Made a massive batch of Mac & Cheese and wondering what to do with the leftovers? These Air Fryer Mac & Cheese Balls are the answer. I couldn’t actually believe how easy it was to make these. With just a simple breading and a little touch of the air fryer, these turned out so great and are simply addictively delicious.
To make these air fryer mac & cheese balls, you need to first make your mac & cheese. You can check out my Ultimate Mac & Cheese recipe or use any other mac & cheese recipes you prefer. Leftovers would work best because the cheese sauce solidifies after chilling overnight so that it holds its shape better when shaping them into balls. But, of course, you can make it directly from a fresh batch too.
How to make Mac & Cheese Balls with an Air Fryer
- Leftover Mac & Cheese – see mac & cheese recipe here
- Egg, Milk – for the mac & cheese balls to gel with the breading
- Breadcrumbs – either panko or golden breadcrumbs, or a mix of both
- Garlic Powder, Paprika, Oregano – to season the breading
- Oil – for air frying
- Optional fillings: jalapenos, chives, etc.
What you need
- As mentioned, leftover mac & cheese would work well as the cheese sauce would solidify and make it easier to shape into balls.
- It is recommended to first preheat your air fryer before cooking. This ensures the food starts cooking straight away and helps the coating to crisp up nicely.
- Grease your air fryer basket and also brush oil over the mac & cheese balls when cooking. Again, this helps to create a crispy coating and adds a lovely golden colour to it.
- Do not overcrowd your air fryer and cook in batches if needed. This is to ensure even heat circulation to cook the food.
- You can serve this with any dipping sauce of your choice!
Air Fryer Mac & Cheese Balls
- Air Fryer
- 2 cups Leftover Mac & Cheese chilled
- 1 large Egg beaten
- 1 tbsp Milk
- 1 cup Golden Breadcrumbs
- 1½ tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- Chives chopped
- Jalapenos sliced
- Turkey Rashers / Sausages finely diced
- If using, mix your filling(s) with the leftover mac & cheese.
- Scoop roughly a tablespoon of the mac & cheese and roll into the shape of a ball. Put in the freezer for 15 minutes so that they can firm up better.
- In the meantime, mix together golden breadcrumbs with garlic powder, paprika and dried oregano.
- In a separate bowl, mix the beaten egg with a tbsp of milk.
- Dip each mac & cheese ball into beaten eggs and then roll them in the seasoned breadcrumbs mixture until fully coated.
- Preheat your air fryer to 180°C.
- Briefly grease your air fryer basket and place the mac & cheese balls into it. Do not overcrowd and cook in batches if needed. Cook for 8 minutes.
- Then shake up the basket a little, spray some oil/brush a little bit more oil on the basket, and pop it back in to cook for another 4-5 minutes until golden. Serve immediately.
- Leftover mac & cheese works better than freshly made mac & cheese because the cheese sauce would have solidified when chilled as leftovers, which makes it easier to shape it into balls.
- Freezing before cooking helps to further solidify and firm up the mac & cheese balls, preventing them from falling apart.
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