Perfectly crispy on the outside, gooey mac and cheese on the inside, and made in the air fryer. The best part is no dipping sauce is needed because the ranch is built right in the balls!


Recipe Summary

35 mins
3 hrs
3 hrs 55 mins
20 mins
16 mac and cheese balls


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain macaroni without rinsing and return to the pot. Add 1/4 cup milk, margarine, and cheese sauce packet; mix until well combined.

  • Add Cheddar cheese and remaining 1/2 cup milk to the mac and cheese and stir until Cheddar is melted. Transfer to a bowl with a lid and refrigerate for 2 hours.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop to form 1 1/2-inch balls out of the cold mac and cheese. Set balls on the prepared baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour.

  • Pulse cheese crackers in the bowl of a food processor and until they turn into fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a bowl and stir in ranch dressing mix. Place beaten eggs in a separate bowl.

  • Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees F (180 degrees C). Spray the basket of the air fryer with cooking spray.

  • Dip mac and cheese balls first in egg and then in the cracker mixture to coat. Place in the air fryer basket, adding as many balls as your basket allows without touching, working in batches, if needed. Spray tops of the balls with cooking spray.

  • Cook in the preheated air fryer for 10 minutes. Spray the tops of the balls again with cooking spray and cook 3 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining balls.

Nutrition Facts

147 calories; protein 5.1g; carbohydrates 14.7g; fat 7.5g; cholesterol 31.5mg; sodium 374.7mg. Full Nutrition