Homemade Mozzarella Cheese Sticks are irresistibly crispy on the outside with gooey, melty centers that pull apart with delicious strings of cheese. Take them for a dunk in Marinara Sauce or Ranch for the ultimate snack or easy party appetizer.

The key to making the best cheese sticks is in the breading. Watch the video tutorial below to see our method for the perfect balance of crunchy crust and cheesy filling!

Two hands pulling apart a mozzarella stick with a plate of cheese sticks in the background.

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Homemade Mozzarella Sticks

We love re-creating our favorite comfort foods from the freezer aisle, from Air Fryer French Fries to Popcorn Chicken. These homemade mozzarella cheese sticks are a healthier alternative to the store-bought version, made with better ingredients. They also taste way better, if you ask me! One bite of these fresh-from-the-fryer hot and cheesy mozzarella sticks, and you’ll tell the difference right away. 

The secret lies in double-dipping the cheese sticks in the egg wash and flour. Double dipping takes a few extra minutes, but the result is the best crunchy crust that holds in all that gooey, melty cheese. Watch our video tutorial below to see this easy technique in action.

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks Video

Watch Natasha make these easy homemade mozzarella sticks with a crispy breading and ooey-gooey, cheesy filling. These are totally crave-worthy! Here’s why you’ll love them:

  • Crispy and Cheesy – double-dipping creates the perfect balance of cheese to crust.
  • Healthier – Most frozen cheese sticks come with highly processed soybean oil and other mystery ingredients. You can make your own with better ingredients.
  • Easy to Make – These take just a few steps to make and you can even freeze them ahead, then fry them when the craving strikes!

Ingredients

It’s easy to make homemade mozzarella sticks with only a handful of pantry and refrigerator ingredients (see the detailed ingredient list in the print-friendly recipe card below).

  • Mozzarella Cheese – One 16 oz block of low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese should yield about 20-24 cheese sticks.
  • Flour – For best results use regular all-purpose flour for the breading.
  • Garlic Salt – We use garlic salt in place of regular salt for extra flavor.
  • Eggs – beaten to form an egg wash which holds the bread crumbs on the cheese sticks.
  • Seasoned Breadcrumbs – You’ll love the added flavor of Italian seasoned bread crumbs. If you’re using plain breadcrumbs, mix in a teaspoon of Italian seasoning or dried basil and oregano.
  • Oil – For frying, or use cooking spray if you’re baking your mozzarella sticks.
The ingredients for homemade mozzarella cheese sticks.

How to Make Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Ready to make your own ooey-gooey, melty cheese sticks with the crispiest breading? Here’s how to prepare them for frying:

  1. Set up the Breading Station – Take out three bowls. Whisk the flour together with garlic salt in the first bowl, beat the eggs together in the second, and add your breadcrumbs to the third. 
  2. Cut the Cheese (hee hee) – Use a sharp knife to cut the block of mozzarella into sticks just under ½” thick by 3” long. You’ll end up with about 20-24 cheese sticks.
  3. Coat in Breading – Dip each cheese stick first in the flour, then into the egg, then repeat in flour and egg wash. This double-dip method is the secret to well-breaded cheese sticks. Lastly, roll the sticks in the breadcrumbs to get them evenly coated on all sides.
  4. Freeze – Transfer the breaded cheese sticks to a baking sheet or platter. Once all the sticks are coated, cover them with plastic wrap and freeze for 45 minutes.
Photo collage showing the process for dredging the cheese sticks in breading.

How to Fry Cheese Sticks

After your cheese sticks have chilled, it’s time to fry them. Deep frying requires some close attention (don’t leave the hot oil unattended), but it’s actually pretty simple:

  1. Heat the Oil – In a deep pan, heat 2 cups of oil over medium heat until the temperature reaches 350ºF on a thermometer. An easy way to test the temperature is to sprinkle a pinch of breadcrumbs into the oil. If the crumbs sizzle, the oil is at the right temperature for frying.
  2. Fry – Take your cheese sticks out of the freezer. Working in small batches, drop the cheese sticks into the hot oil. Fry for about 60-90 seconds, turning the sticks halfway through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked mozzarella sticks once the outside is crisped and golden, and as soon as you spot any cheese start to leak out.
  3. Drain and Cool – Place the fried mozzarella sticks on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Photo collage showing the process for deep frying mozzarella cheese sticks.

