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Fried Salsa Verde Macaroni and Cheese Balls #MakeGameTimeSaucy #ad

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.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine entertaining, football food, party food, vegetarian
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

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

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 350F.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and put the pasta to cook to al dente.
  • 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.
  • Once pasta is done, drain and add to the cheese sauce. Transfer to a 13x9 bake dish. Bake 20 minutes. Cool, cover with foil, and put in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Use a scoop or spoon to scoop out macaroni and cheese, and shape into balls. Put balls to freeze for at least 2 hours.
  • Set up a breading station with flour, egg wash, and crumb mixture (the crackers and panko breadcrumbs combined). Season each with salt and pepper.
  • One by one, coat a mac and cheese ball with flour, then egg wash, then crumb mixture.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.