Potato Chip-Crusted Macaroni & Cheese Bites

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 
Photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board

A customer favorite—mac and cheese—is transformed into snack size by cutting the chilled mixture into cubes. The cubes are then coated with panko and crushed potato chips and deep-fried to create a crunchy crust. To contrast with the richness of the recipe, Chef des Jardins pairs the bites with a refreshing tomato jam.


Mac & Cheese Bites
10 tbsp. butter
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
5 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups each grated white cheddar, provolone, Swiss and Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/4 tsp. cayenne
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
10 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
5 cups panko bread crumbs
5 cups crushed potato chips
8 large eggs, beaten
Rice bran oil, for deep frying

Spicy Tomato Jam
2 cups sliced white onions
8 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 qt. canned crushed tomatoes with juice
1 tsp. cayenne
6 tbsp. hot pepper sauce, or to taste
2 tbsp. kosher salt


  1. Prepare Mac & Cheese Bites: In large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over med. heat, melt butter. Stir in 11/4 cups flour to make a roux; cook about 5 min., stirring frequently.
  2. In a separate saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Slowly pour hot cream into roux, whisking constantly. Cook 5 min. or until thickened, whisking frequently. Add cheeses and cayenne; season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until cheeses melt to a smooth consistency, whisking frequently to prevent scorching.  Remove from heat and keep warm.
  3. Cook macaroni in 4 gal. heavily salted boiling water for 2 min. less than directions state. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.
  4. Fold macaroni into warm cheese sauce; cook over low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until macaroni is tender.
  5. Coat a shallow hotel pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray; pour mixture into pan and spread in an even layer. Refrigerate, covered, until firm. 
  6. Cut around edge of pan to release macaroni. Unmold onto a cutting board; cut into 11/2-in. cubes.
  7. In food processor, pulse panko and potato chips until roughly the same size.  Dust macaroni cubes lightly with flour, dip into eggs and toss in panko-potato chip mixture to coat completely. Place on parchment paper-lined sheet pan; refrigerate until needed.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare Spicy Tomato Jam: in large saucepan over med. heat, sweat onions and garlic in oil. Add tomatoes and cayenne; cook over med. heat until reduced to 6 cups. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add salt and hot pepper sauce and purée in food processor or blender. Set aside.
  9. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350 F. For each serving, to order, deep-fry 3 macaroni cubes in hot oil about 4 min. or until crust is golden brown. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Serve with 1/4 cup Spicy Tomato Jam.
Source: 72 pieces or 24 servings

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Foodservice operators and other employers in New York City are adjusting to a new law that enforces paid time off for staff who have been the victims of certain crimes.

Called paid safe leave, the benefit is believed to be among the first of its kind in the nation. A more limited version has been in effect in Minneapolis since last summer.

The New York law applies to employees who have been the victims of actual or threatened domestic violence, unwanted sexual contact, stalking or human trafficking.

Workers can also opt for safe paid leave if a member of their...

Industry News & Opinion

A Massachusetts bill to end lunch shaming has been stalled in the House, reports South Coast Today.

The House chair of the Education Committee voted on Tuesday for further study of the bill, which would prevent schools from throwing away hot lunches and/or serving an alternative meal to students behind on lunch payments. Under the bill, schools would also be unable to bar students with unpaid balances from participating in extracurricular activities.

Additionally, the bill asks schools to take action in reducing families’ meal debt by helping families apply for free or...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of California, Santa Cruz is converting its Cowell Coffee Shop into a “multi-service basic needs cafe” to aid students facing food insecurity .

The new cafe is being created through a partnership with dining services, the school’s center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and UCSC’s Cowell College. Due to open at the start of the fall semester, the lower part of the cafe will continue to be a study space for students (with free coffee and tea) and will also host nutrition and financial wellness programming.

Upstairs, the kitchen will be used as a...

Managing Your Business
quitting job

What prompts foodservice managers to clean out their offices and head out with a last paycheck? A new survey suggests the triggers may be changing with the times.

The canvass of 2,000 restaurant professionals, conducted by placement firm Gecko Hospitality, shows lifestyle issues abounding among the top 10 reasons for parting with a restaurant employer last year.

Here are the gender-specific lists:

Top 10 reasons female managers leave

1. Better opportunity

2. Unemployed

3. Relocation

4. Not satisfied

5. No growth

6. Long...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code