Fried Mac and Cheese Recipe

Rating 5.0
| 1
Take indulgence to the next level with this fried mac and cheese. Delicate squares of mac and cheese are coated with crispy panko and fried for a light and airy coating.
Utensils Appetizer
Globe Italian
Giselle is a recipe developer and content creator that loves all things sweet and savory. She runs her own food blog, The Busy Spatula, and her work has been featured on Yahoo!, Marvel Studios and the Kitchn.


For the Quick Mac and Cheese
12 oz
evaporated milk
12 oz
sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp
hot sauce
1 tsp
dry mustard
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 oz
elbow pasta
1/4 tsp
salt, plus more to taste
2 tblsp
unsalted butter
For the Fried Mac and Cheese
batch of macaroni and cheese, see above
1/2 cup(s)
all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp
kosher salt, see notes
1/2 tsp
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp
cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp
garlic powder
large eggs
1/4 cup(s)
2 cup(s)
marinara or alfredo sauce, to serve, see notes

Directions 16 steps | 225 Minutes

Step 1

Grease and line a 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cheese, hot sauce, mustard and pepper until well combined. Set aside

Step 3229 Shot
Step 2

In a large skillet over high heat, add the pasta and enough water to barely submerge the macaroni. Add the salt and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.

Step 3230 Shot
Step 3

Once the mixture has reached a boil, continue to stir constantly and cook until the pasta is almost al dente, about 6 minutes.

Step 3231 Shot
Step 4

Add the butter to the pot and toss to coat the macaroni in butter.

Step 3232 Shot
Step 5

Turn the heat to medium-low. Stir the milk mixture into the macaroni and continue to cook until the mixture is creamy, about 2-3 minutes.

Step 3233 Shot
Step 6

Transfer the macaroni into the pan and refrigerate until completely cold, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Step 3234 Shot
Step 7

Heat 2-inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or a Dutch oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set a wire rack on top. Invert the cold macaroni onto a cutting board and cut 1-inch cubes.

Step 3235 Shot
Step 8

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder.

Step 3236 Shot
Step 9

In a second shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and the water.

Step 3237 Shot
Step 10

In a third shallow bowl, place the panko.

Step 3238 Shot
Step 11

Coat the cubes of macaroni in the flour mixture and shake off the excess.

Step 3239 Shot
Step 12

Dip the cubes into the egg mixture and let the excess drip off.

Step 3240 Shot
Step 13

Finally, thoroughly coat the macaroni cubes with the panko.

Step 3241 Shot
Step 14

Fry the macaroni cubes on all sides until golden brown and crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Do not crowd the pot and fry them in batches.

Step 3242 Shot
Step 15

Set the fried cubes on the prepared wire rack.

Step 3243 Shot
Step 16

Serve warm paired with marinara or alfredo sauce. Enjoy!

Step 3244 Shot


  • Be sure to use Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Different kosher salt brands have varied crystal sizes and may affect the salinity of the recipe. 
  • This recipe is great for leftover mac and cheese. Cube up leftovers instead of making a fresh batch from scratch.
  • Try a fun twist with our pumpkin mac and cheese.
  • Check out our Italian marinara sauce or keto alfredo sauce, as a dipping sauce.

Nutrition Per Serving
View All
23 g
22.7 g
53.9 g


Leave a review or join the conversation.

Please Log In to leave a comment
Glen B.


11 Jul 2022

Definitely taking it to the next level.

Reply to this comment