Gluten-Free Cheese Curds

Make the most delicious fried cheese curds with this easy-to-follow gluten-free cheese curds recipe. This recipe has all of the delicious taste of traditional fried cheese curds without any of the gluten! A light and airy gluten-free batter made from gluten-free flour and club soda makes these fried cheese curds so crispy and cheesy!
An overhead view of a bowl of gluten-free cheese curds that have been deep fried with a small ramekin of ranch dressing and another ramekin of marinara sauce on the side.
A hand pulling apart a gluten-free cheese curd to see the cheesy center.

Why this recipe works

In my pre-celiac diagnosis days, fried cheese curds were one of my favorite snacks while living in Wisconsin. What’s not to love about a gooey nugget of cheese encased in golden, crispy batter? 

For those not familiar, cheese curds are small chunks of fresh cheese that are formed during the cheese making process. Instead of being pressed into a block of cheese and aged before reaching the end consumer, they are eaten fresh. They come in various varieties, such as cheddar, mozzarella, or Swiss. 

They have a semi-solid texture that is slightly springy and moist, and can be enjoyed plain or fried for an added crunchy flavor. When you bite into a fresh cheese curd, you hear its characteristic “squeak.” 

If you haven’t had fried cheese curds before, you’re in for a treat! Fresh cheese curds are tossed in a batter and then fried in oil until golden brown. The result is crispy, cheesy goodness. 

Fried cheese curds are usually served as a snack or appetizer, and are often accompanied by dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, bleu cheese dressing, honey mustard, marinara or garlic aioli. 

You’ll love this recipe because:

  • They’re a great special treat. Deep frying is not something we do in our house too often, but it’s such a special treat for parties, game days, or birthdays. These cheese curds will not disappoint. 
  • They’re perfect for snacking. I love frying things like cheese curds or my gluten-free mozzarella sticks because they are so perfect for snacking and sharing. Serve with a few dip options and see which flavor combination you like best!
  • They’re gluten-free! If you’ve ever seen fried cheese curds on a menu and been sad you can’t eat them because you have celiac disease, are gluten intolerant, or are on a gluten-free diet for any reason, these gluten-free cheese curds are for you! Made with a gluten-free flour blend and club soda, this batter is so reminiscent of a traditional batter, you will not even know they are gluten-free!

Ingredients

Ingredients in small bowls on a table to make gluten-free cheese curds, including white cheddar cheese curds, baking powder, gluten-free flour, cornstarch, salt, paprika, vegetable oil, garlic powder, and club soda, with text overlays over each ingredient.

Ingredient Notes

  • Cheese curds – I used white cheddar cheese curds for this recipe, as they’re my favorite. I live in Illinois, where cheese curds are quite common, and you can find cheese curds at many local grocery stores. If you can’t find cheese curds near you you can cut up a block of white cheddar cheese or use mini mozzarella balls. The taste won’t be the same as with cheese curds, but fried cheese bites are always still a great idea!
  • Club soda – Many fried cheese curds recipes will call for beer in the batter. Beer adds some flavor but also carbonation. Since I have celiac disease and these are gluten-free fried cheese curds, I use club soda! It gives the batter lots of lift, resulting in a light and airy batter.  
  • Gluten-free flour blend – I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour for this recipe (in the blue bag). It’s meant to be used as a 1-to-1 substitution for all-purpose flour. I’ve had really good results with this blend. You can try other gluten-free flour blends in this recipe, but as I have not tested them myself I cannot verify that they will produce the same results.  
  • Baking powder – The carbonation from the club soda reacts with the baking powder to give the cheese curds their crispy coating. 
  • Cornstarch – The cornstarch will coat the cheese curds to give them that added layer of protection when they hit the oil and to help the gluten-free batter adhere to the curds. If you can’t do corn, you can use arrowroot starch or tapioca starch instead. 

