Freeze mozzarella sticks until frozen solid, at least 2 hours. When ready to bread, preheat oven to 400° and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
Set up a breading station: Place pinko, eggs, and flour in 3 separate shallow bowls. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, watching carefully so the cheese doesn’t ooze.
Freeze mozzarella sticks until frozen solid, at least 2 hours. After 3 hours, set up a breading station: Place pinko, eggs, and flour in 3 separate shallow bowls.
Coat frozen mozzarella sticks in flour, then dip in egg, then pinko, back in the egg, then back in the pinko. Arrange frozen breaded mozzarella sticks in an even layer in the basket of your air fryer.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. It’s not hard, but it does take some careful attention to detail, so that you can have pizza shop-worthy mozzarella sticks in your very own kitchen, whenever you want.
It’s basically a convection oven that sits on your countertop. But because it’s small and mighty, it will heat up to temperature faster than your oven, and cook pretty fast, too.
(Lining the basket with foil will mitigate a mess, but the sticks won’t cook evenly, because the air doesn’t circulate through aluminum foil. You need to dip the mozzarella stick in the lightly beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs; freeze it for a short period of time, and then repeat the process again to add a second coating before you air fry.
Otherwise, the coating slides right off the cheese stick once you pop it in the fryer. Double layering also makes for extra crunch and extra insurance that all parts of the stick get coated with the egg and pinko mixture.
There’s a lot more freezer time than you might expect, but I promise, they won’t taste like ones you make from a box that you buy in the freezer section of the grocery store. You can also make these with low-fat sticks, but I found the texture slightly rubbery.
This way they don’t stick to the basket, and a little extra oil helps them brown. I didn’t like the way they sometimes got stuck together if I made all eight of these at once, so I broke the process into two batches.
If you have a toaster oven/ air fryer combo, you may want to place an extra rack underneath the fry basket and line it with foil to prevent mozzarella from dripping onto the heating elements. Once frozen, transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.
When you’re ready to bake a batch, reduce the temperature of your air fryer to 360 °F and increase the cook time to 8-10 minutes. This will ensure that the solid, frozen cheese sticks cook all the way through and become gooey.
Combine the Italian seasoning, salt, and breadcrumbs in a second wide, shallow bowl. Dip the stick into the bowl with the breadcrumbs and coat completely.
Transfer to a wax paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and line them up, so they are not touching. Air fry the mozzarella sticks (in batches if desired or necessary, as space permits) for 6 to 8 minutes until the exterior is golden and crispy.
Remove from the fryer, cool just long enough to avoid burning your tongue, and eat immediately! Carrie Havana is a former Associate Editor of Simply Recipes and the author of the cookbook Tasting Pennsylvania (2019).
My largest complaint about it is the basket size, so perhaps I need to shop around for a larger one. They get just as crispy as deep-fried mozzarella sticks, which I would argue is something the oven is not capable of achieving.
There is just something about the okay, gooey cheese encased in a crispy breaded coating that is completely and absolutely irresistible. Dipped in marinara or ranch, they’re the perfect party food or snack when you’re craving something cheesy.
Then, they undergo the first breading: flour, then egg, then seasoned breadcrumbs. Once they’re frozen again, you’ll repeat the egg and breadcrumb step.
This will still happen occasionally and in small amounts, but if you skip the freezing steps, you’ll lose a lot more cheese. From frozen, you’ll cook these mozzarella sticks for 5-6 minutes in the air fryer or until golden brown and crispy.
If you start with a cold air fryer, the mozzarella sticks will warm up slower, causing more cheese to melt out of the breading. Tip: Okay, we’ve covered that these are a bit of a hassle (worth it!).
Place mozzarella sticks in a zip-top bag and freeze until frozen, at least 1 hour. In the first bowl, place flour, salt, and pepper; mix lightly.
In the third bowl, combine Pinko, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze again for 30 minutes.
You can freeze the breaded mozzarella sticks for up to 3 months before air frying if desired. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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They’re crunchy, savory, and filled with gooey, stretchy, delicious cheese. They’re crispy, savory, and filled with deliciously stretchy mozzarella cheese.
If you’re not yet sold, consider the fact that this is probably one of the simplest homemade mozzarella stick recipes ever. Pinko crumbs are made without crusts, making them great for breading fried foods.
Spices : To make these MOZ sticks extra yummy, we’ll be adding flavor with onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Be sure to follow each step carefully, remembering to freeze the MOZ sticks when called for.
Coat the cheese with flour : Toss mozzarella sticks into the bag with the flour, zip it shut, and shake to evenly coat the cheese. Bread the cheese : Working one at a time, roll the mozzarella sticks in the egg, then in the pinko.
Prep the air fryer and bread a second time : Lightly grease your air fryer basket or rack, and preheat to 390 °F (200 °C). Coat the mozzarella sticks in egg and pinko a second time, then transfer to the air fryer.
To do so, simply toss into the air fryer and follow the temperature and time instructions as listed in the recipe. Without freezing, the cheese melts too early and will spill out before the coating has time to cook.
Cook in single layers : If all mozzarella sticks don’t fit in a single layer on your air fryer rack, cook in multiple batches. Combine pinko and seasonings in a separate shallow bowl.
Bread Once : Toss mozzarella sticks into the bag with the flour, zip it shut, and shake to evenly coat the cheese. Working one at a time, roll the mozzarella sticks in the egg, then in the pinko.
Bread Twice : Lightly grease your air fryer basket or rack, and preheat to 390 °F (200 °C). Coat the mozzarella sticks in egg then pinko one more time, then transfer to the air fryer.
Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce, like marinara or ranch. If you don’t freeze them, the cheese will melt and spill out before the coating has time to cook.