Are Mozzarella Sticks A Healthy Snack
In moderation, Mozzarella sticks can actually be a very healthy part of your diet. Made with Mozzarella cheese and a breading that generally consists of some type of flour or breadcrumb mixture, Mozzarella sticks contain very minimal fat. In fact, the only caloric contribution from Mozzarella is from the carbohydrate content in milk proteins. The fats present are mostly saturated, which is typically fine as long as intake levels dont exceed 15% of total daily energy intake . Depending on what kind of Mozzarella stick you get, it can even come with some antioxidants! For example, certain brands will dust their Mozzarella sticks with garlic powder or Italian seasoning to give them that extra flavor.
When Mozzarella sticks are fried, its important to remember that they can absorb a lot of oil and fat! The longer Mozzarella sticks are deep-fried in oil, the more fat they will absorb. This is why Mozzarella sticks should be served with an additional dipping sauce like marinara so you wont lose track of how many Mozzarella sticks youve eaten. With all this said, Mozzarella sticks could actually be one of the healthier appetizers out there if eaten in moderation! For example, Id never recommended Mozzarella sticks as your main dish for dinner . That being said, Mozzarella sticks make a great snack for between meals or even as an appetizer before your meal.
The Sauce Makes It Even Better
Pick up some marinara sauce as it makes a great dipping treat to eat with your fresh, hot mozzarella sticks you just made. Its a traditional meal and I highly recommend it if youve never tried it.
Add some marinara dipping sauce and now youve got a hot, delicious, and cheesy snack or meal youll love!
Note: I dont recommend using a microwave oven to reheat your sticks once theyre cold. Its just not the same and wont taste nearly as good.
For best results, warm & crisp them back to a tasty & fresh state by reheating them in a hot air fryer at 350°F for about 1-2 minutes.
How & Why To Preheat Your Air Fryer
Top: Preheating an air fryer with digital controls. These often have a preheat mode button . Bottom: For standard models, you can preheat the fryer by adjusting it to the 350° temperature and setting the cooking timer for 5 minutes.
Just like with regular ovens, air fryer makers recommend warming up the fryer to the cooking temperature before you add food. But why is that?
You should preheat your air fryer for several reasons:
- The electric heating element gets heated and ready to use
- Inside surfaces that touch & cook food are hot and ready to work properly
- Preheating avoids a warming delay that would happen if you started cooking from room temperature
In other words, youll get your air fryer ready to begin cooking right away its preheated and ready to use. You wont have to worry about trying to adjust cooking time for a cold fryer.
As some people warm up their car during the winter cold before driving it, the idea is the same.
What Are Mozzarella Sticks Made Of
Mozzarella Sticks are a form of Mozzarella cheese that is battered and deep-fried to create a crispy outside and chewy inside. Also, Mozzarella sticks can be found in different restaurants and fast-food chains throughout the United States and Canada, and other countries around the world.
Mozzarella Sticks consist of Mozzarella cheese cut into long thin strips before being covered in batter or breading, then deep-fried until they are golden brown. They may also have spices added for extra flavoring. Mozzarella Cheese melts easily, so its important to take care when handling them during cooking to avoid overcooking them or having molten Mozzarella spill out onto the fryer.
They are often served with a marinara dipping sauce. Mozzarella Sticks can be eaten alone or accompanied by other appetizers such as Buffalo wings, french fries, and onion rings.
How To Make Mozzarella Sticks In An Air Fryer:
- PREPARE THE BREADING-Grab three separate shallow dishes that you will use to dip the cheese into for breading. The first will have flour and salt in it. The second will have eggs, whisk them until smooth. The last will have panko, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Also, get a sheet pan that is lined with wax paper and set aside.
- COVER THE CHEESE IN THE BREADING-Dip each of your cheese sticks in the flour, then egg, then panko. Place them on your sheet pan and freeze for a half hour. After removing the cheese from the freezer, dip a second time and freeze for another half hour. Trust me the double breading process is worth the time it takes!
- COOK THE MOZZ STICKS-Spritz the air fryer basket with oil or brush the oil onto the basket. Arrange the mozzarella sticks in a single layer in the basket. Spritz the sticks with vegetable oil. Cook at 360 degrees F for six minutes.
