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Editor’s note: At the Table with the Gabels features tasty recipes and tips from Vanessa Gabel and her daughter, Kaitlyn, of Danville.



aitlyn: These macaroni and cheese balls were a fun twist to our evening meal. 

They remind me of going to a picnic and eating the amazing macaroni and cheese that seems to always be there. It was a huge hit and we will definitely be making these another time. 

Something I would change the next time we make these is make them a bit smaller (from two tablespoons to one tablespoon). It would also shorten the cook time. 

They were a bit dry, so I would recommend adding less coating, but that didn’t affect the tastiness. 

Another way to avoid dryness could be incorporating more cheeses into the balls to make the cheese more stringy. 

The seasoning possibilities for these are endless, such as salt, pepper, paprika, onion rub, etc. Different dipping sauces, such as ranch, barbeque, or even ketchup would taste delightful with these. 

They were a different way to try macaroni and cheese and everyone loved it.

Vanessa: Macaroni and cheese is one of those all-American side dishes that can be made with endless variations.  

Add one more to the list with these macaroni and cheese balls. The thing that I really like about this recipe is that they turn a traditional utensil dish into a finger food. It’s perfect for gatherings, or for a quick, portioned side. 

We used a boxed macaroni and cheese for convenience, but a really cheesy, homemade recipe would be perfect to offset the crunchiness of the coating. I’ve never considered a topping for macaroni and cheese before, but having the panko coating on it tasted delicious dipped in ranch salad dressing, and it added an extra layer of flavor. If you’ve got leftover macaroni and cheese, give this recipe a try, or roll the leftovers into balls for a future meal that is both different and delicious.


Macaroni & Cheese Balls

Macaroni and cheese 

2 eggs

2 tbsp. milk

3 oz. panko

1/2 tbsp. garlic and herb seasoning


Form macaroni and cheese into balls. Freeze on parchment paper.

Mix eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, mix the panko and seasoning. 

Dip each ball in the egg mixture, then roll in panko, coating evenly. 

Air fry for 10 minutes. 

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