Serve homemade Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks as an appetizer or snack. This easy recipe requires just 7 ingredients and is cooked to crispy perfection in the air fryer.
Are you a sucker for some good cheese sticks? Me, too! If the appetizer menu includes fried cheese I will order it. Every. single. time. There’s just something about hot, gooey cheese that calls to me. It’s my kryptonite.
Ever since I discovered I could make these at home for a fraction of the cost, I’ve been indulging regularly. While I know it’s super easy to grab a box of frozen cheese sticks from the store, our homemade air fryer version is about 1 million times better! And you’ll be surprised at how easy they are to make.
We like to make these for a quick snack or as a pre-dinner appetizer. And with the football season approaching, what better game-day snack to offer than hand breaded air fryer cheese sticks?
Air fryers are amazing for making appetizers. The cook time is much shorter, you don’t have to heat up your house and it’s usually healthier than deep frying. Air Fryer Ravioli and Air Fryer Crab Rangoon are two of our favorite restaurant style appetizers.
What You Need to Make Air Fryer Cheese Sticks
Mozzarella cheese sticks
Panko breadcrumbs – use the plain unseasoned kind
Instructions for Homemade Mozzarella Sticks in the Air Fryer
Cut the mozzarella string cheese sticks in half and place them on a baking sheet. Put these in the freezer for 30 minutes.
While the cheese is freezing, let’s set up the dredging station.
In a small bowl add the flour, cornstarch, Nature’s Seasoning and mix together.
Grab another bowl and combine the parsley and panko breadcrumbs.
For the last bowl, crack the eggs and scramble them with a whisk or fork.
Take the cheese sticks out of the freezer and start (one by one) dipping them in the beaten eggs, then into the flour mixture, back into the eggs, and ending with the breadcrumbs. Place breaded cheese sticks on a baking pan lined with a wire rack.
Repeat these instructions for all of the cheese sticks. Place the pan with the breaded cheese sticks back in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Next you’ll preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.
Add breaded cheese sticks to the air fryer basket, making sure to leave space in between the sticks. Spritz with a little oil.
Cook for 5 minutes. When there is 1 minute remaining on the time, check to see if the cheese is coming through.
Let them cool slightly before eating and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
How to Batch and Freeze
This recipe is great for batching and making ahead of time. This way when the party starts all you have to do is throw them in the air fryer because the prep work is done.
To freeze, follow all of the instructions as listed up until cooking the cheese sticks in the air fryer. Be sure to do the final flash freezing.
Place the flash frozen, breaded, uncooked mozzarella sticks in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. If desired, you can separate them by layers of parchment paper.
Reheating refrigerated leftovers: Place cheese sticks in the air fryer and cook at 390 degrees F for 3 minutes.
To reheat after freezing: Add the frozen cheese sticks to the preheated (400 degrees F) air fryer basket and spritz with a little oil. Cook for 7-8 minutes, checking them towards the end. When the cheese starts oozing out they are done.
TIPS FOR MAKING
- Don’t skip the freezing process of the cheese. This is what helps to keep them together while cooking.
- We like using full fat cheese sticks for this recipe.
- Don’t overload your air fryer basket. Instead cook in batches if needed.
- For extra crispy cheese sticks do a second layer of breading. Follow the recipe through the 2nd freeze then take the coated sticks on another trip through the dredging station and freeze for another 30 minutes.
- If you are using parchment paper liners, wait to add the liner until after the air fryer has preheated. This will prevent it from flying around and possibly catching fire.
More Air Fryer Snacks and Appetizers:
Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
- 10 mozzarella cheese sticks
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon Nature’s Seasoning
- 1 cup panko
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 eggs
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Cut mozzarella sticks in half, place on a baking tray and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Set up a dredging station: in one bowl, combine the cornstarch, flour, and Nature’s Seasoning. In a second bowl, mix the parsley and panko. Place the eggs in a third bowl and beat with a fork.
- Remove mozzarella sticks from the freezer. One at a time, dip the sticks first in the egg, then the flour mixture, back into the egg and finishing with a coating of panko. Place breaded sticks back on the tray and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Place breaded sticks in the air fryer basket and spritz lightly with oil.
- Cook for 5 minutes. Check at the 4 minute mark – if the cheese is oozing they’re done.
- Let cool before eating.
- We recommend using full fat cheese sticks in this recipe.
- For extra crispy cheese sticks do a second round of breading & freezing.
- Don’t skip the freezing steps – it helps to hold the sticks together.
- Leave a little room in between the cheese sticks for better crisping. You may need to cook in batches depending on the size of your fryer basket.
- Best eaten fresh but will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in air fryer at 390 degrees F for 3 minutes to recrisp.
- To freeze: after the last freezer round store breaded, uncooked sticks in a zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months. To cook from frozen: cook as directed, adding a couple minutes to the cook time.
Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.