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air fryer mozzarella sticks
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Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

How to make the BEST Air Fryer Cheese Sticks - perfectly crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

Equipment

  • Large Sealable Baggie
  • Large Sheet Pan or Freezer Safe Dish/Plate

Ingredients

  • 12 skim milk mozzarella cheese sticks removed from their plastic wrapping
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs see notes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cooking spray or spray olive oil

Instructions

  • Line up all of the unwrapped cheese sticks and cut them in half so that you now have 24 shorter pieces of string cheese. Place the flour into a large sealable baggie. Dump all of the cheese sticks into the bag, seal the bag, and shake to coat them in flour.
  • You can also coat them one by one by placing the flour in a small dish and rolling each mozzarella stick around in the dish, but this is significantly slower and messier.
  • Beat the two eggs in a small bowl and set it next to the baggie with flour coated string cheese in it. Mix the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and salt together in another small bowl and place it next to the egg bowl. Place your sheet pan next to the breadcrumb bowl.
  • You should now have a complete breading station set up, with the bag of flour coated string cheese, beaten eggs, seasoned breadcrumbs, and a freezer safe sheet pan or dish lined up.
  • Open the flour and cheese bag. One at a time, remove a cheese stick from the flour bag, give the cheese stick a shake so that any loose/excess flour falls off. Drop the flour coated cheese stick into the egg bowl. Use a fork to roll it around in the egg and make sure it is entirely covered in egg, with no flour exposed. Lift the egg coated cheese out of the bowl with the fork, and allow any loose egg to drip off. Drop it into the breadcrumbs. Use another fork, spoon, or your fingers to cover the stick in breadcrumbs, pressing them into the sides. Place the coated cheese stick onto the pan. Repeat until no string cheese is left uncoated.
  • If there are any cheese sticks that have exposed cheese or flour, dunk them in the egg and breadcrumbs again to make sure every bit is completely coated.
  • Place the sheet pan full of cheese sticks ( with no sides touching each other ), into the freezer. Freeze for at least one hour. After an hour, you can either carefully place the cheese sticks into a sealable freezer baggie or container to cook at a later time, or you can make them right away.

To Cook Frozen Cheese Sticks in the Air Fryer:

  • Spray the cheese sticks with cooking spray. Place the cheese sticks in a single layer, with no sides touching, in the Air Fryer. Air Fry at 400 F for 4 - 5 minutes.

To Cook Frozen Cheese Sticks in the Oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 F. Spray the cheese sticks with cooking spray. Bake for 7 - 8 minutes.

Notes

For the breadcrumbs, you can use seasoned or unseasoned breadcrumbs. If using seasoned, leave out the oregano, but still include the garlic powder, onion, and salt. Panko can be mixed in with regular breadcrumbs but do not substitute it entirely because it does not create a good "seal" around the cheese. The seal is what keeps the cheese from leaking out while cooking.