Home Appetizers Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks (Homemade Recipe)

Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks (Homemade Recipe)

Store-bought has nothing on these homemade air fryer mozzarella sticks!

Between the crunch, gooey center, and scrumptious flavor, they’re a cheese lover’s fantasy.

And they’re far easier to make than you think. 

Homemade gooey and crunchy mozzarella sticks with ketchup on the side
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Thanks to the air fryer, these cheesy golden delights are also much less greasy.

They come out crispy, crunchy, and perfectly melty. Serve these mozzarella sticks with a side of marinara, and let the snacking begin!

Ingredients for Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

You can throw these fresh mozzarella sticks together with just five basic ingredients, plus a few standard spices. 

You’ll never settle for frozen mozzarella sticks again! Here’s what you need:

  • Mozzarella Sticks – For that irresistible ooey-gooey center! Use store-bought mozzarella cheese sticks or string cheese. You can also slice cheese from a block.
  • Flour – Use all-purpose flour for the breading. You can also use gluten-free flour.
  • Eggs – Beaten eggs help bind the breadcrumbs. 
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – These large breadcrumbs deliver the best crunchy texture. Substitute with gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed.
  • Parmesan Cheese – The secret to the best mozzarella sticks is using Parmesan in the breading. So you get double the cheese!
  • Seasoning – Enhance the crispy breadcrumb coating with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Homemade coated

How to Air Fry Mozzarella Sticks

These restaurant-worthy homemade mozzarella sticks are a breeze to make. They take as little as 5 minutes of prep. 

Keep in mind they need some time to freeze, but they’re well worth the wait!

Here are the basic steps:

1. Freeze the cheese. Place the cheese sticks on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze them for at least 1 hour.

2. Set up the breading station. In the first bowl, add the all-purpose flour. In the second, beat the eggs. In the third, mix the panko, Parmesan, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Coated mozzarella sticks with egg in a baking sheet, top view

3. Coat the mozzarella sticks. Roll a frozen mozzarella stick in the flour. Then, dip into the beaten eggs. Finally, roll it in the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with the remaining frozen mozzarella sticks.

4. Freeze the coated mozzarella sticks. Place them in the freezer for 10-30 minutes.

5. Air fry. Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the mozzarella sticks in the basket in a single layer. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray. Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway. 

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6. Serve. Serve them hot with your dipping sauce of choice.

Tips for Success 

Like these air fryer fried green tomatoes, air fryer mozzarella sticks are surprisingly simple to make at home.

And yet, the air fryer can take a little fine-tuning. 

I’ve included my top tips to ensure success. 

  • Double down on the breading. For a thicker coating, double-dip the sticks in the egg and breadcrumb mixture. It gives them an extra crunch!
  • Keep everything uniform. This will ensure the cheese melts evenly. If you’re slicing cheese from a block, be sure to cut to a uniform size.
  • Give them some space. A common mistake with air frying is overcrowding the basket. Give the mozzarella sticks space to allow for proper air circulation and even cooking.
  • Watch the cooking time. Each air fryer cooks differently. So adjust the cooking time based on your model, as temperatures can vary.
  • Have fun with spices. This recipe is easily customizable. Try different herbs and seasonings. Chili powder, onion powder, dried basil, and garlic salt are all delicious.
  • Get dipping! Pick your favorite sauce. Marinara, Wingstop ranch, Heinz chili sauce, and spicy aioli are some of my favorites. But pick any flavor combination you like.
Cheesy breaded homemade mozzarella sticks, close-up

Make-Ahead and Freezing Tips

Want mozzarella sticks for the big game or a birthday party? Make them in advance!

I also love meal prepping them for an easy snack. They freeze well, so you can always keep some on hand.

To Make-Ahead/Freeze: Follow the directions and stop after step 6. Then, place the uncooked mozzarella sticks into a freezer-safe container for longer storage. When ready to serve, follow steps 7-10.

How to Store 

Don’t toss out those leftover mozzarella sticks! You can save them for later. Just a quick reheat, and they’re ready.

To Store: Place the room-temperature mozzarella sticks in an air-tight container. Refrigerate them for up to 3 days.

To Reheat: Reheat them in the air fryer for 3 minutes or until warm and the center is gooey.

More Air Fryer Appetizers 

Best Air Fryer French Fries
Air Fryer Crab Rangoon
Air Fryer Hush Puppies
Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
Healthy Air Fryer Banana Chips

Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks (Homemade Recipe)

Course: AppetizersCuisine: American
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

8

minutes
Freeze Time

1

hour 

30

minutes

These air fryer mozzarella sticks are so much better than store-bought! With a few simple ingredients, you’ll have a crunchy, creamy appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 8 mozzarella cheese sticks or string cheese sticks

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon paprika, optional

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions

  • Unwrap the cheese sticks and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze them for at least 1 hour or until solid. This step is crucial for keeping the cheese from melting too quickly while cooking.
  • Set up three shallow bowls. In the first bowl, place the all-purpose flour. In the second, beat the eggs. In the third, mix the Panko, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, paprika (if using), and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Roll a frozen mozzarella stick in the flour and shake off any excess.
  • Then, dip it into the beaten eggs, allowing any excess to drip off.
  • Finally, roll it in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Place the coated stick back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining sticks.
  • Once all the mozzarella sticks are coated, freeze them again for at least 10 minutes, up to 30 minutes. This step helps the coating stay on during cooking.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) for about 5 minutes.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray. Place the mozzarella sticks in the basket in a single layer, ensuring they’re not touching. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your air fryer. Spray the tops of the sticks lightly with cooking spray.
  • Cook them for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure even cooking. The mozzarella sticks should be golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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