Handmade mozzarella sticks are simple to prepare! String cheese sticks are battered and deep fried till golden and meltedly cheesy. I’ve also included air fryer directions and my favorite small batch marinara sauce recipe for dipping. Add these to your list of must-have Super Bowl snacks!
Mozzarella sticks are one of those things that I like but usually feel guilty about eating. It’s essentially a fried cheese stick. But it’s not because they’re fricking wonderful that I despise myself; it’s because I have no idea when I should stop eating them.
If you place a dish of twelve mozzarella sticks in front of me, I will consume twelve mozzarella sticks.
Like the fish that swells to the size of its tank, my stomach expands to suit the amount of the pile of food.
Is this a positive development? No way, no how. But it’s not something I do all the time. That could not even be once a year, given how uncommon it is.
So when I order mozzarella sticks, I make the most of it. So, in this instance, when I make them at home and have complete control over how many I produce (read: consume with reckless abandon).
The Super Bowl is the ideal occasion for me to indulge in some of my favorite foods:
- these cheese sticks
- pretzels that are soft
- beer dipping
- kielbasa wrapped in bacon
- tear apart cheesy pizza bread
- Key Ingredients
- How to make mozzarella sticks
- 8 tips for making mozzarella sticks
- How to make mozzarella sticks ahead of time
- How to freeze mozzarella sticks
- How to make homemade mozzarella sticks in an air fryer
- How to make marinara sauce
- How to dispose of cooking oil
- How NOT to dispose of cooking oil
- How to get rid of the smell of cooking oil
- Easy Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
- Should I freeze mozzarella sticks before frying?
- How to make mozarella sticks?
- How do you keep mozzarella sticks from falling apart?
- Are mozzarella sticks just string cheese?
- What cheese can you fry without breading?
- Is it cheaper to make mozzarella sticks?
- Which mozzarella cheese is best for cheese sticks?
- What cheese goes stringy when cooked?
- What makes cheese stretchy?
- String cheese with mozzarella
- Flour for all purposes
- seasoned with salt & pepper
- Breadcrumbs Panko
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Crushed red pepper, dried basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, garlic powder
- For frying, use oil.
Easy Small Batch Marinara Sauce
- Extra virgin olive oil
- garlic cloves, minced
- Toasted tomatoes
- Crushed red pepper, dried basil, and oregano
How to make mozzarella sticks
Step 1: Whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper in a separate dish.
Step 2: In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs and milk to blend.
Step 3: Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a third dish. To blend, whisk everything together.
Step 4: Working with one piece of string cheese at a time, dredge in flour mixture and brush off excess.
Step 5: Coat with the egg mixture.
Step 6: Coat in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.
Step 7: Repeat for each stick, then move to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside for at least 1 hour.
Step 8: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a big saucepan over medium heat until a thermometer put into the oil reads 350°F. Working in groups of no more than four, gently lower sticks into heated oil, turning periodically, until golden brown and crisp (about 2 minutes).
Step 9: Move to a plate lined with paper towels and season with salt to taste.
8 tips for making mozzarella sticks
- Use one mozzarella cheese stick at a time. Speaking from experience, while working on numerous sticks at once, it’s easy to lose track of which step you’ve completed and whether or not you’ve applied the second coating.
- Make certain that you cover the whole stick, all the way around. This includes both ends! When you fried them, any non-covered parts will allow the cheese to melt.
- Handle the sticks with care throughout the coating procedure. If you move too rapidly and grip them too tightly, you may accidently slip part of the coating off the cheese.
- You’ll note that we cover each stick twice. This provides it enough of a breadcrumb covering to limit the likelihood of cheese melting out the edges when cooking.
- These must be frozen before frying! For a minimum of one hour. This phase cannot be skipped under any circumstances or in any planet. If you don’t freeze them first and then cook them, they’ll crumble into a melty cheesy mess right before your eyes, and you’ll be very, very unhappy. We’re talking big Disney character sad-eyes here.
- Save any leftover breadcrumb mixture for another time. Toss the raw egg and flour-covered piece of cheese you’ve been dredging through it. It’s fine.
- For optimal results, keep the oil as near to 350°F as possible. To keep track of the temperature, I always use my trusted ThermoWorks ChefAlarm.
