Macaroni & Cheese Balls {Gluten Free}

These gluten free macaroni & cheese balls are creamy and cheesy on the inside and crispy and crunchy on the outside. Game day food at its best.

Now that Christmas has passed, my boys’ attention will be turned to football.  We are a football loving family…each with our favorite teams and friendly rivalries.  This mama had a decision to make a few years ago:  would I immerse myself in the world of football as one way to stay connected to my three sons or would I pass?  Well, I hopped onboard and am so thankful that I did.  What fun we’ve had through the years.

With playoff football comes gameday munchies.  Our snacks and appetizers are usually pretty simple, but every now and then I do like to whip up something new.  That’s how these little Macaroni & Cheese Balls were born.  My kids love, love, love macaroni and cheese, and I knew that they would love these crispy treats.

Making the Macaroni & Cheese

The first step to making these yummy bites, is whipping up a super quick, stove top mac and cheese.  I started by cooking up an 8 oz. box of Gluten Free Quinoa Elbows from Tresomega Nutrition.  I recently was given the opportunity to try out several varieties of gluten free pasta from Tresomega as part of their Blogger Challange.  What first attracted me to their products was the inclusion of healthy, gluten free grains.  Their ingredient list is simple: organic white rice, organic quinoa, and organic amaranth.  No wheat, no corn, no soy.  Perfect.

I selected their elbow pasta.  It cooked up beautifully, with the perfect texture and taste.  You can purchase Tresomega’s products directly online through Sam’s Club.  You can also check out Tresomega Nutrition on Twitter and Facebook.

I boiled the pasta for 10 minutes and drained it throroughly.  Then, I immediately stirred in 2 tablespoons of salted butter, 3 ounces of cream cheese, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, 4 slices of American cheese, and 1/3 cup of finely diced Canadian bacon into the hot pasta.   I kept stirring until all of the cheese was melted.  The mixture will be thick.

Spread the mac and cheese into a shallow dish.  Cover and chill for 45 minutes or until completely cooled.  I like to make the mac and cheese the night before, that way it is completely cooled and ready for me to use the next day.

Macaroni & Cheese Balls {Gluten Free} - The Gluten Free Gathering

Using a 1 tablespoon spring loaded scooper, scoop out slightly heaping mounds of mac and cheese.  Press the pasta together into a tight ball.  The mac and cheese must be completely cooled for this to work.  Place the mac and cheese balls onto a baking sheet.  Pop the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Macaroni & Cheese Balls {Gluten Free} - The Gluten Free Gathering

Breading the Macaroni & Cheese Balls

While the mac and cheese balls are firming up in the freezer, put together your breading stations.  First, whisk together 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon of water.  Set aside.  Next, place 1 cup of your favorite gluten free Italian seasoned breadcrumbs into a separate bowl.

I work through this recipe in two batches.  Inevitably, breadcrumbs are going to get mixed into the egg mixture.  This makes for a rather goopy, hard to work with mess.  So, half way through my mac & cheese bites, I make a new batch of the egg mixture (2 eggs + 1 tablespoon water) and a fresh bowl of breadcrumbs (1 cup).  In my testing, this worked so much better than working with the same breading ingredients for the entire recipe.  But if your egg mixture and breadcrumbs are holding up well, then continue to use them.

Roll one ball into the egg mixture, then roll the ball into the breadcrumbs being sure that the entire ball is firmly covered in breadcrumbs.  Place the ball back onto the baking sheet.

Macaroni & Cheese Balls {Gluten Free} - The Gluten Free Gathering

Frying Macaroni & Cheese Balls

To fry, place the specified amount of oil in a deep fryer or place 2 cups of your preferred vegetable oil into a dutch oven.  Over medium to medium-high heat, heat the oil to 350 degrees.  Working in small batches of 4-5 balls, carefully lower the balls into the oil.  I like to use a slotted metal strainer/spoon to lower the bites into the oil and then to remove them as well.

Cook for 4-5 minutes being sure to move the balls around during frying to ensure a crispy surface.

Place several layers of paper towels onto a dish or baking sheet.  Remove the balls from the oil and place onto the paper towels to drain.

Place the mac & cheese balls into a serving dish and sprinkle with a bit of grated parmesan cheese and torn parsley or basil leaves.

