Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks are full of warm, ooey, gooey cheese that’s coated in a crunchy homemade batter and fried to perfection.
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Snack
Keyword: 30-Minutes or less, Air Fryer, air fryer mozzarella sticks, cheese sticks
Servings: 6large mozzarella sticks
Author: Jennifer Fishkind
12low-moisture mozzarella sticksfrozen
1tspsaltdivided in half
½cuppanko bread crumbs
¼cupgrated parmesan cheese
3tbspminced fresh basil
Optional garnish: fresh, chopped basil
Be sure to have your mozzarella sticks completely frozen before you begin this recipe. Do not remove them from the freezer until you are ready to coat and cook them.
Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, if your model requires preheating.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour and ½ teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
In a separate, shallow bowl whisk together the panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, fresh basil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Set aside with the bowl of flour.
In a third shallow bowl, beat together the eggs and water with a fork or wire whisk. Place in between the other bowls and remove 6 mozzarella cheese sticks from the freezer.
One at a time, coat the mozzarella sticks in the flour, making sure that they are completely covered. Following the flour, dip the sticks into the egg mixture, covering them completely.
Place the mozzarella sticks in the panko mixture and turn multiple times, until they are lightly covered in the mixture.
Place the sticks back in the eggs and recoat them.
Finish by placing them back in the panko bowl and coating them a final time.
Spray the bottom of the air fryer basket with cooking oil and then place the sticks in the air fryer in a single, non touching layer and cook for 6-8 minutes or until lightly golden brown all over. Do not overcook them or the cheese may bubble out and make a mess in the bottom of your air fryer!
While the first batch is cooking, remove the remaining sticks from the freezer and prepare them following steps 6 through 9. When the first batch finishes, cook the second batch in the same way.
Let the cheese sticks set for 1-2 minutes after cooking and garnish with fresh, chopped basil, optional. Serve with marinara sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.
To Store: In the unlikely event that you have leftover mozzarella sticks (this has never happened to me, they always get gobbled up too quickly!) They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
To Freeze: You can also freeze leftovers, preferably before cooking them but even afterwards, for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Reheat in the air fryer at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 minutes or until heated through.
Move quickly through the coating process so the mozzarella sticks don’t thaw out too much. If they get too warm, they will bubble out of the coating during the cooking process. They can always be placed back into the freezer to cool before cooking.
You can prep your mozzarella sticks in advance and freeze them uncooked with the coating before cooking them. This is a quick treat that you can meal prep ahead of time and cook and eat fresh.