These homemade Air Fryer Mozzarella sticks are absolute heaven. Hot, ooey gooey cheese encased in a crisp and flavorful crumb layer. Dipped in marinara or eaten plain, you will be eating well! These yummy cheese sticks are quick and easy to make and are a great air fryer appetizer or snack. We have directions for homemade or from frozen.
These are delicious year round, and by making them in the air fryer they can be made in the summer without heating up the house!
This was inspired by our Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters on this site, and pairs well with Big Mac Sloppy Joes. Other fun appetizers are Air Fryer Gnocchi and Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries and Air Fryer Pizza Rolls.
Why I Love This Recipe:
They are just SO DELICIOUS homemade. We absolutely love them. I'm not always a huge mozzarella stick fan, but the flavor and texture of them homemade is just so yummy. The whole family loves them and just eats them up.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Quick and Easy - the homemade version is still pretty quick and easy, but if you're making frozen, these are soooo easy and so quick to make!
- Loved by All - this is a pretty easy snack or appetizer that everyone loves. It's hard to go wrong with these and they're always gobbled up so quickly.
- Kid Friendly - picky eaters love them, and little kids love to help rolling these in the egg and crumbs. Older kids can make them by themselves with a little supervision.
- The Perfect Texture - okay, these are really the perfect texture! The cheese is gooey, the outside is crisp... what more could you ask for?!
- Dippable- Dip these in our copycat wingstop ranch dressing recipe.
Directions for Frozen
Sometimes life is busy and we get in a hurry and buying frozen mozzarella sticks to make in the air fryer is what we do. Whether you use Trader Joe's, TGI Fridays, Farm Rich or another brand, they all cook about the same.
How to cook frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 360*F. Once preheated, add the sticks and cook 6-8 minutes, shaking the basket or flipping the sticks at about minute 4.
- cheese sticks/ string cheese
- avocado oil
- garlic powder
See recipe card for quantities.
1. Cut cheese sticks in half. Beat eggs in a bowl or container. Mix together flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, basil and oregano in a bowl. Measure panko into a bowl and mix in avocado oil. It takes a minute or two, mix until well combined and no clumps of oil remain.
2. Place a piece of string cheese in beaten egg mixture and roll to coat thoroughly. Don't miss the ends!
3. Transfer to the bowl of flour and spices. Roll around to generously coat, making sure to get the ends.
4. Move back to the beaten egg bowl and roll in the eggs until well coated. It's okay if a little bit of the flour gets in the eggs. Coat thoroughly.
5. Transfer to the bowl of Panko crumbs and roll around until generously coated. Make sure all of it is covered in the crumbs.
6. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet or some parchment lined plates or glass dishes. Repeat steps 2-6 until all pieces of string cheese are coated and finished. Freeze for 30 or more minutes.
7. Preheat air fryer to 360*F. Remove from the freezer and place directly into the preheated air fryer. Place them on a single level, don't stack them. Air fry for 6-8 minutes, shaking the basket at minute 4. They will be crispy on the outside with that yummy melty cheese inside.
Hint: Coating the cheese sticks in the egg, then flour, then egg and Panko crumbs will get messy. Embrace the mess and don't worry about the eggs, flour or Panko getting messy or bits of other stuff in their bowls. It will be fine!
- Oil- vegetable oil or olive oil can be used here. I don't like to use olive oil in my air fryer, I find it leaves a grease buildup, even though I wash it after every use.
- Spices- use 1 ½ teaspoons of Italian seasoning instead of parsley, basil and oregano.
- Panko- fine bread crumbs may be used instead of Panko.
- Italian Panko- Italian Panko may be used. If using Italian, skip the parsley basil and oregano.
- Gluten Free- For gluten free, use gluten free all purpose flour and gluten free bread crumbs.
- Spicy - add ⅛ teaspoon chili pepper flakes to the the flour when adding the other spices.
- Cajun- skip the garlic, parsley, basil and oregano and use 1 ½ teaspoons cajun seasoning instead.
- Plain- skip the garlic, parsley, oregano and basil.
- Bacon- add bacon bits to the panko for bacon mozzarella sticks
- Cheddar- use cheddar cheese sticks for a fun new twist of flavor!
- mixing bowls
- air fryer - we use the Ninja Foodi XL grill, but any will work!
After coating in eggs, flour and Panko, freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
If already cooked, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the air fryer on 360*F for 2-3 minutes.
Make sure to freeze the mozzarella sticks. They work so much better in the air fryer. It is well worth the wait and will create less mess in the air fryer.
Yes! And they are even better than in the oven. Hot, crisp and ooey gooey! Cook at 360*F for 6-8 minutes, turning the sticks at about minute 4.
Cook at 360*F for 6-8 minutes, turning the sticks at about minute 4.
Preheat to 360*F then cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Follow our recipe! Make sure to get a good coating whether it's the egg, flour or Panko. This will help it get a good seal.
Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
- 8 mozzarella cheese sticks/ string cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup Panko
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- ¼ teaspoon basil
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cut cheese sticks in half. Beat eggs and place in a bowl or small baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix panko and avocado oil together. Mix thoroughly until all clumps are gone. Whisk together flour, garlic powder, salt, parsley, basil, oregano and pepper in a separate bowl.
- Place cheese stick half in the beaten eggs and coat well. Transfer to the flour and spice bowl and roll around in the flour until well coated, make sure to get the ends! Move back to the egg bowl and coat well in another coating of eggs. Transfer to the Panko and generously coat, making sure it is covered well.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, plate or baking dish so that they aren't touching and freeze for 30 or more minutes.
- Preheat the air fryer to 360*F. Place frozen mozzarella sticks directly into the preheated air fryer and cook for 6-8 minutes. Shake the basket or flip the sticks at minute 4.
- Dip in your favorite marinara sauce or enjoy plain!
- After coating in eggs, flour and panko, freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
- If already cooked, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 360*F.
Make sure to use an oil with a high smoke point. Coconut oil is not recommended for this recipe, as it's smoke point is 350*F and the air fryer is set to 360*F.