Homemade Mozzarella Sticks Recipe

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks Recipe

What’s not to like about fried cheese? This warm and savory snack is ooey and gooey, crunchy and creamy, and typically served with a side of marinara sauce for the perfect sweet tang to round out the flavors.

Although mozzarella itself is Italian, fried mozzarella sticks are actually American. With the earliest documented fried cheese recipe belonging to surprise, surprise, France in the 1393 cookbook entitled Le Ménagier de Paris, the modern-day mozz stick didn’t emerge until the 1970s. Likely due to more sophisticated frying technologies, the availability of mass-produced mozzarella cheese, and the general need for finger foods in neighborhood bars and fast, casual restaurants.

These fried snacks are perfect for soaking up the alcohol, so that of course patrons can drink more. Customarily coated with Italian seasoned breadcrumbs my version calls for panko, a Japanese breadcrumb that is more coarsely ground than its Italian counterpart. Panko also uses crustless white bread and because of its ability to absorb less grease, is lighter and crunchier than regular breadcrumbs.

“Mozzarella sticks are one of my favorite guilty pleasures and these have easily replaced any desire I have had to buy any frozen ones, easy to make and stick in the freezer for whenever you need them in the future.” —Noah Velush-Rogers

Home Made Mozzarella Sticks/Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 pound low-moisture mozzarella cheese block

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Favorite dipping sauce, such as marinara or ranch, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make mozzarella sticks

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. Line a baking sheet that will fit in your freezer with parchment paper.

    baking sheet lined with parchment paper

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Cut the block of mozzarella into 24 equal 1/2-inch squared strips, about 3 or 4 inches long.

    mozzarella cut in rectangles on a cutting board

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Place the flour on a small plate. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, stir together the panko, garlic powder, salt, dried parsley, and cayenne pepper, if using.

    ingredients for breading

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  5. Completely coat each mozzarella stick in flour, then dunk in the egg mixture, and finally enrobe in the panko mixture. Place each onto the prepared baking sheet.

    mozzarella slices dreaded in breading and on a parchment lined baking sheet

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  6. Cover the baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap and freeze until completely frozen, about 2 hours.

    breaded mozzarella sticks on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  7. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wide pot to 350 F. Carefully lower each stick into the oil one at a time. Fry in batches if necessary to avoid over-crowding the pan as the temperature will drop.

    Fry on each side for about 1 minute until golden brown all over, 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil.

    mozzarella sticks frying in oil

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  8. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.

    homemade mozzarella sticks on a plate with marinara sauce

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • You can also use string cheese instead of cutting a block.
  • It’s important to freeze the mozzarella sticks so they don’t melt too fast in the fryer and make a mess.
  • It’s also important to use low moisture mozzarella for the same reason.

Make them even tastier!

Want to dip them in something other than marinara sauce? How about Thai sweet chili sauce, aioli, sriracha mayo, or ranch? Or my personal favorite, try dusting them with a little sugar after frying and a drizzle of hot honey!

Storage

  • The mozzarella sticks should be eaten immediately after frying, but they can be prepped in large batches raw and kept in airtight containers or freezer bags, and stored frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Freeze them flat and separated on a baking sheet before transferring them to a container or freezer bag. This prevents them from sticking together.

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