- Take care! Another thing that I think goes without saying is that you are dealing with hot oil, so be cautious while dropping and removing the sticks. It is best to use long-handled tongs and a soft touch.
How to make mozzarella sticks ahead of time
Mozzarella sticks are best served right once, but they may be breaded up to 2 months ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to cook.
Further information about freezing and preserving them may be found below!
How to freeze mozzarella sticks
Freezing before frying: After breading each cheese stick and freezing them for an hour as directed in Step #6, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or other freezer-safe container and store them for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to cook them, follow the directions on the recipe card, although you may need to increase the frying time by a minute or two.
Full disclosure: I haven’t done this myself yet, so I can’t speak to the outcomes, but others have informed me they’ve done it successfully by keeping the fried sticks in a freezer-safe bag and then baking them at 350F for 10 minutes.
How to make homemade mozzarella sticks in an air fryer
You’ll follow the same preparatory stages as you would for frying them in oil, but the cooking processes will be different.
- It is still necessary to cover the breadcrumbs twice: While air frying, it’s equally as crucial to double coat each stick since they might explode if you don’t! And we don’t want you to be cleaning up that actual hot mess.
- Coat your air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. This will prevent them from sticking and add a little more browning.
- Place a baking sheet lined with foil underneath your air fryer basket to collect any oil spills. If you have a toaster oven, use it.
- Don’t overfill the basket. Just add as many sticks as will comfortably fit in the basket at one time, and work in batches if required.
- Preheat the air fryer to 390F, coat the basket with nonstick spray, and cook the mozzarella sticks for 7-9 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
How to make marinara sauce
Step 1: Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
Step 2: Stir in the tomatoes, basil, oregano, and salt. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring periodically. Stir in the red pepper (if using), and cook for another 1 minute. Place in a serving plate.
How to dispose of cooking oil
First and foremost, if you know you’ll be doing additional frying soon, conserve the oil for later use! Let the oil to cool before straining it through a coffee filter or cheesecloth (aff link) and storing it in an airtight glass jar in a cold, dark area.
But, if you are not conserving it for another round, be sure to dispose of the oil properly at home:
- Pack it up and toss it. Let the oil to cool fully before pouring it into a non-recyclable container with a cover and discarding it. Milk cartons, takeaway containers, and other plastic or wax-lined paper containers are examples.
- Dump it gently and strategically into the garbage. After the oil has cooled, carefully pour it into the middle of your garbage can, on absorbent objects such as paper towels or discarded cat litter. You don’t want it to pool in the bottom of the bag, as it might lead to disaster.
- Toss it once it has been frozen. Put cooled oil in an old can (similar to those used for black beans) and store in the freezer. Dump it into the garbage when it’s solid.
How NOT to dispose of cooking oil
Never, ever do the following:
- Never spill hot oil anyplace. Let it to cool before proceeding with disposal.
- Don’t flush it down the toilet. Any drain will suffice. Not even the kitchen sink or the toilet. It might block the pipes and make it difficult to treat the water, perhaps contaminating nearby sewers.
- Do not dispose of it in compost heaps. Oil is nothing just fat, and fat is terrible for compost.
How to get rid of the smell of cooking oil
The fried meal was excellent while you were eating it, but the following day you could still smell the frying oil scents. These are some methods for getting rid of the smell (or preventing it from returning):
- Ventilate! Turn on the hood vents as soon as you start heating the oil for frying. If the weather permits, open the windows as well. Your best buddy is air circulation.
- Newspaper should be used to line the space surrounding your desk. It will catch the spatter and aid with cleaning. But take cautious not to get it too near to the stove’s flames!
- Clean up as soon as possible. After you’re through cooking, discard the oil (see above), clean the pot you used, and clean your stoves and countertops (and frankly, the wall behind the stove, too).
- On the stove, simmer some handmade potpourri. To assist eradicate oil aromas, I fill a small pot with a few cups of water, a few teaspoons of vinegar, and an array of spices and fruit peels and let it boil until the water has evaporated. I love orange and lemon peels with a cinnamon stick.
