A party wouldn’t be a party without at least one easy appetizer, and here on the blog, we love to share recipes for party foods that are just as fun to eat as they are delicious. If you’re gearing up to host a party and are in need of some recipe inspiration, look no further than my collection of recipes for New Year’s Appetizers and Game Day Recipes.
As the name suggests, the only ingredient you need for this air fryer frozen cheese sticks recipe is a box of your favorite frozen mozzarella sticks! If you love to dunk your mozzarella sticks, feel free to also include your favorite dipping sauce on your shopping list.
If you’ve purchased frozen mozzarella sticks before, you’ve probably noticed that stores often carry various brands in the frozen foods section. I personally love the Trader Joe’s mozzarella sticks, but many store brands also make this frozen snack, such as Kroger, Costco, Publix, Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club’s brand), and Market Pantry (Target’s brand). Other popular brands you might find at your local grocery store include Morning Star, Snapps, Feel Good Foods, Nathan’s, Crav’n, Petite Cuisine, and Farm Rich mozzarella sticks.
I have tried many of these brands in the past and have gotten similar results, so as long as you get the basic mozzarella cheese sticks, they are pretty much the same.
Another well-known brand that makes frozen, cheesy snacks is Bosco Sticks. However, it’s important to note that Bosco Sticks are actually breadsticks, not battered or bread crumb mozzarella sticks. If you purchased Bosco Sticks, I recommend following the package instructions for cooking rather than following these air fryer instructions for mozzarella sticks.
How to Air Fry Frozen Cheese Sticks
It only takes 10 minutes and an air fryer to transform frozen, store-bought mozzarella sticks into a classic, delicious snack that no one can resist. If you’re wondering how to cook frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer, I have all the answers right here.
So, to cook frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer, simply:
- Preheat the air fryer: Set your air fryer to 360 degrees F (183 degrees C).
- Place frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer: Arrange the mozzarella sticks in the preheated air fryer basket (be careful, it’s hot!), making sure they remain in a single layer.
- Air fry frozen mozzarella sticks: Air fry the cheese sticks for 4 minutes. Carefully flip them over and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until they are crispy golden brown and still holding their shape. A few may open up slightly.
- Remove from the air fryer and serve: Remove the mozz sticks from the air fryer and arrange them on a serving plate. Serve with your dipping sauce of choice, if desired.
If you’re a sauce fanatic, these air fried cheese sticks are the ideal tasty snack to dunk into a variety of dipping sauces. From your favorite marinara sauce to zesty BBQ sauce and ranch, you’ll find that they pair beautifully with whatever tasty dips you choose. If you’re not a sauce lover, or if your kids prefer them plain, you can rest assured that they taste great as-is.
If you’re in need of a sauce recipe to pair as a side dish with your frozen mozzarella sticks recipe, try my Basil and Tomato Sauce or this yummy and easy Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
If your air fryer cheese sticks need to be revived a little bit, you can easily pop them back in the air fryer to reheat them. You can also store your leftovers to enjoy the next day. Here are a few tips:
- Store: Store your fried mozzarella sticks in an airtight container with a lid in the fridge for up to two days.
- Reheat: To reheat mozzarella sticks in the air fryer, set your air fryer to 360 degrees F and cook the mozzarella sticks for 3-4 minutes, turning them halfway through. Keep a close eye on them as they reheat, as they may split open as the cheese melts if you heat them for too long.
While this is a pretty straightforward recipe, I’ve put together a few additional tips to help you achieve a crispy, perfectly gooey texture without much trial and error.
- No need to thaw: The best part of cooking frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer is that you can cook them straight from the freezer without needing to thaw them first. Just make sure to watch carefully as they fry because the cook time might differ slightly based on the air fryer brand you are using. Mine is the Instant Pot brand (affiliate link), which is a large air fryer (5.7 Q), and I find that 6-8 minutes of cook time is the sweet spot. The best way to know is to use this recipe as a starting point, test it with a few frozen cheese sticks, and adjust the time accordingly.
- Make sure to flip them while cooking: Flipping your frozen air fryer mozzarella sticks halfway through ensures that they cook evenly, and it will also help you gauge their doneness. If they’re starting to split open or leak melty cheese during the halfway-through mark, they might be done. Use your judgment- they’ll taste great either way!
- No need to spray the basket with cooking spray: The gooey mozzarella sticks likely won’t stick to your air fryer, even without oil, so don’t feel like you need to spray the basket with oil spray or brush with olive oil.
- Air fry mozzarella sticks right before serving: Breaded mozzarella sticks in air fryer are fantastic when piping hot but not so great when cold. For best results, make sure to cook them right before you intend to serve them.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket: When arranging them in the basket, make sure they remain in an even layer so they cook evenly. My air fryer basket fits 12 sticks in a single layer, but if you have a smaller air fryer basket, you may need to cook them in smaller batches.
Yes, you can. I find that the best way to cook frozen mozzarella sticks is in the air fryer because it’s much quicker than cooking them in a conventional oven. However, since they cook so quickly, check your mozzarella sticks for doneness halfway through the cooking process (the air fryer time for frozen mozzarella sticks is 6-8 minutes).
I’ve found that the best temperature for cooking frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer is 360 degrees F, as a hotter air fryer temp for mozzarella sticks may make the sticks split open. Twelve frozen mozzarella sticks should cook in a 360-degree air fryer for a total time of 6-8 mins.
One way to prevent your mozzarella sticks from splitting open and oozing gooey cheese during the cooking process is to cook them at a lower temperature, such as 360 degrees F. Since they cook so quickly, it also helps to keep an eye on them. I recommend flipping them halfway through cooking (after around 4 minutes) to gauge their doneness.
Other Air Fryer Recipes You Might Also Like
Show that trusty air fryer some love and learn a few new air fryer recipes! This little appliance can do everything from party snacks like air fryer pizza rolls to healthier options like air-fried veggies. If you loved this simple, 10-minute Frozen Cheese Sticks in Air Fryer recipe, you’re sure to enjoy these other quick and easy air fryer recipes:
If you try this Frozen Mozzarella Cheese Sticks in Air Fryer recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Air Fryer Frozen Mozzarella Sticks Recipe
- 12 frozen mozzarella sticks
- Dipping sauce
- Preheat the air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees F. (183 C).
- Place cheese sticks in the air fryer: Carefully place frozen mozzarella sticks in the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Cook: Air fry frozen cheese sticks for 4 minutes. Flip them, and air fry them for another 2-3 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Ideally, you want to ensure they hold their shape, but a few might open up.
- Remove and serve: Carefully remove them from the air fryer onto a plate and serve with your choice of dipping sauce on the side.
- Optional dipping sauce: If you’re in need of a sauce recipe to pair as a side dish with your frozen mozzarella sticks recipe, try my Basil and Tomato Sauce or this yummy and easy Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing. Alternatively, you can serve it with your favorite store-bought marinara sauce.
- Gauging doneness: Do not skip the step where you flip them halfway through, as this step is important to gauge doneness. At that stage, if you see them opening up too fast, you might have to shorten the timing.
- Cook time: The results may differ depending on the air fryer you are using. For best results, use this recipe as a starting point, test it with a few frozen mozzarella sticks, and adjust the time accordingly.
- Store: Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
- Reheat: To reheat mozzarella sticks in the air fryer, set it to 360 degrees F and cook the cheese sticks for 3-4 minutes, turning them halfway through. Keep a close eye on them as they reheat, as they may split open if you heat them for too long.
- The calorie information below is for one cheese stick, and it is intended as a general reference. The calorie and nutrition information may differ based on the brand of mozzarella sticks you are using.
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