thing i’ve ever eaten it looks so good. I want to try these so badly!!

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delicious fried mac cheese balls. They looked so good, Definitely i will try and make them. I will make with used 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives. is it OK? Please reply me as soon as possible.

  11. I’ve tasted Mac and Cheese Bites – but wondering if you refrigerate them after coating them – doing this just firms them up a bit more and will prevent them from breaking apart – also pull them out a few minutes early before deep frying too get the chill off ..

  12. Rated 4 out of 5

    #supereasyversion – I used this page to get the method and feedback which was all hunky dory except for @Damn Nothings post which had me thinking there may be challenges getting it to, roll, stay together and fry well. So I tweaked it using left over lasagne sheets from the fridge which I diced. Made roux and added corn starch. I didn’t attempt to roll it. I used an ice cream scoop and let them sit in the refrigerator over night. They held together very well and fried great

  13. These look amazing! Can I freeze in advance?

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Just finished making this recipe and they turned out AMAZING! I froze my mac and cheese and let it thaw in the fridge the day before. It was still partially frozen and the bites stayed together. Definitely a new favorite! Thank you for sharing! They were just as delicious as all your other recipes 🙂

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    My husband LOVES this fried mac cheese balls. Even I enjoy it, and I am not a big fan of cheese.

  16. Wow! This is fantastic. I bet they would be scrumptious fried mac cheese balls amazing for kids. Will definitely try them for my son.

  17. Had leftover mac & cheese that we wanted to repurpose for a repeat dinner party. My mac & cheese had dried up a bit in the fridge, so I melted some fresh Velveeta and mixed it in (I also mixed in some bacon bits, because… why not?!). Returned to the fridge for about 4 hours. I used an ice-cream scoop to dole out the portions. I drizzled the beaten egg over the ball (instead of dipping) and then coated it by hand. Sprinkled the panko and pressed it by hand. The balls held together quite well. They were about 3 inches in diameter. I made a dozen and placed them on a cookie sheet in the fridge until ready to fry (fried them in vegetable oil @ 375F after frying some red snapper). They looked & tasted great. I excluded the chives because my original audience was supposed to be 5 & 6 year old kids, but the adults ended up eating most of them. Might include some ranch for dipping if I make them again.

  18. Not sure I did this right but I was hoping to tell you how much we loved this recipe. We would like to be included in the drawing for you and Butters new cookbook give-a-way. Either way, if I did this wrong, we will continue to enjoy these tasty little devils.

  19. GARBAGE….sure, there are 100 comments saying they LOOK GOOD…but try making them!

    First, you will never form the mac and cheese into a ball! Impossible!
    Second, once you dip in egg, the moisture from egg will make mac and cheese fall apart.

    SERIOUSLY Flawed recipe! DO NOT ATTEMPT, unless you enjoy throwing 2 eggs, panko crumbs and a bowl of cold mac and cheese in the garbage.

    Waste of time and money.

    • I had the same experience, so I ended up just adding the eggs and some fish fry coating to the mac and cheese as if they were hush puppies…. I got them a consistency where I could form them into a ball and fried them. I should also note that I added some shredded cheese to the mix also.

  20. I finally got to make this fried mac cheese balls this past weekend and it was such a hit!!

  21. I can’t get my Mac and cheese to form into balls. Ive had it in the refrigerator for over the allowed time and it falls apart…it won’t stick together therefore I can’t get any further in the process…please help

  22. Amazing fried mac cheese balls. They looked soooo good, I had to try and make them. I used your suggestion and used 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives.


  24. I am DEFINITELY going to make these for my 6 year olds birthday party! Kids and adults will devour them!

    What are your thoughts on me making them a few hours in advance, morning of, and warming them in the oven?

  25. I was driving home last night thinking to myself how I could really go for some mac n cheese balls. What a surprise when your recipe is the first on the search list!!

    Big thumbs up! It’s a really good one, quite really soft and crispy. As always keep up the amazing work!

  26. Dang they look tasty!! I have had arancini but never mac and cheese balls. Really want to try them (:

  27. These look delicious!!

  28. Hint #1.. After you form into a ball, place on parchment paper and put in the freezer for about an hour. It makes it much easier to stay formed while you dip it in the egg wash.
    Hint #2… Put gingerbread cookies in the blender to make Gingerbread crumbs and use in the place of panko for a sure fire hit with everyone!!

  29. Screaming this recipe from the mountain tops!!! Everyone needs these in their lives!

  30. You are killing me. These look incredible. OMG.

  31. I’m trying this right now, but I’m having a hard time keeping them formed into a ball. 

  32. I’m so sad. I tried this recipe today using Annie’s Organic mac & cheese. Since it was store bought mac & cheese, I thought it would work just fine. Even after I cooled the mac & cheese in the fridge for 4 hours, it wouldn’t stick together in order for me to bread them and fry them. I was really looking forward to eating these. 🙁

    • After having the same issue as you, I Was Able To Just Get Some Egg on it little crumb as squeeze the egg and bread crumb and Mac together to form a ball. I’m thinking that if the mac isn’t super cheesy it’s tough to get it in a ball. I was able to then swirl the mac balls in the egg and then back in the bread crumbs. I would bet that flour first would be better since this will keep the cheese from oozing out of the balls when cooking them.

  33. Do you season the panko in any way?

  34. These look like they would put the Trader Joe’s mac and cheese balls to shame. Can’t wait to try them!

  35. What fun! You should have mentioned that you have to really squeeze to make
    the balls and dip in egg quickly. We don’t have Panko here in the Ozarks so I used Dakota Style Kettle Shake crunchy potato chip all natural gluten free Jalapeno coating mix. Made 2 dozen. Couldn’t stop making them or eating them!!!

  36. We have these at the Fair every year! Can’t wait to make some at home, we love fried Mac and cheese.

  37. How do you discard the oil once its finished?

    • Allow the oil to cool first. Then you can discard in a small sealed container and throw it out with the trash. Please do not pour it down the drain as it can clog overtime.

  38. Wow!!! Mac and Cheese balls….
    Delicious I love it!!! Thanks for this tasty recipe….

  39. MUST HAVES!!! Omiloooord I need fried mac and cheese balls right this friggin second!

  40. These look great, amazing use for Mac and Cheese! Probably really unhealthy but who cares haha!

  41. These look incredible! I need them in my life!


  42. These Mac and Cheese Balls look amazingly addicting!!!

  43. How do you discard the oil once its finished?

    • Allow the oil to cool first. Then you can discard in a small sealed container and throw it out with the trash. Please do not pour it down the drain as it can clog overtime.

  44. Do you have a good mac’n cheese recipe for this? They look amazing!

    Btw, did u have a web designer develop your site or did you diy?

  45. Ooooohhhhh, that looks so good. How does the Mac and cheese stay in a ball though when you roll it? Even when I make it homemade and refrigerate it it falls apart…… But good recipe.

  46. Ooh, they will love it! I agree that mac and cheese tastes weird the next day… and its not as creamy. And, to quote Lavoisier: “In nature nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes.” lol