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Fried Cheese Curds are probably the best thing that ever happened to cheese. Perfectly crunchy and breaded on the outside, with ooey-gooey melty fresh cheese curds on the inside, these babies are ready to hop right into your mouth!

There’s nothing more comforting than a cheesy treat. For one, it is delicious in every form and is ultimately satisfying. If you’re looking for some great cheese recipes, be sure to cheese it up with our Homemade Mozzarella Sticks, Jalapeno Popper Dip with Bacon, or this tasty Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball.

golden brown fried cheese curds in a white bowl

Deep Fried Cheese Curds

Last summer we did an epic roadtrip across the United States. One of our stops along the way was in Wisconsin where we visited my friend Melissa from the blog Simply Whisked. We went out to eat and she encouraged us to try a Wisconsin speciality – fried cheese curds.

They were absolutely delicious and we were immediately hooked. We also stopped at cheese stores later on and picked up bags of fresh squeaky cheese curds, which I LOVE but our kids weren’t so sure about.

So of course I had to include fried cheese curds in my American Eats series representing one of the foods that Wisconsin is most famous for.

hands stretching apart a fried cheese curd

Don’t mistake these for fried cheese or cheese sticks, we are working with the fresh cheese curds here. You wono’t typically find them at the store since they are only fresh for about a day. You’re best bet is a local farmer’s market.

What’s the difference? Curdles are formed when the milk is heated, but the curds are what don’t make it into the mold to age (the delicious cheese you buy at the store). So the curds are then typically seasoned with a little salt and are only fresh for about a day. You can typically find cheese curds from a local cheesemaker or farmers’ market.

Fried Cheese Curds are a great recipe to whip up if you are looking for a comforting snack, but are also great as an appetizer, a side dish, or finger food for a small get-together. They are especially good served with a side of ranch dressing or toss them up in some buffalo sauce for a special kick.

What You’ll Need

  • Cheese curds: You’ll need a couple pounds of these. Check your local farmers market or a cheesemaker, or possibly even your local grocery store.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour is all you need.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk will give the batter great flavor and help it stick to the curds.
  • Baking soda: Will serve as a leavening agent in the batter.
  • Garlic salt: To add the perfect amount of salt and flavor.
  • Egg: make sure your egg is at room temperature.
  • Canola oil: Great for frying and getting that great crunch on the outside.
Ingredients for making fried cheese curds

How to Make Fried Cheese Curds

  1. Heat the oil. Heat 1-2 inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven. A thermometer helps to monitor the oil so it doesn’t get too hot or too cold.
  2. Mix the batter. Whisk the flour, buttermilk, baking soda, garlic, salt, and egg until it makes a smooth batter.
  1. Dip the cheese curds in the batter a few at a time to coat, then add them to the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or the oil temperature will drop.
  2. Fry the cheese curds until golden brown, turning them partway through. Transfer the fried cheese curds with a slotted spoon to a wire rack set over a baking dish to drain. Repeat with remaining cheese curds.
battered fresh cheese curds frying in hot oil in a cast iron skillet

Fried Cheese Curds FAQ’s

Where do I find cheese curds?

If you know of a local cheesemaker or a farmers market near you, those will be the best place to find your curds.

What type of cheese is best?

The freshest you can find is best. If you don’t know of a local cheesemaker, check the label to see when they were packaged. Another good way to tell freshness is the quickness of the curds. If it is squeezy when you bite into it, you have fresh curds.

Tips For The Best Fried Cheese Curds

  • Oil: You’ll want to keep the oil tempurature as consistent as possible. Keep a thermometer on hand to make sure the temp stays at 375 degrees F and only fry about 8-10 curds at a time to prevent overcrowding.
  • Variations: This is a very basic fried cheese curd recipe. Feel free to spice it up with extra spices, ranch to dip, or even coat them in buffalo sauce.
  • How to serve: You can serve these as an appetizer, a side dish to your favorite burger, or just whip them up as a cheesy snack.
a hand dipping a fried cheese curd into a bowl of ranch dipping sauce
fried cheese curds piled up in a white bowl

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Fried Cheese Curds
Yield: 8 servings

Fried Cheese Curds

Fried Cheese Curds are probably the best thing that ever happened to cheese. Perfectly crunchy and breaded on the outside, with ooey-gooey melty fresh cheese curds on the inside, these babies are ready to hop right into your mouth!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cheese curds
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 quarts canola oil, or more depending on the size of your pan

Instructions

  1. Heat 1-2 inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven. A thermometer helps to monitor the oil so it doesn't get too hot or too cold.
  2. Whisk the flour, buttermilk, baking soda, garlic, salt, and egg until it makes a smooth batter.
  3. Dip the cheese curds in the batter a few at a time to coat, then add them to the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or the oil temperature will drop.
  4. Fry the cheese curds until golden brown, turning them partway through. Transfer the fried cheese curds with a slotted spoon to a wire rack set over a baking dish to drain. Repeat with remaining cheese curds.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2026Total Fat: 203gSaturated Fat: 34gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 163gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 1391mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 31g

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa • KansasKentuckyLouisiana • MaineMarylandMassachusettsMontanaNew YorkOregonPuerto RicoSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTexasUtahWisconsin