Homemade mozzarella sticks you prepare in your kitchen are among the best things ever. They are a fantastic, gooey snack that is surprisingly easy to make. The cheese sticks must be frozen before frying to stop the cheese from oozing out before the shell is golden and crispy. Making homemade mozzarella sticks is simple, and the batter-coated string cheese sticks are deep-fried to a golden, melted cheese perfection. In addition, I’ve provided my go-to small-batch marinara sauce recipe and directions for air frying. Put these on your list of must-have Super Bowl snacks!
What are Mozzarella Sticks?
Cheese threads are covered with batter or breadcrumbs to make mozzarella sticks, and they could be fried in oil or baked. Tomato sauce or marinara sauce are typically served with mozzarella sticks. They can also be served with ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey mustard sauce, plum sauce, jalapeo jelly, and ranch dressing as dipping sauces. Fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce are a common side dish at restaurants.
According to historian Joel Jensen, the increasing availability of mass-produced mozzarella cheese beginning in the 1960s and the development of new efficient frying technologies to be used in fast-paced food-serving businesses” were two factors that contributed to the origin of mozzarella sticks in the United States during the 1970s (such as bowling alleys and sports bars).
Tips for Making Mozzarella Sticks
One mozzarella cheese stick at a time; work with it. Speaking from experience, it can be simple to forget which step you’ve completed and if you’ve applied the second coating if you try to work on several sticks at once. Make sure to cover the stick with the coating completely. Include both ends! Any exposed parts will allow the cheese to melt through when they are fried.
During the coating process, handle the sticks with care. You risk accidently slicing some of the cheese’s coating off if you’re working too rapidly and aggressively. You’ll see that we’re double coating each stick. This gives it a thick enough layer of bread crumbs to prevent the cheese from melting out the sides while frying.
They must be frozen before being fried! A minimum of one hour. You cannot, under any circumstances, in the world skip this stage. Without freezing them first and proceeding straight to frying them, they will melt into a gooey mass before your eyes, and you will be very sorry. Giant Disney character sad eyes sad, please. Never keep any breadcrumb mixture in reserve for subsequent use.
You’ve been sifting a slice of cheese smeared in raw egg and flour through it; throw it away. It’s alright. You want the oil to be as close to 350°F as possible for maximum results. I always monitor the temperature with my go-to ThermoWorks ChefAlarm. Be cautious! You’re working with hot oil, so use caution when dropping the sticks and taking them out. This should go without saying. It works nicely using long-handled tongs and a light touch.
- High-sided sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- Frying pans
- Thermometer (ChefAlarm)
- Small saucepan
- 12 string kinds of cheese or mozzarella
- three cups of all-purpose flour
- 8 grains of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper, ground
- One big egg
- Two teaspoons of milk
- 1/4 cup of unflavored panko breadcrumbs
- One teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp. dry thyme
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- optional pinch of red pepper flakes
- frying with vegetable oil
- As a dipping sauce, use marinara (see below for homemade recipe)
Easy Small Batch Marinara Sauce
- Olive oil, 1 tbsp
- 1-2 peeled and chopped garlic cloves
- 6 ounces of tomato sauce and 8 ounces of crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- Add a lot of salt
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- Slice the cheese block into sticks that are a couple of inches tall and 1/2 inch thick (see blog photos). I had 20 of them.
- Whisk the eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and one tablespoon water in a bowl. Next to the eggs in a separate bowl, add the bread crumbs.
- Dip a cheese stick into the egg, then let the extra drip off. Then, cover it in bread crumbs, shake off any excess, and set it on a tray. The remaining cheese sticks in the same manner.
- After each cheese stick has been breaded, pass them through the egg and bread crumbs once more for a minimum of two coatings. Two breading applications are enough to stop the cheese from leaking while cooking, though I like to bread the cheese sticks three times for a thicker shell.
- For at least two hours, freeze the mozzarella sticks on the tray.
- Use a deep fryer, an 8″ heavy-bottomed saucepan, and a thermometer to heat the grease or other frying fat to 365F. The fat should rise a few inches above the pan’s sides.
- Batch-frying the mozzarella sticks for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve the cheese sticks right away with marinara or your preferred dipping sauce after letting them gently drain on paper towels. Enjoy!
Why Must Mozzarella Sticks be Freeze-Dried Before Being Fried?
Before frying, mozzarella sticks must be frozen. Do not skip this stage, do not receive $100, and do not pass GO. Why? Because the coating would peel off, and the mozzarella stick would essentially entirely crumble before your eyes if you dropped one right into the hot oil, it would be a stringy, oozy mess.
