Go Back
+ servings
Final fried mac and cheese balls

Deep-Fried Vegan Mac & Cheese Balls

Author Chef Summer Storm - garden grub
Super cheesy, creamy, and flavorful vegan macaroni and cheese is coated in parmesan Italian panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried to crunchy, golden brown perfection. Dip 'em into your favorite sauce (maybe sriracha ranch, BBQ sauce, or vegan honey mustard!) and you have yourself a delicious, comfort food appetizer!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rest Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 20 balls


Mac & Cheese

  • 3 cups corkscrew pasta + 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 3 hours, drain, rinse, then measure out the 2 cups
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp sweet white miso paste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups cashew milk, plain, unsweetened
  • 1 Daiya Medium Cheddar Style Farmhouse Block, shredded
  • 1 Daiya Smoked Gouda Style Farmhouse Block, shredded *See tips below recipe for cheese alternatives


  • 1 quart vegetable/canola oil, for deep frying
  • *Optional: 1 Daiya Medium Cheddar Style Farmhouse Block, shredded
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 tbsp ENER-G Egg Replacer
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs, plain
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup Follow Your Heart shredded parmesan

Sriracha Ranch

  • 1/2 cup vegan ranch of choice (I use Follow Your Heart’s)
  • 2 tsp vegan sriracha of choice (I use Yellowbird's Habanero sauce)


Day 1: Make the Mac & Cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fill a large stockpot with water. Season it with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Once it is at a rolling boil, add in the pasta. Give it a one time stir to ensure the pasta isn’t stuck together.
  • Once it's back up to a rapid boil, set a timer and cook the pasta for 6 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse off the pasta with cold water until the pasta is completely cooled down. Set aside.
  • In a high-powered blender, add the softened cashews, nutritional yeast, miso paste, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and blend until extremely smooth. Scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Set aside.
  • Shred the vegan cheese blocks and combine the two to create a blend. Set aside.
  • Place a large, deep stockpot over medium heat and melt the vegan butter.
  • Once melted, add in the flour, stir well and continuously, with a wooden spoon, cooking for about 1 1/2 minutes.
  • With a whisk, slowly whisk in the cashew milk, about 1/2 a cup at a time. The sauce should be very smooth.
  • Once all of the cashew milk has been added, add in that cheese paste we blended from earlier. Whisk together really well until combined.
  • Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes or until it begins to bubble.
  • Now turn the heat down to medium-low, add 2 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese blend, and whisk it all together. Continue cooking until most of the cheese has melted into the sauce. A little bit of texture is okay.
  • Turn the heat off and add the cooked pasta in. Stir very well to coat the pasta evenly in the sauce.
  • Add in the rest of the shredded cheese blend and stir well.
  • Pour the vegan mac and cheese into an 8x8 inch baking dish of choice, scraping in all of the sauce. With a rubber spatula, flatten the mixture out from corner to corner. *I like to place my baking dish onto a sheet pan just in case the mac and cheese ooze over.
  • Wrap the top of the dish with tin foil and bake it on the middle rack for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to completely cool at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator to chill overnight. Chilling this will solidify the mac and cheese and make it easy to roll into balls.

Day 2: Portion and Bread the Mac & Cheese

  • Portion the mac & cheese into twenty 2 tablespoon portion balls. I found the quickest way to get this done is by filling half of a 1/4 measuring cup (equivalent to 2 tablespoons).
  • If you would like the fried mac & cheese balls to be even cheesier, add a hefty pinch of finely shredded vegan cheddar cheese to each ball. Press it in and around the ball.
  • Firmly squeeze/pack each ball tight, so it is easy to bread them. ***If the balls aren't cold anymore, pop them into the freezer for about 20 minutes to make them easier to work with. If needed, you can sprinkle a little bit of flour onto your hands before rolling each ball. This will help them not to stick as much!
  • Pop the rolled balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze them for 20 minutes.
  • Get three medium-large, shallow bowls. Add the flour into the first bowl. In the second bowl, whisk together the warm water and ENER-G Egg Replacer until extremely smooth. Finally, in the third bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, from the panko bread crumbs down to the parmesan cheese.
  • Bring a deep fryer or a large saucepan filled with the vegetable oil up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to make sure it is accurate!
  • Now, bread one mac & cheese ball at a time. First, using one hand, roll it well in the flour. Then with your other hand, roll it in the water/ENER-G Egg mix, making sure it is completely coated. Finally, with your dry hand that you used to cover it in the flour, use it again to coat it in the bread crumb mix.
  • Set the breaded ball on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Continue breading the rest of the balls.

How to Deep Fry the Mac & Cheese Balls

  • If you haven't already, preheat a deep fryer or a large saucepan with the vegetable oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to make sure it is accurate!
  • Gently place no more than three mac & cheese balls into the fryer (unless you're using a large deep fryer).
  • Deep fry them for 3 minutes, turning them over and around as needed.
  • Carefully pull them out using a spider, slotted spoon, or tongs and let the extra fat drip off. Rest them on a baking sheet that is lined with a few sheets of paper towel.
  • Immediately sprinkle a pinch of salt on each ball.

Sriracha Ranch

  • Mix the two ingredients together!
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!