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Fried Mac & Cheese Bites

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

I have come to the realization…that I’m a Southern girl. I say hi to everyone when I’m walking down the street and smile. I like fried cheese and I love butter to pieces. Does all of that make me a Southern girl? I have lived in Florida since I was 7 years old and have considered myself a Florida girl for a longg time. I know some don’t consider Florida as part of the south sometimes though. Anyways, Ever since I saw Marc’s recipe for Fried Mac & Cheese Balls, I have wanted to make them! And then Brandy and Rachel came up with the idea to celebrate macaroni and cheese in a big way and I had to do it…mmmm fried cheese. That’s all I have to say, right?

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

First off, let’s ignore that I didn’t use elbow macaroni the first time I made this recipe. It works better with elbows but when I went to make this recipe the first time, I didn’t have any.

Second, I used this Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese Recipe from my friends, Todd & Diane. It’s a keeper of a recipe…and the way we will make stovetop mac and cheese from now on!

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

Cook the macaroni in the milk. And as Diane warns, you need to stay close and don’t walk away from the pot. The milk cooks down fast.

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

Add cheese, when I first tried this recipe, I added provolone (not called for in the original recipe). It’s great for taste but not great for making fried mac & cheese. Just use cheddar cheese for fried mac and cheese. This is also when you would add bacon if you’re using it.

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

Use a medium cookie scoop and then form into balls…I kind of flattened the tops and bottoms so they would be easier to cook. So instead of mac & cheese balls, they are more bites. Now put the baking sheet in the freezer.

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

Set up your egg and breadcrumb trays. I love using this set my sister got me for Christmas a couple of years ago. They are easy to clean and are the perfect size for breading chicken for Chicken Parm or for making fried mac & cheese bites!

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

Dip the bite into the egg/milk mixture. Then place into the breadcrumb tray.

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

Using a spoon so your hands don’t get as messy, cover the bite in breadcrumbs.

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

Place onto a try and add to the freezer.

fried-mac-cheese-bites-the-little-kitchen-4910

I tried this recipe using both vegetable and olive oil. I think I prefer the taste better with olive oil but if you don’t have any, you can use vegetable oil.

Another note, I also tried deep frying these little puppies. It works and it tastes great but they are more crunchier and that’s great too but you lose some of the creamy cheese texture. So depending on what you prefer you, can deep fry in a large pot with about 4 inches of oil. Bring the oil to 350 degrees F and fry for about 4 to 5 minutes. Otherwise, fry these in a skillet with about 1/4 inch of oil.

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

Cheesy, creamy and crispy on the outside, these are the perfect appetizer. Trust me! And with bacon…it takes this recipe to another level! You can try it with our without, that’s what I did. (When I made it the second time, I didn’t use bacon.)

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Fried Mac & Cheese Bites Recipe

Yield: about 24 appetizer bites

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hour 10 minutes (includes inactive time)

Ingredients:

Mac & Cheese

  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, may need more
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped (optional, omit this to make it vegetarian)

Making Fried Mac & Cheese

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon whole milk
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 regular breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil for frying

Directions:

Mac & Cheese

  1. Rinse raw macaroni pasta in a colander and drain. Place macaroni pasta in a medium pot (about 4 quarts). Add milk, butter, ground mustard, salt and ground nutmeg).
  2. Turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Be sure to stir frequently, do not leave pot of pasta and milk unattended. The mixture will come to a simmer and possible boil quickly. After it comes to a simmer or boil, turn heat down to low and keep stirring.
  3. Cook until milk is mostly absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. (Taste macaroni, should be al dente. If not, add more milk about 2 Tablespoons at a time until macaroni is al dente.)
  4. Add cheese and bacon (if using) and mix thoroughly. Cook on low heat for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Making Fried Mac & Cheese

  1. Allow mac & cheese to cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for at least an hour or overnight.
  2. Remove from refrigerator and using a medium cookie scoop (1.5 Tablespoons), scoop out macaroni and cheese and form into flat or ball-shaped pieces. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Beat an egg in a shallow dish and add milk. Mix thoroughly and set aside. In another shallow dish, mix together both breadcrumbs, cheese, salt and dash of pepper.
  4. Using your left hand, place macaroni & cheese pieces one at a time in the egg-milk mixture and then place into breadcrumb mixture. Using a spoon, drop mixture on top. Place covered mac & cheese pieces back onto baking sheet. While you're getting the oil ready, place baking sheet back in the freezer.
  5. Add olive oil to nonstick skillet, about 1/4 inch layer to cover. Heat oil for 3 minutes on medium high.
  6. Lower heat to medium and add macaroni and cheese bites, don't crowd the pan. Cook in two batches if needed. Cook for 2 minutes on first side and flip and cook for another 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  7. Remove and place on paper towel lined plate and immediately sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese Recipe slightly tweaked from White on Rice Couple. Inspired by Fried Mac & Cheese Balls from No Recipes.


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Fried Mac & Cheese Bites from thelittlekitchen.net

And for more wonderful mac & cheese gloriousness and prizes even, be sure to visit Rachel and Brandy…and see these amazing recipes below…!!!

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40 Responses to “Fried Mac & Cheese Bites”

  1. 1
    Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat — February 24, 2014 @ 7:45 pm

    Oh many what a decadent idea!! If you are going to have mac and cheese, may as well fry it. I think I was born to be a southern girl too- I also love butter and talking to strangers. Don’t tell my parents in Connecticut!

    [Reply]

  2. 2
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — February 24, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

    ooooooooooooooooooh these are soooo not good for my pre-wedding figure…

    but oh so good for the soul!
    …and the belly

    [Reply]

  3. 3
    Emily @ Life on Food — February 24, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

    Holy mac and cheese recipes! This looks amazing. Cheesy and fried. Count me in!

