A fun and easy recipe that the kids and guests will love! It's super cheesy and absolutely one of my faves. No need for spoons with this mac dish!!

Recipe Summary

prep:
40 mins
cook:
30 mins
additional:
6 hrs
total:
7 hrs 10 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
24 pieces
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Fill a pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the macaroni is cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Drain. Stir in the 2 tablespoons butter, the 1/4 cup milk, and the cheese packet from the package.

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  • While the macaroni is still hot, stir in the Cheddar cheese, pimento cheese spread, and Italian cheese blend, and continue to stir until melted. Place the macaroni and cheese mixture in a container and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the macaroni mixture from the refrigerator, and, using a cookie scoop, scoop into balls. Place mac balls on the prepared baking sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours.

  • Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Whisk the bread crumbs with the paprika, chili powder, black pepper, sugar, and cayenne in a shallow dish; set aside. Beat the eggs with the 3 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Remove the mac balls from the freezer, coat in the egg wash, and then dredge in breading.

  • Fry the mac balls in small batches until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain briefly on a paper towel-lined plate; serve hot.

Editor's Note

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the breading ingredients. The actual amount of the breading consumed will vary. We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

543 calories; protein 20.4g 41% DV; carbohydrates 42.1g 14% DV; fat 32.3g 50% DV; cholesterol 146.5mg 49% DV; sodium 1204mg 48% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (62)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
06/22/2009
You know it's so interesting to read about the frozen middles because it was the first thing that crossed my mind before I even started to make the recipe. This is what I did. I fried according to the recipe (about 3 minutes) and nuked them straight away (time depends on the power of your microwave - should only take a few seconds) So the frozen middle wasn't a problem for me. Now for what I think of these. They were good but for some reason I felt at first that I enjoyed my mac n' cheese more without all this extra effort. Although, I have to say...I started to really enjoy them later down the line! I had these with chicken nuggets for a quick lunch. Good recipe and I can see potential in changing the flavour to suit your personal taste by using different cheeses, etc. Thanks for sharing. Read More
(111)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
03/16/2009
I was hoping these would taste like Arby's Mac & Cheesers (I hope they bring those back!) but they didn't really. They were just okay, I don't know. I guess I just set high expectations for this recipe. They are quite time consuming to make, and just not worth the final product. Sorry for the poor review. Read More
(89)
84 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 48
  • 4 star values: 26
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 4 stars
06/22/2009
You know it's so interesting to read about the frozen middles because it was the first thing that crossed my mind before I even started to make the recipe. This is what I did. I fried according to the recipe (about 3 minutes) and nuked them straight away (time depends on the power of your microwave - should only take a few seconds) So the frozen middle wasn't a problem for me. Now for what I think of these. They were good but for some reason I felt at first that I enjoyed my mac n' cheese more without all this extra effort. Although, I have to say...I started to really enjoy them later down the line! I had these with chicken nuggets for a quick lunch. Good recipe and I can see potential in changing the flavour to suit your personal taste by using different cheeses, etc. Thanks for sharing. Read More
(111)
Rating: 2 stars
03/16/2009
I was hoping these would taste like Arby's Mac & Cheesers (I hope they bring those back!) but they didn't really. They were just okay, I don't know. I guess I just set high expectations for this recipe. They are quite time consuming to make, and just not worth the final product. Sorry for the poor review. Read More
(89)
Rating: 5 stars
05/26/2009
I thought this recipe was awesome... It is so versatile and the possibilities are endless. I've used this recipe quite a few times and have altered it in many ways. I love adding diced jalapeno or maybe some different cheeses. Although I must say when it comes to adding the pimento cheese spread I recommend that you NOT use the Kraft version. Use the fresh spread that's usually in the dairy or cheese isle. My kids and fam love this dish any way that I prepare it!! Thanks! Read More
(67)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/22/2009
I haven't tried making these yet but could anyone tell me if its possible to bake them rather than deep fry? We don't deep fry too often at our house. If not I guess I will be the first to try this! Read More
(25)
Rating: 5 stars
03/04/2012
If you are concerned about the centers not thawing, try this: line a cookie sheet with waxed paper - add a thin layer of oil. Spread the mac 'n cheese mix about 1/2" thick across the entire sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. Remove, cut into squares or triangles with a pizza cutter, then return to freezer to finish setting up. Not balls, but a very even cooking surface nonetheless Read More
(24)
Rating: 5 stars
01/19/2010
I followed the ingredients exactly I did cut down on the refridgeration time 30 minutes and I froze them for 2 1/2 hours. They were perfect! Reminded me of the same dish at Cheesecake Factory. Read More
(21)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/25/2009
We really enjoyed these! I fried them for 4 minutes and they were cooked through. The only problem I had was that the egg froze quickly before the crumbs could stick after the initial dip. I had to dip and roll twice, but that worked out great. I froze the entire batch (uncoated), then used half the egg and crumbs to coat half the batch. I'll make the rest in a day or two (or an hour or two). Since I have leftover pimento cheese spread, I may make another batch and keep them frozen. From freezer to fryer is pretty quick. Thanks for submitting this recipe, Erin! It will be enjoyed again and again! Read More
(20)
Rating: 4 stars
01/17/2012
I went to my local cheese shop and asked them for their advice. They suggested three different cheeses which were wonderful. A gruyère 'soft smelly' cheese and a third I can't remember. I also used panko break crumbs instead of seasoned break crumbs. Read More
(13)
Rating: 4 stars
12/27/2011
These weren't as hard as they seem. I always prep ahead anyway so leaving them in the freezer wasn't a big deal. I didn't bother making pimento cheese just used 2 cups cheddar and added some mayo to the mix (1/4 cup maybe?). I think I'm going to try using plain bread crumbs next time the Italian seasoned ones are a bit too "much" for my liking. Made about 24 like recipe says but I only dredged and fried 8 and left the rest in the freezer for later. Read More
(12)