Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls

I lovvvve finding ways to make scrumptious, comfort food a little bit healthier. Because, let's be serious, one of the reasons comfort food tastes so darn amazing is because there are lots of not so good ingredients in them.


These Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls made my day. This healthier version of fried macaroni and cheese tastes just like the original recipe, but has a fraction of the fat and calories. Plus, you don't need fifty napkins to wipe all of the grease off of your fingers. That's gotta count for something, right? Saving trees? Going green? It's all a plus in my book.


Not only are these little balls of ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness better for you, but they are fun to put together! Kind of like grown-up play-doh, if you will. And who doesn't love transforming leftovers into something delicious and fun to make?? If you have a kiddo or two, grab them and have them help make dinner. Or hog all of the fun for yourself. However you decide to make this recipe, you will enjoy the entire process, all the way down to taking the last delicious bite.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls (adapted from Averie Cooks)
(about 10 macaroni balls)

2 cups leftover macaroni and cheese (homemade or from a box)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Panko breadcrumbs, but any kind will do)
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Make sure leftover macaroni and cheese is really cold. I suggest putting it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before preparing.

While the macaroni and cheese is chilling in the freezer, get out three bowls. Add flour to one bowl, the egg to another, and the breadcrumbs to the remaining bowl. Whisk the egg slightly to break it up. Season the flour with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with aluminum foil . Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil on aluminum foil and spread around to coat the foil evenly.

When macaroni is chilled, remove from freezer. Scoop a tablespoon amount of macaroni and cheese and roll it around in your hands to make sure the ball is tightly packed. You want each ball to be uniform in size, about 1 or 1.5 inches in diameter.

Roll each ball through the flour, then the egg, and lastly the breadcrumbs. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven, flip the macaroni balls over, and bake another 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with various condiments and dipping sauces.

Print this recipe!

Nutritional Info (this will vary depending on the macaroni and cheese recipe you use)
Servings Per Recipe: 10
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 92.9
Total Fat: 2.7 g
Cholesterol: 20.5 mg
Sodium: 120.5 mg
Total Carbs: 13.7 g
Fiber: 0.6 g
Sugars: 1.0 g
Protein: 3.2 g

Pros:
-Easy to make
-Delicious, comfort food
-Simple list of ingredients
-Great for a snack or appetizer
-Recipe is easily doubled
-Healthier alternative to fried cheese balls
-Crowd and kid pleaser

Cons:
-Does not have many nutritional benefits

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Check out some of the link parties that I shared this recipe on!

21 comments:

  1. Andrew would love these! Wish I had an oven to try them!

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    1. Maybe I can find a way to sneak them into Costa with me :)

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  2. my daughter shall LOVE these!!!!

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    1. I bet it would be really hard to find any kid who doesn't! Thanks for stopping by Carla!

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  3. I just made this recipe a couple nights ago, too! I LOVED it! I mean, how could you not? The ooey gooey cheesy noodles, the crispy panko crumbs, all baked together?! It looks divine, Elaine!

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    1. Thank you Hayley! This recipe really is awesome. I had to resist the temptation to polish all of them off in one sitting!

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  4. I had fried mac and cheese balls at a restaurant way back when and totally forgot about them...until now. I love your healthy version!

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    1. I would always get fried macaroni and cheese whenever I saw it on the menu. But I'm so glad that I found this healthier version. Definitely give it a try! :)

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  5. They look amazing!
    I would love to have you share this (or any other recipe of yours) at Wednesday Extravaganza - my foodie link party with a special something :)
    Here is the link:
    http://www.hungrylittlegirl.com/1/post/2012/10/wednesday-extravaganza.html

    Can't wait to see you there!

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    1. I'd love too! Thanks for sharing your link party with me. :)

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  6. Yum!! These look tasty! I love the idea of bite sized mac and cheese! Thanks for sharing at Foodie Friends Friday!

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    1. They are delicious and fun to eat. Bite size are great for entertaining too! :) Thanks for stopping by Ericka!

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  7. Elaine, your recipe has been chosen as a favorite for this week's Blog Fest and pinned here: http://pinterest.com/fresheggsdaily/blog-fest-favorites/. My only issue with this is what is 'leftover' mac&cheese ??!?!?! Seriously tho, I love this idea and can't wait to try it. Please come share tomorrow at our next party. Lisa/www.fresh-eggs-daily.com

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    1. Haha well you could always make a batch of macaroni and cheese just to make this recipe. But if you find yourself with a little bit of leftover mac'n'cheese, this would be a great way to use it up. :) Thanks for picking this recipe as a favorite!! I'll definitely stop by tomorrow to share more recipes. Thanks Lisa!

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  8. Hello! I’m stopping in to invite you to join us at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/clever-chicks-blog-hop-7-country-craft.html

    I hope to see you there!
    Cheers!
    Kathy
    The Chicken Chick

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    1. Thanks for the invite! I'll be sure to share some of my recipes on there and check out what others are sharing!

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  9. Oh My these look great! I love that you made them healthier! These are going to be a big hit at my house! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm always looking for ways to cut fat or make comfort foods healthier. These are a little healthier without sacrificing flavor, so I think you'll love them!

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  10. You had me sold at macaroni and cheese balls. I love mac and cheese so much. I'm going to make these all the time. Thanks so much for sharing at Linkin' Up Leftovers!

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    1. Hi Cristina! You will lovvve these! So easy to make and a fun twist on the usual mac'n'cheese.

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  11. I made homemade mac and cheese for preschoolers, but they only ate very little of a 9x13 pan. I was wondering what to do with the leftovers & found your recipe. These were fantastic! I did not miss the deep fry version at all and I'm making up the rest today and freezing for future use.
    Thanks for the recipe!

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