Air fryer cheese curds aren’t reserved for restaurants and bars! Make these crispy, crunchy cheese curds in the air fryer in record time, ready to be served piping hot and dunked in tangy marinara!
When cooking for a crowd, I usually go with one of two options: something fried or something cheesy. Those are the most popular finger foods that almost everyone likes.
That’s why I’m so excited to share my recipe for air fried cheese curds – they’re cheesy and crispy!
Let me quickly clear something up. Cheese curds aren’t quite the same as the cheese you’re used to eating: they’re leftover bits from the cheesemaking process.
These little chunks are soft, milky, and have a salty fresh taste.
We’re making these from fresh, not frozen, and double-dredging for the crunchiest crust possible. Air frying cheese can be a bit tricky, so I’m here to walk you through every step of the process!
All you need are a few very common ingredients, a little time, a big appetite, and plenty of friends and family to share your air fryer cheese curds with!
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- How to make store bought cheese curds in the air fryer that are irresistibly crispy and crunchy!
- A couple of ways you can change up these seasonings and make preparation a breeze.
- The best dips and sauces to serve alongside your air fried cheese curds for some tasty variety!
When it comes to appetizers, air fryer cheese curds just can’t be beat!
With a soft, melty center and crispy breaded crust, be prepared to make a couple of batches so everyone can get their fill.
How to make Air Fryer Cheese Curds
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Add the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to a shallow bowl and combine with a whisk.
STEP TWO: Whisk together the eggs and water in a separate bowl.
STEP THREE: Place the cheese curbs and flour in a third bowl. Toss to coat the curds in the flour completely. Thoroughly dredge each floured curd in the following order: egg, seasoned bread crumbs, egg, seasoned bread crumbs. They should make two passes through both the egg and crumbs for a thick crust.
STEP FOUR: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees then place about half of the curds into the basket in a single layer. Spray lightly with cooking oil using an EVO Oil Mister and cook at 400 degrees F until warmed and toasted – approximately 5 minutes.
STEP FIVE: Repeat until all of the air fried cheese curds are complete, and serve right away with marinara sauce!
Do Cheese Curds Need To Be Frozen To Fry?
Not at all! It can be tricky to air fry cheese curds without burning or melting, but this recipe makes it easy. The thick bread crumb crust takes care of it for you!
You can make air fried cheese curds from frozen if you’d like, however. I would recommend dredging and breading beforehand, as the crumbs may not stick on the frozen cheese.
Just proceed with the recipe as normal, understanding that it will take a bit longer for the curds to warm through.
How Long Should Cheese Curds Go In The Air Fryer?
It shouldn’t take longer than 6 minutes to air fry cheese curds, but it always varies depending on the model of the air fryer, the size of the basket, and how crowded the basket is.
To speed up the process, make sure that you’re laying the curds in a single layer and aren’t overlapping.
Air Fryer Cheese Curds Substitutions & Variations
Here are a couple of ways you can make this simple cheese curds air fryer recipe even easier, plus a couple of ways you can customize – because why air fry cheese curds the same way every time?
- Add some more seasonings to the flour! Try the iconic duos of smoked paprika and ground mustard, cayenne and garlic powder, or parmesan cheese and oregano.
- You can make this recipe with pre-seasoned Italian breadcrumbs and skip the Italian seasoning. Panko bread crumbs also make a great substitute, but be sure to keep those seasonings in the mix.
- While I don’t recommend substituting the cheese curds in this recipe, mozzarella cheese is the closest you’ll get.
What Sauce Should I Serve With Air Fryer Cheese Curds?
My go-to dipping sauce for cheese curds is marinara. Tomato sauce goes really well with the salty, crunchy flavor. But some other great choices include:
- Ranch Dressing
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Sriracha or Garlic Mayo – or a mix of both!
- Hot Honey
- Buffalo Sauce
- Honey Sriracha Sauce
- Hot Mustard
Just think of the dips you like with mozzarella sticks, fries, or onion rings.
Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love:
- Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
- Air Fryer Eggplant Fries
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Air Fryer French Bread Pizza
- Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Bites
- Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
- Air Fryer Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
- 16 ounces cheese curds
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. In a second bowl, combine the eggs and water, whisking to combine.
- Place the cheese curds in a large bowl and add the flour. Toss well to coat. Dredge the curds through the egg, then roll them in the bread crumb mixture, ensuring they are fully and evenly coated. Repeat the process a second time, double coating them in egg and crumbs. Place on a large plate.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees then place half of the breaded cheese curds in an even layer in the basket. Spray the tops with cooking spray and air fry at 400 degrees F for 5-6 minutes until heated through.
- Repeat with remaining cheese curds, then serve with marinara sauce.
How to reheat cheese curds:
Air fry cheese curds at 380 degrees for 3-5 minutes or until hot all the way through.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 604Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 201mgSodium: 1163mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 31g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.