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88% would make again

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.

Tasty Team

40 minutes

40 minutes


for 30 sticks

  • 8 oz elbow pasta (225 g)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ¼ cups flour, divided
  • 2 cups milk (480 mL)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 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)

Nutrition Info

    Calories 177
    Fat 6g
    Carbs 22g
    Fiber 1g
    Sugar 1g
    Protein 6g

Estimated values based on one serving size.


  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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