Cooking frozen mozzarella sticks in an air fryer is seriously the BEST way to make pre-cooked and breaded mozzarella cheese sticks. They turn out perfect and super crisp, yet cook up faster than heating them in the oven.
Learn our tips and tricks for making golden brown frozen mozzarella cheese sticks in the air fryer with breading....no cooking involved, just use your favorite pre-made cheese sticks from the grocery store. From start to finish the recipe takes less than 30 minutes and is a WHOLE LOTTA YUM.
Serve the air fryer mozzarella cheese sticks in air fryer with even more air fryer snacks! Why not turn it into a snack party? Some ideas include air fryer pizza rolls, air fryer frozen french fries, and air fryer chicken wings.
Be sure to read our post and download our cheat sheet on air fryer cook times for the 50 most popular air fryer foods.
Air Fryer Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
Since buying an air fryer, we've been air frying up a storm just about every day and have been super impressed at how much faster and BETTER food turns out compared to cooking in an oven. So much, in fact, we now own TWO air fryers!
Making snacks like frozen mozzarella sticks in the air fryer has definitely become our preferred method for cooking quick frozen snacks. While having our college-age son home for half of 2020, he's becoming quite the air frying master and loves to cook easy air-fried snacks like cheese sticks.
Why This Recipe Works
- Cooking frozen mozzarella cheese sticks in air fryer is the FASTEST way to get crisp-cooked cheese sticks
- You'll learn how to make them perfect, so that that the cheese doesn't burst
- Making air fryer snacks is a great starting place for new air fryer users or for teaching your kids how to cook
- It uses less electricity and saves you time
Don’t have an air fryer yet?? After tons of research, we decided to purchase an air fryer/toaster oven combo and it replaced our old countertop toaster oven. But after quickly realizing how handy TWO air fryers would be, we also just got a smaller basket-style air fryer.
We used the Trader Joe's brand mozzarella sticks from frozen for this recipe, we love that they don't have additives and artificial ingredients and most of their frozen foods are just pretty dang good overall.
ANY frozen mozzarella cheese sticks will work for this recipe, just use your personal favorite brand from your local grocery store.
- Frozen Breaded Mozzarella Sticks (1 lb)
- High heat oil (optional)
- Optional sauces- pizza sauce, marinara sauce, Ranch dressing, hot sauce
NOTE: If you're cooking in a basket style air fryer that's already non-stick, you won't need to brush the basket with cooking oil. If you have an aluminum air frying tray like our Instant Pot Omni Plus, we do brush a little oil on the pan before cooking to help prevent the frozen cheese sticks from sticking to the air fryer.
Step by Step Instructions
Since air fryer frozen mozzarella sticks are already preseasoned and come breaded, you don't need to do any prep work for this recipe.
Frozen Mozzarella Sticks Air Fryer Temperature
We cooked this recipe at 400F, which is the ideal cooking temperature for most air fryer frozen foods.
You could technically cook it at either a lower time for longer or a higher time for a shorter amount, but when cooking all of the air fryer frozen snacks on our site, 400F is a universally good cook time. A high cook time also helps to get food crispy, yet lessens the cooking time too, so it's a win-win.
If you have a large air fryer, you might be able to cook an entire 1 lb bag of frozen cheese sticks in one batch, whereas if you have a smaller air fryer, you might need to make these in batches. The key to getting frozen mozzarella sticks in air fryer perfect, is to space them out so they get the cheese sticks nice and crisp.
Preheat the air fryer for 3-5 minutes before cooking, some models build this into the cooking time, and others have you do it manually.
How Long Do You Air Fry Frozen Mozzarella Sticks?
Cook the air fryer frozen mozzarella sticks for 4 minutes and then check them, and flip them over (or shake the basket), if desired. Continue cooking the cheese sticks for 2-3 more minutes until they're crisp on the outside yet not to the point where the cheese bursts and the sticks split open.
In our Omni Plus, it does a good job at circulating air on all sides and we often don't flip the food for something with such a short cook time. In a basket style air fryer, it's often more critical to flip your food at about halfway through the cooking time.
In other words, keep a close eye on them the first time cooking them in your air fryer. Your goal is to cook them until the cheese melts and they're just about to burst but before they actually do.
Enjoy! Serve them warm with marinara sauce, pizza sauce, hot sauce, Ranch, or just eat them plain.
A one pound bag makes 18 mozzarella sticks.
- Cook the cheese sticks from frozen, do not let them defrost before cooking.
- If you didn't preheat your air fryer, you might need to add 2-3 minutes to the cooking time.
- Cook the mozzarella sticks until they're just about to burst but pull them out before they actually do. It's easier to keep an eye on them in an air fryer oven with a glass window.
- Flipping the mozzarella cheese sticks is optional and might depend on your model of the air fryer. Experiment to see which way gets the cheese sticks just how you prefer them.
- You can make them "healthier" by buying brands that don't add sugar or artificial ingredients, which also gives you more of a homemade cheese stick taste.
- If you have an aluminum air fryer basket you can coat it with cooking spray, but if the basket is non-stick do not coat it with sprays like Pam.
How to Reheat Mozzarella Sticks in Air Fryer
Reheating mozzarella sticks in an air fryer is quick and easy. In a preheated air fryer on 400F, simply add the pre-cooked cold cheese sticks to the tray or basket and cook them for 1 minute. For best results, leave space in between the air fryer mozarella sticks and don't overcrowd or layer them on top of each other.
Are air fryer mozzarella sticks healthy?
Whether or not you can consider something healthy depends on your definition of healthy or what health plan you're on, plus recipes are only as good as the quality of ingredients being used.
To make breaded frozen air fryer mozzarella sticks as healthy as possible, look for brands like Trader Joes or other ones that don't add artificial ingredients or preservatives. Many major grocery stores have a "healthier" frozen foods section. Ours have no added sugar, plus they're high in calcium and protein.
Breaded cheese sticks pre-frozen are not gluten-free or keto. They are low carb-ish with 12 net carbs per serving.
How many calories in air fryer mozzarella sticks?
If you're wondering how many calories are in air fryer mozzarella sticks, that'll come down to which brand you purchased. To air fry Trader Joes Mozzarella Sticks, they have 190 calories per serving.
How do you make mozzarella sticks without cheese coming out?
Cheese starts coming out of cooked mozzarella sticks when they get cooked for too long. The key to not losing the cheese is to keep a very close eye on them and pull them out of the oven as soon as you start to see some of the sides or ends opening up. That's the perfect timing of knowing the cheese is melted through but not having it squirt out onto the pan.
More Air Fryer Snacks
- Air Fryer Pizza Rolls
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings (Frozen)
- Tater Tots in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers (homemade)
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