Buttermilk Battered Cheese Curds with Garlic Aioli Dipping Sauce

It doesn’t get more Wisconsin than this.

Cheese Curds
Dipping cheese curds in a garlic aioli

Fried cheese curds. A Wisconsin delicacy that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere. But we all know cheese curds are best when you’re at a bar, blotto x1000, and it’s just about last call for alcohol. What better way to soak up the beer than buttermilk battered deep fried cheese curds?

I was sad to learn that the rest of America is severely behind the culinary genius of Wisconsin and that some people have never even heard – let alone enjoyed – the gooey goodness of a fried curd. For shame.

If/when my time in Wisconsin ever comes to an end, cheese curds will always hold a special place in my heart (quite literally, I’m sure, with all the cholesterol).

Luckily, I have this recipe.

Seasoned Cheese Curds
If you choose both yellow and white, then you can have fun guessing which color it will be after frying them.
Buttermilk batter
Cheese Curds and dipping sauce
Fried homemade cheese curds

Time You’ll Need

  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cooking: ~8-10 minutes
  • Yields: A lot

What You’ll Need

For the cheese curds:

  • 1.5 lb cheese curds (feel free to play around here, as I did. I had classic white cheddar cheese curds, but also a garlic & herb seasoned cheddar curd. Try differently seasoned cheese curds, like Cajun, dill, or jalapeno, for a variety of fun flavor)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 quarts of corn oil for frying
  • *Optional but you can add about 1 cup of beer for beer battered cheese curds*

For the quick aioli:

  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp vinegar

What You’ll Do

For the aioli:

  • In a small food processor, add the peeled cloves of garlic, mayo, cayenne, lemon juice, salt & pepper, vinegar and garlic powder.
  • Pulse the mixture until smooth, then pour into a small bowl, whisk a few times to make sure everything is evenly blended.

For the curds:

  1. Heat oil in a medium pot or large saucepan to 375.
  2. Whisk together buttermilk, flour, cayenne powder, garlic salt, garlic powder, egg, *beer, to form a smooth batter.
  3. Place cheese curds — several at a time — into the batter. Coat thoroughly.
  4. Shake off excess batter then fry a few curds at a time.
  5. Fry for about 30 seconds each, or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oil and place on paper towel to drain any excess oil.
  7. Repeat till all curds are fried.
  8. Enjoy! Dip in aioli or favorite dipping sauce!