Flamin' Hot Cheetos Mac and Cheese Bites

Mac and cheese balls

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Cool and Freeze Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total: 4 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
327 Calories
21g Fat
28g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 327
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 541mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 64mg 5%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 135mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Flamin' Hot Cheetos crusted fried macaroni and cheese bites are junk food and comfort food combined in one incredible snack. Macaroni and cheese is formed into balls, coated in the spicy Cheetos, and then deep-fried until nice and crispy, making a finger food that is hard to resist.

You can make this recipe quickly using boxed mac and cheese, or make your favorite recipe from scratch; any version will work, as long as the noodles are elbow-shaped or small enough to scoop into balls. A little hot sauce is added to the mac and cheese when you are done preparing it since the Cheetos lose some of their spiciness when they are fried.

These crispy bites are great for game day, snack time, and even a Halloween party due to their devilishly red hue and spicy kick. Serve with blue cheese on the side to cut some of the heat.


  • 3 cups prepared macaroni and cheese, from a box or homemade

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, plus more for serving

  • 3 cups Flamin' Hot Cheetos

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Pepper, to taste

  • 2 pints canola oil, approximately, or other light oil, for frying

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • Blue cheese dressing, optional, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Mix the macaroni and cheese with the hot sauce until completely combined. Add more hot sauce if you want an even spicier fried mac and cheese.

  3. Place the prepared macaroni and cheese in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, until cooled.

  4. Using an ice-cream scoop, form balls of the macaroni and cheese. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the balls into the freezer for about 3 hours or until completely hardened. 

  5. In a food processor, blend the Cheetos until they are crushed. Mix in the breadcrumbs and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Place in a shallow bowl and set aside. 

  6. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot to 375 F. 

  7. Add the flour and about 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper to another shallow bowl and set aside.

  8. Beat the eggs along with the milk and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. 

  9. Remove the mac and cheese balls from the freezer. Dip the balls in the flour and roll to completely cover. Shake off the excess and then dip into the egg mixture and roll to completely cover. Then dip into the Cheetos mixture and roll to completely cover. Place the coated balls on a baking sheet until ready to fry.  

  10. Gently drop 3 to 4 balls into the hot oil and fry on all sides until they are golden brown, for a total of about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining balls.

  11. Serve warm with extra hot sauce and blue cheese dressing on the side. Enjoy.

Can I freeze the mac and cheese bites?

Once fried and cooled, the bites can be frozen in an airtight container for one month. To reheat, place on a baking sheet in a 350 F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.