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17 Glorious deep-fried fair foods you can make at home


SheKnows Editorial

Deep-fried fair food is notorious, and for good reason. Attending the fair is a once-a-year excuse to stuff your face with the most obscene fat- and sugar-laden food (preferably on a stick) you can find.

But getting to the fair can be a huge pain. The cost of parking and admission quickly adds up, and if you have kids with you, those ride tickets don’t come cheap.

The solution? Make your favorite deep-fried fair foods at home. Your waistline might not thank you, but your wallet sure will.

Savory snacks

The deep-fried spaghetti dog recipe

The Deep-Fried Spaghetti Dog

Photo credit: Dude Foods

Say goodbye to corn dogs and hello to this tasty Frankendog. Replace the hot dog with an Italian sausage, the cornbread with spaghetti and the mustard with marinara sauce, and you could almost pass this off as dinner. Almost.

Deep-fried mac and cheese bites recipe

Deep-Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

Photo credit: The Little Kitchen

If you think the best part of homemade mac and cheese is the crispy cheese-and-breadcrumb topping, then this recipe is for you — 360 degrees of crunchy goodness surrounding a molten cheese center deserves to be served more than once a year. It’s a volcano of happiness in your mouth.

Deep-fried turkey leg recipe

Deep-Fried Turkey Leg

Photo credit: Not Derby Pie

This Ren Fair favorite always looks tasty, but the gargantuan portions they serve are unwieldy and hard to actually consume. At home, you can choose more slender legs to deep-fry, and compensate by (daintily) eating as many as you please.

Savory fried dough recipe

Savory Fried Dough

Photo credit: Garlic My Soul

Is there anything better than fried carbs? I tend to think not. Here, a tender disc of dough is deep-fried until hot and bubbly, then topped with marinara sauce and cheese. It’s basically a fried pizza — you’ll be shouting “Cowabunga!” before you’re even finished, dude.

Deep-fried, bacon-wrapped pickles recipe

Deep-Fried, Bacon-Wrapped Pickles

Photo credit: Cooking Bride

Wrap anything in bacon, and it’ll probably be superior to most food. Here, tangy pickles are wrapped in bacon, then dipped in beer batter and fried until golden brown and crispy. And don’t forget to make a tasty dipping sauce, or you’ll be in a real pickle.

Jalapeño poppers recipe

Jalapeno Poppers

Photo credit: A Cozy Kitchen

Jalapeño poppers are a fried food classic for a reason. A chili pepper torpedo of creamy cheese with a crispy, crunchy coating, this snack proves that vegetables can be kind of badass.

Deep-fried nacho cheese recipe

Deep-Fried Nacho Cheese

Photo credit: Dude Foods

You may have heard of deep-fried Doritos, but I say let’s skip the middleman altogether and get to the good stuff: nacho cheese. This treat is literally not for the faint of heart, cholesterol-fat-sodium bomb that it is. Then again, you only live once — and what a way to go this would be.

Deep-fried ravioli recipe

Deep Fried Ravioli

Photo credit: What’s Gaby Cooking

If the spaghetti dog isn’t enough for your next Italian dinner, then you really can’t go wrong with the delightful crunch and cheesy filling of fried ravioli. Just try to save room for dessert, or the ravioli might not be the only thing expelling cheese.

Deep-fried PB&J recipe

Deep Fried PB & J

Photo credit: Hungry Harps

It’s hard to think of a way to make PB&J even more delicious, but deep-frying is probably it. You’ll definitely want to keep the crispy, crunchy crusts on this one.

Deep-fried red velvet cake onion rings recipe

Deep Fried Red Velvet Cake Onion Rings

Photo credit: The Food in My Beard

Onion rings. Red velvet cake. Should not want. And yet, kinda want.

Sweet treats

Deep-fried cookie dough recipe

Deep-Fried Cookie Dough

Photo credit: Beyond Frosting

Pffft. Raw cookie dough from the tube is for amateurs. Up your sleepover game by coating cookie dough with fried batter, and you’ll be the most popular kid (or mom) on the block.

Deep-fried Snickers recipe

Deep-Fried Snickers

Photo credit: Crazy Little Projects

Melted chocolate is one of the best things on Earth. Add in caramel, nougat and peanuts, and then deep-fry it, and you basically have the holy grail of junk food. Skeptics will stop snickering once they taste these sinfully sweet treats.

Funnel cake recipe

Funnel Cake

Photo credit: Grandbaby Cakes

Funnel cakes are a classic for a reason. To recap from earlier: fried. Carbs. Once the cakes are cooked, treat them to a dusting of powdered sugar or some chocolate sauce if you’re feeling sassy.

Deep-fried Oreos recipe

Deep-Fried Oreos

Photo credit: Kirbie’s Cravings

Next time you buy a package of Oreos, try dunking them in batter instead of milk. Oh, and don’t worry about who gets to twist off the frosting side. Once you have a taste of these, you won’t be sharing.

Churros recipe


Photo credit: Just a Taste

Depending on where you live, churros might not be a staple of your state and county fairs. If that’s the case, then run, don’t walk, to your stove, and get the oil hot. Sprinkle them in cinnamon sugar, or drizzle them with chocolate sauce. Either way, clear the rest of your day, because once you start eating these, it’s hard to stop.

Deep-fried Twinkies recipe

Deep-Fried Twinkies

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Are deep-fried Twinkies the most infamous of all fried fair foods? Perhaps. But now that Twinkies are mercifully back on store shelves, you might as well see for yourself what all the fuss is about. Just don’t tell your nutritionist we told you about it.

And last but not least:

Deep-fried butter recipe

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

More fun foods

Fritos pie burger, seriously
BBQ cheddar chicken pretzel fritters
An Asian twist on fried chicken

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