Oven Baked Cheese Curds — Yes, I found cheese curds at ALDI?!

Oven Baked Cheese Curds — Yes, I found cheese curds at ALDI?!

Quick question for you: What is not super attractive, yet is super delicious nonetheless? If your answer was… Oven Baked Cheese Curds, then you are absolutely, 100% correct.

Wait, ALDI has cheese curds?!

Happy Farms cheese curds at ALDI

Yes, I did recently pick up a bag of Happy Farms cheese curds at ALDI — sporting an everyday price tag rather than a special buy tag, no less. Mars Cheese Castle, eat your heart out! See if they’re available at yours; this store was in Illinois, so near enough to Wisconsin that these are possibly a regional buy.

So, let’s make homemade “fried” cheese curds

oven fried cheese curds

These ALDI cheese curds do indeed have the perfect squeaky, chewy, cheese-curds-ish quality you’d look for in authentic Wisconsin cheese curds. They’re of course good to snack on right out of the bag or just slightly warmed, but then I started thinking about fried cheese curds… but then, about how much I don’t like to fry things in my kitchen because of the amount of oil it takes and the smell that lingers. 

ingredients for oven baked cheese curds

So, the thought process continues… why not throw together a batch of homemade oven fried cheese curds? I also had a box of panko I’d picked up on special buy at ALDI a while back, so decided that would impart a nice little crunch to these and help offset the oven baking process. 

breading station for cheese curds

A little panko, a little flour, a little egg, a little seasoning, and how could these homemade cheese curds go wrong? 🙂 Yes, breading each of these little cheese curds is a slightly messy process. But then again, breading anything is a slightly messy process; we suffer through it for the deliciousness of the end result. 

breaded cheese curds on a baking sheet

See, these are just crazy messy little lumps of cheesy deliciousness. But sometimes the proof of a recipe is really in the taste, not the eye candy. Why should you have to wait for the state fair to roll around in order to enjoy a cheese curd experience, right? Plus, with this recipe the breading doesn’t overwhelm the cheese curds but adds just enough flavor and crunch to enhance them. 

Note: I froze the cheese for a bit before breading, but it still melted out of shape a bit. Fear not, though, the taste is all there: These came out like a tasty cross between oven baked mozzarella sticks and fried cheese curds. Eat them fresh; they won’t reheat well.

Homemade Oven Baked Cheese Curds

Oven Baked Cheese Curds

Oven Baked Cheese Curds

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

Oven baked cheese curds are so much easier than frying! Season these up to taste, and use panko to add a little crunch. Why wait for the state fair to roll around, when you can enjoy homemade "fried" cheese curds any time of the year?

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • 12 oz bag of cheddar cheese curds

Instructions

  1. Freeze cheese curds for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then spray the foil with cooking spray.
  3. Beat together the milk and eggs in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and seasonings. Add the panko to a third shallow bowl.
  4. Dip each curd in the egg wash, then dredge each in the seasoned flour. Repeat dipping in the egg wash, shaking off the excess.
  5. Press each curd into the panko, roll to coat, and place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes then broil on high for two, until cheese curds are slightly browned and cheese is melted.
  7. Let cool for a couple of minutes before removing from the pan. Serve hot.

Notes

I froze the cheese for a bit before breading, but it still melted out of shape a bit. Fear not, though, the taste is all there: These came out like a tasty cross between oven baked mozzarella sticks and fried cheese curds. Eat them fresh; they won’t reheat well.

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oven baked cheese curds



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