Fried Cheese Curds are your dream fair food come true! Crispy on the outside, cheesy on the inside, and so light and airy. Perfectly poppable as an appetizer or snack, these are a savory and gooey treat for kids and adults alike!
Easy Fried Cheese Curds
Don’t wait for the county fair to come to town, make your favorite midwestern snack right in your own kitchen. Fried Cheese Curds are crispy, cheesy, savory, and if they’re really fresh, squeaky!
If you’re wondering why on earth the cheese in cheese curds squeak, it’s just because of their protein and calcium structure. The fresher, the squeakier.
This recipe is so good because of the deep fried taste and texture. You can even customize the spices in the batter to change up the flavor or add a little spice. These cheese curds are so easy to make and even easier to enjoy.
How to Make Fried Cheese Curds:
- Add the oil of your choice to a deep fryer or heavy bottomed pan with steep sides. You’ll need about 4 inches of oil. Heat that oil to 375°F.
- As that oil is heating up, prepare your batter. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and onion powder in a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir in the buttermilk and beer (or club soda) until the batter is smooth.
- Pour in the cheese curds and coat them in batter until completely covered.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully add the cheese curds to the hot oil. Chill the bowl of remaining cheese curds in the refrigerator in between batches so they stay nice and cold.
- Cook each batch of cheese curds for about 1 minute on each side until light brown in color.
- Remove them from the oil and place them on a paper towel lined plate so soak up any excess oil. You can then transfer them onto a wire rack (with a paper towel underneath to catch any remaining oil) to help cool them down while frying the rest of the curds.
- Serve warm with ranch and enjoy!
Tips and Variations:
- We prefer to use peanut oil when frying these since it has a high smoke point and doesn’t leave that lingering fried oil smell throughout the house. You can use whatever oil you like or have on hand that has a high smoke point. Vegetable oil and canola oil are other options.
- Other great dipping sauce options would be honey mustard, a garlic or chipotle aioli, or your favorite fry sauce.
- Can’t find cheese curds? Use a block of mozzarella broken into bite sized chunks.
- Switch up your spices within the batter and add a dash of cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, or even an Italian seasoning blend.
- We don’t add salt to the batter because of how salty the cheese curds already are. This can vary by cheese and by brand used so do a quick taste test first. You may want to add salt and pepper depending on your tastes.
Storage and Reheating
Storage: We definitely recommend eating these cheese curds the same day they’re made but they can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezing: Fried cheese curds can be frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, don’t let them thaw. Place the frozen curds into hot oil and heat for about 1-2 minutes.
Reheating: To reheat leftover cheese curds, either heat in the air fryer, toaster oven, or microwave until warmed through.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ cup buttermilk, very cold
- ½ cup beer, very cold (may substitute club soda)
- 1 pound cheese curds, very cold
- Oil for frying
- Add the oil to a deep fryer or a heavy bottomed pan with high sides until it reaches about 4 inches deep, and heat to 375°F. While the oil heats, make the batter.
- In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir in the buttermilk and club soda or beer until smooth.1 cup all-purpose flour1 ½ teaspoons baking powder½ teaspoon garlic powder½ teaspoon onion powder½ cup buttermilk½ cup beer
- Add the cheese curds, and coat them in the batter.1 pound cheese curds
- Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to add a few of the battered cheese curds to the hot oil. Place the bowl of uncooked cheese curds back into the refrigeration so everything stays cold.Oil for frying
- Cook the cheese curds for about 1 minute, flipping halfway through, until light brown.
- Remove them from the oil and allow the excess oil to drip off. Place the cheese curds on a paper-towel-lined plate to soak up any excess oil. Then, transfer them to a wire rack that is placed over a paper towel lined baking sheet while you fry the remaining curds.
- Serve immediately with marinara and ranch for dipping. See post for storage options.