Crispy Mac and Cheese Bites
Prep time 10mins
Cook time 30mins
Serves or Makes: 8

Recipe Card


  • 2 box Annie's Penne & Four Cheese Mac & Cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying


  • Step 1

    Prepare 2 boxes of Annie's Penne & Four Cheese Mac & Cheese according to package directions with milk and butter. Stir in shredded cheese at the end until well combined.

  • Step 2

    Line a 8x8 baking pan with a piece of plastic wrap, ensuring it overhangs on at least 2 sides.

  • Step 3

    Transfer the mac and cheese into the pan and press down firmly with a rubber spatula to make a flat layer. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap, and then use a second baking pan of the same size, if available, to weigh the mac and cheese down. [Note: If a second pan is not available, use another heavy pan or object to help compact the mac and cheese.]

  • Step 4

    Place in refrigerator overnight, or at least 2 hours until completely firm.

  • Step 5

    When you’re ready to make the mac and cheese bites, remove top piece of plastic wrap and invert pan onto a cutting board, removing the bottom piece of plastic wrap as well. Using a sharp knife, slice evenly into squares. [Note: 16 squares is a good size for lunch portions or a side dish, or cut into smaller cubes 25 or even 36 to make bite-size appetizers!]

  • Step 6

    Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Preheat a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat with about 1 T oil. Cook bites in 3-4 batches, so not to overcrowd the pan, adding 1 tablespoon of oil for each batch.

  • Step 7

    Dip each mac n cheese bite into egg, then coat in panko on all sides, shaking off excess crumbs. Place into hot pan, turning gently with tongs until all 6 sides are golden and crispy, about 1 minute per side.

  • Step 8

    Rest the finished bites on a cookie rack to keep the bottoms crispy. Sprinkle with salt right after removing from pan. When all bites have been cooked, place the entire tray in the oven for about 10 minutes to ensure the bites are hot and crispy.