Baked Mac ‘n Cheese Balls

Per Shelby’s request, I’m giving you a little recipe today.

Whilst perusing the interwebs for Superbowl menu ideas, I decided that most of my offerings needed to be small and finger-food friendly.

What? I don’t like to wash silverware.

Plus, I’m a girl.  Girls love things that are mini. #fact

Enter, the mac ‘n cheese ball.  I used this recipe from Bread+Butter as inspiration, and then tweaked away.

Baked Mac ‘n Cheese Balls
makes about 25-30 balls.

8 oz dry elbow macaroni
4 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
2 T butter
2 T flour
1/2-3/4 cup milk (I used skim, but any unflavored variety will work)
salt+pepper
1 egg
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1. Cook pasta according to box directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water.
2. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat.  Sprinkle in flour and whisk until a roux forms, allowing flour to cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Whisk in milk 1/4 cup at a time.  Stop adding the milk when the mixture is loose but coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Stir in cheese and remove from heat.
5. Mix together pasta and cheese sauce until all noodles are coated.  I transferred my mixture to a baking dish and then chilled it overnight.  You only really need to chill it for a few hours, until it sets (it will keep the pasta from falling apart).
6. Place bread crumbs in one dish and beat the egg in another with a few splashes of water.
7. Break off about 1-2 tablespoons of pasta from the cooled hunk o’ mac ‘n cheese and carefully dredge in egg and then panko.
8.  Place “balls” on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a Silpat and bake for about 20 minutes at 400°, or until golden brown.

I really shouldn’t call these “balls” so much as “chunks”.  But the word chunk is only appetizing when referring to chocolate, right?

When I was first attempting to make these, I actually tried to roll them into balls and it failed miserably- maybe if I used a TON more cheese they’d stick together better, but I found that just cutting off squares and carefully dunking them in the egg/bread crumb kept them together much better and made the process a lot quicker.  So do that.

Regardless, you’re eating breaded mac ‘n cheese, so however you get it into your mouth is a win.

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18 thoughts on “Baked Mac ‘n Cheese Balls

    • They are SO much better. Now, you know I love me some TJ’s (more than a person should, really), but I’ve had those mac ‘n cheese balls and these are in fact better.

    • They are SO much better. Now, you know I love me some TJ’s (more than a person should, really), but I’ve had those mac ‘n cheese balls and these are in fact better.

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