Fried Cheese Sticks are one of Little Buddy’s most favorite things in the whole wide world. When he was a just a toddler and we’d go out to supper at a restaurant, I could always depend on him wanting to have fried cheese sticks with his meal. Hold the french fries or any other sides, just the fried cheese sticks would do. I’d cut them into tiny bites for him, because that’s what Mama’s do, but I couldn’t cut them fast enough for him!
And then, I decided I needed to be making this favorite treat for him at home occasionally instead of them always being a special thing he ordered when we would eat out. We all fell in love with them! There’s just something about cooking a favorite dish at home, isn’t there? With a light batter surrounding the cheese, they are quickly fried in a peanut or vegetable oil, whichever you prefer.
Luckily, they only take a few minutes to make a big batch. But, I will warn you, they disappear faster than you’d ever imagine!
I like to take the mozzarella sticks and cut them in half or even thirds for making my fried cheese recipe. Then, I prepare a bowl of buttermilk, another of flour, and then a final bowl of Italian seasoned Panko crumbs. I dip the cheese sticks into the buttermilk, then into the flour, then back into the buttermilk and then finally into the crumbs. I allow them to rest for a few minutes while the oil comes up to temperature and then I fry them in batches. Generally, they are in the skillet less than a couple of minutes and I remove them the second they turn golden brown. I allow them to drain on a kitchen sheet pan lined with paper towels and then serve them warm with a bowl of marinara sauce. YUM!
I’ve also frozen my fried cheese sticks. Once I’ve let the fried cheese stick drain on the paper towels, I let them cool there completely. Then, I place the kitchen sheet pan into the freezer for about 30 minutes to flash freeze them and then place them into a zip top freezer bag. Then, anytime we need them, I toss a few onto a sheet pan and reheat. Perfect for a quick afternoon snack when my son’s friends drop by.
Here’s my Fried Cheese Sticks recipe. I hope you love them as much as we do!
- 24 mozzarella sticks, cut in half or thirds
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups Italian seasoned Panko crumbs
- peanut or vegetable oil
- Prepare three separate bowls for dredging your mozzarella sticks. One bowl of buttermilk, egg, and cayenne pepper, lightly whisked together. Second bowl of all-purpose flour. Third bowl of Italian seasoned Panko crumbs.
- Dip cheese sticks into buttermilk mixture, then into all-purpose flour, then back into the buttermilk mixture and then finally into the Panko crumbs. Set aside on a sheet pan until all cheese sticks are prepared and the oil is ready for frying.
- Pour oil into 12-inch skillet to about 2 inches deep over medium heat. Once oil begins to shimmer and reaches about 350 degrees F, it is ready to add the cheese sticks in batches. Fry a few cheese sticks at a time, removing with tongs as soon as they become brown. Watch carefully as they will overcook quickly.
- Remove to a kitchen sheet pan lined with paper towels to drain. Then, serve warm.