Crispy Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

cheese sticks

When I was in my early twenties and had the metabolism of a super hero, I didn’t think much of eating fattening food.  My husband (then boyfriend) and I would go to this great little Italian place that had the most amazing mozzarella cheese sticks, and we would sometimes order two appetizer rounds.  Those were the days, when my metabolism could zap fat in a single bound:)  They were really amazing though.  They had this substantial and crunchy crust…yum!  Recently, I was out to eat with family and they ordered cheese sticks as an appetizer.  I was disappointed with the non-existent crust and overall sogginess of them.  My thinking is that if you are going to eat something like cheese sticks…do it right.  This motivated me to do something I rarely do…fry.  This past September, I shared a pan-fried panko crusted apple fritter.  I decided to make the mozzarella cheese sticks in that same fashion.  These cheese sticks are double dipped in egg and flour, coated in panko bread crumbs, and pan fried.  My husband and I couldn’t believe how much they tasted like that little Italian restaurant’s, and really even better.  The only difference is that this time, I was off to the treadmill for some damage control 😉

These cheese sticks are truly amazing and I paired them with my garden fresh pizza sauce, which is a perfect combination. Plus, it is a nice way to balance the bad with the good 🙂  Enjoy!

Crispy Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

32 cheese sticks

Crispy Mozzarella Cheese Sticks


  • 16 oz. mozzarella string cheese sticks
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (I use unbleached)
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. milk (2% or higher milkfat)
  • neutral oil for frying
  • Whisk together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and eggs, and then fill one more container with the panko bread crumbs. Cut your cheese sticks in half.
  • Set up your dredging station in this order: cheese sticks, flour mixture, milk-egg mixture, panko, and an empty plate.
  • Follow these steps to prepare your cheese for frying:
  • 1. Place in the flour mixture to get a light dusting.
  • 2. Dunk in the egg-milk mixture.
  • 3. Place back in the flour mixture coating well.
  • 4. Dunk once more in the egg mixture.
  • 5. Finally, place in the panko bread crumbs, coating well.
  • 6. Repeat with all cheese sticks.
  • Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to cool down (2 hours is optimal if you have the time). You can go ahead and fry them without placing them in the freezer, but you will end up with some cheese-less sticks.
  • Preheat your oil over medium heat. Place enough oil to completely cover the bottom of the cheese sticks and half of the sides (I use an enameled cast iron 5 qt braiser, which takes 1 and 1/2 cups of oil).
  • Note: In order to keep the cheese from leaking out, ensure you maintain an optimal frying temperature. I usually do this by eye, but measuring is best in this case. Keep the oil around 350 degrees for best results.
  • Once the oil is pre-heated, place the cheese sticks in and fry until golden brown on each side. When they are ready, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a couple of paper towels to catch the excess grease. Move around after a minute or so, so they don't stick to the paper towel.
  • Serve with sauce and enjoy. Click here for my garden fresh pizza sauce recipe, which pairs excellently, garden fresh pizza sauce
  • Notes

    1. You can also bake these cheese sticks. Oil a pan and place the cheese sticks on, and place in a 450 degree oven, Flip once they begin to brown on the bottom. Either brush on oil to brown or spray with oil, during the cooking process to ensure browning.

    2. Serve with veggies or a salad and have as a fun meal.

    Check out my pan fried feta cheese with a roasted red pepper salad!

    32 Responses to“Crispy Mozzarella Cheese Sticks”

    1. 10/22/2015 at 11:25 am #

      Looks and sounds amazing…

        10/22/2015 at 8:11 pm #

        Thanks Swapna 🙂

    2. Sandhya
      10/22/2015 at 12:42 pm #

      I can relate to the metabolism in the 20s too, Antonia.The panko crusted apple fritter sounds awesome. I would have eaten it whole:)
      Great recipe for mozzarella sticks! Yummy!

