These Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks are the ultimate appetizer made healthier in the air fryer! Mozzarella cheese sticks are coated in a flavorful breading, then air fried until perfectly golden and crispy on the outside and warm and gooey in the middle.
Cook and serve these cheese sticks right away or freeze them for an easy make-ahead recipe!
Table of Contents
These Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks are a healthier version of a classic appetizer! They’re gooey, cheesy, golden-brown, crispy, and have all of the delicious flavors and textures of deep-fried cheese sticks but without all the excess oil.
One of my favorite parts about this recipe is that you can choose to cook and serve them right away OR you can freeze them to be air fried later on! Don’t we all love a good make-ahead recipe?
Serve them as quick and easy, kid-friendly snacks, or serve them at your next party with other easy cheesy appetizers like buffalo chicken dip, this Snickers Cheese Ball, and these Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Ingredients for Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
This air fryer appetizer is made up of simple, easy-to-find ingredients. Some of these you probably already have in your fridge or pantry!
- Mozzarella Cheese Sticks: you can also slice your own mozzarella cheese sticks from a block of cheese, but ready-to-go cheese sticks make this recipe that much quicker.
- Eggs and Milk: helps the breading stick to the cheese.
- Panko Breadcrumbs and Flour: the flour helps absorb moisture while the breadcrumbs give the exterior of the cheese sticks that golden-brown color and crispy texture.
- Seasonings: I use a simple blend of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder.
How to make mozzarella sticks in the air fryer
These air fryer mozza sticks take just 20 minutes to prep!
- Prep the breading: In one bowl, place ¼ cup flour. In a second bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. In a third bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, flour, and seasonings.
- Bread the cheese: Dip the mozzarella sticks in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. dip in the egg and the breadcrumbs once more for maximum crunch!
- Freeze: Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then freeze for at least 2 hours or for up to 6 months.
- Air fry: Air fry at 375ºF for 5-10 minutes or until golden-brown and crispy!
Air Fryer Mozza Sticks FAQs
The mozzarella sticks only need 5-10 minutes in the air fryer to get deliciously golden-brown. I cook them first for 5 minutes then check to see if they need more time. If the bottoms are browning more than the top, I flip them over and air fry for an additional 5 minutes.
Yes! Definitely preheat the air fryer to 375ºF before adding in the cheese sticks. This ensures that the outside starts crisping right away. If you don’t preheat the air fryer, the cheese will ooze out before the outsides are crispy.
The best solution to prevent exploding cheese sticks is to bread them twice. I dip them in the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, then repeat the egg and the breadcrumbs. This extra layer helps prevent the cheese from over-cooking which is what can cause the cheese sticks to explode.
Totally! If you don’t have an air fryer you can bake the mozzarella cheese sticks instead. Simply preheat the oven to 400ºF, place the breaded cheese sticks onto a lightly greased baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden-brown and crispy.
Air-fried mozzarella sticks are best right away but they will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days in the fridge. To reheat, air fry again for 3 minutes to warm and re-crisp.reheat in the air fryer for 3 minutes
frozen for up to 6 months uncooked
Absolutely, you can just freeze them before you cook them for a more extended period of time! Follow the instructions up until the mozzarella cheese sticks are frozen. Once they’re fully frozen you can transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, cook as instructed. No thawing necessary!
Tips and tricks
- Grease the basket. This helps prevent the cheese sticks from sticking.
- Use non-aerosol spray. Aerosol products can damage the lining of the air fryer basket.
- Cook in a single layer. The cheese sticks need room around them for the air to circulate. If they’re piled on top of one another, they’ll be soggy rather than crispy.
- Spray the cheese sticks. I always spritz the outside of the cheese sticks with cooking spray before I air fry them. This helps them get deliciously golden-brown and crispy.
- Play with seasonings. I love to keep the combination of garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning but you can totally get creative. Try the breading with taco seasoning, cajun seasoning, or add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to kick the heat up a notch.
More air fryer recipes you’ll love
Pin this recipe to save for laterPin this recipe to your favorite board
Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
- 8 mozzarella cheese sticks
- ½ cup flour (divided)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1¼ cups Panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Unwrap cheese sticks and set aside.
- You will have 3 different bowl for coating these mozzarella sticks.
- In the first bowl, place ¼ cup flour.
- In the second bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
- In the third bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, the remaining ¼ cup flour, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder.
- Dip mozzarella sticks in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Repeat the egg and the bread crumbs one more time. Place breaded mozzarella sticks on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees F according to manufacturer's instructions (I usually give mine 5 or 10 minutes).
- Open the air fryer basket and lightly grease with oil or non-aerosol non-stick spray.
- Place the mozzarella sticks inside (you may have to do two batches depending on the size). Spray the tops of the mozzarella sticks with non-stick spray or oil as well.
- Cook at 375 degrees F for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown all over. If mozzarella sticks are browning more on the bottom than the top, flip at the 5 minute mark and continue cooking.
- Let cool until cool enough to handle, then serve with marinara sauce.
Want to save this recipe?
Create an account easily save your favorite content, so you never forget a recipe again.
Tried this recipe?
Tag @thereciperebel or hashtag #thereciperebel — I love to see what you’re making!Tag @thereciperebel