Cheesy balls of fried goodness! These Fried Mac and Cheese Bites are kicked up a little with Green Chiles and Bacon making them the perfect appetizer for any game day – especially Super Bowl Sunday! Expect to run out of these babies quick!
As Super Bowl Sunday approaches, I wanted to share some new game day recipes. The Super Bowl and Appetizers go together like peanut butter and jelly, and I wanted to start the week off right with one of my favorites – Fried Mac and Cheese!
Fried Mac and Cheese reminds me of the North Carolina State Fair. I remember the first time we had them, it was like we died and went to heaven. It’s been a while since I thought about Fried Mac and Cheese, but when I saw the leftover macaroni and cheese from dinner, I had a flash back to the fair and started making these mac and cheese bites. I was inspired to add the green chiles from the leftovers I used to make my Colorado Style Green Chili.
The trick to making great Fried Mac and Cheese is to make the mac and cheese a day in advance, and let it cool in the fridge. By letting the macaroni and cheese cool, it makes for easier cutting and also makes breading it easier, and best of all, prevents your Fried mac and Cheese Bites from falling apart and melting in the deep fryer. I used an 8″x8″ square cake/brownie pan, but you can cool your macaroni and cheese in any dish you’d like. I just like the depth of an 8″x8″ pan – it makes for perfect bite sized pieces of fried mac and cheese.
Fried Mac and Cheese is versatile too. You can add whatever you want to it; as in our case, green chiles and bacon or you can just leave it plain. Either way, your guests will love these little cheesy bites of heaven.
If you don’t have a deep fryer, don’t worry. I just got one for Christmas. To make these Fried Mac and Cheese Bites without a deep fryer, use a deep pan and heat oil to 350 degrees, carefully fry mac and cheese bites, turning to make sure they cook evenly on all sides.
3 cups leftover Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese
2 tbsp cream or milk
1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
3 tbsp diced green chiles
1/2 pkg bacon, fried and crumbled
2 cups flour
3 tsp salt, divided
1 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 qt. vegetable oil, to fry
Prepare Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese according to recipe directions.
Mix 3 cups leftover macaroni and cheese, cream, shredded cheddar, green chiles and cooked bacon in a large bowl, or in the pot you cooked the macaroni and cheese in.
Line a baking dish with parchment or plastic wrap. Pour mac and cheese mixture into pan and press flat with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to let cool. At least an hour, but for best results, the day before.
Remove macaroni and cheese from pan by turning baking dish upside down over a cutting board. Remove parchment or plastic wrap and cut into equal bite sized pieces.
Set up a three stage breading process. In one bowl combine flour and 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. In another bowl, whisk eggs with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and in the last bowl, combine both regular and panko bread crumbs with the remaining salt and pepper and 1.3 cup shredded cheese. Dip macaroni and cheese bites in flour, then egg, and then the bread crumb mixture.
Let cool on a sheet pan in the fridge while oil heats.
Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Working in batches, fry mac and cheese bites for 5-7 minutes. Repeat with remaining mac and cheese bites.
Let fried mac and cheese bites drain and cool on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
For the FREE printable version of this recipe to add to your collection, click the link below for a PDF version.