Fried Cheese Curds with Ranch Dressing

Fried Cheese Curds with Ranch Dressing

Brian CampbellCamfam Cookery
These golden-brown nuggets of deep-fried cheesy goodness were inspired by the wildly popular fried cheese curds served by chefs Kurt Fogle and Joe McCormick at their Milwaukee restaurant, Dairyland Old-Fashioned Frozen Custard & Hamburgers. To keep the cheese from melting too quickly during frying, we started with frozen curds. We made a light yet sturdy batter using a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch for body and crispness, baking powder for a touch of puff and crunch, and just the right amount of beer to further aerate the batter. Using a light beer, such as a lager, added hints of malty and mildly bitter flavors to balance the milky savoriness of the cheese.
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Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
chilling and freezing 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Game Day, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 743 kcal



  • cup buttermilk
  • cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne optional


  • 1 pound cheddar cheese curds
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour 2½ ounces
  • ½ cup cornstarch 2 ounces
  • tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp table salt
  • cup lager or other light beer
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying



  • Whisk all ingredients together in bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Season with salt to taste. (Dressing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)


  • Place cheese curds in zipper-lock bag, seal bag, and lay bag flat in freezer. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours. (Curds can be frozen for up to 1 month.)
  • When ready to fry, whisk flour, cornstarch, paprika, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Whisk in beer until no lumps remain (texture should resemble pancake batter). Let batter sit for 5 minutes to thicken fully.
  • Divide frozen curds evenly among 3 medium bowls. Add ¼ cup batter to each bowl of curds and stir to combine (curds should be just coated with batter). Set bowls aside and discard any remaining batter. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Add oil to Dutch oven until it measures about 1½ inches deep and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees.
  • Working with 1 bowl at a time, position bowl close to oil and, using dinner spoon, slide curds into oil, one at a time, moving bowl as you dispense curds. Fry, without stirring, until golden brown, 1 to 1½ minutes. (Pockets of melted cheese should barely begin to show through crust. Don’t worry if some curds clump together; they can be separated once removed from oil.) Using spider skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer curds to prepared rack.
  • Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining curds, stirring to recoat with batter before frying. Serve immediately with dressing.


Calories: 743kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 29gFat: 55gSaturated Fat: 25gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 993mgPotassium: 173mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1616IUVitamin C: 1mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 2mgCalcium: 900mgIron: 1mgZinc: 4mg
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