Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, these homemade mozzarella sticks are the perfect item to add to your game day menu! They are gluten-free and grain-free, but sinfully delicious!
Confession: I hate football. I don’t watch a single game all season long, and I usually have to google who is in the super bowl. I do get excited for the super bowl, though. I like to watch solely for the commercials, and of course it gives me an excuse to indulge on game day snacks!
First up on the menu are these amazing homemade mozzarella sticks. Who doesn’t love breaded gooey cheese?
I know homemade mozzarella sticks sound pretty intimidating, but they are really easy to make. I promise! You only need a few ingredients and some spices to make them, and you can prep them completely ahead, fry them before your guests arrive and keep them warm in the oven.
My intention when I first began testing this recipe was for them to be a healthier mozzarella stick. So, instead of using breadcrumbs I went with almond flour and I started out baking them rather than frying. However, no matter what I did (freezing them, not freezing them, high temperature, low temperature) they turned into one big melted mess in the oven.
I’ve seen plenty of recipes out there for baked mozzarella sticks, but for me they just weren’t working. So, frying it is!
To get started, you’ll want to cut up the mozzarella into sticks. I used a bag of mozzarella string cheese and just cut each in half to make 24 sticks. Then toss it into egg and then into seasoned crumbs.
I’ve been experimenting with almond flour lately, so I chose to use it for my breading. However, you could use gluten-free breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs if you don’t need these to be gluten-free. Since you can’t buy seasoned almond flour, I seasoned my own up very well (I like a lot of flavor!). But, feel free use seasoned breadcrumbs if you have them on hand.
Once you have them nicely breaded you’ll want to lay them out on a baking pan or plate and freeze them for 2 hours. Once they are frozen solid you can cook them immediately, or place them in a freezer-safe container or bag and keep them frozen for up to 3 months.
I decided to pan fry these as opposed to deep frying. Mostly because I don’t like deep frying and I feel like it wastes a lot of oil. Another reason I decided to pan fry was because almond flour really isn’t the best choice for deep frying. Remember, I didn’t plan on frying as my original intent was to bake these. However, I found pan frying worked well with the almond flour.
I melted a few spoonfuls of coconut oil in a shallow pan – you want about an inch of oil. Almond flour will burn quickly if the temperature of the oil is too hot, so pan frying keeps the temperature of the oil lower. You want these to lightly sizzle when you put them in the pan. I test the oil temperature by tossing a few loose crumbs in the pan and when the lightly sizzle I know it’s ready.
When you place the mozzarella sticks into the pan, the oil will rise up a little bit and sizzle gently (keep the heat between medium and high). These only need a minute or two on each side until they reach crisp, melt-y cheese perfection! Drain them on paper towels and then serve them up with marinara sauce.
If you’re serving a large crowd you may want to double (or even triple) the recipe – they won’t last long! I could not stop eating these… that’s why there aren’t that many in the photos! The almond flour gives them a nice light crunch while all of the spices really shine through. And, we can’t forget about the gooey cheese! Heaven. Pure heaven.
If you’re like me and use the super bowl as an excuse to indulge in snacks, then you definitely need to make these! You will be so happy you did!
- 1 Package (12 Sticks) Mozzarella String Cheese, cut in half, to yield 24
- 1 Cup Almond Flour, or breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free)
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 Egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Coconut Oil (or preferred frying oil)
- Marinara Sauce, for serving
- Combine the almond flour and the spices in a shallow dish.
- Dip each mozzarella piece in egg and coat well. Let the excess drip off and then place it into the crumb mixture.
- Toss each piece in the crumb mixture until well coated, pressing it on to create a thick coating.
- Place the sticks on a baking pan or plate and freeze for 2 hours, or until frozen solid.
- Heat about an inch of oil in a shallow pan and toss a few loose crumbs into the pan. When they sizzle gently, the oil is ready.
- Add in a few mozzarella sticks and cook for a minute or two on each side, or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remainder of the mozzarella sticks. Be sure you don't let the oil get too hot - you'll want to regulate it between medium and high.
- Serve the mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce for dipping.
- You can store the uncooked mozzarella sticks in a freezer safe bag/container for up to 3 months. You can also fry these up to an hour before you're ready to serve and keep them warm in a 200º oven. They may lose some crispness, but they will taste just as great!