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Handheld Macaroni and Cheese: Fried Mac & Cheese Balls

In March, we introduced our readers to rice cooker macaroni and cheese. This simple recipe cooks start to finish in the rice cooker in only 20 minutes – and it’s delicious. The Test Kitchen wanted to ramp up this recipe and make it suitable for football season. They decided the only thing better than macaroni and cheese is handheld macaroni and cheese.

Make the rice cooker mac and cheese the night before the big game and refrigerate it overnight. Before kickoff, heat the oil in your deep fryer to 350 degrees.

On a plate, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and salt. Roll ¼ cup of the chilled rice cooker mac and cheese into a ball and repeat, setting them aside. Then dip each mac and cheese ball into an egg wash and roll them in the breadcrumb mixture.

Deep fry the balls for about 2 minutes, until they are golden brown. Drain the excess oil on a tray or plate lined with paper towels before serving.

Pile these mac and cheese balls high and serve with your favorite dipping sauces. We liked honey mustard, Frank’s Red Hot, and creamy blue cheese but the more the merrier. Buttermilk ranch, your favorite hot sauce, or even beer cheese (there’s always room for more melted cheese on gameday) are welcome additions. Turn on the game and get dipping.

Fried Macaroni and Cheese Balls

Serving Size: Serves 25
Author: Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen


  • Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
  • 2 cups Italian flavored bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, beaten


  1. Prepare Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350°F.
  3. In a pie plate, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and salt.
  4. Roll 1/4 cup macaroni and cheese into a ball, squeezing if necessary. Repeat with remaining macaroni and cheese.
  5. Dip each ball into beaten eggs and roll in bread crumb mixture.
  6. Place balls in a single layer in deep fryer basket and carefully lower basket into the preheated oil. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Place on tray lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining balls.

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