Crispy healthier air fryer mozzarella sticks are ridiculously delicious and so healthier than deep-fried. Made ahead and frozen, these skinny mozzarella sticks are perfect for a party
Course Appetizer, Snacks
Keyword air fryer recipe, appetizer recipe, cheese, mozzarella cheese sticks recipe, party food, tailgating recipe
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 10minutes
Additional Time 2hours
Total Time 2hours25minutes
8sticksstring cheeseI prefer the skim version for this recipe over full fat.
1/3cupall purpose flour
Preping The Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
Slice all cheese sticks in half so you have 16 equal pieces.
In a small bowl combine panko, paprika, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder and salt.
In a second small bowl add one egg and beat with a fork (or whisk).
In a third small bowl add the flour.
Using a fork to help you dip each piece of cheese first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the panko and spices mixture. Once covered place on your cookie sheet. I like to line the cookie sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Continue coating all pieces of cheese, lining them up on the cookie sheet.
Place cheese sticks in the freezer for a minimum of two hours or until frozen solid. Cheese sticks can then be placed in a freezer bag to be stored or cooked in the air fryer.
Cooking The Cheese Sticks In The Air Fryer
Set air fryer to 400 degrees. Allow to preheat for a minute or two until warm.
Spray air fryer basket with a light mist of oil spray facing away from the air fryer machine to keep the oil out of the heating element.
Add frozen mozzarella cheese sticks to air fryer basket in a single layer so they are not touching. ( I was able to fit 7-8 in my basket)
Heat cheese sticks for 3-4 minutes, then open the air fryer and shake them around the basket or flip them with tongs. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side until crispy, brown, and gooey inside. If they aren't quite crispy enough, pop them in for an additional minute, easy peasy!
Serve while hot with a side of marinara for dipping!
Freezing these mozzarella sticks ahead of time is important so they get the right texture that is crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.
Add a little more pan spray lightly in between batches to ensure all batches are evenly crispy. Spraying the mozzarella sticks lightly also helps to keep them extra crispy.
Air fryers can vary in temperature. On my air fryer, 400 degrees works best but temperatures can vary between air fryers. If your cheese continues to melt out, try lowering your temperature by 10-15 degrees.
If you are baking these mozzarella sticks in the oven, bake them at 400 degrees for 4-5 minutes on each side. Make sure to preheat the oven or it will take longer. Spray them with little oil both before you put them in the oven, and when you flip them to help them get more crispy.
Instead of all of the spices individually you can also substitute a tablespoon of Italian seasoning for all of the spices except the salt. You must still add salt if subsituting.