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Fried Mac ‘n’ Cheese Sticks

America’s favorite comfort food gets an upgrade in this mac ‘n’ cheese variation that you can easily make by just adding a few steps to your usual pasta prep. Serve it as finger food, an appetizer, or simply an indulgent dinner dish paired with tomato soup.

by Hector Gomez • featured in 25 Mac 'N' Cheese Recipes

Cook Time

40 minutes


for 30 sticks

  • 8 oz
    elbow pasta (225 g)
  • 4 tablespoons
  • 2 ¼ cups
    flour, divided
  • 2 cups
    milk (480 mL)
  • 1 teaspoon
  • ½ teaspoon
    black pepper
  • 2 cups
    shredded sharp cheddar cheese (200 g)
  • peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups
    bread crumbs (230 g)



  1. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a medium pot and cook the elbow pasta. Stir occasionally for 7 minutes, or until al dente.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter completely and whisk in ¼ cup flour for 2 minutes to create a light roux. Add the milk and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Stir continuously until the sauce fully thickens. Gradually add the cheese and stir until fully combined. Finally, add the cooked pasta and stir until the noodles are well-coated.
  3. Remove the mac ’n’ cheese from the heat and pour onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread evenly and freeze for 2 hours.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pot until it reaches 325°F (170°C).
  5. Cut the frozen mac ’n’ cheese into roughly 3-inch long sticks. Dredge the sticks in the remaining 2 cups flour, then the egg, and then the bread crumbs. Fry the sticks for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, then drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately.
  6. Enjoy!




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