Recipes from The Kitchn

Recipe: Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

Ready for the easiest mozzarella stick recipe ever? These air fryer mozzarella sticks are made entirely from pantry and fridge staples (think: cheese sticks and breadcrumbs), meaning you can dig into the crispy-coated, nostalgic snack anytime you like.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks That Are Even Easier than Frozen

One of my favorite findings over the last few months of cooking with an air fryer is that oftentimes, homemade versions of fried foods are even better than their frozen store-bought counterparts. Frozen mozzarella sticks cooked in the oven never come out crispy, and they produce inconsistent results when cooked in the air fryer. But this homemade version takes just a few minutes to assemble, and is amazingly crispy and satisfying.

The most important step of this recipe is freezing the mozzarella sticks for a few minutes before you coat them with the breadcrumbs. Yes, I'm aware that this technically makes them frozen mozzarella sticks, but the quick chill ensures the breading sticks well and that the cheese doesn't ooze out before the outside is golden-brown.

Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Serves 4 to 6

Prep time: 40 minutes ; cooking time: 25 minutes

  • 1 (12-ounce) package

    mozzarella cheese sticks, each stick unwrapped and cut in half to make 12 sticks

  • 1/4 cup


  • 1

    large egg

  • 1/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup

    fine, dry breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1 cup

    marinara sauce, for serving

Before frying, place the halved cheese sticks on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, assemble the breading and get out the air fryer.

Whisk the mayonnaise and egg together in a medium bowl. Place the flour, breadcrumbs, onion, and garlic powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Working in batches of 6, roll the frozen cheese sticks in the mayo-egg mixture to coat, then in the flour mixture. Return the coated cheese sticks to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cheese sticks. Return the baking sheet to the freezer for 10 minutes.

Heat the air fryer to 370°F. Fry 6 the mozzarella sticks for 5 minutes -- it is important not to overcrowd the air fryer. Repeat with the remaining sticks and serve warm with the marinara for dipping.