Easy Fried Cheese Balls Recipe (Crispy Bites)

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Easy Fried Cheese Balls Recipe- you will love these irresistible crispy bites that melt in your mouth. There are only 3 simple ingredients in these cheesy and crispy bites, and take 20 minutes to make!

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Easy Fried Cheese Balls Recipe

Get the party started with this delicious Italian-style fried cheese ball recipe! Perfectly melty on the inside with a crunchy golden brown crust on the outside.

These easy-fried cheese balls come together with little effort. Mix all the ingredients in one bowl, shape the cheese mixture into balls, and quickly fry them! That’s it.

These cheese bites are great party appetizers, school lunches, holidays, gatherings, super bowl, or game night snack. These sensational fried cheese balls are a chewy, gooey, mouthwatering snack. Time to indulge and try them!

Best Fried Cheese Balls

This fried cheese ball recipe is a recipe everyone will love! I prefer them to other varieties since they aren’t covered in a heavy flour or breadcrumb coating.

When frying, the mixture is solid enough to roll into a ball and stay together. You still get a crunchy layer without adding extra “fluff” to the pure cheese mixture. These cheese balls are light, crispy, and perfect for dipping in your favorite sauce.

Serve with whipped ricotta red pepper sauce or homemade tomato sauce.

Easy Fried Cheese Balls Recipe (Crispy Bites) finished cheese balls on a plate.

Different Names for Fried Cheese Balls

These delicious cheese balls are popular in Latin America, where they call them “bolitas de queso”, meaning balls of cheese. They are popular worldwide in the Balkans area, especially in Greece.

We call them ‘bocconcini’ in Italian, pão de queijo (cheese bread) in Brazil, or tirokroketes in Greece. The deep-fried cheese balls are also known as cheese puffs.

Whatever the name- they are easy bites of cheesy heaven you will want to make!

Simple Ingredients for Fried Cheese Balls Recipe

The ingredients come together in one bowl and are fried in one pot. It doesn’t get easier!

ingredient shot for recipe
  • Parmigiano Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese. Read more about different types of mozzarella in my post mozzarella vs burrata.
  • Egg whites
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • Neutral oil for frying (peanut oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil)

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to Make Easy Fried Cheese Balls

These deep-fried cheese balls are a breeze to whip up and fry. You can pop the cheese mixture in the fridge for up to 2 hours if you want to make it ahead of time and fry them right when you are ready to serve. They make the perfect appetizer for any occasion.

Make the Cheese Balls

Grate both of the cheeses with a box cheese grater or Microplane. Make sure to grate the cheese. This finely ground cheese will produce a super melty fried cheese ball. Cover and set the cheese aside. 

Process for making fried cheese balls- gently whipping the egg whites before adding to the cheese mixture.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until well combined.

Process for making fried cheese balls- mixing all cheese and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Add both kinds of cheese to the egg whites, season well with freshly ground pepper.

Process for making fried cheese balls- mixing cheese with egg whites.

Blend with a fork, or electric mixture, to combine.

Process for making fried cheese balls- covering cheese mixture and letting it rest in the fridge.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

This will help the cheese mixture get firm, making it easier to roll into small balls.

Process for making fried cheese balls- scooping up the cheese mixture with a small spoon and rolling it into a ball.

Add a little bit of oil to a shallow bowl. Grease your hands to help roll the cheese balls.

Process for making fried cheese balls-scooping up the cheese mixture with a small spoon and rolling it into a ball.

Roll a tablespoon of the cheese mixture into little round cheese balls.

Process for making fried cheese balls- placing prepared cheese balls on parchment paper.

Makes about 15 balls—place balls on a greased or parchment line baking sheet.

How to Fry Cheese Balls (Crispy Bites)

Process for making fried cheese balls- placing cheese balls in hot oil a few at a time.

Heat a pan with at least 4 inches of oil- wait until the oil is hot at 350 degrees F.

Process for making fried cheese balls- frying the cheese balls.

Fry the cheese balls for about 2 minutes, moving them around with a slotted spoon until nicely colored. Fry in batches and don’t overcrowd the pan, or they will stick together and not cook properly.

Process for making fried cheese balls- taking the cheese balls out of the fryer with slotted spoon.

Carefully remove the fried cheese balls from the hot oil with a slotted spoon.

Process for making fried cheese balls-letting cheese balls rest on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve hot! 

close up ofEasy Fried Cheese Balls Recipe (Crispy Bites)

Variations

There are endless variations to this simple fried cheese balls recipe. I don’t like to add lots of Here are a few suggestions you can try when making.

  • Spicy – add chili powder to the mix to add heat or a splash of your favorite hot sauce.
  • Cheese – Try different kinds of cheese for these crispy fried cheese balls. You can vary the type of cheese options and experiment with flavors. You can add a spoonful of cream cheese, cheese curds, cheddar cheese, gouda cheese, feta cheese,
  • Garlic Powder or Onion Powder – add a little bit to add another flavor element.
  • Panko Bread crumbs – these deep-fried cheese balls do not have a flour coating. You can drench them in panko bread crumbs, regular all-purpose flour or wheat flour, corn starch, or Italian breadcrumbs to give an added crunch on the outside.
  • Mashed potatoes – what? It sounds crazy, but adding leftover mashed potatoes gives these delicious cheese balls a new meaning.
  • Herbs – if desired, add a sprinkle of Italian herbs such as dried basil, oregano, thyme, or parsley.
hand holding one fried cheese ball.