- When all else fails, bake! That seems like as good a reason as any to bake some cookies or banana bread. Your kitchen will smell wonderful, and you will have even more delectable delights.
They have parsley on them, as my buddy Jim noted of these fried sticks of paradise. It essentially makes them a salad.
That’s obviously a joke, or is it?
Easy Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
- ✓ Read the recipe beginning to end
- ✓ Check oven calibration
- ✓ Check expiration dates
- ✓ Properly measure ingredients
- ✓ Check butter temperature
- Sheet pan with a high side
- Paper made with parchment
- Cooking pans
- Thermometer (ChefAlarm) (ChefAlarm)
- Little frying pan
- 12 string cheese mozzarella sticks
- a cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 big egg
- breadcrumbs panko cupplain
- 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan
- 1 tsp dried basil*
- 1 tsp dried oregano*
- 1 tsp dried parsley*
- 1 tsp dried thyme*
- 1 tsp garlic powder*
- Optional pinch of crushed red pepper
- Fryable vegetable oil
- Topping: Marinara sauce (see below for homemade recipe)
Easy Small Batch Marinara Sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 clove (peeled and chopped) garlic
- 8 oz. crushed tomatoes, 6 oz. tomato sauce
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- a generous teaspoon of salt
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- Set aside a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
In three separate shallow dishes, prepare the following:
- 8 teaspoon black pepper, ground
13 cup all-purpose flour, 8 teaspoon salt 1
Dish #1: Whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper.
- Dish #2: Whisk together the eggs and milk to mix.
1 big egg, 2 tbsp. milk
- 2 tsp garlic powder*, 1 tsp crushed red pepper
14 cup plain panko breadcrumbs, 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan, 2 teaspoon dried thyme*, 12 teaspoon dried parsley*, 12 teaspoon dried oregano*, 12 teaspoon dried basil*, 14 cup plain panko breadcrumbs, 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan, 1 Dish #3: Breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes should all be combined. To blend, whisk everything together.
- Dredge each piece of string cheese in flour mixture, shaking off excess, working with one piece of cheese at a time. Dip in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture, and press to ensure it adheres.
12 string cheese mozzarella sticks
- Repeat for each stick, then move to the prepared baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
- Fill a big saucepan halfway with oil and cook over medium heat until a thermometer put into the oil reads 350F.
Oil from vegetables
- Working in groups of no more than four, gently lower sticks into heated oil, turning periodically, until golden brown and crisp (about 2 minutes).
- Move to a plate lined with paper towels and season with salt to taste.
- Enjoy right away with your favorite dipping sauce (try my small batch marinara sauce recipe below)!
Easy Small Batch Marinara Sauce
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
1 tablespoon olive oil, 1-2 garlic cloves
- 4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 sprinkle crushed red pepper
4 teaspoon basil dried 1
Toss in the tomatoes, basil, oregano, and salt. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring periodically. Stir in the red pepper (if using), and cook for another 1 minute.
8 oz. crushed tomatoes, 1 oz.
- Transfer to a serving plate and serve right away. Enjoy!
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend (next time, stock up and make your own Italian seasoning mix). If you don’t have the specific spices (basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, garlic), you may use 2 12 teaspoons of Italian seasoning.
- Marinara sauce may be refrigerated for up to 5 days in a closed container.
- Please keep in mind that the nutrition information is just for the mozzarella sticks and does not include the marinara sauce.
- Mozzarella sticks are best served immediately after frying, but they may be breaded up to 2 months ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to cook.
- Freezing before frying: After breading each cheese stick and freezing them for an hour as directed in Step #6, transfer them to a freezer safe bag or other freezer safe container and store them for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to cook them, follow the directions on the recipe card, although you may need to increase the frying time by a minute or two.
- Full disclosure: I haven’t done this myself yet, so I can’t speak to the outcomes, but others have informed me they’ve done it successfully by keeping the fried sticks in a freezer safe bag and then baking them at 350F for 10 minutes.
- You will follow all of the same preparatory stages as you would for frying them in oil, but the cooking processes will be different. Preheat the air fryer at 390°F, spray the basket with nonstick spray, and cook the mozzarella sticks for 7-9 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Further information about air frying may be found in the blog post’s body.