Deep-Fried Mac & Cheese Shells Recipe
Deep-Fried Mac & Cheese Shells Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Deep-Fried Mac & Cheese Shells Recipe

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I created this recipe for my husband, who loves mac & 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
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Cook: 15 min.
MAKES:20 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Cook: 15 min.
MAKES: 20 servings


  • 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


  1. 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.
  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 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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