Pro Tip: The oil tends to cool off a bit while the cheese sticks are cooking. Make sure to reheat the oil to 350ºF in between batches, otherwise, the cheese inside will melt faster than the outside can crisp up, causing the cheese to ooze out. A clip-on oil thermometer will help monitor the oil temperature.

Tips for the Best Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Here are some final tips for making your own mozzarella sticks:

  • Deep frying yields the best results – Frying in oil produces a crunchy exterior.
  • Use the right oil – Use an oil with a high smoke point so your cheese sticks don’t burn. Extra light olive oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are great options.
  • Fry in batches – 3-4 at a time so the oil won’t cool off too quickly.
  • Cut even-sized sticks – keep them just under 1/2″ thick so that they heat through evenly.
A pile of mozzarella cheese sticks on a white plate next to a bowl of marinara sauce.

Common Questions

Can I make this recipe with string cheese? 

Yes, you can substitute the block of mozzarella with individually wrapped cheese sticks. This is an easy shortcut if you’re pressed for time.

Can I use fresh Mozzarella? 

No. Fresh mozzarella cheese is too soft and releases too much liquid, causing the breading to become soggy (and the oil to splatter).

Why is my cheese not melted?

If the cheese inside your mozzarella sticks isn’t gooey in the middle, it could be that your cheese sticks were cut too thick. A quick fix is to microwave them for 15-20 seconds to melt the cheese.

Can I make these in the oven or air fryer instead?

Yes! See below for instructions on how to make homemade cheese sticks in a conventional oven, convection oven, or air fryer.

Serve With

We love serving these crispy homemade cheese sticks as an easy appetizer or game-day food. Here are some of our favorite dipping sauces for mozzarella sticks:

A hand dips a mozzarella cheese stick into a bowl of marinara sauce, next to more cheese sticks on a plate.

Can I Make Cheese Sticks Without Deep Frying?

While frying will give you the best results, you can still make deliciously gooey cheese sticks using any of the methods below:

  • Baked Cheese Sticks: Arrange the frozen cheese sticks in a single layer on a baking sheet, about one inch apart. Spray all over with cooking spray. With the rack in the top third, bake at 475°F for 7-8 minutes, flipping halfway. Bake until melted cheese begins to peek through the crust.
  • Convection Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F, and follow the same instructions as the conventional oven, baking for 4-6 minutes instead.
  • Air Fryer Cheese Sticks: Preheat your air fryer to 375°F, then air fry the cheese sticks for 4-5 minutes, turning halfway. Work in batches if needed to ensure that the hot air can circulate.

Make-Ahead

Homemade mozzarella cheese sticks freeze really well so you can cook up a batch when the craving hits.

  • To Freeze: Arrange on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 2 hours, until solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe zip-top bag, squeeze out the excess air, and freeze for up to 3 months. You can cook them straight from frozen.
  • Reheating: To get the insides of your cooked mozzarella sticks gooey again, microwave them for 15-20 seconds, just until the cheese starts to peek through the crust.
A melty mozzarella cheese stick broken in half in a pile of mozzarella sticks next to a bowl of marinara sauce.

If you’re looking for a fun appetizer or satisfying snack, we hope you’ll give these homemade mozzarella sticks a try!

More Easy Snack Recipes

Need more tasty homemade snacks and appetizer ideas? If you loved these cheese sticks, wait until you try these crowd favorites:

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks Recipe

5 from 22 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
A melty mozzarella cheese stick broken in half in a pile of mozzarella sticks next to a bowl of marinara sauce.
Homemade mozzarella cheese sticks are ultra crispy on the outside and gooey and melty in the middle. Dip them in marinara sauce or ranch for the ultimate snack or party appetizer!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Freeze: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 24 cheese sticks
  • 16 oz low moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese block
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • Cooking spray for baking or 2 cups oil for frying

