Air Fryer Cheese Curds are oozing with hot air-fried cheese! The breading is crispy and oh-so-delicious!
Indulge in the irresistible goodness of crispy, golden, and gooey cheese curds made effortlessly in your air fryer. This delightful snack or appetizer captures all the cheesy decadence of traditional fried cheese curds but with a healthier twist. With the magic of hot air circulation, your air fryer will transform these bite-sized delights into perfectly crunchy, cheesy morsels that are impossible to resist. Prepare to savor the taste of homemade air fryer cheese curds that are a surefire crowd-pleaser for any occasion.
What Are Cheese Curds?
They are actually just pieces of cheddar cheese that have not been aged; the curds are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process.
They have a smooth, mild flavor and are usually breaded. Sometimes, they are served on top of Poutine, depending on where you purchase them.
Homemade Cheese Curds In Air Fryer
Air Fryer Cheese Curds are amazing! They’re so crispy on the outside but soft and tender on the inside, and the melted cheese is utterly incredible! You will love these if you have ever gone to a festival and ordered a batch of hot-breaded cheese curds. In fact, they might just become your new favorite treat this year!
I love these air-fried cheese curds, and they are much healthier than deep frying, which is a big bonus! The Air Fryer gives you all the flavor and minimal oil.
This cheese curds air fryer recipe makes a great appetizer for a dinner party, a tasty barbecue dish, or a snack for movie nights. They are so simple and easy to make, and they’re ready in about 20 minutes!
If you are looking for more Air Fryer Appetizer Recipes, some of my favorites are these AIR FRYER MOZZARELLA BITES, AIR FRYER BAKED BEAN BACON CUPS, AIR FRYER NAKED CHICKEN TENDERS, and these crispy AIR FRYER SWEET POTATO CHIPS.
Why You’ll Love This CheeseCurds Air Fryer Recipe
- Only 20 minutes + chilling time
- Flavorful breaded cheese curds
- Simple recipe
- Party favorite
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Cheese Curds
They are actually just pieces of cheddar cheese that have not been aged; the curds are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process.
They have a smooth, mild flavor and are usually breaded. Sometimes, depending on where you purchase them, they are served on top of Poutine.
Ingredients In Air Fryer Cheese Curds
If you’re an avid fan of fried cheese curds, then air fryer recipes are your saving grace. Not only do they deliver a delicious restaurant-style flavor without all the grease and mess that come with deep frying, but also require minimal ingredients for preparation! Forget messy pans, oil splatters, and burning hands – let your air fryer do all the work.
Below, we’ll discuss what ingredients you need to prepare crunchy and succulent Air Fryer Cheese Curds in no time! So, keep reading if you want heavenly cheesy delights in no time!
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Cheese Curds: Choose fresh Wisconsin cheddar cheese fresh curds for the best results. They are typically available in the dairy section of most grocery stores.
- All-Purpose Flour: You’ll use this to coat the cheese curds, creating a base for the breading.
- Large Eggs: Eggs will act as a binding agent to help the breadcrumbs adhere to the cheese curds.
- Breadcrumbs or Panko: Breadcrumbs or panko bread crumbs will provide that crispy, golden exterior for your cheese curds.
- Seasonings: Minced Garlic (Or Garlic Powder), Chili Powder, or Cayenne Pepper Mild or Hot depending on heat preference, Basil, Kosher Salt, and Black Peper.
- Cooking Spray or Oil for Misting: A light misting of cooking spray or oil brush will help the cheese curds crisp up nicely in the air fryer.
How To Make Cheese Curds In Air Fryer
Homemade cheese curds have always been a favorite snack for kids and adults alike. Nothing beats the combination of crunchy, salty goodness that comes with biting into this delicious treat! Making them in the air fryer is easy and takes less time than baking them in an oven or deep frying on the stovetop. This foolproof method will ensure you get perfectly cooked cheese curds every time! Keep reading to learn how to make delectable homemade cheese curds using your air fryer – they’ll become one of your go-to snacks in no time!
Step 1: Prepare a dredging station for the cheese curds
- In one bowl, combine all-purpose flour and garlic powder.
- Then, in a second bowl, whisk together the eggs and minced garlic.
- In the third bowl, combine panko bread crumbs, plain bread crumbs, salt, chili powder, black pepper, and basil.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to place cheese curds after they are dredged.
