Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

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You NEED this low-fat recipe in your life!

Dig into these healthy air fryer mozzarella sticks without any guilt!

There are certain appetizers that disappear a lot quicker than others, and mozzarella sticks might be the prime example! Guests of all ages adore the crispy outer coating and ooey-gooey inside. Sadly, traditional recipes are deep-fried in oil, which sends the calorie count through the roof. If you’re trying to eat healthier, fried foods should be one of the first things you eliminate from your diet. Thanks to our healthier air fryer mozzarella sticks, you don’t have to give up this delicious snack!

Less Fat, More Flavor!

These delicious, low-calori cheese sticks are so good!

Whenever you fry something in the traditional sense, it’s immersed in hot cooking oil. While this method often yields drool-worthy results, it also causes your food to soak up a tremendous amount of fat and calories. Deep frying in oil is just not conducive to weight loss. 

Air frying, on the other hand, has become one of our favorite cooking methods. The food is healthier, contains less fat and fewer calories, and it also tastes just as good (if not better) as deep-fried foods. Plus, the air fryer creates a perfectly crispy “fried” texture that we’ve all come to know and love. The best part is you never have to drown the mozzarella sticks in fatty oil!

In addition to eliminating the oil, we also chose to use low-fat mozzarella as a way to further slash fat and calories. You will still get the same yummy flavors with low-fat mozzarella, but the cheese sticks will be a bit more solid. If you can spare the extra calories, you can use full-fat mozzarella instead. This will result in a slightly gooier cheese stick, as whole milk mozzarella melts a little better. 

Six-Ingredient Healthy Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

There's nothing like perfectly breaded and crispy, hot mozzarella sticks!

This crazy good recipe is super simple to make! The steps aren’t complicated, but it does require a freezing process that adds some extra prep time.

Begin by setting up your breading station. Beat an egg with one teaspoon of water in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and Panko breadcrumbs. We recommend Panko because it has a dryer, flakier consistency than regular breadcrumbs, creating a crispier air-fried product. You can use regular breadcrumbs but the coating won’t be as crispy. Additionally, you can make these cheese sticks gluten-free by using gluten-free Panko.

Working with one mozzarella stick at a time, dip the cheese into the egg and then into the seasoned breadcrumbs mixture. Press the cheese firmly into the breadcrumbs on all sides to make sure they’re evenly covered. 

Place the breaded cheese on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and continue breading. Once all the mozzarella sticks are breaded, slide them into the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes. You’ll need to repeat this process again, dipping each mozzarella stick into the egg and breadcrumbs. Place them back into the freezer for another 30 to 60 minutes. This may seem excessive but this process will ensure that the cheese doesn’t melt before the breading has a chance to get nice and crispy. Note that you can prepare the cheese sticks ahead of time, and freeze them until you’re ready to cook them.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the frozen mozzarella sticks with a little bit of avocado oil cooking spray and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until they’re golden brown and melty on the inside.

Make it an Italian Feast

These cheese sticks are low-fat but full of savory flavor!

These mozzarella sticks are the perfect starter to a large, Italian-inspired meal. Add a side of homemade Marinara Sauce for dipping! Homemade is always fresher, but store bought will work just fine too!

After you’ve scarfed down these cheesy delights, move on to the next course! We have plenty of options to choose from:

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Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

These healthy air fryer mozzarella sticks taste every bit as good as a restaurant's, but they're much healthier!
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Yield 8 people
Serving Size 1 mozzarella stick
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Author Chef Lindsay

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 low-fat mozzarella sticks
  • avocado oil cooking spray

Instructions

  • In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with one teaspoon of water and set aside.
  • In a second bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and panko breadcrumbs.
  • Working with one mozzarella stick at a time, dip the cheese into the egg before transferring it to the seasoned breadcrumbs. Press the cheese firmly into the breadcrumbs to ensure they adhere. Transfer the breaded cheese to a wax paper-lined baking sheet and continue breading.
  • When all the mozzarella sticks are breaded, freeze them for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Repeat the process, dipping each mozzarella stick into the egg before pressing it into the breadcrumbs. Freeze for another 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spray the frozen mozzarella sticks with the avocado oil cooking spray and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until they’re golden brown and melted inside. You may have to cook the mozzarella sticks in two batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1mozzarella stick | Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 368mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg |
Keywords Air Fryer, Low-Carb, Vegetarian

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Serving These Yummy Cheese Sticks

If you’re making this recipe as a party appetizer, some other finger foods you may want to serve alongside these cheese sticks include:

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Chef Lindsay

Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer. After graduating from Cascade Culinary School, Lindsay worked as the executive chef of a farm-to-table restaurant in Bend, Oregon. She is passionate about using local, organic ingredients and loves teaching home cooks how to incorporate seasonal food into their diet. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to create beautiful meals for her family. She lives with her husband in Colorado, where she enjoys the trials and errors of gardening.

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