- 2 cups uncooked small pasta shells
- 20 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 package (16 ounces) process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1-1/4 cups 2% milk, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Oil for deep-fat frying
- Cook pastas separately according to package directions for al dente; drain. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add process cheese, cheddar cheese, cream and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Cook and stir over low heat until blended. Remove from heat.
- 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.
- 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.
- In an electric skillet or 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. Yield: 20 appetizers (2-1/2 cups dipping sauce).
Originally published as Deep-Fried Mac & Cheese Shells in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2016, p200
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