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I dare you to name a more iconic appetizer than Mozzarella Sticks. Make them better at home with these gluten-free Better Than Restaurant Mozzarella Sticks!
For as long as I've been married, my husband has been utterly obsessed with mozzarella sticks. Whenever we would go out to eat, he always got them if the restaurant had them on the menu. Fast forward to having our girls, and they would literally rock-paper-scissors at the table to see who got to eat the last one.
But have you ever noticed that restaurants don't offer these magical little sticks gluten-free? I don't see why, well, okay, I do because they need a dedicated fryer which most places don't have. That's okay, though, because I'll keep making them at home. After all, as my husband says, mine "have more flavor." If you know him is a world of praise because he doesn't have to be gluten-free.
It's no wonder these never last long when I make them because they are seriously delicious!
Ingredients in Mozzarella Sticks
- Mozzarella (I use string cheese sticks.)
- Potato Starch
- GF Bread Crumbs
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A Note on Ingredients
Gluten-free Bread Crumbs - You can buy these at most grocery stores, but I always make my own because then I know they are grain-free. I always make a batch of my Grain-Free French Bread, and then once the bread is baked, I make the bread crumbs, so I always have them on hand.
How to Make Bread Crumbs:
- Slice the baked bread into small cubes (think croutons.)
- Lay the cubes onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the pieces of bread start to feel dry and crunchy.
- Process the bread cubes in a food processor to bread the cubes into crumbs.
- If the crumbs still feel (like bread), return them to the oven.
- Continue until the bread has dried out. If moisture is still in the bread, the bread crumbs will not stay good once you store them.
- Once the desired crumb is achieved, let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
- I like to season mine with my Italian seasoning before I put them away, but that is optional.
Tips and Tricks
Use String Cheese Sticks - Really, this is the super simple solution because they are already in shape without cutting a bunch of pieces. I just usually cut them in half to make them shorter and easier to work with.
Double Coat - This isn't 100% necessary, but trust me, it does help keep the coating on the outside and the cheese on the inside while cooking them.
Freeze Before Frying - This might sound odd, but trust me. I'm not talking altogether rock-solid frozen, but leaving them in the freezer for about 30 minutes lets the breading get crispy, and the cheese gets gooey without the cheese ending up oozing all over the place.
Watch Your Oil Temperature - If you want that gentle cheese pull, perfect cheese texture, don't let your oil get overheated. I like to keep mine about 325-350 degrees. If the oil gets too hot, the breading will cook, but you'll be left with a typical string cheese texture inside. It's still delicious, but it's not the awesome mozzarella texture you really want.
How to Make Mozzarella Sticks
- Slice the cheese sticks.
- Coat the cheese sticks.
- Freeze the cheese sticks.
- Fry the cheese sticks.
Can you make mozzarella sticks ahead of time?
Absolutely! I make batches all the time to keep in the freezer, so I have them when the mood strikes someone in the house. I will flash freeze them (coated but unfried) and then place them into a ziplock bag or container in the freezer. Then I will fry them up as they are wanted.
Alternatively, you can fry them and then let them cool before storing them. Then pop the mozzarella sticks into the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes to reheat them.
More Snack Time Fun
Better Than Restaurant Mozzarella Sticks
- 12 String Cheese Sticks
- ¾ C Potato Starch
- 2 C Gluten-free Breadcrumbs
- 3 Large Eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Parsley
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Sage
- Unwrap the string cheese and cut them in half.
- Place the string cheese onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place them into the freezer while preparing the breading.
- In a small bowl, place the potato starch and salt.
- In another small bowl, place the eggs, whisking them till mixed.
- In a third bowl, combine the bread crumbs and the remaining spices.
- Remove the pieces of cheese from the freezer and coat them in the potato starch, then the eggs and then bread crumbs if you notice any spots not coated repeat as needed until all the pieces of cheese are coated.
- Place the coated pieces of cheese back into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.
- Place your oil into a shallow saucepan over medium-low heat. (See notes about frying oil.)
- Once your oil is hot, remove the cheese sticks from the freezer.
- Carefully fry the cheese sticks a few at a time, turning as needed until the coating is nice and crispy, and the cheese feels soft to the touch.
- Allow them to drain some paper towels slightly to remove any excess oil.
- Serve with warm marinara for that real restaurant feeling and enjoy them!