Small Snack, Big Flavor: Garlic, Bacon, and Beer Mac & Cheese Balls

We at Thrillist believe that most things in life are made better by beer, including macaroni and cheese. So it goes without saying that our mouths started watering when we found Twisted's recipe for garlic, bacon, and beer mac & cheese balls, an easy snack idea that takes pretty much all our favorite things (cheddar, Parmesan, beer, bacon, and garlic galore) and packs them all up in one tiny sphere of deep fried bliss. As an added bonus, they're so small that you won't feel bad about having more than one (two or three couldn't hurt, right?). 

Garlic, Bacon, and Beer Mac & Cheese Balls

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 8 slices of bacon, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 ounces beer
  • 5 ounces whole milk
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • 1¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated
  • 2 cups macaroni pasta, cooked
  • 3½ ounces plain flour
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • Chives, to serve
  • In a medium-sized frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and bacon, cooking until the latter begins to crisp before adding the garlic. Cook for 1 minute and add the flour, stirring well until the flour and bacon fat take on a thick, pasty consistency.
  • Slowly pour the milk and beer into the pan, whisking constantly for approximately 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir in the cheddar and Parmesan until both cheeses have melted.
  • Place the cooked macaroni in a shallow baking dish and top with the cheese sauce. Stir until the macaroni is evenly coated, and place the dish in the refrigerator for approximately 45 minutes to let it cool and firm up. 
  • Take a handful of macaroni and roll it into a large ball; repeat until all of the pasta has been used. Coat each macaroni ball with flour, egg wash, and panko breadcrumbs. 
  • In a small pot, heat the vegetable oil to 320°F. Deep fry the breaded macaroni balls until each one is nicely browned. Sprinkle with chives and serve while hot. 
Thrillist Video brings you the best local food stories and trends, from barbecue tips to odd jobs around the world.