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Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks are pretty much a dream come true. They’re crunchy, savory, and filled with gooey, stretchy, delicious cheese.

Mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce on a wooden plate on a red background

Okay, time for a pop quiz! Name a better comfort food than mozzarella sticks. No answer? That’s what I thought!

Who can turn down a plate of warm, cheesy, mozzarella sticks? I know I can’t! That being said, this mozzarella sticks recipe is without a doubt one of my favorites. They’re crispy, savory, and filled with deliciously stretchy mozzarella cheese. What more could you want?

If you’re not yet sold, consider the fact that this is probably one of the simplest homemade mozzarella stick recipes ever. To make it that way, I used an air fryer!

I love air fryers because they make it totally possible to fry foods without the mess of a regular deep fryer. Plus, air fried recipes are a great alternative health-wise. Check out this page to find the perfect air fryer.

Mozzarella sticks in a plastic bag of flour on a red background

Ingredients for Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

This recipe calls for just four ingredients and four spices. Since the ingredients are super simple, you most likely already have most of them on hand!

  • Mozzarella Sticks: For this recipe, mozzarella sticks are the name of the game! You can use actual pre-cut cheese sticks, or you can cut sticks from a block.
  • All-Purpose Flour: We will be using flour for the breading process.
  • Egg: We will use an egg wash to help make the breadcrumbs stick!
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs will be used to coat the mozzarella sticks. Panko crumbs are made without crusts, making them great for breading fried foods.
  • Spices: To make these mozz sticks extra yummy, we’ll be adding flavor with onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt.
  • Dipping Sauce: Choose your favorite sauce for dipping, such as marinara or ranch!
A mozzarella stick in a container of whisked egg, and a mozzarella stick in a container of panko breadcrumbs

How to Air Fry Mozzarella Sticks

The directions may look intimidating at a glance, but trust me. These mozzarella sticks are so easy to make! Be sure to follow each step carefully, remembering to freeze the mozz sticks when called for.

  1. Prep cheese: Unwrap pre-cut mozzarella sticks, or cut into sticks if starting from a block.
  2. Freeze cheese: Line cheese onto a parchment-lined plate and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Prep breading station: Place flour in a ziploc baggie. Whisk egg in a shallow bowl. Combine panko and seasonings in a separate shallow bowl.
  4. Coat the cheese with flour: Toss mozzarella sticks into the bag with the flour, zip it shut, and shake to evenly coat the cheese.
  5. Bread the cheese: Working one at a time, roll the mozzarella sticks in the egg, then in the panko. Return to the plate and freeze for 30 more minutes.
  6. Prep the air fryer and bread a second time: Lightly grease your air fryer basket or rack, and preheat to 390°F (200°C). Coat the mozzarella sticks in egg and panko a second time, then transfer to the air fryer.
  7. Cook: Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.
  8. Enjoy: Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce, like marinara or ranch.
Mozzarella sticks cooking in a single layer in an air fryer

Tips for Cooking Healthier Mozzarella Sticks

Here are some extra tips to make your mozzarella stick experience even better!

  • Air frying from frozen: If you’re wondering how to air fry frozen mozzarella sticks, keep reading! It’s totally possible to air fry mozz sticks from frozen (as in, frozen store-bought mozzarella sticks). To do so, simply toss into the air fryer and follow the temperature and time instructions as listed in the recipe.
  • Don’t skip freezing: When cooking from scratch, freezing between breading takes a bit of extra time. But, it’s so worth it! Without freezing, the cheese melts too early and and will spill out before the coating has time to cook.
  • Cook in single layers: If all mozzarella sticks don’t fit in a single layer on your air fryer rack, cook in multiple batches. I do not recommend double stacking.
Mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce on a wooden plate on a red background

Check out more of my favorite healthy appetizers!

Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers, Side Dishes, Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer mozzarella sticks, homemade mozzarella sticks, mozzarella sticks
Diet: Vegetarian
Occasion: 4th of July, Birthdays, Game Day
Time: 60 minutes or more
Prep: 1 hr 15 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 1 hr 23 mins
Servings: 8 mozzarella sticks
Calories: 120kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
5 from 1 vote

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 mozzarella sticks
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp each onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Freeze Cheese: Unwrap mozzarella sticks (or cut into sticks if starting from a block of cheese). Set on a parchment-lined plate and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Prep: Meanwhile, set up your breading station. Place flour in a ziploc baggie. Whisk egg in a shallow bowl. Combine panko and seasonings in a separate shallow bowl.
  • Bread Once: Toss mozzarella sticks into the bag with the flour, zip it shut, and shake to evenly coat the cheese. Working one at a time, roll the mozzarella sticks in the egg, then in the panko. Return to the plate and freeze for 30 more minutes.
  • Bread Twice: Lightly grease your air fryer basket or rack, and preheat to 390°F (200°C). Coat the mozzarella sticks in egg then panko one more time, then transfer to the air fryer.
  • Cook: Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce, like marinara or ranch.

NOTES

Can you skip freezing the mozzarella sticks? I know it adds time to the recipe, but freezing the cheese before cooking is crucial to them cooking correctly. If you don’t freeze them, the cheese will melt and spill out before the coating has time to cook.
Can you cook store bought frozen mozzarella sticks in an air fryer? Yes! Follow the temperature and time listed above to cook store bought mozzarella sticks in your air fryer.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1mozzarella stick | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.2g | Protein: 9.5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Calcium: 24mg
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