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Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Balls

  • Prep Time:
    20 minutes

  • Chill Time:
    3 hours

  • Cook Time:
    10 minutes

  • Total Time:
    3 hours 30 minutes

  • Yield:
    24 balls

  • Category:

  • Method:
    Air Fryer

  • Cuisine:


These Air Fryer mac and cheese balls are at all times an enormous hit with family and friends! Crispy on the outside and cheesy on the inside!


  • 1 (7.25- ounce) box of macaroni and cheese (like Kraft) prepared according to package directions and cooled entirely and refrigerated until firm *see note
  • 1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, whisked


  1. Prepare mac and cheese according to package directions. Allow it to cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until entirely chilled and firm.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Remove the mac and cheese from the fridge and stir in the grated cheddar cheese until evenly combined.
  4. Using a small (1 1/2- tablespoon) sized scoop, portion out the mac and cheese. Roll the mac and cheese into balls, squeezing so they hold together. Place all the balls onto the prepared baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour.
  5. In a medium bowl mix together all the breadcrumbs, salt, paprika, and garlic powder.
  6. Whisk the eggs in a small bow and set aside.
  7. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and dip each into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture, coating evenly. 
  8. Coat the air fryer rack with nonstick spray and place the coated balls in a single layer into the basket. The number of balls you can cook depends on the size of your air fryer basket. Leave at least 1 1/2- inches in between each to allow for air circulation, cooking in batches if necessary. 
  9. Air fry at 380°F for 10 -12 minutes, flipping midway through cooking.


*1 box of Kraft Mac and Cheese makes nearly 3 cups. If you are using another brand or leftover, measure out 3 cups of prepared mac and cheese. Make sure the mac and cheese is entirely cold. This is the only way it will stick together and form balls.

Store airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days.