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Air Fryer Cheese Curds

by Karly

Our AIR FRYER CHEESE CURDS have a homemade breading that gets nice and crisp in the air fryer. It gives way to the ultimate melty cheesy center. These things are so easy and so tasty that they are addictive!

Overhead view of cheese curds and ranch dressing next to an air fryer basket

When it comes to cheese curds most people love ’em or hate ’em. Raw cheese curds can have a “squeak” when you eat them cold, which is a turn off for some people.

Not me. No, sir. But some people.

Anyway, if you fry them that squeak goes away and you’re left with a pile of crispy fried melty cheese.

So even if you are a hate ’em person, you should try these. I think you will become a love ’em.

If you hate them and don’t want to give them a try, I’ve got you covered with these air fryer mozzarella sticks instead.

An air fried cheese curd with a bite out of it.

Ingredient list:

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Cheese Curds – You can use white or yellow. We actually used a mix in these photos, so you may see the different colors.

Flour

Salt

Eggs

Panko Bread Crumbs – This is a Japanese style bread crumb that is light and airy and cooks up super crispy.

Seasoning – Garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika all work together to season the breading.

Oil Spray – Don’t use the non-stick spray like Pam, as it can cause damage to your air fryer basket. Instead use a mister bottle with your favorite oil inside. We used olive oil here, but we use avocado oil quite a bit as well.

How to make cheese curds in the air fryer:

Breading- Get three shallow dishes that you can dip the curds in. The first dish will have flour and salt in it and you will want to whisk this to combine. The second dish will have three eggs that are whisked until smooth. And the final dish will have your panko and seasonings, whisk this to combine also. To bread your curds, dip in the flour, then egg, and finally panko. Be sure to roll them around a bit and push into the panko dish especially to make sure the breading sticks to the curds.

three steps of dipping cheese curds for breading

Air Fry- After breading, spritz the cheese curds with oil spray, ideally from a pump spray bottle. You could gently brush the oil on if you don’t have a spray bottle. Once oiled, place them in a single layer in your air fryer basket and cook for 4-6 minutes at 350 degrees F. The curds should be golden brown and crispy on the outside with cheese just starting to melt on the inside.

breaded cheese curds in an air fryer basket

Recipe FAQ:

What are cheese curds?

Cheese curds are young cheddar cheese. Usually cheddar is aged for a couple of months to a couple of years. However cheese curds are eaten right away, skipping the aging process.

Should I freeze my cheese curds before cooking them?

If you were going to put the cheese curds in a pan of oil, I would agree to freeze them after adding the batter and before frying. However, there is no need for that with this recipe. They can go straight from the fridge, to the breading, to the fryer! Easy peezy!

How do I serve cheese curds?

Cheese curds are delicious on their own, with the flavors of the bold cheddar cheese and crispy breading. However, you can really take them up a notch with a side of ranch dressing to dip them in.

More appetizer recipes you might like:

Close up of a woman dipping a cheese curd into ranch dip
close up of cheese curds and ranch dressing on a black plate

Air Fryer Cheese Curds

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes

These cheese curds are a breeze to make in the air fryer. The result is a crispy shell with a melty, gooey cheesy center. Absolute perfection - especially dipped in ranch.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8 ounces cheese curds
  • Oil spray

Instructions

  1. Add the flour and salt to a shallow dish and whisk to combine.
  2. Add the eggs to a second shallow dish and whisk well until smooth.
  3. Add the panko, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika to a third shallow dish and whisk to combine.
  4. Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
  5. While the air fryer is preheating, dip each cheese curd first into the flour, then egg, and then the Panko. 
  6. Place the breaded cheese curds onto a baking sheet and spritz with oil spray. Spritz the air fryer basket with oil spray/
  7. Arrange the cheese curds in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You may need to work in batches.
  8. Air fry for 4-6 minutes, checking around the 4 minute mark and watching every 1 minute after.
  9. Cheese curds should be golden brown and crispy on the outside and the cheese should be melty. We pull these from the air fryer as soon as 1 or 2 have bits of cheese leaking out.
  10. Let sit for 1-2 minutes in the air fryer before serving.

Notes

Air fryer tend to cook a bit differently, so we check these at the 4 minute mark and just keep a close eye on them. They go pretty quickly.

Serve with ranch dressing as a dip.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 647Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 196mgSodium: 1349mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 28g

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