Need a crowd-pleasing snack or appetizer? Homemade air fryer mozzarella sticks are easier to make than you think and are sure to keep everyone coming back for more!
Looking for a snack or appetizer recipe that friends and family won’t be able to resist? Then you have to try whipping up these homemade air fryer mozzarella sticks!
The entire process is even easier than you think, and the result is oh-so-delicious. Who could say no to gooey, melty mozzarella encased in crispy, golden breading?
And thanks to the air fryer, this recipe uses way less oil than traditional deep-fried versions. So you can go ahead and treat yourself to “just one more!”
If you’re looking for directions on cooking frozen mozzarella sticks in this air fryer, use these directions instead.
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- The fool-proof way to make homemade mozzarella sticks in the air fryer
- What to serve with air fryer mozzarella sticks
- The best temperature for making this recipe
- How you can store and reheat leftover mozzarella sticks
I should warn you that once you make this recipe, anyone you share it with is going to beg you to make it again and again.
Whether that’s friends or family, everyone will be going crazy for your homemade mozzarella sticks.
And once you try a bite, you’ll want to make them all the time too!
I made this recipe using the 5.8 QT Cosori Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.
How to Make Mozzarella Sticks in the Air Fryer
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
STEP TWO: Place the flour in a shallow bowl and set aside. In a second bowl, whisk the egg until well beaten. In another shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, vegetable oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt, then whisk to combine.
If you need an Italian Seasoning substitution, you can use this list.
STEP THREE: Dip each halved string cheese first in the flour, then in the egg, and then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Place the coated sticks on the baking sheet and freeze, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.
STEP FOUR: Place the breaded mozzarella sticks in the basket and spray them generously with cooking spray. I recommend an EVO Oil Sprayer for this.
STEP FIVE: Air fry at 390 degrees F for 6-8 minutes or until golden and crisp.
STEP SIX: Serve immediately with marinara sauce.
Are Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks Healthier?
The air fryer is a great way to cut out some excess oil from any of your favorite deep-fried foods, including these mozzarella sticks!
The convection-style cooking you get from the air fryer means you can use less oil while still getting that amazing crunch on the outside.
No matter what, mozzarella sticks are still breaded cheese that’s been fried until crispy. I don’t know if that necessarily qualifies as “health” food.
However, by using the air fryer instead of traditional deep frying methods, you’re certainly cutting out excess oil, which means fewer calories and fat overall.
Do You Need to Freeze Mozzarella Sticks Before Air Frying?
Absolutely! This is a super important step that you don’t want to skip.
If you don’t freeze the mozzarella sticks first, the cheese will melt too fast in the air fryer.
The breading won’t have time to crisp up and form a sturdy outer casing, which will lead to soggy mozzarella sticks with cheese oozing out of the breading.
By freezing the sticks before we air fry them, the cheese takes a bit longer to melt, which gives the breading time to crisp up.
That’s how you end up with perfectly-cooked mozzarella sticks.
What to Serve with Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks
- Air Fryer Boneless Wings
- Air Fryer Fried Pickles
- Air Fryer Onion Rings
- Cheesy White Bean Tomato Bake
- Pigs in A Blanket in the Air Fryer
What’s the Best Mozzarella Sticks Air Fryer Temperature?
The trick to mozzarella sticks that are perfectly crispy on the outside with gooey cheese on the inside is getting the temperature just right.
You want the breading to get toasted at the same time that the cheese melts.
If you cook homemade mozzarella sticks at too high of a temperature, you risk the breading starting to burn while the cheese hasn’t fully melted yet.
No one wants burnt breading around frozen cheese.
But if you use too low of a temperature, the cheese could melt and start seeping out of the mozzarella stick before the breading has time to crisp up and really form that crunchy outer shell.
You’ll end up with a soggy mess.
I find that 390 degrees F is the happy medium. The breading gets gloriously crunchy just as the string cheese starts to melt.
Keep in mind that the cheese will probably start to bubble, but for the most part, your mozzarella sticks will be solid and cooked to perfection.
Can You Store Leftover Mozzarella Sticks?
You bet! The most important thing is to give the mozzarella sticks time to fully cool before you store them.
Otherwise, the condensation from the heat could make the breading soggy, and they won’t get as crispy when you reheat them.
Once the mozzarella sticks are cooled, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat them:
- Place the leftover mozzarella sticks in the air fryer basket.
- Cook at 390 degrees F for 3-5 minutes until the breading is crispy and the cheese has melted.
Other Air Fryer Appetizer Recipes You’ll Love:
- 8 sticks mozzarella string cheese, cut in half
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Marinara sauce, for dipping
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place flour in a shallow bowl and set aside. In a second bowl, whisk egg until well beaten. In another shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs, vegetable oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt and whisk to combine.
- Dip each piece of mozzarella in the flour, then the egg, then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Place the coated sticks on the baking sheet and freeze, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to fry.
- Place the mozzarella sticks in the basket and spray them generously with cooking spray.
- Air fry at 390 degrees F for 6-8 minutes (the cheese will begin to bubble), or until golden and crisp. Serve immediately with marinara sauce.
How to reheat mozzarella sticks:
1. Place mozzarella sticks in your air fryer basket.
2. Cook at 390 degrees for 3-5 minutes or until crispy and the cheese is melted.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 470Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 1017mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 26g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.