Air Fryer Cheese Curds

Air Fryer Cheese Curds

Learn how to make crispy and delicious fried cheese curds with this easy recipe using your at home air fryer.

I am no stranger to the glorious wonders that are cheese curds.

While these hale from the land of cheese (aka Wisconsin), I have had my fair share over my lifetime as they are often available here in the Chicago area as a popular pub menu item and found at state fairs.

If you remember the nursey rhyme about curds and whey, then you have some base understanding of what a cheese curd actually is.

In fact, cheese curds are truly just unaged cheddar cheese made from cheese culture during the beginning stages of the cheese making process.

These fresh curds are great for coating in bread crumbs or pork panko crumbs (for my keto followers), temporarily frozen, then air fried to perfection (I did something similar here with these smoked dill pickled brined pork chops).

The overall assembly and cooking process for this recipe is honestly really simple. This is a super easy way to indulge in this Midwest classic.

Air Fryer Cheese Curds

Below, I have outlined the best way to help you substitute ingredients to fit your dietary lifestyle, tips for preparation, and will guide you through the air frying process as well. Let’s dive in!

“School” Supplies:

  • 3 Shallow Bowls or Dishes
  • Small Baking Sheet or Plate
  • Tongs
  • Air Fryer (I use this Ninja Foodi Air Fryer)
  • Parchment Paper

“Class” Notes:

Have questions about this air fryer cheese curd recipe or the cooking process? Need more in-depth information about this topic?

Use the notes in the article below to help guide you through or jump to the recipe and get to cooking!

Love this recipe or want to share some helpful feedback? Leave a rating and comment below to help other readers find success with this recipe.

Are Cheese Curds Keto?

Yes, cheese curds are a ketogenic diet friendly, zero carb food. The macros for one serving are 0 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fat, and 7 grams of protein.

They are the perfect cheese to snack on and help keep you full and satiated.

If you want to make a keto friendly or low carb fried cheese curds, you can coat them in pork rind bread crumbs and keto flour (as I’ve outlined below).

Ingredients:

  • Cheese Curds- There are many types of cheese curd flavors on the market. I purchased mine from my local Aldi and found white cheddar and Cajun flavored. Large cheese curds work best for this recipe. Find them in the specialty cheese section at most grocery stores.
  • Bread Crumb Mixture- For this recipe, you can use traditional panko bread crumbs, pork panko (keto/ gluten free), or a gluten free bread crumbs.
  • All Purpose Flour or Keto /Gluten Free Flour (optional)- Flour acts as a binding agent for the egg wash to adhere to the cheese curds so you can fully coat them in the bread crumb mixture. Use standard flour, 1:1 gluten free flour, or a keto friendly flour sub here.
  • Egg- Beaten eggs mixed with a little water act as a binder for the crumb coating.
  • Seasonings- Flavor the crumb coating with your favorite seasonings. I like Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder , smoky paprika, and a little cayenne pepper for some heat. Don’t forget to add a little salt!
  • Cooking Spray- I use a light spritz of cooking spray to help get the food a little crispier when cooking in the air fryer.
Air Fryer Cheese Curd ingredients

Fried Cheese Curd Preparation:

Start by making your breaded cheese curds. You will need to prep these about an hour (or more) ahead of time before you actually air fry. The curds will need to be frozen before air frying.

Why? Because cheese curds not frozen or only semi frozen are going to completely melt and not hold shape in the air fryer. Do not skip this step!

Place your curds aside and set up an assembly line of small bowls. In one small bowl, place flour mixture, then the egg wash, and then take your seasonings and combine panko bread crumbs together and set aside.

Dredging the air fried cheese curds

Dredge cheese curds by placing them in the first bowl with the flour coating, then in the second bowl with the egg wash, and then finally in the third bowl until you fully coat cheese curds in breading.

Shake off any excess coating for best results.

Place cheese curds onto a parchment paper rimmed baking sheet (or sub with aluminum foil to prevent sticking) and place your curds into the freezer for at least an hour to fully freeze or until you are ready to air fry.

Cheese curds frozen before cooking

What temperature do you air fry cheese curds at?

Heat the air fryer to 400 degrees F (make sure it’s set on the air fryer setting) and allow it to fully come up to the cooking temperature.

Remove your frozen cheese curds from the freezer (don’t allow them to sit out or come up to room temperature) and lightly spray them with olive oil spray or traditional oil of your choosing.

Place them in your air fryer basket in a single layer and begin to cook them.

Cooking your cheese curds at a higher temperature allows them to brown on the outside and thaw on the inside, giving them that classic deep fryer texture without them loosing shape.

Set a time for 8 minutes. Flip the curds half way through for even color or until they are golden brown and the perfect cooking time.

Cooking the cheese curds in the air fryer

Serving:

Remove them from your air fryer tray and place your fried pieces of cheese onto a serving tray. Serve the curds with your favorite dipping sauce.

I love this sweet and spicy apricot BBQ sauce recipe and this delicious homemade BBQ ranch dressing too.

All that’s left to do is dip cheese curds in your favorite sauce and enjoy that signature “squeaky cheese” sound and enjoy!

Air Fryer Cheese Curds

If you love air fryer recipes, check out my favorites; Air Fried Salmon and this Air Fryer Pork Belly.

Air Fryer Cheese Curds

Air Fryer Cheese Curds

Learn how to make crispy and delicious fried cheese curds with this easy recipe using your at home air fryer.
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fried cheese curds, air fryer cheese curds, are cheese curds keto
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 611kcal
Author: Bon Appeteach

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Cheese Curds
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1 cup Flour sub with 1:1 with gluten free flour
  • 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs (sub with pork panko or gluten free bread crumbs as needed)
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Smoky Paprika
  • Non-Stick Spray as needed

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Mix it together and set it aside.
  • Set up three shallow bowls for dredging your cheese curds.
  • In the first bowl, add the flour and set it aside.
  • In the second bowl, beat the two eggs and the water together.
  • In the third bowl, add the panko crumbs (sub with pork rind panko crumbs or gluten free crumbs if needed).
  • Divide the seasoning mixture between the flour and the panko. Use a fork or whisk to season the two mixtures.
  • Start by dipping your cheese curd, into the flour until dusted and coated. Then dip into the egg wash and then into the panko. Place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or plate. Repeat this step until all the curds are coated.
  • Place them into the freezer for 45- 60 minutes. They need to be frozen before going into the air fryer (or they will melt and not gold their shape).
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Once preheated, add the cheese curds in an even layer into the air fryer basket.
  • Spray the top with a non-stick spray of choice lightly and then cook for 4 minutes. Flip them half way over and spray lightly again on the other side and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
  • Remove from your air fryer and serve with your favorite sauces (I like marinara or BBQ ranch dressing).

Notes

Make these keto and low carb friendly with pork rind “bread” crumbs!

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 611kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 1109mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 554mg | Iron: 1mg

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