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How Long Can You Cook Mozzarella Sticks In An Air Fryer
Are you hosting a large group and looking for a delicious serving of finger foods? Or perhaps your kids are having their friends over, and you want to offer something lip-smacking? Then, mozzarella sticks are a splendid way to go. But the oven method can be tasking, requiring you to use lots of power for a small batch of snacks. So its why weve come with an excellent solution that offers even better results- the air fryer.
Air fryers are perfect for fast cooking, preparing crust foods with zero moisture, and giving crunch. And mozzarella sticks perform great when cooked in these modern appliances. So, next time youve got such a need and dont want to try the oven, pull out your air fryer and whip up these delicious goodies for your guests.
Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks Tips
- Ensure to shake the basket after five minutes of cooking to expose more surfaces.
- Mozzarella sticks come out hot after cooking in the air fryer, so let them cool a bit before you serve.
- You need each stick to cook evenly, which wouldnt happen if the mozzarella sticks were stacked in the basket. So, ensure to arrange them in one layer before cooking.
- This recipe is great for making large batches because it cooks fast. But youll have to do so in batches of six to 10 sticks, depending on the size of your air fryer basket.
- Also, try sticking to the recommended cooking time for these frozen mozzarella sticks. The longer they cook in the air fryer, the more likely the cheese is to ooze out the surface
- Some air fryers dont require preheating, so check yours to be sure. Such air fryers will cook the sticks faster, especially if theyre preheated, so only do this if a recipe calls for it.
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How To Make Frozen Cheese Sticks In The Air Fryer:
Helpful Tip- Youll know the insides of the frozen mozzarella sticks are hot and melty when you start to see little bits of cheese oozing out of the breading. Once you see a few spots of that, youre good to pull your air fryer frozen mozzarella sticks out and serve them up.
How To Make Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks
For the full recipe, please see the recipe card below.
Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. If your air fryer doesnt require preheating then dont do that.
Place the frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Close the lid and set the time for 5 to 7 minutes.
Serve with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping, or any type of sauce you enjoy.
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Tips For Cooking Healthier Mozzarella Sticks
Here are some extra tips to make your mozzarella stick experience even better!
- Air frying from frozen: If youre wondering how to air fry frozen mozzarella sticks, keep reading! Its totally possible to air fry mozz sticks from frozen . To do so, simply toss into the air fryer and follow the temperature and time instructions as listed in the recipe.
- Dont skip freezing: When cooking from scratch, freezing between breading takes a bit of extra time. But, its so worth it! Without freezing, the cheese melts too early and and will spill out before the coating has time to cook.
- Cook in single layers: If all mozzarella sticks dont fit in a single layer on your air fryer rack, cook in multiple batches. I do not recommend double stacking.
How To Make Air Fryer Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
NOTE: All air fryers aren’t created equal. I use a Cosori 5.8qt air fryer and find that this is the perfect recipe for temperature and time for this mozzarella stick recipe. If you are using a different brand of air fryer, make sure you do a test run and start checking on the cheese sticks a minute or two before they are finished. You may have to add or take away a minute is you’re using a different brand of air fryer.
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How To Make Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks Ahead Of Time
Bread the mozzarella sticks and place them on a parchment covered baking sheet with space between them. Then place the baking sheet in the freezer on a level surface. Once frozen transfer the mozzarella sticks to a heavy duty freezer bag for up to 3 months.
When ready to cook remove the numbers of sticks you would like to air fry. Then preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees. While the air fryer is warming brush the sticks with olive oil. Lay them in a single layer in the air fryer with space between them. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Keep an eye on them so that you can remove them quickly if the cheese begins to leak out.
Using A Cooking Spray
One great tip is to use a cooking spray like canola oil or olive oil to lightly coat your food before cooking. Doing so helps your food crisp better and get a wonderfully crunchy outside.
The same is true not only for cheese sticks but also chicken wings, tater tots, french fries, and many other great foods youll want to cook in your air fryer. Its a tip I picked up from my Cuisinart air fryer & toaster oven owners manual.
To use cooking spray with an air fryer, put the food inside then lightly coat the top of the food until it looks slightly wet. You wont need much just enough to coat the outer surface.
About These Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
Is there anyone out there who doesnt absolutely love mozzarella sticks? There is just something about the ooey, gooey cheese encased in a crispy breaded coating that is completely and absolutely irresistible.
Dipped in marinara or ranch, theyre the perfect party food or snack when youre craving something cheesy.
