Air Fryer Cheese Curds are so tasty! Crispy seasoned and breaded golden cheese curds on the outside with melted goodness on the inside. Less than 15 minutes start to finish, only 8 ingredients, and you'll have yourself a delicious snack or appetizer.
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Why You'll Love These
"Whenever we're visiting our family in Wisconsin, visiting the local cheese factory to pick up super fresh squeaky cheese curds is a MUST! I went through a lot of cheese curds to perfect this recipe. Such a hardship, right? 🙂 lol" -Kori
Quick and Easy
I think you'll love this recipe for fried cheese curds in your air fryer! They are quick and easy to make, and I think they have the perfect balance of crisp with perfectly seasoned breading with a little Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese.
Okay, fried curds aren't squeaky, but the fresh ones are! 🙂
When I was little, we would go to the local cheese factory and pick up fresh cheese curds. We called them squeaky cheese because fresh curds that have not been refrigerated, squeak when you bite into them. As a kid, I thought this was the funniest thing!
Whether you use fresh squeaky curds from a factory or a brand from your neighborhood grocery store, you will end up with delicious fried cheese curds.
Air fried cheese curds are much healthier than those fried in oil. This recipe is lower in fat, calories, and carb than traditional oil-fried cheese curds.
A note to keto followers: I consider this recipe low carb, but not necessarily keto due to the flour and breadcrumbs that are used.
182 Calories | 10.2 g Carbs | 9.6 g Net Carbs | 10.2 grams Fat
What Are Cheese Curds?
Simply put - cheese curds are really just a young cheddar that is separated from the whey during the cheese-making process.
The best cheese curds are sold fresh and unrefrigerated within 24 hours. The freshest curds squeak when you bite into them, which is why many people (including myself) often call them squeaky cheese. 🙂
Here is a great video from Discover Wisconsin on how curds are made.
You will need to visit your nearest cheese factory to get your hands on the freshest variety as they are not sold in grocery stores. Call ahead to make sure they have curds, though - many states have regulations regarding the sale of fresh unrefrigerated cheese curds.
Most grocery stores sell cheese curds, but these varieties have often been aged for a month or two, so you won't get that squeaky bite.
For this recipe, you can use either fresh or cured cheese curds. As long as the curds have been refrigerated, you will have equally good results with either.
How To Serve
Most people eat cheese curds on their own or fried. They actually come in a variety of flavors too. When we are in Wisconsin each Summer, we head to a couple of local cheese factories and where you can find many flavor options!
What To Do With Cheese Curds
- Air fried cheese curds are delicious with a favorite dipping sauce such as marinara or ranch dressing.
- Try different flavored curds
- Eat them on their own or on a cracker with salami
- Air fry or dip in batter and oil fry
- Top your burger with curds
- Add to a salad
- Add to soup
- Make a grilled cheese sandwich
- Use like regular cheese (they are usually too small to grate, though)
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make cheese curds (air fryer):
- Cheddar Cheese Curds - you can use yellow or white cheddar cheese.
- All Purpouse Flour
- Panko Bread Crumbs - I used between 3/4 cups and 1 cup panko
- Parmesan Cheese - use the finely grated parmesan cheeese
- Italian Seasoning
- Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
- Ground black Pepper
- Olive Oil Cooking Spray - Use a good quality 100% olive oil spray for best results.
Here is a list of the equipment and tools you'll need to make air fryer cheese curds:
- Air Fryer - I've been using a Ninja Foodi for air frying, slow cooking, and pressure cooking. Works like a charm and I was able to pair down my appliances.
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- 3 Bowls
- Mixing spoon
There are a few ways you can vary or make substitutions to your air fried cheese curds:
- Experiment with different types of seasoning
- Try different flavors of cheese curds
Here's how to air fry cheese curds:
Please see the printable recipe card below for full details.
Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees F for 5 minutes
In a small bowl beat eggs
In a medium-sized bowl combine panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
In another bowl or plastic bag, add flour.
Bread The Curds
Place cheese curds in flour and coat. Dip in egg, then coat in bread crumb mixture making sure to press the coating on as you go. Set aside on a plate.
Place half the cheese curds into the air fryer basket in a single layer.
Spray a light coating of olive spray over the curds. Close lid and fry cheese curds for 3 minutes.
Using a fork and a spoon, flip the curds over and given them a spritz with olive oil spray. Continue cooking 1 to 2 more minutes until they are crispy, just melted, and golden.
Remove from fryer and serve immediately with a favorite dipping sauce.
- Use cold, refrigerated, cheese curds. Warm, room temperature cheese curds melt too fast, so be sure to use refrigerated. You can alsouse frozen curds but you will need to increase the air frying time slightly.
- Use larger, uniform pieces. I found smaller pieces will melt before they can achieve a crispy texture and golder color. Air fry similar sized pieces so they will cook in the same amount of time.
- How long the curds cook depends on their size and your air fryer. Experiment with a few following this recipe then adjust as needed. Keep your eye on the curds while cooking they go from perfect to melted quickly.
Here are the most common questions people ask:
Can you air fry cheese curds?
Yes! You can fry cheese curds. Many recipes use a batter then oil fry the curds, but this recipe uses a coating and an air fryer.
Can you air fry cheese curds without batter?
You don't have to use a batter, but for best results, a coating is necessary to bind the cheese together while air frying. Cheese curds without batter or a coating will not hold their shape well and will melt.
This recipe uses a flour, breadcrumb, and cheese coating.
How many carbs in this cheese curds air fryer recipe?
Cheese curds in air fryer have 10.2 grams of carbs for each serving. There is 0.6 g dietary fiber and 9.6 g net carbs. Flour is used in the recipe, as well as panko bread crumbs.
Are fried cheese curds healthy?
The answer to this question does depend upon the recipe you are using. Air fried cheese curds are healthier than oil-fried cheese curds.
Air fried curds are lower in calories, fat, and carbohydrates than traditional ones fried in oil.
Air Fryer Snacks
If you are looking for more air fryer snacks, here are a few of my favorite ideas! A few can be made as a meal, too (chicken tenders and crab cakes).
- Lemon Pepper Wings Air Fryer Recipe
- Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes
- Air Fryer Nachos
- Pork Rind Nachos (Air Fryer)
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Crab Cakes
⭐ Stay Connected
If you tried these air fried cheese curds, I'd love for you to come back and give the recipe a star rating and/or a review in the comments! 🙂 Let's stay connected, so please share photos of your creations with me and others on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!
Air Fryer Cheese Curds
- 2 cups cheese curds 1-1/2 to 2" in size
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup flour
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- olive oil spray
- optional for dipping: marinara sauce (or ranch)
- Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees F for 5 minutes
- In a small bowl, beat eggs
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- In a small bowl or plastic bag, add flour.
- Dredge cheese curds in flour, then dip in egg. Add to the breadcrumb mixture, then coat evenly, being sure to press coating on. Set aside on a plate.
- Add half the cheese curds in a single layer to the air fryer basket. Spray the curds with a light coating of olive oil spray. Close lid and air fry for 3 minutes.
- Flip the curds over using a fork and spoon and give them another light spritz with olive oil spray. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 more minutes until they are crispy, just melted, and golden.
- Remove from fryer and serve immediately with a favorite dipping sauce.
© 2023 Seeking Good Eats™
Air Fryer cheese curds are a super easy and tasty appetizer or snack! Cheese curds in an air fryer are much healthier than those fried in oil. Only 8 ingredients and less than 15 minutes from start to finish! A huge hit at parties and get-togethers. You'll love them because they're an easy appetizer. Fried cheese curds are delicious dipped in marinara or ranch dressing.