Seasonings, like paprika and garlic powder, will help make the cheese curds really flavorful. You could also add black pepper, onion powder, or even italian seasoning if you’d like – it’s fun to change up the flavorings. I personally don’t like to add too much salt to the batter, but if you find your cheese curds aren’t salty enough you can add a sprinkle of coarse sea salt or Maldon salt right after they come out of the hot oil. 

Step-by-Step instructions

These gluten-free cheese curds taste just like their gluten-filled counterpart with a few simple tweaks in this gluten-free version. They truly are the best cheese curds and are relatively easy to make at home with a few simple steps. No need to go to a local restaurant or state fairs for this delicacy anymore – make them at home!

The step-by-step photos and matching instructions below are to help you see the recipe at various stages to help you make this yummy gluten-free appetizer perfectly every time. Pay special attention to the thickness of the batter!

For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.

A glass mixing bowl with a pile of white cheddar cheese curds topped with cornstarch before tossing together.
Add the cheese curds and cornstarch to a small bowl. Toss until the cheese curds are covered in the corn starch. Set aside.
A glass mixing bowl of gluten-free flour, paprika, salt, garlic powder, and baking powder being mixed together with a whisk.
In a separate medium bowl, add the gluten-free flour, paprika, garlic powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until combined.
A measuring cup of club soda being poured into gluten-free flour blend and baking soda to make a gluten-free batter.
Pour in the club soda.
A bowl of gluten-free frying batter with a whisk.
Whisk until combined, being sure not to whisk too long. You want to keep the batter light and carbonated.
A handful of gluten-free cheese curds sitting in a bowl of gluten-free batter.
Coat cheese curds in the gluten-free batter, making sure all sides are covered.
A slotted spoon removing a few cheese curds from the gluten-free batter.
Tap off any excess batter from the cheese curds. I like to use a slotted spoon for this.
A spider spatula lifting a few gluten-free cheese curds from a pot of hot oil.
Working in batches, carefully place the cheese curds in oil that is 365F. Fry for 1-2 minutes, until golden.
Fried gluten-free cheese curds on a plate lined with paper towels.
Set the fried cheese curds on a paper towel lined plate to remove excess grease. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces and enjoy!

Recipe FAQs

Are cheese curds gluten free?

While cheese curds themselves are gluten-free, they are usually fried in a batter that contains all-purpose flour and beer, making them definitely NOT gluten-free. This gluten-free cheese curds recipe was formulated with a batter using club soda and a gluten-free flour blend so those with celiac disease and gluten intolerances can enjoy them! 

What sauces do you serve with fried cheese curds?

Fried cheese curds are usually served as a snack or appetizer, and are often accompanied by dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, aioli, bleu cheese dressing or even marinara sauce. 

hints & tips

  • Use a large heavy bottom pot with tall sides. The oil will bubble up as you add cheese curds to it. I use a large dutch oven and I don’t fill my pot up with oil past the halfway point. 
  • Choose a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point. Canola, peanut, grapeseed, or corn oil are all great options. 
  • Be sure that the oil is at the correct temperature. If the oil is too low, the cheese curds will take longer to fry causing them to get soggy and greasy. If the oil is too hot, the batter will brown too quickly. I like my oil temperature to be at 365F but you can easily go up to 375F as that’s what many people like to have the temperature at. I’ve found my sweet spot to be 365F for this recipe. 
  • Your batter should have the consistency of a thin pancake batter – it should be thick enough to coat the curds but not so thick that it becomes gummy.
  • Use the batter soon after making it. The club soda has carbonation that will keep the batter light. If you let it sit too long, the batter will deflate as the bubbles release their carbonation. 
  • Fry a tester cheese curd to ensure all goes as planned before frying more. Just add one battered cheese curd to the hot oil to see how long it takes to fry up and ensure that the oil is at the correct temperature. If all goes well, keep going. Otherwise, make adjustments to the oil temperature before proceeding. 
  • Fry the cheese curds in small batches to ensure that they don’t stick to one another. This will also prevent the oil temperature from fluctuating too much. If you add too many cheese curds, the oil temperature can easily lower. 
  • If at any point your oil gets too hot, take the pot of oil off the heat for a few minutes to let it cool down. Place it back on the heat and make sure it keeps steady at 365F. A deep fry thermometer will be really helpful for this task.