We tested these a few different ways and found the best way possible to make these was to bread them twice. First you freeze the cheese stick halves until theyre solid. Then, they undergo the first breading: flour, then egg, then seasoned breadcrumbs. Then, back into the freezer they go. Once theyre frozen again, youll repeat the egg and breadcrumb step. And yup, you guessed it, back into the freezer!
Why the freezing? Well, you want the cheese to be nice and frozen when they go in the air fryer so that the breading has time to crisp up and get golden brown before the cheese starts to melt and ooze out of the breading. This will still happen occasionally and in small amounts, but if you skip the freezing steps, youll lose a lot more cheese.
No one wants that!
Why Use An Air Fryer For Mozzarella Sticks
Not many realize how handy air fryers can be, especially when making tasty snacks like mozzarella sticks. But below, youll discover why these kitchen items are a huge hit among many culinary experts globally. And youll see why they combine with mozzarella sticks to offer you pure convenience.
Its Speedy-You can have a delicious batch of your tasty cheese sticks in less than 10 minutes. This makes it perfect for cravings or when you need to bring an interesting appetizer to the table for guests.
Its Easy-The air fryer method requires very little preparation. Toss the mozzarella sticks in the basket and set the timer and temperature. Then, sit back, grab a cold glass and let the air fryer do the work!
No Oil Needed-Mozzarella sticks come crusted and wont stick to the basket. So, you wont need any greasing or spritzing the sticks surfaces with non-stick cooking spray.
Works with Frozen Sticks-You dont need to thaw frozen mozzarella sticks for the air fryer. Instead, theyll cook in just as short a time as the regular ones when placed in the air fryer.
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How To Air Fry Frozen Mozzarella Sticks Or Cheese Sticks
- Well never cook these frozen mozzarella sticks in any other way now except in the air fryer. The regular oven doesnt cook them nearly as good or crispy.
- Dont thaw first. Air fry the cheese sticks straight from the freezer. It gives them a crispier outside coating.
- Spread into an even layer when air frying. Dont stack the cheese sticks in the air fryer basket/tray. Cook in batches if needed.
- No oil spray. There is no need for any oil spray to cook the cheese sticks. There is enough in the crust when they make them that you dont need to add any more.
- Add your favorite dip and youre ready to enjoy. We love serving them with a marinara sauce but we know lots of folks enjoy dipping them in ranch or bbq sauce too.
- All recipe details, time and temp are in the recipe box below.
Tips For Mozzarella Sticks
The main issue when making mozzarella sticks at home is that the cheese oozes out of the stick when you bake them. We tested many different methods, and found a few ways to solve this problem. Because obviously you want your cheese to stay INSIDE the mozzarella stick.
- Double Dip. After you coat the sticks in egg wash and bread crumbs you are going to repeat the process again! This adds a thicker layer of breading, which helps keep the cheese inside. As long as youre gentle, most of the breadcrumbs should stay when you run it through the egg wash again.
- Freeze. If youre short on time, you may be tempted to skip this step but DONT. Youve got to freeze your mozzarella sticks before you cook them in the air fryer. Freezing the mozzarella sticks helps keep the cheese solid when you start cooking it so that it doesnt heat up too fast and ooze out of the breading.
- Coat with cooking spray. This is the last step that really helps make sure the cheese stays inside. The cooking spray also helps the breading get golden brown and crunchy. Dont spray the sticks while they are in the air fryer, spray them outside of the fryer and then place them in the basket.
Now go whip up a batch or two of these Mozzarella Sticks for an afternoon snack. Or, if you want to serve them with dinner, make some Chicken Tenders in your air fryer first and have a kid favorite meal tonight. No one will complain. We promise.
- Cooking spray
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Getting Your Mozzarella Sticks Ready To Cook
Its easy to get your mozzarella cheese sticks ready for cooking in your air fryer. For the best results, fill the fryer basket with the frozen sticks then shake them to help even them out. This helps them get the best exposure to hot cooking air. As cheese sticks can be a bit soft on the outside when done, to help them cook better and for more crunchiness spray them with good cooking oil like canola oil.
Yes, it really is easy to cook cheese sticks, but I want you to get the tastiest, well-cooked cheesy goodness possible. Heres how to get your frozen cheese sticks ready for the best cooking possible:
When cooking with an air fryer what you dont want to do is to let your mozzarella sticks pile up inside. Its important that they get exposure to the cooking air inside.
Food thats stacked on top of each other wont cook as well.