Step 2: Coat cheese curds in the breadcrumb mix
- Work in batches of 4-5 cheese curds at a time. First, add the cheese curds to the flour and toss until coated.
- Then, dip them in the eggs and allow the excess egg to drip off.
- Last, roll the cheese curds in the bread crumbs.
- Repeat the process until all cheese curds are dredged and breaded one time.
Step 3: Refrigerate the cheese curds OR add a second coating of breadcrumbs
- Place into the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
- If you cannot refrigerate the cheese curds before cooking, simply repeat the dredging process for a second coating. Refrigerating or double breading the cheese curds prevents the cheese from seeping out of the coating as it cooks. Of course, you can choose to double-coat the curds for an extra crunchy texture as well!
Step 4: Preheat the air fryer and cook
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F, air fryer setting, for 3-5 minutes.
- Line the air fryer basket with foil and spray lightly with a light spritz of cooking spray. Remove breaded cheese curds from the fridge and place them into the basket in a single layer with a finger space in between.
- Spray the homemade cheese curds with cooking spray to lightly cover the breading.
- Place uncooked breaded curds back into the refrigerator as you cook each batch.
- Cook for 6 minutes, stopping halfway through this cooking time to flip them over to ensure they get evenly browned. You can tell that the air frye cheese curds are perfectly cooked when they are golden brown. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, this may take multiple batches. We use an Instant Pot Vortex, and this recipe took 2 batches.)
Step 5: Serving
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Pro Tips For Making The Best Cheese Curds In Air Fryer
To achieve the best results and savor the most delicious cheese curds from your air fryer, consider these pro tips:
- Pre-Freeze the Cheese Curds: Place the cheese curds in the freezer for about 30 minutes before breading and air frying. This helps them hold their shape and prevents excessive melting during cooking.
- Keep Ingredients Cold: Maintaining a cold environment during the breading process is essential. Use chilled eggs and keep the cheese curds in the refrigerator until you’re ready to coat them.
- Double-Coating for Extra Crunch: Double-coat the cheese curds for an extra crispy texture. After the first coating in flour, dip them back into the egg mixture and breadcrumbs for a second layer.
- Use Cooking Spray Sparingly: While a light misting of cooking spray or oil brush is beneficial, avoid overdoing it. Too much oil can make the curds excessively greasy. You can use olive oil spray, brush with avocado oil, or even an egg wash to achieve teh golden brown color that will remind you of using a deep fryer.
- Avoid Overcrowding: Ensure you place the breaded cheese curds in a single layer in the air fryer basket, with some space between them. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking.
- Check and Shake: Periodically open the air fryer to check on the cheese curds and gently shake the basket to ensure they cook evenly. This step helps achieve uniform browning.
- Serve Immediately: Cheese curds are at their best when served hot and fresh from the air fryer. Enjoy them immediately with your favorite dipping sauce for the ultimate indulgence.
With these pro tips, you’ll master the art of making perfect air fryer cheese curds that are crispy on the outside and wonderfully gooey on the inside.
Here are a couple of recipe variations to experiment with when making air fryer cheese curds:
Spicy Cheese Curds:
Add a kick of heat by mixing some cayenne pepper, paprika, or chili powder into the breadcrumbs. This gives your cheese curds a spicy twist.
For an extra punch, serve with a spicy dipping sauce like Sriracha mayo or buffalo sauce.
Herb and Parmesan Cheese Curds:
Mix dried herbs like basil, oregano, or thyme into the breadcrumbs for a herby flavor.
After air frying, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the hot curds for a savory upgrade.
Sweet Cheese Curds:
Replace breadcrumbs with crushed graham crackers and powdered sugar for a unique dessert or sweet snack.
Serve with a side of fruit preserves or chocolate sauce for dipping.
Bacon-Wrapped Cheese Curds:
Wrap each cheese curd with a strip of bacon before breading and air frying. The combination of crispy bacon and gooey cheese is irresistible.
Ensure the bacon is fully cooked and crispy before serving.
