This recipe for mozzarella sticks is cheese coated in seasoned breadcrumbs, then deep fried until golden brown and crispy. A fun and easy appetizer option that’s even better than what you would get at a restaurant.

When I’m entertaining, I like to serve a variety of snacks such as baked chicken wings, bean dip, and these cheesy and melty mozzarella sticks.

Mozzarella sticks served with a side of marinara sauce.

When I see mozzarella sticks on a restaurant menu, I have to order them. I just can’t get enough of the creamy cheese paired with the crispy coating! I’ve since learned how to make this dish at home, and the results are nothing short of fabulous.

Mozzarella sticks ingredients

This dish is made with string cheese, flour, Italian style breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, eggs, milk, oil, parsley and marinara sauce for dipping.

Cheese sticks on a sheet pan.

How do you make mozzarella sticks?

This recipe starts with sticks of string cheese, which are cut in half. Dip each piece of cheese in flour, then coat them in eggs and breadcrumbs. Repeat the process by coating the cheese in a second layer of egg and breadcrumbs. The double coating will prevent the cheese from spilling out during the frying process. Freeze the cheese sticks, then deep fry until just golden brown. Serve immediately with marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

A cheese stick in a bowl of seasoned breadcrumbs.

Tips for the perfect fried cheese sticks

  • You can use string cheese, or you can cut your own sticks of cheese from a block of mozzarella. I like to use string cheese because it ensures that the cheese sticks are all the same size and will cook at the same rate.
  • If you don’t have Italian style breadcrumbs, you can use regular breadcrumbs with a teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning mixed in.
  • Be sure to use a frying thermometer to maintain the correct oil temperature. If the oil is too hot, the mozzarella sticks can burn. If the oil is too cold, the breadcrumb coating will absorb excess grease.
  • This recipe is best when served immediately. That being said, you can store leftover cheese sticks in the refrigerator. Reheat the sticks in a 400 degrees F until crispy and warmed through.
  • I typically use vegetable oil for frying, although any neutral flavored oil will work such as peanut oil, canola oil or safflower oil.
Breaded cheese sticks on a baking pan.

Recipe FAQs

What temperature do you cook cheese sticks at?

Mozzarella sticks cook at 350 degrees F for 2-3 minutes, until just golden brown. Be careful not to overcook your cheese sticks because you want to brown the exterior without having the interior completely melt and leak into the oil.

What are mozzarella sticks made of?

This classic appetizer consists of sticks of mozzarella cheese that are coated in seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, then deep fried until golden brown. Occasionally you will find cheese sticks with other types of coatings such as panko crumbs or a batter.

Do you have to freeze mozzarella sticks before frying?

It is imperative to freeze the cheese sticks before they are cooked. Do not skip this step or the cheese will leak out into the hot oil.

Why are my mozzarella sticks bursting?

Cheese sticks can burst if they have not been frozen before frying, if they’re cooked for too long, or if the oil is too hot.

A hand pulling apart mozzarella sticks.

Flavor Variations

While this recipe is delicious as-is, you can substitute different ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.

  • Cheese: Mozzarella is a classic choice, but other types of cheese that melt well will also work, such as American cheese or pepper jack.
  • Coating: Try using half regular breadcrumbs and half panko breadcrumbs for an extra crispy exterior.
  • Sauce: While marinara is the most traditional dipping sauce, you can also serve ranch dressing, chipotle mayo, remoulade or garlic aioli on the side.

Once you try these homemade mozzarella sticks, you’ll never need order them at a restaurant again!

More fabulous party foods

Mozzarella Sticks Video

5 from 19 votes

Mozzarella Sticks

AuthorSara Welch
Mozzarella sticks served with a side of marinara sauce.
This recipe for mozzarella sticks is cheese coated in seasoned breadcrumbs, then deep fried until golden brown and crispy. A fun and easy appetizer option that's even better than what you would get at a restaurant.
Time
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Freezing Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 40 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Serves 16

Ingredients 

  • 16 string cheese cut in half crosswise
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian style breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 cup marinara sauce

Instructions 

  • Place the flour in a small bowl. Place the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a second bowl and stir to combine.
  • Place the eggs and milk in a third bowl and beat until well mixed.
  • Dip each piece of cheese into flour, then into the egg, then the breadcrumbs, then the egg again, then the breadcrumbs again. Place each finished cheese stick on a sheet pan lined with parchment.
  • Repeat the process until all the cheese has been coated.
  • Freeze the cheese for at least 2 hours or until frozen solid.
  • Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees F.
  • Place a few cheese sticks at a time into the oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until just golden brown.
  • Drain the cheese sticks on a paper towel. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with marinara sauce.

Notes

  1. You can use string cheese, or you can cut your own sticks of cheese from a block of mozzarella. I like to use string cheese because it ensures that the cheese sticks are all the same size and will cook at the same rate.
  2. If you don’t have Italian style breadcrumbs, you can use regular breadcrumbs with a teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning mixed in.
  3. Be sure to use a frying thermometer to maintain the correct oil temperature. If the oil is too hot, the mozzarella sticks can burn. If the oil is too cold, the breadcrumb coating will absorb excess grease.
  4. It is very important to freeze the cheese sticks before you cook them, otherwise the cheese may melt into the oil.

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These remind me so much of my childhood, but I still love them today. This homemade version feel much healthier, too! So good!

  2. 5 stars
    These cheese sticks are so tasty! So simple, and I love that you can do all the prep ahead of time, so all you need to do is fry them up when it’s time to serve. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    My husband didn’t believe that I made these. He was convinced it was take out until I showed him the recipe. So Yummy!

    1. 5 stars
      This is my second time making these they are just SO good. I made my own homemade Italian bread crumbs instead of the store bought and used fresh basil from my garden in it. I fried them in olive oil. I love how you can eat them and no feel awful after. The crunch is beyond amazing. These are the definition of YUM!!!

  4. 5 stars
    Mozzarella sticks are my favorite!! I can’t wait to make these for my kids!! Thanks for sharing! 🙂