Mozzarella Sticks are an easy, classic appetizer that everybody loves! The warm melted cheese is surrounded by savory breading that keeps it from oozing out as it is fried to crispy, golden perfection.
We can’t resist dipping these mozzarella sticks in marinara sauce. For more fun appetizers that are perfect for dipping, try these Bacon Jalapeno Poppers, Chili Lime Chicken Wings, or Crispy Baked Parmesan Ravioli.
Mozzarella Sticks are so easy to make at home ahead of a party and can be fried up in just a couple of minutes.
You can even make a bunch in advance and store them in the freezer to always have some on hand.
They are the perfect appetizer for an Italian-themed dinner party.
And they make a great addition as part of a game day spread!
How to make Mozzarella Sticks
- Prep stations for breading: Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl. Pour Italian breadcrumbs into a shallow dish and combine with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a little salt.
- Slice cheese into sticks: Cut a 16-ounce brick of mozzarella cheese into 16 sticks that are each about 3 1/2″ long.
- Bread the mozzarella: Dip each stick in the egg wash first, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Then give them a second coating of breadcrumbs by dipping in the egg wash and breadcrumbs again before transferring to a sheet pan. Repeat until all of the cheese is coated and then freeze for at least 1 hour.
- Heat oil for frying: Fill a large skillet with at least 1″ of vegetable oil for frying, or use a deep fryer if you have one. Heat the oil to between 350 and 365 degrees F over medium-high heat. The temperature will drop when the frozen mozzarella sticks are added, so a good thermometer is helpful to monitor the oil temp and keep it in range.
- Fry in batches: Working with 5-6 mozzarella sticks at a time, fry for 1-2 minutes, carefully turning partway through using tongs, until crispy and golden brown on the outside.
- Drain: Remove to a plate lined with paper towel while repeating with the remaining mozzarella sticks, then serve hot with marinara sauce for dipping.
Tips for Making Mozzarella Sticks
- Use a block of the firm mozzarella cheese, as opposed to fresh mozzarella cheese, which is softer. The firm mozzarella is better for cutting and frying.
- We tested this recipe with both Panko-style bread crumbs, and the smaller classic Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs. The finer breadcrumbs made for a better coating that held to the cheese and provided better coverage.
- Don’t skip the second coating of breadcrumbs. It’s hard to get enough coating to create a shell to hold in the cheese while it fries with just one dip in egg wash and breadcrumbs.
What type of dipping sauce is best for Mozzarella Sticks?
Our favorite choice is a classic marinara or pizza sauce for dipping these crispy-on-the-out-side, melty-on-the-inside sticks.
You can serve the marinara sauce cold for a contrast, or heat it up on the stove top or in the microwave if you prefer.
But I also love these with ranch dressing. Because everything goes with ranch, doesn’t it?
Looking for More Party Appetizers? Try these
- Parmesan Garlic Bites with Alfredo Dip
- Three Cheese Garlic Pull Apart Bread
- Pizza on a Stick
- Caprese Skewers
- The Best Avocado Egg Rolls (Cheesecake Factory Copycat)
- Hot Ham and Swiss Pinwheels
- 1 pound mozzarella
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Marinara sauce, for dipping
- Slice the brick of mozzarella cheese into 16 sticks that are each about 3 1/2" long.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In a separate shallow dish like a pie plate, stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and salt.
- Working one at a time, dip each mozzarella stick into the egg wash, let the excess drip off, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process for each mozzarella stick for a double coating of bread crumbs by dipping again in the egg wash and breadcrumbs before transferring to a sheet pan. Continue until all of the cheese is coated and the breadcrumbs have been used up.
- Transfer the mozzarella sticks to the freezer and freeze for at least 1 hour.
- Fill a large skillet at least 1"-2" deep with vegetable oil, or use a deep fryer if you have one. Heat the oil to between 350 and 365 degrees F over medium-high heat. The temperature will drop when the frozen mozzarella sticks are added, so use a thermometer to monitor the oil temp and keep it in range.
- Working in batches, fry 5-6 mozzarella sticks at a time for 1-2 minutes, carefully turning with tongs halfway through, until crispy and golden brown on the outside. Remove the fried mozzarella sticks to a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
- Continue to fry the remaining mozzarella sticks, then serve hot with marinara sauce for dipping.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
I think this would be great in the air fryer too!