Keto Cheese Curd Air Fryer and Air Fryer Cheese Curds Without Bread Crumbs
The Keto Cheese Curd Air Fryer recipe offers a low-carb twist on a classic favorite. Using almond flour or crushed pork rinds as a coating, these cheese curds turn irresistibly crispy in the air fryer. Pair them with keto-friendly dipping sauces and experiment with herbs and spices for added flavor. It’s a delicious, guilt-free snack or appetizer that fits perfectly into a keto lifestyle. Enjoy the satisfying crunch and cheesy goodness without the extra carbs!
You can easily add different flavors to this cheese curds air fryer recipe by changing out some of the spices. Some of my favorites are:
- Cajun Seasoning or Cayenne Pepper in the bread crumb mixture
- Himalayan Salt
- Hot sauce in the egg mixture
FAQ’s Air Fryer Cheese Curds Recipe
Can I use different types of cheese for this recipe?
Yes, you can experiment with various types of cheese, like cheddar, mozzarella, or pepper jack, based on your preferences. Different cheeses will offer unique flavors and textures.
How do I prevent the cheese curds from oozing out in the air fryer?
To prevent the cheese from oozing too much, ensure the cheese curds are frozen solid before coating and air frying. Freezing helps them maintain their shape during cooking.
Can I make a gluten-free version of these cheese curds?
Absolutely! You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers as a coating to make this recipe gluten-free.
How do I avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket?
Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking. Arrange the cheese curds in a single layer without touching each other in the air fryer basket. You may need to cook them in batches if your basket is small.
Can I reheat leftover air-fried cheese curds?
While they’re best enjoyed fresh, you can reheat leftover cheese curds in the air fryer for a few minutes to restore their crispiness. Be careful not to overheat, as the cheese may melt completely.
What dipping sauces go well with air-fried cheese curds?
Popular dipping sauces include marinara sauce, ranch dressing, sriracha mayo, or a simple garlic aioli. Feel free to choose your favorite sauce.
How do I store any leftover cheese curds?
Store leftover cheese curds in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat them in the air fryer at 400 degrees F for 5-7 minutes.
Can I make these cheese curds in advance for a party?
You can prepare the coated cheese curds in advance and freeze them. When you’re ready to serve, air fry them directly from the freezer, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
More Air Fryer Appetizers
- AIR FRYER CHICKEN WINGS WITH BUFFALO SAUCE
- AIR FRYER MINI TACO BOWLS
- EASY AIR FRYER HARDEE’S BIG HOT HAM ‘N’ CHEESE
- AIR FRYER CANDIED PECANS
If you loved this recipe for air fried cheese curds, don’t forget to check out some of my other easy Air Fyrer Recipes!
Air Fryer Cheese Curds
- 8 oz. Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Curds
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 tsp garlic, minced in olive oil (from the can)
- 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 packet ranch seasoning
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp chili garlic hot sauce
- Prepare a dredging station for the cheese curds. In one bowl, combine all purpose flour and garlic powder. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs and minced garlic. In the third bowl, combine panko bread crumbs, plain bread crumbs, salt, chili powder, black pepper, and basil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to place cheese curds after they are dredged.
- Work in batches of 4-5 cheese curds at a time. First, add to the flour and toss until coated. Then, dip in the eggs and allow excess egg to drip off. Last, roll the cheese curds in the bread crumbs. Repeat until all cheese curds are dredged and breaded. Place into the refrigerator until the air fryer is preheated. **We have found that double breading the cheese curds prevents the cheese from seeping out of the breading as it cooks. Simply repeat dredging in flour, eggs, then bread crumbs a second time. Skip repeating this step if you are able to refrigerate the breaded cheese curds for at least 45 minutes.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 F, air fryer setting, for 5 minutes.
- Line the air fryer basket with foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Remove breaded cheese curds from the fridge and place into the basket in a single layer with a finger space in between. Spray the cheese curds with cooking spray to lightly saturate the breading. Cook for 6 minutes, stopping halfway through the cooking time to flip them over to promote even browning. **Depending on the size of your air fryer, this may take multiple batches. (We use an instant pot vortex and this recipe took 2 batches.) Place remaining curds back into the refrigerator as you cook.
- While the cheese curds cook, prepare chili garlic ranch. In a small mixing bowl, whisk to combine ranch seasoning, sour cream, heavy cream, pepper, and chili garlic hot sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Plate cheese curds in a bowl or on a platter and serve with ranch dip. Enjoy!
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Parchment Paper, optional