If you’re anything like me, you might have wondered whether you can cook frozen mozzarella sticks in an air fryer? The simple answer is YES. Air fryers can help cook your favorite mozzarella sticks fast without the oil.
Although the mozzarella sticks are frozen, they come out crispy in the outer layer and soft on the inside. They’re cooked perfectly in less than 10 minutes. So, the next time your family craves mozzarella sticks surprise them with this recipe.
How to Cook Frozen Mozzarella Sticks in Air Fryer
What You’ll Need
I could never imagine my life without the air fryer. This simple machine can cook any frozen food without thawing and extra oil. At home, I have the Ninja Air Fryer which has helped me make several dishes from frozen mozzarella sticks to fish fillet and chicken.
When purchasing a new air fryer, consider the capacity and controls. An air fryer with 3-5 quarts capacity is suitable for 1-2 people. An air fryer with 5.3-5.8 quarts of capacity is perfect for 3-5 people. In my opinion, digital timers are more accurate than manual dials.
Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
Mozzarella sticks are made of long slices of mozzarella cheese covered in bread crumbs. They come in different sizes and breading ingredients.
You can use any brand of frozen mozzarella sticks you want. I usually use Farm Rich Battered Mozzarella Cheese Sticks. This brand has an adequate amount of stretch and has a nice crispy golden coating. If you want something more natural, I recommend the Member’s Mark Breaded Mozzarella Sticks because it contains no artificial colors and flavors.
Cooking Spray (optional)
This ingredient isn’t necessary but if you want to make the cleanup easier, you can spritz a little bit of oil into the air fryer basket. The cheese can ooze out when the sticks are done cooking. With a little oil, the cheese won’t stick to the base of the basket.
Any cooking oil will do but I personally use olive oil or canola oil. They have a subtle taste that won’t overpower the cheese sticks. Be careful to some aerosol cooking sprays because they contain harmful chemicals that might damage your air fryer basket.
I use the Mantova Extra Virgin Olive Oil because it doesn’t contain unhealthy additives.
You may need tongs to toss your mozzarella sticks if they don’t nudge when you shake the basket. They’re also useful when you need to remove the little bits of cheese that leak out from the breading. I like to use silicone-tipped tongs because they won’t scratch the protective coating in your basket.
1. Preheat The Air Fryer
Set the timer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit and let it run empty for 5 minutes. This will cook your food evenly and crisp them nicely. Digital models, like the Ninja air fryer, have a preheat button you can select.
After preheating, you can spray the basket with a non-aerosol cooking spray if you’d want. This will make the cleanup easier in case the cheese bursts out from the breading.
2. Arrange The Mozzarella Sticks
Lay the frozen mozzarella sticks in a single layer on the base of the air fryer basket. Make sure that they don’t overlap otherwise your mozzarella sticks won’t cook evenly. You want to leave some space between the cheese sticks so the air can circulate and help them come out extra crispy.
3. Set The Time And Temperature
How long do you cook frozen mozzarella sticks? The frozen mozzarella sticks air fryer cook time depends on their thickness and how crispy you want them to be. In my Ninja air fryer, frozen mozzarella sticks cook for around 8-10 minutes.
The frozen mozzarella sticks air fryer temperature may also vary depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. For Ninja air fryer, the required temperature is 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Se the time and temperature using the up and down arrows.
4. Cook The Mozzarella Sticks
Once the desired time and temperature are set, select the Start button to begin cooking. Halfway through cooking, pull out the basket and shake it to cook all sides of the food thoroughly. If you like to use your tongs, toss the food to the other side to cook evenly.
5. Check The Cooking Progress
Check the mozzarella sticks three minutes before the cooking time is over. For crispier mozzarella sticks, continue cooking for up to 10 minutes. Remove the cheese immediately after the cooking time is finish or they have reached your desired crispiness.
You might see a little bit of cheese bursting out from the sticks. Don’t worry because this is normal. To remove these cheese remnants, use a pair of tongs or fork.
6. Serve And Enjoy
Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce. I serve mine with marinara sauce. Blue cheese , honey mustard, and ketchup are also good options. Fry sauce also goes well with these cheese sticks.
To make your own fry sauce, combine ketchup, mayo, and your favorite seasonings. I like to add a little bit of chili powder to add some heat into the fry sauce.
Additional Pro Tips
Don’t overcrowd the basket. Give space to allow the occurrence of browning and crisping. It’s important to only have an even layer of foods in your basket when you cook frozen foods.
Try coating your mozzarella sticks halfway through cooking to give them a wonderful crunch. You only need a little amount, just enough to cover the exterior.
To make sure that your mozzarella sticks are done, use a digital food thermometer. The ideal temperature of cooked frozen foods, like mozzarella sticks, is at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Frozen mozzarella sticks in air fryer taste just as good and crispy as they would in the deep fryer or oven. They cook fast with less effort involved. You just put them in the air fryer and wait for them to cook.
The best thing is that they can be cooked without oil. Now, you can enjoy your favorite cheese snack with less guilt. If you have a different way of air frying frozen mozzarella sticks, let us know in the comment section below.
You May Also Like: How To Cook Frozen Pizza In Air Fryer