Storage instructions

  • Storage: Fried cheese curds are best eaten right away after frying. However, I have found you can keep them in the refrigerator in a container for up to 2 days.
  • Reheat:  To reheat fried cheese curds, you can fry them again for about a minute, place them in the air fryer at 380F for 3-4 minutes (the best way if you ask me), or refresh in the oven at 400F for about 5-10 minutes. 

A low serving bowl of gluten-free fried cheese curds with a side of cilantro ranch dressing and marinara sauce.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.

An overhead view of a bowl of gluten-free cheese curds that have been deep fried with a small ramekin of ranch dressing and another ramekin of marinara sauce on the side.

Gluten-Free Cheese Curds

Make the most delicious fried cheese curds with this easy-to-follow gluten-free cheese curds recipe. This recipe has all of the delicious taste of traditional fried cheese curds without any of the gluten! A light and airy gluten-free batter made from gluten-free flour and club soda makes these fried cheese curds so crispy and cheesy!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 674kcal
Author: Megan

Ingredients

  • 16 oz white cheddar cheese curds (453g)
  • 1 cup club soda (8 oz)
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (144g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (32g)
  • 2 quarts canola oil or peanut oil (or other neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point)

Instructions

  • In a large, heavy bottom pot (such as a dutch oven), pour in the canola oil. Attach a deep fry thermometer to the side of the pot so that the tip is sticking in the oil.
  • Place heat on medium and let it reach 365F.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, baking powder, paprika, salt and garlic powder.
  • Pour in the club soda and stir until a smooth batter forms and no more lumps remain. Set aside.
  • Coat the cheese curds in the cornstarch and tap off any excess. This will help them adhere to the gluten-free batter.
  • Dip 6-8 cheese curds in the batter at a time. Remove with a mesh sieve or slotted spoon and tap off any excess batter.
  • Once the oil has reached a temperature of 365F, carefully add the cheese curds into the hot oil in batches.
  • Fry for 1-2 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  • Remove with a mesh spatula and place on a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Repeat with the remaining cheese curds.
  • Serve immediately with ranch or marinara sauce.

Notes

  • Nutritional information is only meant to be used as a guide. I assumed 10% oil absorption for the nutritional calculation which can vary. 
  • I used canola oil for this recipe. You can use other oils, but be sure that they are neutral-flavored with a high smoke point. Other options include peanut oil, corn oil, and grapeseed oil. 
  • Use a heavy-bottomed pot, such as a dutch oven, that has high sides. The oil will bubble up a bit. I used 2 quarts of oil, which was about 3 inches deep in my dutch oven. 
  • Be sure that the oil temperature stays at 365F. If you find that’s not quite hot enough for your cheese curds to cook in 1-2 minutes, you can increase the temperature up to 375F, but I’ve found that 365F is perfect for this recipe. 
  • Be sure that you’ve completely covered the cheese curds with the batter, so that none of the cheese curds is showing before dropping in the oil. Otherwise, some of the cheese may leak out into the oil. 
  • CAUTION: The oil will be very hot! Use a spider spatula or wood tongs or chopsticks to place the cheese curds in the oil and remove them from the oil after frying to minimize any splashing of hot oil. 

Nutrition

Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 1035mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 246IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 921mg | Iron: 1mg
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about megan

I’m Megan

A gluten-free food blogger from Chicago and lover of all things food, showing you gluten-free can be easy and delicious, too. Let’s make gluten-free stress free together! Read more…

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2 Comments

  1. Cheese curds are, quite simply, the freakin’ bomb. They’re especially dangerous now that you’ve given me the recipe!