These melty Fried Mozzarella Sticks are breaded in both breadcrumbs and panko, which provide the most outstanding crunch! This classic appetizer is both gooey and crunchy- what more could you ask for?!
Why you'll love this recipe
Mozzarella sticks are one of my favorite appetizers (or main course, depending on the day). Nothing beats that melty cheese and crispy Italian breading dipped in my favorite ranch dressing or marinara. But let's not forget the best dipping sauce of them all: cheese. Yes, that's right. Fried cheese dipped in more cheese- super yum!
I love making my own appetizers at home. I know the ingredients and the oil will be super fresh. Plus, it's cheaper and I can make as many as I want (and eat as many as I want)!
These gluten-free cheese sticks can be baked or fried- I have included instructions below for both.
This fried mozzarella stick recipe only requires 5 ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
- String cheese
- Gluten-free panko
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs
- Italian seasoning
- Gluten-free flour
- Oil for frying
Start by cutting each string cheese in half. This will make a total of 16 cheese sticks. Create a dipping station with each ingredient in a separate bowl: flour, eggs, panko, and breadcrumbs mixed with Italian seasoning.
Dip each cheese stick into the flour (shake off excess), dip in eggs, roll in breadcrumbs, dip in eggs again, and finally roll in panko. Do make sure that each stick gets dipped twice. That thick coating is what helps keep the cheese from spilling out.
Flour > Eggs > Breadcrumbs > Eggs > Panko
Pro Tip: When coating each string cheese, be gentle! The breading can slide off if they're not handled with care.
Place the coated cheese sticks onto a baking sheet and place them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
This is a step that you won't want to skip.
Be sure to freeze the breaded cheese sticks to make sure they don't disintegrate in the hot oil. I actually did this once the first time I made cheese balls. They were so small and cute and I was just so excited! I heated up my oil and threw a few in and they basically disappeared.
Don't let this happen to you!
Heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and fry the cheese sticks two or three at a time. Try not to blink, they cook fast! Using a long-handled strainer, remove the mozzarella sticks from the oil. Pull the sticks when the breading is golden brown or when the cheese starts leaking out.
Place them on a cooling rack to keep them nice and crisp.
If the mozzarella sticks have to be pulled from the oil too early or if they cool too much, pop them into the microwave for a few seconds. This will make the cheese extra gooey without ruining the crispy crust.
Pair with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!
These cheese sticks can also be baked instead of fried for a healthier choice.
Follow the recipe as directed. After freezing the sticks, bake them at 400 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the crumbs have browned.
Tips & tricks
Use panko and breadcrumbs. Most cheese stick recipes call for either breadcrumbs or panko. This one uses both. I wanted the classic cheese stick taste but with a little extra crunch.
- Deep Fryer. Quickly fry up a ton of mozzarella sticks with a large deep fryer with extra large baskets. Bigger baskets means less batches!
Storing and reheating
Refrigerator: If you happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container after they have cooled completely. We recommend not keeping them longer than two days, due to the breading becoming soggy.
Freezer: Store breaded cheese sticks in the freezer for up to three months; continue with frying. I do not recommend freezing mozzarella sticks after they have been fried.
Reheat: Mozzarella sticks can be reheated in the oven or microwave, but keep in mind that the cheese may end up everywhere (but they'll still be just as delicious)!
More great appetizers
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- 8 string cheese
- ½ c gluten free panko
- ½ c gluten free breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ c gluten free flour
- 2 eggs
- oil for frying
- Cut each string cheese in half.
- Create a dipping station with each ingredient in a separate bowl (flour, eggs, panko, and breadcrumbs mixed with the Italian seasoning).
- Dip the cheese stick into the flour (shake off excess), dip in eggs, roll in breadcrumbs, dip in eggs again, and roll in panko. Flour > Eggs > Breadcrumbs > Eggs > Panko
- Place coated cheese sticks onto a baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry two or three mozzarella sticks at a time until golden brown, should be about a minute.
The nutritional information provided is only an estimate. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
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