Mozzarella Sticks

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Restaurant-worthy Mozzarella Sticks feature gooey melted cheese wrapped in a crisp coating that’s fried to crunchy perfection. Learn how to make mozzarella sticks that are better than anything you’ll order out.

I love cheese so, so much, and if you agree, you need to try these Puff Pastry Cheese Sticks, too, as well as my Mac and Cheese Bites and my Chili Cheese Fries!

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A platter of mozzarella sticks with one cut in half and one dipped in tomato sauce.

What’s not to love about mozzarella sticks? A crisp exterior is wrapped around decadent melted mozzarella cheese and dipped in tangy marinara sauce. You can serve them as an appetizer or round them out into a fuller dinner with a salad and pasta. We love this mozzarella sticks recipe, and I know you will, too!

Why I Love This Mozzarella Sticks Recipe

  • Easy. Forget store-bought mozza sticks! In this post, you will learn how to make mozzarella sticks at home. Spoiler: It’s so easy!
  • Better than a restaurant. While I love ordering mozzarella sticks at a restaurant, once I started making them at home, I hardly ever get them out anymore. This homemade recipe is so fresh and so much better than anything you can buy.
  • Easily doubled. I love this recipe because you can make some for now and freeze some for later! You can also double the recipe if you need to make more.
The ingredients for mozzarella sticks are shown portioned out and labeled: mozzarella cheese, panko breadcrumbs, flour, egg, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

What You’ll Need

To make my easy mozzarella sticks recipe, grab some pantry staples like all-purpose flour, garlic powder, cheese, and panko breadcrumbs. Below, see everything you’ll need to make this comfort-food appetizer.

  • All-Purpose Flour Flour is used to help the breadcrumbs stick to the cheese.
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder – Instead of fresh garlic, garlic powder adds a hint of flavor without being overpowering.
  • Onion Powder – Onion powder adds an extra bit of flavor.
  • Egg – Use a large egg to help the breading stick to the mozzarella.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – Panko breadcrumbs are larger than regular breadcrumbs and are great for fried recipes because they stay crisper longer.
  • Italian Seasoning – If you don’t have Italian seasoning, substitute an equal amount of dried basil and oregano.
  • Mozzarella Cheese I use low-moisture mozzarella cheese for this recipe.
  • Vegetable Oil – This is used to fry the mozzarella sticks. 
  • Marinara Sauce – You can use your favorite store-bought sauce or make a batch of homemade.
  • Parsley – For an optional garnish.

How To Make Mozzarella Sticks

A few minutes of preparation will help this recipe go smoothly! See an overview of how to make mozzarella sticks below. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card lower down.

  • Set up breading stations: Make one dish of all-purpose flour mixed with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Place the beaten egg in another dish, and combine the Panko breadcrumbs with Italian seasoning in a third dish.
  • Dredge: Take a mozzarella stick, dredge it in the flour mixture, then dip it in the egg.
  • Repeat: Coat the mozzarella stick again in the flour mixture.
  • Dip in egg: To finish, dip it in the egg.
  • Coat with breadcrumbs: Roll the mozzarella stick in the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Press: Then press down gently to ensure the breadcrumbs stick.
  • Chill: Place the breaded mozzarella sticks on a tray in a single layer and freeze them until firm.
  • Cook: Heat the vegetable oil in a pot, place in a few sticks at a time, and fry them until golden brown and crisp.
  • Serve! Add lemon wedges and a bowl of marinara sauce, and serve the mozzarella sticks fresh and hot.
A mozzarella stick is broken up to show the melted cheese inside.

Tips & Variations

  • Freeze the cheese sticks. This is an essential step in the recipe because it will firm up the cheese and coating before you fry the mozzarella sticks. If you don’t freeze the sticks, they’ll fall apart during the cooking process.
  • Make ahead: The freezing step can also help to make this dish ahead of time. After the mozzarella sticks are firm to the touch, transfer them to an airtight freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to make them, follow the recipe directions – you don’t even have to thaw them!
  • Air Fry. Popping mozzarella sticks in your air fryer is another great way to cook them! To cook the mozzarella sticks in an air fryer, heat your air fryer to 390°F and spray the basket with cooking spray. Place the sticks in the basket, lightly spray them with cooking spray, and cook for 6-8 minutes until crisp.
  • Don’t overcrowd. If you’re cooking the mozzarella sticks in oil in a pot, make sure not to overcrowd the oil otherwise they won’t cook as evenly. Watch the sticks to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Use other sauces. Marinara sauce is a beloved pairing with fried mozzarella sticks, but you can branch out and try other dips! Some of my family’s favorites include ranch dressing or pesto.

How To Serve

Fried mozzarella sticks are a great appetizer, but you can round them out into a fuller meal with a salad or meat main.

A mozzarella stick being dipped in a bowl of marinara sauce.

Proper Storage

Mozzarella sticks are best enjoyed hot and fresh, while the cheese is melty and gooey. With that said, if you have leftovers, place the cooled mozzarella sticks in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months. To reheat, arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer and heat them at 350°F until the coating is crisp and the cheese is melted. You may reheat the mozzarella sticks directly from the freezer.

More Appetizer Recipes To Try

Mozzarella Sticks

Treat yourself to these homemade Mozzarella Sticks, which feature gooey melted cheese tucked inside a crisp coating and are fried to golden, crunchy perfection.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Freeze Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 egg,, beaten
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 16 ounces low moisture mozzarella cheese sticks,, cut into pieces 3-inch x ¾ inch
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil,, for frying
  • 1 cup marinara sauce,, for dipping
  • chopped fresh parsley,, for garnish, optional
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  • Breading Station. Set up your breading station with three separate shallow dishes. In one dish, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. The egg should go in the second dish, and in the third dish, combine the panko breadcrumbs with the Italian seasoning.
  • Prep the Cheese. Take a mozzarella stick and dredge it in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Dip the floured mozzarella into the beaten egg, ensuring it's fully coated. For an extra crispy crunch, repeat the process once more: coat the mozzarella stick again in the flour mixture and give it another dip in the beaten egg, ensuring it's fully coated.
  • Continue to Coat. Roll the double-dipped mozzarella stick in the seasoned panko breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to ensure the breadcrumbs adhere. Repeat the process with all the cheese sticks.
  • Freeze. Place the breaded mozzarella sticks on a tray or plate and arrange them neatly in a single layer. Transfer the tray to the freezer and let the mozzarella sticks chill for 30 to 40 minutes or until they are firm to the touch.
  • Prep the Oil. Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 375°F. Make sure there's enough oil to fully submerge the mozzarella sticks, and use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the oil.
  • Cook. Carefully place the coated mozzarella sticks into the preheated oil, a few at a time, depending on the size of your pot. Do not overcrowd the pot. Fry them until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Be attentive, as they can brown quickly.
  • Drain. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the mozzarella sticks from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  • Serve. Transfer the fried mozzarella sticks to a serving platter and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve hot with lemon wedges and marinara sauce for dipping.


  • Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.


Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 805mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 510IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 435mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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