Sauces to Serve with Fried Cheese Balls

How to Store Fried Cheese Balls

Refrigerate cheese balls for 3-4 (depending on the freshness of the ingredients) in an airtight bag or container.

Freeze the fired cheese balls until hard, then keep them in a ziplock bag for up to three months. Thaw for 10 minutes at room temperature and fry.

dipping the Easy Fried Cheese Balls Recipe (Crispy Bites) in the tomato dipping sauce.

Top Tips for the Best Fried Cheese Balls Recipe

Here are a few tips to achieve that beautiful crispy golden brown crust and melty cheese filling.

  • Grate your cheese with a box cheese grater or  Microplane, and use real cheeses from the block (instead of pre-grated kinds) for the creamiest result. TOP 5 Reasons Why You Should Grate Your Own Cheese.
  • Make the mixture for the cheese balls beforehand and let it stand in the fridge for about 45 minutes. This makes it easier to form the mixture into perfect balls.
  • Hot oil. Maintain oil temperature around 350°F. You can lower or raise the heat to keep a stable temperature. Too low of a temperature and the cheese balls will absorb too much oil; too high and they will brown faster on the outside and not cook in the middle.
  • Work in batches and often stir for proper cooking. Overcrowding the pot with cheese balls can lower the oil temperature and cause them to stick together and not brown properly. 
hands opening a fried cheese ball to show the gooey cheese interior.

FAQs

Fried Cheese Balls in the Air Fryer

Yes! You can make this fried cheese ball recipe in the air fryer. Cook at 400 degrees F and spray generously with cooking oil. Cook for about 2 min on each side. Enjoy!

More Delicious Recipes

Easy Fried Cheese Balls Recipe (Crispy Bites)- on a serving platter with tomato sauce for dipping.

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Easy Fried Cheese Balls Recipe (Crispy Bites)

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Easy Fried Cheese Balls Recipe- you will love these irresistible crispy bites that melt in your mouth. They are only made with 4 simple ingredients and take 20 minutes!

  • Total Time: 45-50 minutes
  • Yield: 1520 cheese balls 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups finely grated parmigiano cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups finely grated mozzarella cheese
  • 3 egg whites
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • 4 cups neutral oil for frying (canola, sunflower, peanut, or canola)

Instructions

Make the Cheese Balls

  1. Grate both of the cheeses with a box cheese grater or microplane. Make sure to grate the cheese finely. This will produce a super melty fried cheese ball. Cover and set the cheese aside. 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until well combined. Add both kinds of cheese to the egg whites, season well with freshly ground pepper, and blend with a fork, or electric mixer, to combine.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will help the cheese mixture get firm, making it easier to roll into small balls.
  4. Add a little bit of oil to a shallow bowl. Grease your hands to help roll the cheese balls. Roll a tablespoon of the cheese mixture into little round cheese balls. Makes about 15 balls—place balls on a greased baking sheet. 

Fry the Cheese Balls

  1. Heat a pan with at least 4 inches of oil- wait until the oil is hot at 350 degrees F. Fry the cheese balls for about 2 minutes, moving them around with a slotted spoon until nicely colored. Fry in batches and don’t overcrowd the pan, or they will stick together and not cook properly.
  2. Carefully remove the fried cheese balls from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve hot! 

Serve with the sauce of your choice, or enjoy with a squeeze of lemon. 

Notes

  • Grate your cheese with a box cheese grater or Microplane, and use real cheeses from the block for the creamiest result. TOP 5 Reasons Why You Should Grate Your Own Cheese.
  • Make the mixture for the cheese balls in advance and let it stand in the fridge for about 45 minutes. This makes it easier to form the mixture into perfect balls.
  • Hot oil. Maintain oil temperature around 350°F. You can lower or raise the heat to keep a stable temperature. Too low of a temperature and the cheese balls will absorb too much oil; too high and they will brown faster on the outside and not cook in the middle.
  • Work in batches and often stir for proper cooking. Overcrowding the pot with cheese balls can lower the oil temperature and cause them to stick together and not brown properly. 
  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 min + rest time
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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9 Comments

  1. Hello There!

    Amazing Blog with great recipes. I am Brazilian, and these adorable cheese balls are not “pao de queijo”. “Pao de queijo” is a type of bread with a chewy consistency, made with tapioca flour. Baked, not fried ! 🙂 I will try to make your cheese balls. They look delicious!






    1. You are right! These are not Brazilian. They are Italian fried cheese balls. Sorry if there was confusion. I hope you enjoy them.

  2. I blackened a bell pepper, added a dab of Worcester sauce and they came out bomb! I was craving these so bad that at 11pm, I went to 711 and I literally bought all the different types of string cheese they had, mozzarella, cheddar, pepper jack and mixed it all together! yum