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Homemade Mozzarella Sticks are crispy, cheesy, gooey, and are a super fun party appetizer! You can even prep them in advance and freeze until ready to fry. Serve with your favorite marinara or dipping sauce for a crowd-pleasing snack.
These crispy fried cheese sticks are everyone’s favorite appetizers. For more delicious snacks, try my Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings, Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, and Charcuterie Board.
Table of Contents
Why We Love Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
- Make Ahead Friendly – Prep and store them in the freezer until ready to fry
- Simple Ingredients – All easy to find ingredients that you may even have on hand!
- Crispy, Cheesy, and Gooey – Crispy homemade mozzarella sticks are all of the above!
Ingredients for Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
You only need 4 simple ingredients plus some basic spices and frying oil to make the best mozzarella sticks.
- Real Mozzarella Cheese – Buy the low-moisture rectangle block. Not shredded or the higher moisture ball.
- Plain Breadcrumbs – I like the softer breadcrumbs for this recipe, but you can use panko for an even crispier coating.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Spices – Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder
- Oil – Canola oil, vegetable oil, or another neutral oil for frying
How To Make Fried Mozzarella Sticks
Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.
It is so easy to make fried mozzarella cheese sticks – just bread, freeze, and fry!
- Slice Cheese. Start by slicing up the block of mozzarella cheese into ½ inch sticks that are about 3 inches longer. You should be able to get about 20 sticks of cheese.
- Set up Breading Stations. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs with a tablespoon of water and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Then in a second shallow bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and seasonings.
- Dredge the Cheese Sticks. Dip a piece of cheese into the egg mixture and shake off the excess before coating in the breadcrumb mixture and shaking off the excess again. Set the coated mozzarella cheese stick on a tray lined with parchment paper and repeat with the rest. I like to repeat the process to give each cheese stick a second coating – you can even do it a third time! A thick coating helps keep the cheese from leaking out.
- Freeze. Freeze the breaded cheese sticks on a baking sheet for at least two hours before frying. This keeps the cheese from melting too fast once it enters the hot oil, so it will retain its shape.
- Fry. Heat 2-3 inches of canola oil to 365-370 degrees in a deep fryer or dutch oven. Fry the frozen coated cheese sticks in batches for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel for a few minutes then serve.
Freezing them first is the key to success! Freezing the breaded cheese helps keep the cheese from overcooking or leaking out of the outer layer when frying.
Yes, they can! After breading and freezing fully place a few of them (with space in between) in the air fryer basket that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Air fry at 390° F for 6 to 8 minutes or until the outside is golden and crispy.
After breading and freezing fully place them on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. I like to give the tops of the sticks a quick spritz of the cooking spray as well. Bake in a preheated 400° F oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until golden.
Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce! A marinara sauce is a crowd favorite – you can make your own or use store-bought. For a creamy option try a garlic aioli, Blue Cheese Dip, or ranch dressing.
- Hot Cheeto – A fun spin is to swap in crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for the breadcrumbs in the breading mixture. They’ll still be crispy and crunchy, but with a kick!
- String Cheese – Instead of cutting up a block of low-moisture mozzarella cheese, you can also use string cheese. It’s quicker than the block of cheese, but because it’s processed, it won’t give you that nice gooey cheese.
Storing and Reheating
Storage – Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheating – For best results, reheat the leftovers in the oven at 350° F until warmed.
Freezing – You can store them in the freezer, after breading and before frying, for up to 3 months then fry from frozen.
- Double or even triple coat – Don’t just bread the cheese sticks once. It’s best to bread them a second, and even a third time. A thick coating is key to keeping the cheese trapped inside.
- Don’t overcrowd the oil – When frying, make sure they have plenty of room as they cook. It’s best to fry them up in batches instead of trying to do them all at once.
- Fully coat – When breading the cheese, make sure to fully coat on all sides and don’t forget the ends.
More Delicious Cheesy Recipes
- 16 ounce block of Mozzarella cheese the rectangle block, not the shreddable
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt divided
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups plain breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1.5 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1.5 teaspoon onion powder
- Canola oil for frying
- Marinara sauce for serving/dipping
- Fresh minced parsley optional, for garnish
- Slice the block of Mozzarella cheese into ½-inch thick sticks, about 3-inch tall. They will be more rectangular in shape than square (see photos in the post). You should get about 20-22 pieces.
- Create a coating station with a bowl for the eggs and a bowl for the breadcrumbs. Whisk the eggs with a tablespoon of water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir the ¼ teaspoon salt, black pepper, grated Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder into the breadcrumbs.
- Dip a stick of cheese into the egg and let the excess drip off into the bowl. Coat it in the breadcrumbs, shake off the excess and set on a tray. Repeat with the remaining cheese sticks.
- Repeat the process for a second coating – first egg, then breadcrumbs. Two coats is good, but if you can do three, even better. You want to get a sufficient thickness of the breadcrumb shell so the cheese won’t leak out during frying.
- Place the tray of breaded cheese sticks into the freezer for at least two hours. After this you can either prepare to fry them, or place into a freezer bag and store for up to 3 months.
- Frying: Heat 2-3 inches of canola oil to 365-370 degrees in a deep fryer or dutch oven.
- Fry the frozen mozzarella sticks in batches for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the pan – They should have plenty of room around them as they cook.
- Drain on paper towels for a few minutes, then serve hot with marinara or your dipping sauce of choice.