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Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls

Next time you're in need of an easy appetizer recipe, give these bite-sized treats a try.

By: Test Kitchen

Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls
Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls
This image courtesy of

If you love cheese sticks and cheese balls in restaurants, then you'll love these Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls. Take your everyday macaroni and cheese recipe, and turn it into this great appetizer recipe. Because these cheese balls are baked, not fried, you won't feel guilty for making this easy appetizer recipe. Don't skip the step of using well-chilled mac 'n cheese prior to baking them because you want the cheese to melt in your mouth, not all over the baking sheet. These crispy and crunchy, yet soft and gooey, cheeseballs are well worth the wait. So, you should make them for your friends and family as soon as possible. You'll be surprised at how quickly they disappear.

Makes20 Cheese Balls

Cooking Time20 min


  • 1 (6-ounce) package of mac and cheese, plus ingredients called for on the package
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
  • 2 tablespoons dry parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, pepper flakes, or a seasoned dry herb mix you prefer (see note)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten


  1. Make the mac and cheese per directions on the box, adding teaspoon cayenne pepper to the mix. Remove from the cooking pan and store in a 1 quart storage container in the refrigerator at least 8 hours to become very firm. It must be very well chilled before continuing.

  2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and rub with at least 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Save the rest of the oil for later.

  3. Place bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and dry herbs into a shallow bowl. Place flour into another bowl and the beaten eggs into a third bowl.

  4. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop balls of the mac and cheese. One by one, form the balls in your hands which have been rubbed with the remaining oil. Drop each ball into the flour, then into the egg, then into the bread crumbs, rolling the ball in your oiled hands. Then, place the cheese balls an inch apart on the prepared baking pan. Continue until all of the mac and cheese is used. You should have about 20 small balls.

  5. Bake for 10 minutes, check, and continue baking 7 to 10 minutes more or until balls are lightly browned. Be sure they do not burn on the bottom.

  6. Serve immediately as-is or with a dip of your choice.


We used a Mexican spice blend while making the balls and then served this snack with a jarred salsa. You could also use an Italian spice blend and dip them in warm pizza sauce. As a third option, you could simply use your favorite prepared condiment. These Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls will be amazing no matter which option you choose.

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how much parmesan cheese?

Sorry for the confusion! The recipe has been updated to include the amount of Parmesan cheese required.

This is a great healthier alternative to regular mac and cheese. Find healthier versions of all your favorite recipes by subscribing to our newsletter!

I loved this recipe!


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