Fried Macaroni and Cheese

The next time you’re walking down that grocery store aisle with all the boxed goods, and you see that blue box with the mac and cheese, just walk right on by and head over to the pasta aisle instead. You’re never going to want that box of mac and cheese again once you try the cowboy version of fried mac and cheese, I promise you that.

The Cheese

We’re going to go all out today with the cheese. There’s going to be Velveeta and cream cheese because we want the inside to be super creamy throughout. Nothing makes mac and cheese creamier than Velveeta.

Now, when you get to the pasta aisle at the grocery store, get the large elbow macaroni – not the small ones. You’re gonna need at least eight ounces, so get yourself a big bag.

Fried Mac and Cheese

After you’ve got the pasta and cheeses in your cart don’t forget to head over to the meat department and get you some thick sliced bacon.

The Meat

Once you get everything at home, get out your Stargazer skillet – they recently won Popular Mechanics “Gear of the Year” for 2021, and you’ll see why when you dice this bacon up and get it to cooking. Once the bacon is just about done go ahead and add the onion until it gets golden brown. The flavor will be at its peak at that point, especially cooked in with all that hog meat. Drain the bacon and onion on a paper towel.

The Mac

TIP: Add some oil to the pasta water to prevent the pasta from sticking.

Cook the pasta until it’s just a little firmer than al dente and drain. It’s going to cook a little longer later on so we don’t want it to get too soft.

Put the stove on low and then add the pasta back into the pot. Add all the cheese and cream and stir until the cheese is melted. Then, mix in the drained chiles and bacon and onion. Mix it good until it’s creamy. Stir in some of my original seasoning to boost the flavor.

At this point, we want to get the mac and cheese nice and cold in the ice box for 3 hours before we put it in the fryer.

TIP: Everything behaves better in the fryer if it’s good and cold.

The Crust

Once the mac and cheese is set up, go ahead and set up the assembly line. You’ll have the mac and cheese, an egg wash and some Panko bread crumbs. I like to use an ice cream scoop to get the mac and cheese out, roll it in a ball, soak in the egg wash and really squish those bread crumbs in there nice and firm so they stick.

TIP: Don’t make the balls larger than golfball sized because you want them to warm thru when frying.

Fried Mac and Cheese

Repeat until the grease is hot and then fry these babies up until they’re a beautiful golden brown.

TIP: After rolling the balls in the Panko use your hands to pack the breadcrumbs onto the mac balls. This will help it stick better.

The Crunch

Take a bite and look at that creamy, cheesy goodness that oozes out of the crunchy crust. This stuff will flounder you up so good you’ll feel like a dead carp laying out in the sunshine after you went and ate too many, but you just can’t help yourself. It’s just so simple and so good.

Remember to subscribe to the YouTube channel, share the videos with your neighbors, and share the food. Never look down on a person unless you’re offering them a hand up – or a fried mac and cheese ball. I’ll see y’all down the trail.


Fried Macaroni and Cheese - Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 20 balls


  • 6 slices thick cut bacon diced
  • ½ white onion diced
  • 8 ounces large elbow macaroni
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1, 16 ounce block of Velveeta cubed
  • ¼ cup Half and half
  • 2, 4 ounce cans diced Hatch green chilis drained
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1, 16 oz box Panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying


  • Add the bacon to a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in the onion and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the contents of the skillet and place on a paper towel. Set aside.
  • In a medium pot, add the macaroni and cover with water. Add the olive oil. Bring the macaroni to a boil just until the pasta begins to soften. Be sure not to overcook.
  • Drain the water from the macaroni and place the macaroni back in the pot. Stir in the butter, over low heat, until melted. Stir in the cream cheese, Velveeta and half and half.
  • Stir in the green chilis, and the bacon and onion mixture. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until everything is blended well and begins to simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Place the macaroni in a container, cover and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  • Add the eggs to a small bowl. Add the Panko to a separate bowl.
  • With an ice cream dipper or lage tablespoon, spoon out the macaroni and form into about 18 to 20 golfball-sized balls. Dip or brush the balls with the egg wash and then roll in the Panko crumbs to generously coat. Press the crumbs firmly to the ball with your hands to ensure they stick well.
  • In a Dutch oven or deep fryer, add about 3 to 4 inches of the fry oil and heat to 350 degrees F.
  • Add a few balls at a time to the deep fryer and fry for about 3 to 4 minutes or until they are golden brown. Drain on a wire rack. Serve warm.


Tip: While frying, place the balls in an oven heated to 170-200 degrees F. to keep warm until ready to serve.
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