Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

These easy Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks are breaded mozzarella string cheese that are perfectly crispy on the outside and cheesy on the inside. Just as tasty as the deep fried version, without the extra calories and mess.

food on a plate, with mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce

Homemade mozzarella sticks are simple to make and taste so much better than frozen ones from the store.

Not only do they cost less to make, but the best part is that you can freeze them to cook later. This way you have an easy appetizer or quick snack which has been prepared ahead of time.

Quite often a kid favourite, gooey mozzarella sticks are also a popular crispy cheesy appetizer from potlucks to game day. They are a crowd favourite, just like Buffalo Chicken Dip and Jalapeno Poppers.

The air fryer is such a handy small kitchen appliance, and so great for making healthier versions of your favourite deep fried foods.

Our breading recipe is seasoned and so flavourful, using just a few simple ingredients. The cheesy goodness of the gooey cheese hidden inside contrasts the crunchy outside just beautifully.


  • CROWD FAVOURITE – Not only is this a kid-friendly food, but it’s also a popular appetizer with adults as well!
  • HEALTHIER – An Air Fryer gives that crispy crunchy outside and melty cheese inside, with no oil and less calories as compared to deep frying.
  • INEXPENSIVE – The ingredients will most likely cost less than buying frozen versions from the store. As well, you’ll have many of them already on hand.
  • MAKE AHEAD – Making a big batch of this recipe and freeze some for the next time a craving hits! The whole family will loving having this tasty snack ready to cook. Convenient for when company drops by or for your next party.
  • DELICIOUS – You’ll love the crispy, flavorful breading and the gooey cheesy inside.

If you love these homemade air fryer mozzarella sticks, I suggest you try our other air fryer appetizers such as Air Fryer Chicken Bites, and these Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings

They all make a delicious snack and the best appetizer for football season and for holiday season.

marinara sauce and food on a plate, with mozzarella sticks

Ingredients Needed:

  • mozzarella cheese sticks – While brand doesn’t matter, whole milk mozzarella cheese sticks do have the stringiest cheese pull.
  • all purpose flour – first layer to the breading.
  • large eggs and water – the liquid that helps the breadcrumbs stick to the mozzarella sticks.
  • Panko bread crumbs – For that crispy crunchy coating. You can use regular bread crumbs if desired.
  • seasonings – I like to use everything but bagel seasoning (which is a blend of salt, dried onion powder, garlic powder, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds. ), salt and black pepper.
  • cooking spray – sprayed on the coated sticks so they crisp up in the air fryer. I like olive oil spray, yet you can use your preferred variety.
ingredients on a table, with air fryer mozzarella sticks

How to Make Homemade Mozzarella Sticks

As always, the full detailed instructions for this easy recipe are the printable recipe card below.

  1. Cut your mozzarella sticks in half and set aside. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Get out three shallow plates which will be your breading assembly line:

    In the first shallow bowl, place the flour.
    In the second bowl, beat the egg with water.
    In the third, mix the breadcrumbs with everything but bagel spices salt, and pepper.

  3. First flour the cheese sticks, coating them well.

  4. Then dip them in the beaten egg.

    steps to make Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

  5. Then immediately place them into the the panko mixture. Make sure the sticks are well coated with panko breadcrumbs.

  6. Place the sticks on prepared baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours.

  7. When ready to cook, preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees. Remove the sticks from the freezer and place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Spray lightly with the cooking spray.

  8. Air fry mozzarella sticks in the preheated air fryer for a cook time of 4-5 minutes until golden brown and crispy, flipping the sticks half-way through cooking.

  9. Serve air fryer cheese sticks warm with marinara sauce or your choice of dipping sauce.


    steps to make Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks



Helpful Tips


  • Air fryers aren’t created equal. There are different sizes and brands, so air fryer cook times may vary by a minute or two either way. Keep an eye on your sticks as they cook.
  • Change up the seasoning for a different taste. try italian seasoning,
  • For extra crispy mozzarella sticks dunk them into the the beaten eggs and then in the Panko bread crumb mixture twice. If doing so, double the breadcrumb amount and use 2-3 eggs.
  • Make sure to freeze the sticks after coating, in a single layer so they don’t freeze together.
  • Since air fryers cook by hot air circulating around the food, make sure to place the sticks in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Do not overlap.
  • For reheating and freezing, see below

What to Serve with Mozzarella Cheese Sticks?

Mozza sticks are best served with you favorite dipping sauce. You can use any kind depending on preference, yet I love ours with our favorite marinara sauce.

Other options include: ranch dressing, bbq sauce, buffalo sauce, or blue cheese dressing. When serving guests, I like to have a few options to pair with this delicious appetizer.

Other easy appetizers that pair with air fryer mozzarella cheese sticks: french fries, air fryer pizza rolls, or chicken nuggets.

food on a plate, with mozzarella sticks

Why are Homemade Mozzarella Sticks Frozen Before Air Fried?

Freezing the cheese sticks after breading them helps keep the breading to stay on and for best results. This is a step to keep the breading from falling off and the cheese from oozing out during cooking.

Another way to help keep the breading from falling off is o press the breading firmly into the sticks when coating them.

To Store

In the fridge – Leftover mozzarella sticks can be stored in the fridge for 3 days. Cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container to store.

In the freezer – To freeze uncooked mozzarella sticks, place in a single layer in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then place the frozen sticks into a freezer safe container or freezer bag and store for up to 3 months.

How to Reheat Mozzarella Sticks

The best way to reheat mozzarella sticks is in the air fryer at 390°F for 3 minutes. They are done when the coating is crispy and the inside slightly melted.

food being dipped into marinara, with mozzarella sticks

Make These In Advance

You can totally freeze these mozzarella sticks and cook them at a later time. They are perfect for storing in the freezer, just like store bought varieties.

In fact, this is a great recipe to batch-make, with the intent on freezing for later when the craving hits.

To do so, bread the mozzarella sticks and place in a single layer in the freezer as stated in the recipe. Yet instead of taking them out and cooking them, transfer to a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Take them out as needed and cook as directed on the recipe. There’s no need to defrost before cooking.

More Easy Appetizers:

food on a plate, with mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce

Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

These easy Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks are breaded mozzarella string cheese that are perfectly crispy on the outside and cheesy on the inside. Just as tasty as the deep fried version, without the extra calories and mess.

Ingredients

  • 8 whole milk mozzarella sticks
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon everything but bagel seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • olive oil cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Cut your mozzarella sticks in half and set aside. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Get out three shallow plates. In the first, place the flour. In the second, beat the egg with water. In the third, mix the breadcrumbs with everything but bagel spices salt, and pepper. This is your breading assembly line.
  3. First flour the cheese sticks, coating them well.
  4. Then dip them in the beaten eggs.
  5. Then immediately place them into the the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure the sticks are well coated with breadcrumbs.
  6. Place the sticks on prepared baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours.
  7. When ready to cook, preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees. Remove the sticks from the freezer and place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Spray lightly with the cooking spray.
  8. Cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and crispy, flipping the sticks half-way through cooking.
  9. Serve the cheese sticks warm with marinara sauce or your choice of dipping sauce.

      Notes

      • Double the recipe to feed a crowd.
      • Freeze a batch to make for later.
      • Everything but bagel seasoning is a blend of salt, dried onion, garlic, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds. 
        Nutrition Information:
        Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
        Amount Per Serving: Calories: 90Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 222mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

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        food, with mozzarella sticks

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