This recipe makes breaded Air Fryer Cheese Curds that are cooked to crispy, squeaky perfection!
If you know, you know! Served at county fairs in the Midwest, fresh cheddar cheese curds are a regional treat. The delightful ‘squeak’ that comes from biting into a rich, cheddar cheese baby curd is what makes them so much fun to eat!
Air Fryer Cheese Curds
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Ultimate Air Fryer Appetizer!
- Cheese curds are baby cheddar cheese pieces that haven’t been aged and are considered raw. The air fryer turns them into little fried bursts of bright cheddar flavor, making them a fun and popular appetizer!
- The air fryer makes battered appetizers taste like they came straight from a restaurant menu every time. One appliance, a few minutes, and minimal clean-up, the air fryer is a home cook’s dream machine.
- Serve alone or with a fave dipping sauce like Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce or a tasty Ranch dressing.
- Or, spice it up with a few other appetizers like these Air Fryer Potato Chips and some Air Fryer Hot Wings. Or try alongside these yummy Air Fryer Pork Bites. Game night just got better!
What’s in Air Fryer Cheese Curds?
CHEESE Only farm-fresh cheese curds have that unmistakable ‘squeak’ when you bite into them, but they may not be available across the country. Good cheese curd substitutes are cubes of mozzarella cheese or cheddar since they have the same texture and a bright flavor.
BREADING Panko combined with bread crumbs always makes for the best coating for all kinds of homemade appetizers. For cheese curds, just a little garlic powder is added to complement the cheese.
VARIATIONS Other seasoning blends can be used to give cheese curds a new twist every time! For a spicy twist add some Adobo, Southwest, or even Cajun seasoning. Cheese curds can be made with a keto coating by omitting the panko and breadcrumbs and using crushed pork rinds instead.
How to Make Air Fryer Cheese Curds
Breaded and air fried cheese curds are super easy to make:
- In 3 separate bowls, place the egg, the flour, and the seasoned breadcrumb mixture.
- Dip the cheese curds first in the flour, the egg, and then the breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs into the curds.
- Freeze and then cook in the air fryer until they are browned and crispy, (as per recipe below). Serve hot.
PRO TIP: Prep cheese curds and thread them on small wooden picks before air frying them. Then serve them hot as portable appetizers!
Storing & Reheating
Store cooked cheese curds in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the air fryer.
To freeze, toss the cooled cheese curds in a little corn starch to absorb moisture. Then place them in a zippered bag with the date labeled on the outside and freeze for up to 8 weeks.
Best Air Fryer Appetizers
- Air Fryer Kale Chips – a crisp and crunchy snack!
- Easy Air Fryer Onion Rings – have on the table in no time!
- Air Fryer Carrot Fries – a great alternative to french fries
- Air Fryer Crispy Chickpeas – so many spice options
- Best Air Fryer Tater Tots – perfect bite-sized appetizer!
Air Fried Cheese Curds
- 8 ounces cheese curds
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
- Crack egg into a small bowl. Place bread crumbs and seasonings in another bowl.
- Place cheese curds in third bowl and toss with flour. Remove from the flour allowing excess to fall off and toss with egg.
- Dip the cheese curds in the crumb mixture gently pressing to adhere. Repeat with remaining curds and place on a baking sheet.
- Freeze cheese curds for 30 minutes before cooking, once frozen generously spray curds with cooking spray.
- Place in a single layer in the preheated basket and cook 3-4 minutes or until crisp and melted.