This new salsa is SO good, with a great kick of flavor that will never disappoint.

For chip-dipping snacks or incorporated into a recipe like this, Pace® Salsa comes in a variety of heat levels and textures, like the 24 oz. Pace® Picante Sauce I also picked up.

I love adding Pace® to recipes like my Mexican Bruschetta pretty much because they bring all that flavor with no effort required on my part.

Then, in trying the new Pace® Salsa Verde with tomatillooo and jalapenooo, I was REALLY happy with that Southwestern flavor it brought to my cheesy mac.

Fried Salsa Verde Macaroni and Cheese Balls #MakeGameTimeSaucy #ad

A medium scoop makes perfect-sized balls.

The second key is making the balls, and honestly it was not hard at all but because there is some fridge time required, you do have to just plan ahead.

We make our Salsa Verde Macaroni and Cheese, then let that chill in the fridge overnight so that it chills to a firm texture that can be shaped into balls. The next day, I used a medium scoop to make the portions and shaped into balls.

Then those go in the freezer for two hours. Then we bread them and fry them up – basic stuff. And then we have our glorious FOOTBALL READY, PARTY PERFECT bites.

Fried Salsa Verde Macaroni and Cheese Balls #MakeGameTimeSaucy #ad

Coat the mac and cheese balls in flour, then egg wash, then the crumb mixture just as if making cutlets.

Fried Salsa Verde Macaroni and Cheese Balls #MakeGameTimeSaucy #ad

By the way, be sure to serve with extra Pace® Salsa Verde for dipping. In my opinion, all fried food requires a dip. And it just works so do it. 👌

So that’s it kids. Fried Salsa Verde Macaroni and Cheese Balls.

Because every once in a while, you see something on the internet that is awesome but kinda ridiculous at the same time and you totally want to try it.

Click the P for Pinterest at the top or bottom of this post to save this recipe.
If you make it, post on Instagram and tag @ericasrecipes.

Fried Salsa Verde Macaroni and Cheese Balls

Macaroni and cheese with a bold flavor boost from salsa verde, fried into crunchy awesome, game-day party food.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine entertaining, football food, party food, vegetarian
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12


For the Salsa Verde Macaroni and Cheese

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup Pace® Salsa Verde
  • 1 8 oz bag colby-jack shredded cheese mix
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • couple pinches fresh cracked pepper

For the Balls

  • all-purpose flour
  • egg wash: 2 eggs + 2 Tbs water
  • 1 cup crushed buttery crackers
  • 1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • oil for frying


  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and put the pasta to cook to al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the butter and flour together in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbly. Add the milk and Pace® Salsa Verde, whisking constantly, until smooth and heated through. Remove from the heat and add the cheese, salt, and pepper.
  4. Once pasta is done, drain and add to the cheese sauce. Transfer to a 13×9 bake dish. Bake 20 minutes. Cool, cover with foil, and put in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Use a scoop or spoon to scoop out macaroni and cheese, and shape into balls. Put balls to freeze for at least 2 hours.
  6. Set up a breading station with flour, egg wash, and crumb mixture (the crackers and panko breadcrumbs combined). Season each with salt and pepper.
  7. One by one, coat a mac and cheese ball with flour, then egg wash, then crumb mixture.
  8. Bring oil to 350F. This can be done in a fryer, or, alternatively, I used a medium cast iron skillet and put the oil to ~1-inch depth.
  9. Working in batches, add 4-5 balls and let them fry (turning if using a skillet) until nicely browned all over. If balls were completely frozen, this will take a couple minutes to ensure center doesn’t stay frozen.
  10. Once done, transfer balls to a plate lined with paper towels. Season with salt. Serve with more Pace® Salsa Verde for dipping. Yields ~24 balls.

Recipe Notes

When I add the cheese to the milk-roux mixture, I don’t stir too much because I wanted a bit of the separate white and orange cheeses to show in the finished balls.

As written, this recipe is kid-friendly in that it is not spicy. If making for adults-only, I highly recommend kicking up the heat by adding either 2 tsp hot pepper sauce to the mac and cheese.

Lastly, if making this recipe simply to enjoy a big plate of this Salsa Verde Macaroni and Cheese without making the balls, then reduce the butter and flour each to 2 Tbs.


Leave me a comment! Have you ever fried up mac and cheese?

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Robin Rue

I am DROOLING looking at your pictures. These are exactly the kind of thing that my husband and I love to snack on while we’re watching a movie or catching up on the DVR!

Your macaroni and cheese balls look absolutely to die for! What a great snack or appetizer for cooler fall weather!

What a neat twist on what I traditionally call mac and cheese bits. I know that these would be a hit here in the house, going to give it a try!

Rochelle Epstein

What a brilliant idea for this recipe, just love it and now am going to have to make it one of these days when I have friends over – it just looks so delicious

Monica Maloney Heidler

Oh my – these are right up my alley. I love Mac & Cheese and Salsa Verde but have never tried them together. Our daughter is coming this weekend and I always make her mac & cheese so I’ll make extra for this!!!

oMg – what a great idea! Husband loves mac & cheese so I think I’ll fix this over the weekend. Thanks!

Emily Vinyard

Quite an interesting concept! I’ve heard of mac-n-cheese on pizza. Sadly, its not a big favorite of my kids.


My oldest loves regular mac and cheese balls. He enjoys things with heat so I think he’d enjoy these.

Yummy, would love to do this over the weekend! Thanks!

Donquita Felton

That sounds yummy. I think I may try to vegan them up so I can have a taste 😉

Shubhada Bhide

This looks so delicious and tempting. I will definitely try this kind of recipe. I am sure that my son will love this.

Oh my world! That looks soo delicious! These macaroni cheese balls would make the perfect appetizers!

Rhewi Montemayor

Oh wow, this is absolutely looks a yummy recipe and I really love to try these perfect on our weekends

Elizabeth O

This macaroni cheese balls looks so delicious. I really love it because of the macaroni. I will definitely try this recipe.

Oyinkan Ogunleye

This looks like a great appetizer! I wouldn’t have known how to make it. So cool

I’ve seen fried mac & cheese but have yet to try it – you’re definitely inspiring me! I’m quite sure my boys would devour all these mac cheese balls! 🙂

Ut Minh

A great recipe for Salsa Verde. I have tried it once, it is really delicious. But look at your cake is more attractive color.

Cia Black

This would be the perfect snack for football season or playdates, what kid or adult doesn’t like mac and cheese.

These look great. I love the addition of salsa verde to offset the richness of the mac & cheese!


Not football maybe baseball.

CookALife byMaeva

OMG, it sounds just like a yummy and decadent savory recipe for comfort evenings in front of a good movie!

Party perfect deliciousness is what you have here. I think it would be hard to share, good thing it makes a healthy-sized batch!!