Deep-Fried Mac & Cheese Shells

“I created this deep-friend mac and cheese recipe for my husband, who loves mac and cheese. He describes this recipe as ‘unbelievably delicious’ because of the crispy deep-fried coating and the creamy richness on the inside.” —Shirley Rickis, Lady Lake, Florida

Deep-Fried Mac & Cheese ShellsPhoto: Taste of Home
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
20appetizers (2-1/2 cups dipping sauce) 45minutes 15minutes
Servings Prep Time
20appetizers (2-1/2 cups dipping sauce) 45minutes
Cook Time
Portions: appetizers (2-1/2 cups dipping sauce)
Portions: appetizers (2-1/2 cups dipping sauce)
  1. Cook pastas separately according to package directions for al dente; drain. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add Velveeta, cheddar cheese, cream and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Cook and stir over low heat until blended. Remove from heat.
  2. In another large saucepan, combine small pasta shells and half of the cheese mixture; set aside. For dipping sauce, stir 1 cup milk into remaining cheese mixture; keep warm.
  3. In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs with remaining milk. In another shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs with remaining Parmesan cheese. Place flour in a third shallow bowl. Fill each large shell with scant 1/4 cup pasta mixture. Dip in flour to coat all sides; shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then in bread crumb mixture, patting to help coating adhere.
  4. In an electric skillet or a deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry shells, a few at a time, 1-2 minutes on each side or until dark golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with dipping sauce.
Recipe Notes

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Sharp cheddar cheese has been aged longer than regular cheddar. As cheese ages, its flavour becomes more pronounced. Using aged cheese in a recipe can add complexity and rich flavour, even to humble favourites like mac ’n’ cheese.
  • In Europe, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Parmesan are considered the same cheese. But in the U.S., Parmesan is a generic term that may not come from Italy’s Parmigiano-Reggiano region. Using the authentic Italian cheese (in a lesser amount than the original’s ½ cup) ensures a cheesy richness in the makeover with less fat and calories.

Nutrition Facts
1 appetizer with 2 tablespoons dipping sauce: 340 calories, 23g fat (10g saturated fat), 72mg cholesterol, 451mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fibre), 12g protein.