Air Fryer Frozen Mozzarella Sticks are baked in the air fryer for a crunchy exterior and a gooey interior without having to cook them in the oven or the deep fryer.
Mozzarella sticks are delicious, but can be a hassle to make from scratch. That’s why we always buy frozen mozzarella sticks because they can be easily cooked in the air fryer and turn out just the way they would at a restaurant when you order them as an appetizer.
Since the air fryer cooks them faster than they would in the oven, and with the hot air circulating all around them, you end up with a perfectly crispy exterior and just the right amount of meltiness in the center. Dip them into marinara sauce or eat them as is for a delicious appetizer.
Ingredients You Need
- Frozen Mozzarella Sticks: any brand of mozzarella sticks work, so use your favorite brand.
- Marinara Dipping Sauce: optional addition to the mozzarella sticks. Feel free to use a different sauce, or skip it all together.
How to Make Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
Place the frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer basket and spread them evenly in a single layer. Do not overlap them or they might stick together. They also won’t get as perfectly crispy on the outside when overlapping. If you must, cook them in two batches if you have too many to fit in a single layer.
There’s no need to spray the air fryer basket or the mozzarella sticks with cooking spray. They already have oil on them, which will help them crisp up. Cook at 400° F for 6 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking. Shaking will ensure that the sticks get turned so they will cook evenly. Don’t skip the shake!
Be sure to serve them hot, when they’re at their best. I like to serve them with a dipping sauce like marinara or pizza sauce. Ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing also makes a good dip.
Can I Make Them From Scratch?
Yes, you can make your own mozzarella sticks from scratch. This involves making a dredging station with egg and seasoned breadcrumbs, then dipping the cheese stick into both, freezing it, then dipping again before air fryer. It’s possible to do. However, I’ve done it a few times and it always turns out a disaster.
The breading doesn’t stay on the cheese while it’s being air fried. The cheese sometimes sort of evaporates while cooking, and the exterior is hard to get a nice golden even brown because you have to spray them perfectly.
In my opinion, it’s just so much easier to buy frozen mozzarella sticks. There are some really good brands that are worth buying. I feel that most people end up regretting the extra work involved in making your own.
Why Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.
- I use a Ninja MaxXL air fryer (pictured left). If you don’t have an air fryer yet, check out these options to find one that fits your needs.
- See reviews and prices for air fryers on Amazon.
- Here’s a printable Air Fryer Cooking Times Cheat Sheet to get you started.
- Click to find more recipes to make in your Air Fryer.
- Learn how to make fun things in the air fryer, like potato wedges, pork belly bites, and chicken wings.
Tips For the Best Outcome
- Don’t thaw the frozen mozzarella sticks. Place the frozen sticks directly into the air fryer. It’ll be crispier this way.
- Give the mozzarella sticks space in the air fryer basket, so they can cook evenly. You may have to work in smaller batches, but it will make for a better end result.
- For an easier clean-up, line the basket with parchment so that there aren’t too many crumbs in the basket after.
Questions About the Recipe
Why are my mozzarella sticks burning?
Each air fryer is different, so the timings and temperatures could be slightly different. If you see your first batch of mozzarella sticks end up burnt, try lessening the bake time by a minute or two. The opposite is true as well. If the mozzarella sticks aren’t hitting your desired doneness, then keep them in the air fryer for a minute or two more.
Can I put homemade mozzarella sticks in the air fryer?
Yes. Before putting them into the air fryer, there are a few things you should do first. Place the homemade mozzarella sticks in the freezer for about 45 minutes to an hour. This will help solidify them and heat more evenly.
Line the basket with parchment paper and preheat your air fryer for about 3 minutes. Spray the mozzarella sticks with cooking oil, then layer them onto the basket. Make sure none of the sticks are overlapping or touching, so they bake evenly. Bake it for 6-8 minutes at 390°F, or until it reaches your desired texture.
Can I store air fryer frozen mozzarella sticks?
Yes, you can store air fryer mozzarella sticks, but they taste best fresh. To store leftovers, keep them in an airtight container for 2 days. When you want to eat them again, reheat them in the air fryer for 3 minutes at 350°F.
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Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks from Frozen
- 12 frozen mozzarella sticks or as many as you want
- Marinara dipping sauce optional
- Place the frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer basket and spread evenly in a single layer. Do not overlap.
- Cook at 400° F for 6 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking.
- Serve hot with dipping sauce.
- There is no need to spray the basket or the mozzarella sticks before cooking.
- Make as many or as few as you like at one time, as long as they aren’t overlapping.
All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes over at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, and you’ll find Instant Pot recipes at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
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Laura is a passionate foodie and owner of Air Fry Anytime She is dedicated to sharing delicious recipes and helpful tips for using air fryers at home. With years of experience in the kitchen and a love for healthy, flavorful cooking, Laura has become an expert at using air fryers to create amazing meals that are both nutritious and delicious.