Instructions

  • In the first bowl, stir together flour and garlic salt. In the second bowl, beat eggs thoroughly with a fork. In the third bowl, add bread crumbs.
  • Cut Mozzarella block into 20-24 cheese sticks (just under 1/2” thick and about 3” long).
  • Dredge cheese stick in flour, tapping off the excess then dip in egg until coated. Let the excess drip back into the bowl then dip again in flour followed by egg.
  • Roll the cheese stick in bread crumbs, turning until all sides are well-coated then transfer to a platter, cover, and freeze for 45 minutes.
  • Heat oil over medium heat to 350˚F on a thermometer. If you drop a pinch of crumbs into the oil, they should sizzle and bubble.
  • Once the oil is hot, add cheese sticks in small batches (4 at a time) and fry for 60-90 seconds, turning halfway and remove as soon as the outside is golden brown and crisp and there is any sign of cheese oozing out. Make sure the oil reheats to 350°F between batches. Transfer fried cheese sticks to a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess oil.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade mozzarella sticks, mozzarella cheese sticks, mozzarella sticks
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Comments

  • Maggie
    March 15, 2024

    Love your recipes. Can I bake the mozz sticks on a baking rack?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 15, 2024

      Hi Maggie! A baking sheet works best to catch any drippings or cheese spilling out. If you use a baking rack, you’ll want to spray it well to help avoid sticking and still place something underneath. (See my note above in the blog for baking instructions).

      Reply

  • Patricia
    August 19, 2023

    Hi, can I use mozzarella sticks instead of the block?? recipe looks delicious

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 19, 2023

      Hi Patricia, we really love the quality of the block mozzarella cheese, but this will work with sticks also. I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Helene Wagner
    May 26, 2023

    I have made so many of your recipes including chicken pot pie, soups and recently the no knead bread which is absolutely easy and delicious. I like Your recipes because they always work and they don’t have weird ingredients that I have to look up.
    I have referred so many people to your website cause it’s amazing.
    Thank you again!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 26, 2023

      Hi Helene! I’m so happy to hear that. Thank you for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Daniel Sweis
    May 23, 2023

    These were the best cheese sticks I have ever tasted. Could you send me other Italian recipes, please? I love Italian.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 23, 2023

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Daniel! Here are more Italian Recipes for you.

      Reply

  • Crystal
    May 22, 2023

    Could you air fry these? I am on a diet and to deep fry them is way to high calorie for me.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 22, 2023

      Hi Crystal! Yes, you can! We have instructions on that in the recipe! See the Common Questions section of the post. I hope you love it!

      Reply

  • Jessica
    May 20, 2023

    We love mozzarella sticks and these were above and beyond! Thank you so much for the recipe.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 20, 2023

      Hi Jessica! I’m so glad you loved the recipe. Thank you for the feedback.

      Reply

  • Lydia
    May 20, 2023

    Mmm..love mozza sticks !! I used panko because that is what I had. We like gouda cheese sticks to…so good and smoked cheddar is really good…highly reccomend trying if you haven’t Nat ! Have a great weekend !!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 20, 2023

      That all sounds amazing, Lydia! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Abby
    May 20, 2023

    So glad I don’t have to go to Sonic and buy the super expensive mozzarella cheese sticks anymore. These are far better and cheaper. My kids raved about them!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 20, 2023

      Isn’t it the best when you can make your favorite recipes at home? I’m so glad your kids loved them, Abby!

      Reply

  • Sharina
    May 20, 2023

    We can’t get enough of these mozzarella cheese sticks! They were so easy to make yet turned out to be incredibly delicious and enjoyable.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 20, 2023

      Hi Sharina! I’m so glad you love them!

      Reply

  • DawnieR
    May 19, 2023

    “Cooking spray for baking or 2 cups oil for frying”

    You left out the BAKING instructions. 🙁

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 19, 2023

      Hi Dawnie! See my notes in the blog post above “Can I Make Cheese Sticks Without Deep Frying?” for instructions. I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

  • Amira
    May 19, 2023

    I see baking is an option, but I don’t see the instructions?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 19, 2023

      Hi Amira! See my notes in the blog above titled, “Can I Make Cheese Sticks Without Deep Frying?” I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

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