When the crispy panko-and-egg coating is frozen, it can solidify and become robust, allowing it to survive the intense heat of the oil. The freezing step has the benefit of indicating yes, which is excellent. If you want to, you could prepare these mozzarella sticks a few days in advance!
Once the mozzarella sticks have frozen (after approximately an hour), you can remove them from the baking sheet and keep them in a Ziploc freezer bag until you’re ready to fry them. To do this, follow the procedure up until the point of freezing.
Before frying, you can freeze each cheese stick after breading it and placing it in the freezer for an hour, as in Step 6. You can then move the frozen cheese sticks to a freezer-safe bag or other freezer-safe container and store them there for up to two months.
When you’re ready to cook them, follow the instructions on the recipe card; however, you might need to extend the frying time by one or two minutes. After frying, you may freeze the sticks by placing them in a freezer-safe bag and baking them at 350°F for 10 minutes. I haven’t tried this myself, so I can’t speak to the results firsthand, but others have informed me they’ve done it successfully.
How to Make Mozzarella Sticks in an Air Fryer?
The cooking steps will be different, but you will still complete all the preparation processes for frying them in oil. It’s still crucial to give the combination of breadcrumbs two coatings: When air frying, it’s equally crucial to double coat each stick because they can blow up otherwise! Furthermore, it would be best if you didn’t attempt to tidy up that blatant mess. Apply nonstick spray to the basket of your air fryer (aff link). They won’t stick due to this, and they’ll also get a bit more browning.
Set your basket on a baking sheet covered with foil to catch oil droplets if you have a toaster oven/air fryer combo. Don’t stuff the basket too full. Work in batches if required, and only add as many sticks as will comfortably fit in the basket at one time. Time to fry: Preheat the air fryer to 390°F, coat the basket with nonstick spray (aff link), and cook the mozzarella sticks for 7–9 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
How can Mozzarella Sticks be Made without the Cheese Separating?
The cheese sticks are first coated in breadcrumbs, then in egg wash, and last in bread crumbs. A double-thick coating is required to create a coating barrier that will stop the cheese from melting out of your snack and dripping into the hot oil. Few things are as wonderful as homemade mozzarella sticks that you make yourself in your kitchen. They are an amazing ooey-gooey snack and surprisingly simple to make! To prevent the cheese from leaking out before the shell turns golden and crispy, the cheese sticks must be frozen before frying.
Set the air fryer to 360 degrees of heating. In the air fryer, cook the frozen mozzarella sticks for 6 to 8 minutes. Pinch softly (and with caution, since they are hot). Take them out of the air fryer and serve them with marinara sauce on the side. The coating is sealed with hot oil, which prevents the cheese from leaking. To fast brown the coating, try heating your oil to a temperature of between 365 and 375 degrees. The sticks can be removed once the coating is beautifully browned and kept in a low oven (200 degrees) until ready to serve.
What Happens When you Overcook Mozzarella Sticks?
Cheese proteins can quickly overheat and curdle because they are already bonded together. The degree to which curds will form depends on the temperature, the added ingredients, and the type of cheese used. Just avoiding overheating could salvage a dish. But if you cook it too long, it turns into curds (made of curdled dairy and egg proteins) floating in the liquid. This is referred to as curdled. Since cheese’s components are already connected, they are readily overcooked and can curdle. Success strategies.
Avoid overfilling the basket: If the mozzarella cheese sticks are cooked for an excessively long time or at a high temperature, they may rupture. My oven is set to 360 F. To prepare these appetizers, I do not preheat my air fryer. Yes, string cheese melts. It won’t melt like other cheeses, though, if you try to melt it out of the container. On the other hand, some packaging is not microwave-friendly; thus, before heating anything in the microwave, read the label.
Although mozzarella sticks should be consumed immediately after frying, they can be breaded up to two months beforehand and kept in the freezer until needed. See the section below for further information on how to freeze and store them properly! You might be shocked by how simple it is to follow the recipe for mozzarella sticks, though. Making mozzarella sticks at home is best since you have complete control over the process and can be sure you’re eating the freshest mozzarella sticks available.
Freshness isn’t the only benefit, though. Nothing is more upsetting than ordering a mouthwatering order of mozzarella sticks only to be greeted by a stack of subpar, tepid, soggy sticks despite your desire for all of its deep-fried, crispy-crunchy, gooey-salty, cheesy perfection. That can’t go on much longer disappointing! It’s If you prepare mozzarella sticks at home, you can put an end to your pain for good.