Looking for the best snack? Try these air fryer mozzarella sticks made with string cheese, a panko mixture of breadcrumbs and spices, which make for a crispy and cheesy appetizer.
Ever see that meme that says something like:
“do you want a cheese stick?”
“How about a cheese stick that is breaded and deep fried?”
That is just how we feel about mozzarella sticks. Do you love mozzarella sticks too? Honestly, I am not really a fan of deep frying.
Ever have a light bulb moment? I did when I realized how easy and delicious a version of mozzarella sticks made in the air fryer oven would be! And guess what? Air fryer cheese sticks are actually BETTER than their deep fried counterparts. It really is the best way to get that melty cheese without any added oil.
The outsides are crispy and inside is melty, just perfect as they should be!
How do I get a crispy mozzarella stick?
By cooking frozen mozzarella sticks. Frozen mozzarella sticks give them time to crisp and brown on the outside, while the inside melts nice and slow, so you don’t lose any cheese.
I highly recommend using full-fat mozzarella sticks. The texture is just not the same as low fat versions.
I love stocking up my freezer with these gooey mozzarella sticks. Making fresh mozzarella sticks is so much better than any frozen foods you will find in the grocery store.
How to Serve Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
Besides a great party snack, we love to enjoy them for happy hour, tailgating on game day and on pizza night. My kids enjoy them as a quick snack or lunch. We enjoy our mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce. But I have heard of people enjoying them with Ranch.
Since there are only a few ingredients to make this mozzarella sticks recipe, chances are you already have everything. I pretty much always have mozzarella cheese sticks in my refrigerator.
How to Make Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
You can scroll down for what the recipe calls for and instructions, along with recommended products with affiliate links.
- 1 package mozzarella string cheese
- all purpose flour
- Italian breadcrumbs
- Panko breadcrumbs
- garlic powder, onion powder and salt (I also like to add italian seasoning or parmesan cheese sometimes too)
- Marinara or Pizza Sauce for dipping
It’s important to note that different brands and different product types have different heat settings, which lead to a difference in cook time. So be sure to double check see what works best for your air fryer unit before you get started.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove your cheese sticks from their wrappers and cut each in half.
Create a dipping station with 3 large bowls or containers, each with:
- in a second shallow dish, an egg wash (beaten egg and a little bit of water),
- and a third bowl with the breadcrumb mixture of the bread crumbs and seasonings.
Coat cheese sticks in the flour, then egg mixture, followed by the bread crumb mixture.
Place your coated mozzarella stick on your prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Freeze the cheese sticks until completely frozen – 2 hours to overnight.
Should I preheat the airfryer before cooking?
Yes, this is another tip to help you not lose any cheesy goodness from your mozzarella sticks. Set air fryer to 370 degrees. Give the air fryer basket a spray of a tiny bit of nonstick cooking spray. If you do not use cooking spray, you can brush a little oil or olive oil on the air fryer rack.
How long do you cook your mozzarella sticks for?
Place the frozen cheese sticks in the air fryer basket without touching. They need a cooking time of 5-8 minutes, until your mozzarella sticks are golden brown. You will need to cook uncooked mozzarella sticks in different batches.
Serve these delicious mozzarella sticks with marinara or tomato sauce. Could this recipe get any quicker or easier?
Can I freeze Mozzarella Sticks?
Yes! I love to have these in the freezer for an easy and quick snack. You have two options:
Uncooked: Line a baking sheet with the mozzarella sticks and freeze for about 2 hours. Then put the sticks in a or air-tight container or freezer bag. Your mozzarella sticks will last about 3 months this way.
If you are cooking from your frozen mozzarella sticks, preheat air fryer to 375 degrees and cook for 10-12 minutes.
Cooked Mozzarella Sticks: Let your sticks cool to room temperature and then place in a freezer bag or airtight container. You can reheat them in the air fryer or the oven.
- 1 (12 ounce) package mozzarella string cheese sticks
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Marinara or pizza sauce, for dipping
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
- Remove cheese from the wrapper and cut in half to create two shorter sticks.
- Create a dipping station with three containers. In one container, place the flour. In the second container, beat the egg until frothy. In the third container, stir together the Italian breadcrumbs, panko, and seasonings.
- Roll each stick in the flour and then in the egg followed by the breadcrumb mixture. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.
- Freeze the cheese sticks until completely frozen, at least two hours but preferably overnight.
- Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees. Spritz the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the frozen cheese sticks in the basket without them touching. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the wattage of your air fryer, until the cheese sticks are golden.
- Serve with marinara or pizza sauce.
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