Make this amazing appetizer for game day, parties and gatherings. You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by purchasing a gluten-free brand of macaroni and cheese. Want an extra kick? Try adding 1 small finely diced fresh jalapeno to the mixture.
|3 Tbsp||Ranch Peppercorn Dip Mix|
|1 Cup||Sour Cream|
|1 Package||Macaroni and Cheese Box Dinner (7.25 oz.)|
|¼ Cup + 3 Tbsp||Milk|
|1 Tbsp||Whole Italian Seasoning|
|3 ½ Tbsp, Divided||Jalapeno Bacon Shake Seasoning|
|¾ Cup||Sharp Cheddar Cheese Spread (We Used Merkt's Brand)|
|1 Cup||Shredded Cheddar Cheese|
|1 Cup||Shredded Italian Cheese Blend|
|¼ Cup||Bacon, Cooked & Chopped|
|1 tsp, Divided||Salt|
|1 Tsp, Divided||Coarse Black Pepper|
|1 Box (10 oz.)||Gluten-Free Rice Panko Coating Mix|
|½ tsp||Fine Ground Paprika|
|Vegetable Oil For Frying|
1) Prepare dip by combing Ranch Peppercorn Dip Mix with the sour cream and mayonnaise. Blend well and refrigerate.
2) In a pot of boiling, lightly salted water, cook macaroni until firm/tender; about 7 minutes. Strain and pour macaroni in a large mixing bowl. Add butter, 1/4 Cup milk, Whole Italian Seasoning, 2 Tbsp Jalapeno Bacon Shake Seasoning and cheese packet; mix thoroughly.
3) While pasta is still warm, immediately add the remaining cheeses (you may microwave for 30 seconds if necessary) - shredded cheddar, Italian cheese blend and sharp cheddar cheese spread; mix well. Stir in bacon and 1/2 tsp of salt and black pepper; mix completely. Freeze for 1 hour or until mixture is solid.
4) In the mean time, you can prep your coating station. In one bowl, thoroughly combine the Gluten-Free Rice Panko Coating Mix with fine ground paprika, sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp Jalapeno Bacon Shake Seasoning and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and black pepper. In a second bowl, whisk together the 4 large eggs and 3 Tbsp milk. Lastly, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5) Once the macaroni mixture has solidified, you can begin shaping it into bite size balls. Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop and shape mixture into even sized balls no larger than a golf ball. Place on baking sheet and repeat until you have used all the mixture. This should make about 2 dozen bites.
6) Take each ball and dunk in the egg to evenly coat, then dip in the coating mixture and roll to evenly coat. Gently take each coated ball and lightly roll in your hands for the coating to stick securely; place back on the baking sheet. Once you have completed them all, place back in the refrigerator for at least a half hour to an hour.
7) Preheat oven to 250°F - 300°F. As you go, place small batches of the fried mac 'n cheese bites on an oven-safe plate. Store in heated oven to keep warm while you prepare the rest. These bites are best serve warm.
For Deep Fryer - Heat oil to 350°F. Place 3 to 4 cheese bites at a time in basket and slower lower. Do not overload the fryer basket! Cooking too many at one time may cause them to stick together. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove, drain on paper towel and place on oven-safe plate to keep warm in the oven until complete.
- In Saucepan - Use a medium saucepan with high sides and fill about 2" with oil. Heat to around 350°F. Carefully place 3 to 4 cheese bites in oil. Watch out for splattering! Cook on one side for about 2 minutes. Using a spoon, gently roll the ball over to cook the other side until all sides are an even golden brown. Remove, drain on paper towel and place on oven-safe plate to keep warm in oven until complete.
8) Once you have fried all the mac 'n cheese bites, serve immediately with Ranch Peppercorn Dip.