Appetizers Vegetarian

Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks

It’s so easy to make the most delicious, cheesy, crunchy Mozzarella Sticks in the air fryer! These are so much better homemade than the frozen kind, and you save a ton of fat and calories by air frying instead of deep frying. You’re going to love this easy appetizer!

plate of air fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce on the side

There’s something about mozzarella sticks that allow me to lose my self-control when they come to the table. They are crunchy, cheesy, and dippable – what’s not to love honestly? I thought to myself, “How can I make these babies at home?” And voila; Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks were born!

As you probably know, my air fryer has been getting a lot of love lately. After all of the recipe testing for Air Fried Boss, I really just started to put my conventional oven out of business, lol. I mean, everything is so easy in an air fryer! Plus, since I usually cook for myself or 2 people, I do a much better job at portion control. Highly recommend!

Ingredients

  • String Cheese – Grab the mozzarella version of your favorite string cheese; If you can’t find any, get a big block of cheese and slice it up.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs – I actually used a combination of panko & regular breadcrumbs because I ran out of the former! Panko helps give a better crunch, and I’ve found that the regular breadcrumbs coat the cheese more evenly.
  • Italian Seasoning – Cheese is a bit salty so we won’t have much more added salt… but the Italian seasoning gives a great pop of flavor that you normally miss from the store-bought frozen mozz sticks!

air fried mozzarella stick on a black plate with marinara sauce in the backgroud
Look at that gorgeous cheese pull!

How to Make Homemade Cheese Sticks in the Air Fryer

To keep things quick and easy, I used mozzarella string cheese. However, you can take a big block of mozzarella and slice it into rectangles for the same effect. I’ve found that the watery mozzarella (the really authentic kind) doesn’t work as well for this recipe, unfortunately.

We’re going to use breadcrumbs + grated parmesan as our coating. After a double-breading, make sure to freeze these before cooking. This way, you can make sure that the cheese doesn’t spread too quickly while cooking. Before throwing them in an air fryer, spray the sticks with a little bit of non-stick cooking spray. I also cooked these on top of parchment paper since my air fryer tray has little grooves.

I’ve recently discovered a love for sriracha, so I mixed some of that into my marinara sauce. If you love spicy foods like me, you’ll love this little hack as well!

Try these Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks for your next game night, dip party, date night in, or just when the craving hits. You won’t regret it!

FAQs

My cheesesticks are exploding when cooking. How do I prevent this?

Make sure you freeze the breaded mozzarella sticks before air frying/deep frying. This helps to keep the sticks together when they hit that hot air or hot grease.

What kind of breadcrumbs can I use for homemade mozzarella sticks?

I love to use a combination of Panko (for crunch) and regular breadcrumbs (for an even, pretty coating.) I also buy the unseasoned kind so you can control how much salt you’re adding in! Don’t forget to double coat these as well.

Can I fry these in oil instead of air frying? I don’t have an air fryer.

Of course! I would fry on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown. To test your oil and make sure it’s hot enough to fry: drop in a tiny bit of the coating into your oil. If it immediately sizzles and floats up, it’s ready to go!

Other Tasty Air Fryer Meals!

Buttery, Air Fried Garlic Knots

Crispy Air Fried Potato Wedges

Air Fried Coconut Shrimp

And if you’re looking for tons of great meal ideas that can be made in your air fryer, from breakfast to pizza to Asian, check out my cookbook Air Fried Boss! Over 20 tried and true recipes to really get the most out of that air fryer that you got for Christmas.

air fried mozzarella stick on a black plate with marinara sauce in the backgroud

Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks

Shani W.
Make your favorite appetizer at home in the air fryer – Cheesy, crunchy goodness that tastes 10x better than the ones in the freezer aisle!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 8 mins
Course Appetizers
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs panko and/or regular
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ct. eggs
  • 12 ct. mozzarella string cheese

Instructions
 

  • In a large, shallow bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, Italian seasoning, and salt.
  • In another shallow bowl, whisk both eggs.
  • Dip a string cheese stick in the egg wash, then breading mixture. Repeat so the sticks are double-breaded.
  • Continue breading until all sticks are completed. Add to a large tray covered with parchment paper.
  • Freeze the cheese sticks for at least 45 minutes; this helps keep the cheese from spreading too much while cooking.
  • Spray non-stick cooking spray on the frozen cheese sticks. Add them (and the parchment paper) to your air fryer.
  • Cook at 390°F for 5 minutes. Flip, spray a bit more cooking spray on the other sides, then cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve hot with some chopped parsley and marinara sauce. Enjoy!
Keyword Air Fryer Recipes, Appetizers, cheese sticks, dippables, mozzarella sticks

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a hand dipping an air fried mozzarella stick in marinara sauce

The Coined Breakdown

  • Total Cost per serving: $2.22
  • Total Cost (12 sticks): $6.67
  • Those Other Guys: $8.99 per serving

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