    [Reply]

  4. 4
    Terri C — February 24, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

    You might have just ruined my diet! Yum yum yum! :)

    [Reply]

  5. 5
    Tieghan — February 24, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

    I am not southern in anyway, BUT I too love southern food. Especially fried cheese and butter! :) Amazed!

    [Reply]

  6. 6
    Amy @Very Culinary — February 24, 2014 @ 11:10 pm

    I got a deep fryer for Christmas. Totally breaking it out this weekend for these!

    [Reply]

  7. 7
    Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen — February 25, 2014 @ 12:27 am

    Cheesy goodness and with bacon, oh my!

    [Reply]

  8. 8
    Andrea Y — February 25, 2014 @ 5:53 am

    This recipe spells COMFORT food.

    [Reply]

  9. 9
    Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg — February 25, 2014 @ 7:46 am

    How delicious! I love this idea. Take these to a potluck they’d scarfed up in 2 seconds.

    [Reply]

  10. 10
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — February 25, 2014 @ 8:04 am

    I’ve seriously always wanted to fry mac n cheese. I’m so glad you did! It looks amazing :)

    [Reply]

  11. 11
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — February 25, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    Oh my goodness. I want to sink my teeth into a few of these…they look awesome!!! (I’m thinking I might just be a southern gal, too…ha!!)

    [Reply]

  12. 12
    Angie | Big Bear's Wife — February 25, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

    I think anyone that makes and LOVES fried mac and cheese is indeed a Southern girl! I have always loved this and never taken the time to make it! Looks so easy though!

    [Reply]

  13. 13
    Anna@CrunchyCreamySweet — February 25, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

    This is such a fun idea, Julie! I am going to have to try this!

    [Reply]

  14. 14
    Cassie — February 25, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

    These are cheesy perfection, Julie. Love it!

    [Reply]

  15. 15
    bev @ bevcooks — February 25, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

    SO SO SO in.

    In.

    [Reply]

  16. 16
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — February 25, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

    These are just so perfect! Love the bite sized cheesy goodness!

    [Reply]

  17. 17
    Christine (Cook the Story) — February 25, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

    Wow, Julie! These look and sound amazing. Interesting that panfrying gives more creaminess. I wouldn’t have guessed that. Must try!

    [Reply]

  18. 18
    fabiola@notjustbaked — February 25, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

    WHOA. This is genius, Julie!!! I am so making this asap.

    [Reply]

  19. 19
    Joanne — February 25, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

    the way I see it is that the only thing better than cheese is fried cheese…so logic demands that the only thing better than mac and cheese is fried mac and cheese!

    [Reply]

  20. 20
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — February 25, 2014 @ 4:05 pm

    These bites look like the ultimate crowd pleaser!

    [Reply]

  21. 21
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — February 25, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

    One of our favorite local restaurants makes amazing fried mac and cheese bites! Can’t wait to try this!

    [Reply]

  22. 22
    Alice // Hip Foodie Mom — February 25, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

    oh my gawd!!! must try this asap!!! yum!

    [Reply]

  23. 23
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — February 25, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

    Oh my gosh I have never thought to cook the pasta in the milk!! Diane is a genius!! And so are you. :)

    [Reply]

  24. 24
    Aggie — February 25, 2014 @ 9:30 pm

    Holy Mac n cheese balls!! I could eat a few of these ;) awesome Julie!!

    [Reply]

  25. 25
    diane and todd — February 25, 2014 @ 11:29 pm

    wow, these look fantastic Julie! and this whole post is definitely a keeper with all the great mac and cheese recipes.

    [Reply]

  26. 26
    Jenny @ BAKE — February 26, 2014 @ 8:29 am

    I didn’t think that mac and cheese could get any better! this looks amazing!

    [Reply]

  27. 27
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche — February 26, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    Oh my goooood, I guess great minds think alike with the fried macaroni cheese! These look insanely good!!!

    [Reply]

  28. 28
    Sarah @ Sarah Cooks the Books — February 26, 2014 @ 5:10 pm

    Will have to bring these to the next office potluck! I’m a Southern girl (from North Carolina) living in California!

    [Reply]

  29. 29
    Kim Beaulieu — February 26, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

    Seriously Julie, this is so amazing. I can’t wait to try this. My kids and their friends will go crazy for this recipe. Creative and fun, totally love this one.

    [Reply]

  30. 30
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — February 26, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

    Oh dear lord-y me. Julie these are bonkers! Love LOVE them!

    [Reply]

  31. 31
    Rachel Cooks — February 27, 2014 @ 2:34 pm

    EVERYTHING is right about this. Can’t wait to make these. Thanks so much for helping us kick off mac and cheese mania!

    [Reply]

  32. 32
    Julianne @ Beyond Frosting — February 28, 2014 @ 2:34 am

    The longer I stare at these photo, the more likely I am to get out of bed and go make this right now. OH MY GAWD! Amazing.

    [Reply]

  33. 33
    Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures — February 28, 2014 @ 11:01 am

    Yum!

    [Reply]

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  35. 34
    ATasteOfMadness — March 4, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

    How am I not making these right now? This looks too good!

    [Reply]

  36. 35
    Christine from Cook the Story — March 20, 2014 @ 10:13 am

    Could these little gems be addictive? OH YES, they could! Pinned and shared :)

    [Reply]

  37. 36
    Caroline — July 26, 2014 @ 12:22 am

    LOVE macaroni & LOVE this recipe. May I have permission to repost one of your photos (with credit/link) in one of my articles for Spoon University?

    [Reply]

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  40. 37
    athena — December 10, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

    I’m wondering if these would work if you baked them rather than fry them? I’d like to make some and freeze them but prefer not to fry them. Have you tried it?

    [Reply]

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