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mozzarella sticks

Homemade Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks: Irresistibly Cheesy and Crispy

The Ultimate Finger Food for Cheese Lovers

If you’re a fan of gooey, melty cheese encased in a crunchy coating, then these Homemade Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks are about to become your new favorite snack. Using your air fryer, you can achieve that perfect combination of crispy on the outside and oozing with cheesy goodness on the inside. Let’s dive into this recipe and get ready to indulge!

Ingredients:

  • 12 mozzarella string cheese sticks
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray (olive oil or canola oil spray)
  • Marinara sauce (for dipping)

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Mozzarella Sticks:

  • Unwrap the mozzarella string cheese sticks and cut them in half to make 24 shorter sticks.

2. Set Up Your Breading Station:

  • In three separate shallow bowls, set up a breading station:
    • Bowl 1: All-purpose flour.
    • Bowl 2: Whisked eggs.
    • Bowl 3: Italian-style breadcrumbs mixed with grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper.

3. Bread the Mozzarella Sticks:

  • Roll each mozzarella stick in the flour to coat lightly.
  • Dip it into the whisked eggs, ensuring it’s completely covered.
  • Roll it in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the breadcrumbs onto the cheese stick to adhere well. Repeat this breading process for all the sticks.

4. Freeze the Mozzarella Sticks:

  • Place the breaded mozzarella sticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them for at least 30 minutes. This step helps the breading stay intact during cooking.

5. Preheat the Air Fryer:

  • Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (190°C) for about 5 minutes.

6. Air Fry:

  • Lightly grease the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • Place the frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch each other. You may need to cook them in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
  • Air fry the mozzarella sticks at 380°F (190°C) for 6-8 minutes, or until they are golden brown and the cheese is melting inside.

7. Serve Hot:

  • Carefully remove the Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks and let them cool for a minute or two. Serve them hot with marinara sauce for dipping.

Tips and Variations:

Customizing Your Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Tips:

  • Make sure the mozzarella sticks are well-frozen before air frying to prevent them from oozing too much cheese during cooking.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket; this ensures even cooking and prevents the sticks from sticking together.

Variations:

  • Add a kick of heat by mixing some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper into the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Experiment with different dipping sauces like ranch dressing, garlic aioli, or barbecue sauce.

Customization:

  • You can also make these mozzarella sticks with different types of cheese like cheddar, provolone, or pepper jack for a variety of flavors.

Storage:

  • While these are best enjoyed fresh, any leftover mozzarella sticks can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. To reheat, pop them back in the air fryer for a few minutes until they regain their crispiness.

Cook’s Note:

  • These Homemade Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks are perfect for parties, game days, or just when you’re craving some cheesy comfort food. They’re not only delicious but also incredibly easy to make. So, whip up a batch, dip them in your favorite sauce, and enjoy the crispy, cheesy goodness!

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