Air Fryer mozzarella sticks are breaded and then cooked until golden, crispy, and seriously cheesy and delicious! Serve with warm marinara sauce for a tasty appetizer everyone will love.
My kiddos started back to school this week - 3rd grade and 6th grade - and are off to a great start!
We are thankful they have such amazing teachers, as well as great friends and a supportive school community. (Fun fact: It's the same school I went to growing up and many of my same teachers are still working there!)
I'm still getting used to the early wake-up time and am a bit sad that the slower days of summer are gone... but it's also nice to have a little more structure to our days. And to be able to work uninterrupted for more than 12 minutes. 😜
OK, let's move along to the food.
Air Fryer “fried” things are my favorite kind of fried.
It’s got all the crunch and flavor, without the hassle and the greasy heaviness. And without the splatters and mess while cooking.
And today I’m excited to share these Air Fryer mozzarella sticks.
They are crunchy, cheesy, stretchy, hot and delicious. Perfect for dipping into some warm marinara sauce!
And they are so easy to make yourself, without any of the funny ingredients you might find in a store-bought frozen and pre-packaged version.
Plus, making them in an Air Fryer gets that same amazing crunch and browning and crispy deliciousness as a fried version but without any oil!
Which means we can make these on repeat and happily dive in!
They’re super kid-friendly, too, and a great game day snack to have as well. (Helloooo football season coming up!)
And if you add some marinara or Ranch for dipping… well, just swoon! These are sure to go fast!
So let’s get cooking.
Now, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up below on how to make mozzarella sticks in the Air Fryer. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making Air Fryer mozzarella sticks:
- Mozzarella sticks: I recommend the full-fat kind for the best flavor. We’re also cutting these in half cross-wise to get smaller sticks, which is better for serving and dipping in my opinion.
- Breadcrumbs: Using the Panko breadcrumbs is what makes these get ultra crispy, so I don’t recommend substituting regular breadcrumbs.
- Freezer time: Coating the mozzarella sticks and then sticking them on a tray in the freezer for 30-45 minutes is key. It helps the breading adhere. Otherwise, the breading will just slide right off the mozzarella sticks in the Air Fryer and that’s just a mess.
- Cook time: This can vary slightly by Air Fryer, but you’ll know they are ready when they are golden brown and you start to see the cheese bubble out on the ends.
Speaking of timing, because I know this is a key question, let’s just call it out.
How long do you cook mozzarella sticks in the Air Fryer?
- Cook these homemade mozzarella sticks for 5-7 minutes at 400 in the Air Fryer until crispy, browned and hot.
- Just for reference, the pre-bought breaded frozen mozzarella sticks that I’ve seen recommend cooking at 360 for 6-7 minutes in the Air Fryer.
And in case you are in the market for an Air Fryer, I highly recommend mine.
Originally, I had a small size one, but it just wasn’t big enough for all the things I wanted to put in the Air Fryer.
So I got this one (it’s usually on sale, which is nice) and I’ve loved it. It’s a better fit for families with children, or just if you’re cooking for bigger groups.
You can check out all of my Air Fryer recipes if you’re obsessed like I am with the magic of this appliance.
And stay tuned because I have many more Air Fryer recipes planned for you!
You can sign up for my free e-newsletter to get all of my new recipes delivered straight to your inbox so you never miss a thing. I’ll even send you my free e-cookbook, Healthy Weeknight Dinners, as a thank you!
OK, next up, dipping!
Air Fryer mozzarella is great served with some warmed marinara sauce for dipping.
Ranch dressing would also be a good dipping sauce here.
You could certainly use a different type of sauce or dip if you prefer.
Do be sure you have some fun with cheese pulls though, OK? It's so satisfying... 👇
Last thing – how to store and reheat the leftovers.
Leftover mozzarella sticks, once cooled, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat, place in the Air Fryer tray and set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes. This should get them hot and crispy again.
I hope you give these a try next time you need a crowd-pleasing snack, or just have a late-night cheesy hankering!
- 8 mozzarella sticks
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons water
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Marinara sauce, warmed
- Cut the mozzarella sticks in half cross-wise to make 16 short sticks. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Place the flour in a separate shallow bowl. In a third bowl, combine the Panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, paprika and salt.
- Dip each mozzarella stick in the egg mixture, then coat in the flour. Dip back in the egg mixture and then coat well in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Place on the lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mozzarella sticks. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and let the breaded mozzarella sticks freeze for 30-45 minutes to help the breading adhere. (It will fall right off in the Air Fryer if you skip the freezing step.)
- Preheat the Air Fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the mozzarella sticks to the Air Fryer insert and spray the tops with cooking spray. Cook at 400 for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown.
- Serve immediately with warm marinara sauce for dipping and enjoy!
Mozzarella sticks: I recommend the full-fat kind for the best flavor. We’re also cutting these in half cross-wise to get smaller sticks, which is better for serving and dipping.
Breadcrumbs: The Panko breadcrumbs help get the really good crunch on these mozzarella sticks, so I don't recommend substituting regular breadcrumbs.
Cook time: This can vary slightly by Air Fryer, but you’ll know they are ready when they are golden brown and you start to see the cheese bubble out on the ends.
Leftovers: Leftover mozzarella sticks, once cooled, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheating: To reheat, place in the Air Fryer tray and set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes. This will get them hot and crispy again.
Serving Size:2 mozzarella sticks
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 462mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g