Fried Crack ‘n Cheese

Dixie Chik Cooks is 3 years old – She’s growing up!

Today, I have a new recipe and I’m giving away two sets of Amelia’s Spicing Pecans. Remember the last time I shared a recipe using these?


Two winners will receive a set of 4 jars – Hot+Spicy, Herb, Cinnamon and Coffee.

It’s time to get creative now, kids.

Mike from Amelia’s was so generous to sponsor this giveaway – plus he wanted me to make my version of a macaroni and cheese dish from a local restaurant/bar/music venue, The Iron Horse Cafe. He said it’s “so addicting”, and wanted me to incorporate some of his spicing pecans. I had never tasted it, so I was up for it – not to mention the psychotic list of cheeses involved got me very interested.

I made it and topped it with a mix of butter and Hot and Spicy pecans. I loved it and all of it’s cheesiness – and can see how addicting it is – but something happened.

Shit got real.

I rolled the mac ‘n cheese into bunches, breaded them and deep fried the hell out of them. Then I dipped them in ranch.


It’s my blogivesary and I’ll fry if I want to.

IMGP7777These are not for the weak.

Fried Crack 'N Cheese with Ranch


  • Adapted from Jerry Bajalia of Iron Horse Cafe in Hoover, AL
  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 1/4 lb asagio cheese
  • 1/4 lb parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lb mozzarella cheese
  • 1 12 oz container queso dip
  • 8 oz Ranch dressing, plus more for dipping (so get the big, fat bottle)
  • 3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Hot+Spicy Amelia's Spicing Pecans
  • 1 stick salted butter, diced
  • 1 quart vegetable oil (you may not need it all)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp seasoned salt


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Boil penne according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  • Combine asagio through Ranch in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Stir constantly until melted, reducing heat if it starts to scorch.
  • Combine with pasta with cheese sauce, top with Monterey Jack cheese and bake in a 9x11 glass dish for 15 minutes and remove.
  • Change heat to low broil.
  • Sprinkle pecans over the pasta, then dot with butter. Broil for 3-5 minutes, until bubbly.
  • You could stop here if you want - but if you want to fry them:
  • Cool the pasta completely, about half an hour or more.
  • Whisk eggs together.
  • Combine the flour, cornmeal and seasoned salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Using your hands and a spoon, make the pasta into little bundles (about 4-5 penna each) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for an hour.
  • Remove from the freezer and heat the vegetable oil to about 350.
  • Dip the bundles in egg, then flour/cornmeal mixture.
  • Fry in batches until golden brown, and serve with Ranch.



Yes, you can pick up all that fried goodness that falls off and dip that in ranch by itself. No one will judge.


Ready to win some pecans??

I’m so proud of my blog and what it has taught me. I’ve met new friends, tasted all kinds of food, learned new things, and gone to cities I’ve never been.


I sincerely thank you, my readers, because this little blog wouldn’t be what it is without you.

I do love y’all.



  • Shea

    Shea Goldstein is a writer and the voice behind Dixie Chik Cooks. She's also a recipe developer and brand ambassador. She has been published in several media platforms such as Redbook, Parade, Food Blogger Magazine and more. She has been developing recipes and writing since 2009. Shea is a Southern Belle Who's Thinking About What's For Dinner While Eating Lunch

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Teresa

    Congratulations on your 3 years!!! I would love to win the spicing Pecans! If I did I would definitely put those to good use. With the Coffee Pecans, I would get a pork tenderloin and use the coffee pecans(using a small food processor, grinding them really fine, adding rosemary, garlic, and olive oil; then rubbing down the tenderloin. I have more wonderful ideas for the other three. Thanks so much for sharing and I love all your wonderful posts! You’re the BEST!

  2. Those spices are Rockin! Happy Blogverssary and many more to come! and yes…fry and dip if you want to because these cheese overload bites look amazing! Thank you so much for sharing at the Fluster Buster Party! Congrats again! Lizy party co host

  3. Kesha

    I would make a sweet potato casserole with a pecan streusel topping

  4. Jess

    This looks delicious! Congrats on your Blogiversary! 🙂

  5. Terri P

    I’d definitely make my Southern Comfort Pecan Pie using the Hot & Spicy Pecans!

    Terri P
    pr4gatheringroses AT gmail DOT com

  6. Denise@BeBetsy

    With all the pecan excitement I forgot to wish you a Happy Anniversary! You are simply amazing and we are both so happy to know you and your blog ( so much yumminess)!

    Hugs, kisses and best wishes for continued success,
    Sharon and Denise

    1. Dixie Chik

      Thanks Sharon and Denise – I love you girls 🙂

  7. Regina

    This would be wonderful crumbled up in a breading mix.

  8. Sarah

    Sounds so good!
    Congrats on your 3 year anniversary!

  9. Donna Becker

    Congrats on hitting your 3 yr anniversary!! Any one of these would be a yummy substitution in my stuffing I make, which is a doctored up version of a cornbread stuffing. I add maple breakfast sausage with sauteed diced Granny Smith apples and pecans to it. Very addictive The Spicing Pecans would just put it over the top.

  10. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

    Oh my goodness! Just when I thought mac & cheese was a 10…you turn it up to 11! Anything fried is delicious, and I’m sure this is. Plus just about dipped in Ranch dressing is pretty fabulous, too. My arteries won’t thank you, but they were a lost cause anyway. Happy blogiversary!

  11. Denise@BeBetsy

    I would eat them and drink beer and then eat some more and than crush them on ice cream and put them in my cereal and make pecan pie and pecan bread and eat some more with some more beer!! XO

    1. Dixie Chik

      Denise, you’re a genius.

      1. Dixie Chik

        Thanks Stephanie!! Love it when you stop by 🙂

  12. Annie

    Sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon pecans.

  13. libby

    I would make a sweet potato bread with the cinnamon pecans

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