Macaroni & Cheese Balls {Gluten Free} - The Gluten Free Gathering

These are perfect served hot, as is, or served with your favorite dipping sauce (my husband loves adding a touch of Sweet Thai Chili Sauce).  Any way you serve them, these are sure to be a hit.  Enjoy!

Macaroni & Cheese Balls {Gluten Free} - The Gluten Free Gathering

Macaroni & Cheese Balls (Gluten Free)

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, football, game day food, Gluten Free, macaroni and cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chilling 1 hour
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 24
Author The Gluten Free Gathering

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Tresomega Nutrition Quinoa Elbow Pasta, cooked and drained
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 3 ounces cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely diced, cooked Canadian bacon

Breading & Frying

  • 2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 eggs (if needed 2 more eggs for a clean dipping station)
  • 1 cup gluten free Italian seasoned bread crumbs (plus 1 cup more if needed for a clean dipping station)
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil or parsley

Instructions

  • Boil the pasta for 10 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.
  • Immediately stir in the butter, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, 4 slices of American cheese, and diced Canadian bacon into the hot pasta. Keep stirring until all of the cheese is melted. The mixture will be thick.
  • Spread the mac and cheese into a shallow dish. Cover and chill for 45 minutes or until completely cooled. I like to make the mac and cheese the night before, that way it is completely cooled and ready for me to use the next day.
  • Using a 1 tablespoon spring loaded scooper, scoop out slightly heaping mounds of mac and cheese. Press the pasta together into a tight ball. The mac and cheese must be completely cooled for this to work. Place the mac and cheese balls onto a baking sheet. Pop the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • While the mac and cheese balls are firming up in the freezer, put together your breading stations. First, whisk together 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon of water. Set aside. Next, place 1 cup of your favorite gluten free Italian seasoned breadcrumbs into a separate bowl.
  • I work through this recipe in two batches. Inevitably, breadcrumbs are going to get mixed into the egg mixture. This makes for a rather goopy, hard to work with mess. So, half way through my mac & cheese bites, I make a new batch of the egg mixture (2 eggs + 1 tablespoon water) and a fresh bowl of breadcrumbs (1 cup). In my testing, this worked so much better than working with the same breading ingredients for the entire recipe. But if your egg mixture and breadcrumbs are holding up well, then continue to use them
  • Roll one ball into the egg mixture, then roll the ball into the breadcrumbs being sure that the entire ball if firmly covered in breadcrumbs. Place the ball back onto the baking sheet.
  • To fry, place oil in a fryer or place 2 cups of your preferred vegetable oil into a dutch oven. Over medium to medium-high heat, heat the oil to 350 degrees. Working in small batches of 4-5 balls, carefully lower the balls into the oil. I like to use a slotted metal strainer/spoon to lower the bites into the oil and then to remove them as well.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes being sure to move the balls around during frying to ensure a crispy surface.
  • Place several layers of paper towels onto a dish or baking sheet. Remove the balls from the oil and place onto the paper towels to drain.
  • Place the mac & cheese balls into a serving dish and sprinkle with a bit of grated parmesan cheese and torn parsley or basil leaves.

Notes

If you do not like the spicy kick of pepper jack cheese, feel free to substitute equal amounts of cheddar or monterey jack cheese instead.
You can also opt to substitute cooked, crispy, crumbled bacon into the mix instead of Canadian Bacon.

This post is sponsored By Tresomega Nutrition.   As part of their Blogger Challenge, I was given several of their products to sample.  My opinions are honest and my own.

Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese Balls - The Gluten Free Gathering - the perfect little 2 bite appetizer. Creamy & cheesy macaroni and cheese is coated with a crispy and crunchy breading. The perfect gameday treat or appetizer. #glutenfree #glutenfreeappetizer #glutenfreegameday #gameday #gamedayfood #macaroniandcheese #macandcheese #macandcheeseballs #Tresomega #OrganicsForLife #SamsClub

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5 thoughts on “Macaroni & Cheese Balls {Gluten Free}

  1. These mac n cheese balls look perfectly delicious. I love the pasta plus the addition of the Canadian bacon. Everyone in my family cant wait to try them.

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