        10/22/2015 at 8:13 pm #

        It was nice while it lasted, wasn’t it? Thank you for the kind words Sandhya 🙂

    3. 10/22/2015 at 1:52 pm #

      Kids can’t say no this..looks yum..can I Have some

        10/22/2015 at 8:16 pm #

        Very true…they are too good! I wish I could send you some 🙂 Thanks Vidya!

    4. 10/22/2015 at 4:32 pm #

      I had these for the first time in December when I visited the USA. Very tasty. Thanks for the recipe.

        10/22/2015 at 8:18 pm #

        They are amazing, aren’t they? You just can’t beat fried cheese 🙂 You are welcome and I hope you get a chance to try them.

    5. 10/22/2015 at 5:23 pm #

      I miss my 20s metabolism, too. I wonder if an hour of kickboxing is a fair trade off, though, because these look too good not to try!

        10/22/2015 at 8:22 pm #

        I do too. Wasn’t it nice? I think it might be…they are really amazing. Plus, they have protein to help build muscle, if that helps you with the 😉

    6. 10/22/2015 at 9:58 pm #

      I love cheese sticks! yumm and they are looking mighty good!! 🙂 I really want one now and your sauce!

        10/23/2015 at 8:05 am #

        I wish I could send you some 🙂 Cheese sticks are hard to resist! Thanks Lynn!

        • 10/23/2015 at 8:07 am #

          they are so hard to resist yumm! I love them and homemade would be great!

          10/23/2015 at 8:09 am #

          Homemade are really good! The only bad thing is you can eat them while you are getting ready to serve them, which means you will probably eat more 😉 Totally worth it though.

        • 10/23/2015 at 8:15 am #

          ha ha yes!! so true! 🙂

          10/23/2015 at 8:20 am #

          Very 🙂

        • 10/23/2015 at 8:20 am #


          10/23/2015 at 8:23 am #


    7. skd
      10/23/2015 at 10:30 am #


        10/23/2015 at 12:56 pm #

        Thank you 🙂

    8. 10/28/2015 at 4:18 am #

      Looks so crispy and yummy! Very irresistible one 🙂

        10/28/2015 at 11:42 am #

        Thanks Kushi!

    9. 11/12/2015 at 9:07 pm #

      This sounds so yummmmmmm…☺☺☺☺

        11/12/2015 at 9:40 pm #

        Thanks Lina 🙂

    10. 06/23/2016 at 9:10 am #

      Love those first lines “had the metabolism of a superhero”. I can so relate! Thanks for the laughs and the recipes!!

        06/23/2016 at 12:45 pm #

        Haha, those were the days! Thanks Kelly 😀

    11. Natalie Parnell
      02/02/2017 at 1:22 pm #

      I think I’m going to give these a go for this Sunday. Don you think it will be ok to deep fry them?

        02/02/2017 at 1:31 pm #

        Awesome! I would put them in the freezer for around 2 hours before you fry them, if you are deep frying. That will ensure the cheese doesn’t leak around when submerged in the oil. I would love to hear what you think. Enjoy 😀

    12. 02/02/2017 at 7:32 pm #

      I actually have all the ingredients for this. I never thought of doing the double flour. I’ll let you know how they come out!

        02/02/2017 at 11:16 pm #

        It gives them a very nice thick crust. I think I love the crust as much as the cheese 😉 Awesome, I can’t wait to hear!

        • 02/03/2017 at 8:12 am #

          I made them last night. Great recipe, Antonia, and really easy over all. I’m thinking this will work on fried veggies and chicken as well. I don’t eat much fried food, but it’s great to have a go-to recipe. 🙂

          02/03/2017 at 5:21 pm #

          That’s great Diana! I so am glad you enjoyed them and they were easy to make. It is always wonderful when someone tries one of my recipes, and I am thrilled you liked them. I hadn’t thought of using this for veggies or chicken, I will have to try it out too. I don’t eat a lot of fried food either, but it is fun to have some every so often. Thank you for letting me know how they turned out Diana, I really appreciate it.

    I would love to hear from you!

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