What Are Cheese Fritters?

Jack Magnus

Cheese fritters are made of cheese and other ingredients that are then deep-fried. Once fried, they have a crusty outer coating and the interior is filled with melted cheese. There are a number of different recipes for making these popular, if high-calorie, treats.

Gruyere cheese is often used to make cheese fritters.
Gruyere cheese is often used to make cheese fritters.

A basic cheese fritter is made with hard cheese that is grated and mixed with eggs, oil and spices. Flour is sometimes added to the mixture or used as a coating. The ingredients are dropped by spoonfuls into hot oil and fried until the exterior is a golden brown. Cottage cheese fritters contain melted butter, salt and milk, as well as cottage cheese. These ingredients are lightly folded into flour and baking powder before they are fried.

Cheddar cheese is often used in cheese fritters.
Cheddar cheese is often used in cheese fritters.

A Colombian version of the cheese fritter is the buñuelo. This cheese fritter is served during Christmastime and for breakfast. Buñuelos are made with a Colombian white cheese called queso costeño, which is somewhat similar to feta cheese. The cheese is grated and added to yucca or tapioca flour, cornstarch, milk and spices. Buñuelos are shaped into round balls before being cooked.

Pimiento cheese fritters are made in the Southern United States. They are traditionally served at bridal and baby showers. Many cooks prepare them with pimiento cheese, which is a processed cheese food, though they also can be made with a mixture of shredded pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheese. These cheeses are added to cream cheese, milk, Cajun spices and roasted red peppers, and shaped into balls. They are often served with a dipping sauce of red pepper jelly.

A Swiss recipe for cheese fritters is the beignet de Vinzel, which starts with a slice of French bread topped with cheese batter. The batter is made of shredded gruyere cheese, eggs and flour. Nutmeg, pepper and brandy may be added for flavoring. The fritter is then carefully lowered into hot oil and turned to fully cook both sides. These cheese fritters are sometimes called Malakoffs, a term that also refers to another type of fried cheese dish made by the Swiss.

Malakoffs are fried cheese sticks. A hard cheese is cut into sticks that are marinated in white wine for about an hour. They are then dipped in a batter of flour, milk and eggs. After they are left to stand for a minute, they are dredged in flour and fried. This is similar to cheese sticks popular in the United States, though the American cheese sticks generally skip the wine bath before being battered and fried.

Cottage cheese and eggs are ingredients used to make cheese fritters.
Cottage cheese and eggs are ingredients used to make cheese fritters.

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Discussion Comments


@raynbow- Cheese fritters are not ever going to be considered a health food, though there are things that you can do when you prepare them to reduce the amount of fat and calories in the recipe.

To begin with, you should try frying your cheese fritters in an oil with less harmful fat. Canola oil is your best choice. Any type of oil that contains animal fat should be avoided.

The cheese that you select for your cheese fritters also makes a difference. There are many varieties of low-fat cheeses on the market that will allow you to enjoy cheese with less fat and calories. Mozzarella is also a good choice, because it typically has less fat content that other types of cheeses.


I love cheese fritters, but not the fat and calories that they add to your diet. Is there any way to make this delicious dish more healthful so it can be enjoyed without all of the guilt?

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