Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Balls

What if I told you that you only need a couple of ingredients to turn your leftovers into delicious Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Balls, creamy on the inside, golden and crispy on the outside?

These macaroni and cheese balls are packed with delicious flavors, uber-crunchy and juicy textures, and a range of serving options. They go perfectly with a light side dish such as Kristen’s delicious air fryer zucchini!

You can also serve these alongside some marinara sauce or cheese sauce – and don’t forget the Cajun Fried Corn and Air Fried Chicken Wings.

Ingredients for Mac and Cheese Balls

Leftover macaroni and cheese: You need creamy macaroni and cheese without any crispy toppings. Keep it simple and make sure the sauce isn’t too runny.

Shredded Cheddar cheese: The additional shredded cheddar makes the center of each ball molten stringy, and utterly irresistible.

Flour: You need to use flour as a coating, to make sure all the ingredients stay intact.

Eggs: After the flour, you then dip the balls into the egg to seal and stick the breadcrumbs securely.

Milk: Loosen the beaten egg with some milk.

Breadcrumbs: Finally, roll the mac and cheese balls in crispy breadcrumbs which turn golden when baked.

How to Bake Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Balls

Load the balls into the air fryer drawer, set the timer to just 10 minutes, and bake, occasionally turning the balls to ensure they bake evenly.

In no time at all, they will emerge, golden, crispy, and steaming, ready to eat immediately!

Not only that, but the air fryer is the best way to obtain these incredibly crunchy results, which you usually can only achieve with a gallon of cooking oil.

Can You Make Extra Crispy Macaroni And Cheese Balls In the Oven?

Making these air-fried mac and cheese balls in an oven is more challenging, but not impossible.

If you don’t have an air fryer and don’t want to deep fry your mac and cheese balls, you can bake them in a preheated oven at 360F. They will take significantly longer to crisp up.

Leave the mac and cheese bites to bake for 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and brush each cheese ball with some oil to help give it more color and a crisper texture.

Continue baking the mac and cheese bites for another 5-10 minutes, depending on your preference.

Crispy Mac And Cheese Bites Dipping Sauce Ideas

There are A TON of delicious options for a dipping sauce.

First, the obvious, marinara sauce is an easy and tasty option that works extremely well with air-fried mac and cheese balls – any air fryer finger food really!

Cheese sauce, white sauce, mayonnaise, and ketchup are all part of my favorite dipping sauce list.

If you want to experiment with more unique flavor pairings, try hot sauce, ranch dressing, or a BBQ-mayo combination. All of these complement the cheesy bites in one way or another.

Recipe Tips And Advice For Making Macaroni And Cheese Balls In An Air Fryer

  • Make sure you mix the mac and cheese balls well before coating them with your flour, panko bread crumbs, and egg mixture. If your shredded cheese isn’t properly incorporated and the mac and cheese balls aren’t properly formed, they will fall apart when cooking in the air fryer.
  • To add more flavor and texture to your air fryer leftover mac and cheese bites, add some cooked bacon and garlic powder.

How To Store Air Fryer Mac And Cheese Balls

If you have any leftover mac and cheese bites, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 3-4 days. They will lose their crispy texture, so to reheat, simply pop the mac and cheese bites back into the air fryer basket and allow them to re-crisp for a couple of minutes.

If you want to freeze the mac n cheese balls, allow all the balls to freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Once frozen, place them in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 6 months.

Cook them from frozen when you are ready to use them again. Preheat your air fryer to 380 and air fry the mac and cheese bites for 10-15 minutes.

For these mac and cheese bites, ensure you use parchment paper to prevent them from sticking to the air fryer basket.

Mac and Cheese Balls

More Easy Snack Recipes

Crispy Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Balls served in a basket.


Golden and crispy mac and cheese balls baked in the air fryer until molten to cheesy perfection! The ideal appetizer or just as an afternoon snack!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 440 kcal


  • 1 cup Macaroni and cheese
  • ¼ cup Cheddar cheese grated
  • ½ cup Flour
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup Milk
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black pepper


  • In а bowl, combine the macaroni and cheese and cheese.
  • Pour the flour into a separate bowl. Put the breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Finally, in a fourth bowl, mix the eggs and milk with a whisk.
  • With an ice-cream scoop, create balls from the macaroni and cheese. Coat them the flour, then in the egg mixture, and lastly in the breadcrumbs.
  • Arrange the balls in the air fryer and air fry at 365ºF / 185ºC for about 10 minutes, giving them an occasional toss to ensure they crisp up nicely. Serve hot.


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 440kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 18gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 1030mgPotassium: 265mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 240IUCalcium: 236mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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