These homemade, double-breaded, ooey-gooey mozzarella sticks in an air fryer are the perfect snacks or appetizers. Made with fresh ingredients, and air-fried to perfection, they can be enjoyed by everyone no matter the occasion.
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Why I love homemade mozzarella sticks in an air fryer
Making them homemade brings the mozzarella sticks to another level. You can definitely go with store-bought mozzarella sticks in an air fryer too. With our homemade recipe, you can enjoy this well-known ooey-gooey and crispy treat any time from game day to a summer BBQ. Here’s why you should make them:
- Easy: They are so easy to make with fresh & simple ingredients you probably already have in the pantry.
- Convenient: The mozzarella cheese sticks freeze really well. So make some ahead of time and you can leave them in the freezer until you are ready to enjoy them.
- Healthier option: Homemade mozzarella sticks are healthier because you choose the ingredients. I used low-moisture part-skim mozzarella which is one of the healthiest cheeses out there.
- Cheese sticks: The low-moisture part-skim mozzarella sticks, aka string cheese, are already in the perfect shape for making the mozzarella sticks in an air fryer.
- Bread crumbs & Panko bread crumbs: The bread crumbs are finer than the bigger Panko crumbs. I put them together to have the bread crumbs coat the cheese fully and the Panko adds a bigger crunch.
- Dry basil: Even though I used seasoned bread crumbs, I like adding extra basil to bring an earthy-herby flavor.
- Onion powder: It brings a subtle sweetness. For you garlic lovers substitute with garlic powder.
- Oil: Drizzle or spray some oil on them before making the mozzarella sticks in an air fryer. This makes for a crispier crust.
After you are done breading the mozzarella sticks, freeze them. Don’t miss this step. If the sticks are not frozen, the cheese will melt before the bread & Panko crumbs have a chance to crisp up.
Instructions for ooey-gooey mozzarella sticks
Start by making an Assembly Line for the Homemade Mozzarella Sticks – I’m lucky here because we all love mozzarella sticks. So getting a few extra hands to make them is not a problem and it makes the recipe a breeze.
Line a small cookie sheet with parchment paper and get the cheese sticks unwrapped. Then set up the 3 bowls with the seasoned flour, breading, and whisked eggs. Turn on the assembly line with the cheese sticks being coated with egg, rolled in flour, egg again, and rolled in breading, then placed on the lined cookie sheet. Repeat.
Time to Chill – Actually, you are going to freeze them for at least 1 hour. Here is the best thing I have found about this recipe. Make a bunch and keep them in the freezer for up to 4 months. Not that they last that long around here… “Vittoria, how many did you have with lunch?”
Air Frying Ooey-Gooey Mozzarella Sticks – All you need to do is decide how many cheese sticks you want, preheat the air fryer, and cook. In around 5 minutes you have your homemade mozzarella cheese sticks ready to eat. You can savor them right away or with your favorite dipping sauce.
Keep reading down to the recipe card for specific ingredients and instructions.
Preheating the air fryer will give you nice and even crispy cheese sticks.
Tips and Tricks
- Halfway through the cook – It is important to flip the mozzarella cheese sticks halfway through the cook. This will ensure a more even cook and all-around crisper cheese sticks.
- Air fryer models- Every air fryer is different in power, and size. The style of your air fryer will impact the cooking time. So start monitoring the homemade cheese sticks about 2 minutes before the end of the cook. Check out the recipe card notes for the type I used.
- Don’t overcook the mozzarella sticks – When you flip the mozzarella cheese sticks this is your 1st chance to see how they are cooking. Then adjust your cooking time. No one wants to have all the ooey-gooey cheese “ooze” out.
- Shallow bowls: Make sure you can perfectly lay & roll the cheese stick in them. This will make it easier to coat and do the assembly line.
- Parchment paper: Freezing the coated cheese sticks on the parchment paper will make it easier to remove them and place them in the air fryer or for storing.
- Small cookie sheet or large plate: Use something flat that fits easily in the freezer.
- Air fryer parchment paper liner: If you are worried about them getting stuck in the basket the parchment paper is a good solution. Additionally, it makes cleaning easier.
Storage / Rewarm
Storage: They will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Or you can keep the uncooked frozen mozzarella cheese sticks for 4 months.
Rewarm: It only takes around 3 – 4 minutes back in the air fryer at 380 degrees F.
Mozzarella Sticks In An Air Fryer (Homemade)
- Air Fryer
- 3 shallow bowls
- Parchment paper
- 12 mozzarella sticks, low-moisture part-skim (aka string cheese)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Start by making an Assembly Line for the Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
- Line a small cookie sheet or large plate with parchment paper.
- Unwrap all the mozzarella cheese sticks. Add the bread crumbs, Panko, and dry basil in a shallow bowl, and mix.
- In a separate shallow bowl, mix in the flour, onion powder, salt, and ground pepper.
- In a third shallow bowl, whisk the eggs.
- Roll one cheese stick in the egg mixture. Then the flour mixture. Shake the excess.
- Roll back in the egg mixture and finally in the bread crumbs mixture.
- Set on the lined cookie sheet, and repeat until done.
Time to Chill
- Freeze for at least 1 hour or you can freeze for up to 4 months.
Air Frying Ooey-Gooey Mozzarella Sticks
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F. for 3 minutes.
- Air Fry the mozzarella sticks at 380 degrees F. for 5 – 6 minutes or until desired crispness.
- Halfway through flip the cheese sticks.
- Remember the longer you go the more chance the mozzarella cheese sticks will split.NOTE: Check the cheese sticks about 2 minutes before the end of the cook.
- Serve and Enjoy!
- For this recipe, I used a 5.8 Qt air fryer basket-style. If you use a different air fryer cooking time and temperature may vary.
- Air fryer parchment paper liner. I find it helpful when I need to cook a bunch up. It makes cleaning up so much easier.