Homemade cheese sticks are delicious finger foods that are crispy and cheesy and gooey all in the same bite!

pile of cheese with one broken in half and a small bowl of red sauce

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

They are everyone’s favorite appetizer and are super easy to make at home.

What are Mozzarella Sticks?
Mozzarella sticks, also known as fried cheese sticks, are breaded pieces of cheese that are deep fried and served with a dipping sauce.

Usually they are make with mozzarella cheese because it melts so easily but can be other types as well.

I mean, what is not to LOVE about FRIED CHEESE?!?

How do you make Mozzarella Sticks from scratch?
You can buy these at your favorite restaurant and even already cooked in the freezer section of your grocery store but making them at home is so much better!

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is that you need string cheese sticks NOT regular cheese sticks.

The pull apart string cheese sticks are made so they tear easily which means they melt easily too.

labeled picture of ingredients

Ingredients Needed
string cheese sticks
String Cheese – Find these in the refrigerated section of the grocery store by the sliced cheese. I prefer to use mozzarella but you can also use Colby Jack.

Panko – These make the best crispy coating. You can use regular or seasoned breadcrumbs if you prefer.

Seasonings – Garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

cheese stick in a glass bowl of flourdredge in flour
flour coated cheese stick in a bowl of milkdip in egg mix
cheese stick in a bowl of panko crumbscoat in panko and repeat

How to make Mozzarella Sticks
ONE: Unwrap the cheese. Prepare the 3 dredging stations. Flour, Panko, and milk & eggs.

TWO: Dip the cheese stick in the flour. Then into the milk & egg mixture. Then into the Panko to coat. Repeat this step for 2 coatings.

THREE: Freeze for 30 minutes to set.

FOUR: Deep fry in oil for 1-2 minutes until turns golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Enjoy warm!

How do you keep Mozzarella Sticks from exploding?
The best way is to make sure that you completely coat the stick twice.
Patting the Panko into the cheese can help it stick. Just make sure there aren’t any holes in the coating.

Freezing the cheese sticks helps them hold their shape while cooking and keep them from overheating which can cause leaking.

Deep frying the best and tastiest way to cook mozzarella sticks because you get that fried flavor, but also because it only takes a minute or two in the oil to cook.

You can bake them in the oven or you can use an air fryer! They take longer to cook but you won’t have as much as a mess.

Tapas Tips & Tricks
String Cheese – Be sure to use string cheese and not snack cheese sticks. They will not melt the same.
Freeze – The cheese will hold it’s shape and not over cook in the oil.
Coat completely – Really press the Panko crumbs on the sticks and fully coat. Holes means leaks!
Panko is best – But regular bread crumbs are good. Just be sure to season them. Try cracker crumbs, croutons, chips, and even pretzels for coating.
Check Oil – You want your hot oil to be 350F-365F. Anything higher and they will burn too quickly. Use a frying thermometer.
Buttermilk – Buttermilk adds a little extra flavor but regular milk will work too.
Make Ahead – Make a big batch and keep in the freezer. You need to freeze them anyway so why not have them ready to go?

overhead picture of pile of cheese sticks with one broken in half and a small bowl of red sauce and a stack of plates
What can I do with Mozzarella Sticks?
Enjoy these with the traditional marinara sauce or go crazy with you dipping sauces.

Homemade Cheese Sticks

Homemade cheese sticks are delicious finger foods that are CRISPY and CHEESY and GOOEY all in the same bite!

1 package (16 oz) string cheese
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg
2 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
Oil for frying

Add about 2 inches of oil to heavy skillet and heat to 350 degrees F
Add breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to shallow bowl or plate and mix with fork
In another shallow bowl or plate, add flour
In a small bowl whisk together egg, salt, pepper and buttermilk, then add to shallow bowl or plate
Dip cheese stick into flour, then into the egg mixture, then into the Panko crumbs. Press crumbs into cheese gently. Repeat for double coating.
Freeze for 30 minutes.
Add the hot oil and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, turning frequently.
Drain on paper towels and enjoy while still warm and gooey with your favorite dipping sauces.

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