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Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Bites: Easy, Cheesy Snack Magic

I’ve included some videos below for those who prefer to watch rather than read.

Craving a cheesy snack that’s quick and easy to make? Air fryer mac and cheese bites are crispy on the outside, melty on the inside, and perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re using leftover mac and cheese or starting from scratch, these bites cook up in just minutes.

You can customize them with different coatings and even add ingredients like bacon for extra flavor. No need to turn on your oven; your air fryer will handle it all, giving you delicious results every time.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Main Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cooked Mac and Cheese: Ensure it’s well-chilled to make forming the bites easier.
  • 2 Large Eggs: These help the bread crumbs stick to the mac and cheese.

Coating Ingredients

  • 1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs: Adds a delicious crunch. You can use panko for a lighter texture.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt: Enhances the overall flavor.
  • 3/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder: Gives a nice garlicky taste.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Parsley: Adds a bit of color and herby flavor.

Possible Substitutes

  • Eggs: You can use a flaxseed mixture (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons water) if you’re looking for an egg replacement.
  • Bread Crumbs: Crushed crackers or cornflakes can do the job if you don’t have bread crumbs.
  • Cooked Mac and Cheese: Use any leftover pasta with a cheese sauce if you don’t have mac and cheese.

Optional Add-ins

Feel free to customize your mac and cheese bites with these add-ins:

  • Shredded Cheese: Extra cheese inside the bites makes them gooier.
  • Hot Sauce: Just a few dashes in the mixture to spice things up.
  • Bacon Bits: For added flavor and crunch.

By preparing these ingredients and possible substitutes, you’ll be ready to make delicious air fryer mac and cheese bites that everyone will love!

Instructions

Ingredients:

  • Frozen mac and cheese bites
  • Cooking spray or parchment paper
  • (Optional) Egg wash and bread crumbs

Steps:


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 355°F (180°C).



  2. Prepare the basket by spraying it with cooking spray or lining it with parchment paper.



  3. Place the mac and cheese bites in the basket in a single layer. Ensure they don’t touch.



  4. Air fry for 8-10 minutes. Check after 4-5 minutes and flip if your air fryer needs it.


Tip: For homemade mac and cheese bites, roll chilled mac and cheese into balls. Dip them in egg wash and coat with bread crumbs before placing in the air fryer.

Enjoy your crispy, delicious mac and cheese bites!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips for Perfect Mac and Cheese Bites

  • Chill the Bites: Freeze the mac and cheese balls for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This helps them hold their shape.
  • Single Layer: Place the bites in a single layer in the air fryer basket. This ensures even cooking.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Always preheat your air fryer to get a consistent cook.

Tricks for Best Results

  • Use Cooking Spray: Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • Turn Halfway: Check if your air fryer manual recommends turning food halfway. Doing so will help the bites cook evenly.
  • Crispy Coating: For an extra crispy coating, double-dip the bites in the egg mixture and bread crumbs.

Storing Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store leftover bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the cooked bites on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a freezer bag. They’ll keep for up to 2 months.
  • Reheating: Reheat refrigerated or frozen bites in the air fryer at 350°F until warmed through and crisp.

Additional Tips

  • Season to Taste: Feel free to add your favorite seasonings or extra cheese to the mac and cheese mixture.
  • Easy Clean-Up: Use parchment paper to line your air fryer basket for easier cleaning.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Custom Flavors:
Consider mixing in bacon bits or jalapeño slices for a bit of zest. You can also add different cheeses like pepper jack or Gouda for unique flavors.

Dipping Sauces:
Serve your mac and cheese bites with a range of dipping sauces:

  • Ranch dressing
  • Marinara sauce
  • Honey mustard

Healthy Options:
For a healthier twist, use whole wheat bread crumbs or a mix of almond flour and Parmesan.

Vegetarian Ideas:
Add in finely chopped veggies like bell peppers or spinach. Mushrooms and onions also work well and boost the flavor.

Occasion Pairings:
Perfect for game days, birthday parties, or even as a fun side for family dinners. Pair them with chicken wings or veggie sticks for a balanced spread.

Kids’ Favorites:
Kids may love these with a bit of added cheddar cheese or mini pepperoni. Serve with a side of apple slices for a complete meal.

Air Fryer Tips:
Ensure your mac and cheese bites are well-frozen before air frying. This helps them keep their shape and gives a crispy exterior. If you find they are too soft, try freezing them longer.

By experimenting with these variations and serving ideas, you can create a variety of mac and cheese bites to suit any event or preference.

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.