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A plate of gluten-free mozzarella sticks and a side of marinara sauce.

Gluten-Free Mozzarella Sticks

Each bite of these gluten-free mozzarella sticks contains crispy breadcrumbs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and flavorful Italian seasonings. This tasty treat is the perfect appetizer for your next party! Plus, they're easy to make ahead! Serve these sticks of cheesy goodness with your favorite marinara sauce.
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Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Freeze Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 36 minutes
Servings: 32 sticks
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Megan

Ingredients

  • 16 count mozzarella string cheese (cut in half)
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 cups gluten-free panko crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (for topping)
  • marinara sauce (for serving)

Instructions

  • Slice the mozzarella sticks in half so that you get 32 individual sticks.
  • Place the gluten-free flour blend in a shallow bowl.
  • Place the eggs and water in a separate bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Place the gluten-free panko crumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper in a third bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Take a cheese stick and place it into the gluten-free flour blend bowl, making sure to cover it on all sides including the edges. Tap off any excess.
  • Next, dip the cheese stick in the egg mixture and tap off any excess.
  • Then, place the cheese stick in the panko mixture.
  • Dip the cheese stick back in the egg mixture and then again in the panko mixture one last time. To recap, the cheese stick will go in the gluten-free flour, then egg, then panko, back into the egg, and finally again in the panko. You will have two layers of panko breadcrumbs.
  • Place the covered cheese stick on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Repeat with remaining cheese sticks. Freeze the mozzarella sticks on the baking sheet for at least 1 hour.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a deep, heavy bottomed dutch oven until it reaches 370F. I used about a quart of oil which reached 2-inches up the side of my dutch oven. Use more oil if needed.
  • Fry the mozzarella sticks in batches of 3-4 for about 2 minutes, until golden brown. Place the mozzarella sticks on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil. Monitor the oil in between each batch to make sure it remains at 370F.
  • Top mozzarella sticks with fresh parsley and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Notes

  • Do not skip the freezing step! It is essential to get the proper texture and ensure that your mozzarella sticks don't fall apart.
  • Make sure that all ends of your mozzarella sticks are completely covered by the panko mixture. If you see any part of the cheese stick, it will ooze out when it is frying in the oil.
  • I find it easiest to use my left hand for dipping the stick in the eggs and my right hand for dipping in the panko to try to keep my hands from getting too messy and the mixtures from getting too gunky. It’s not completely mess-free, but it helps!
  • I prefer to make only half of the egg mixture at a time because I find that the egg mixture easily gets really thick and messy from the panko being mixed in. If you find that the egg mixture is getting too much panko in there, crack some new eggs with water for better dipping. My preference is to start with 2 eggs and 1 tbsp water and then make more halfway through dipping.
  • You could use gluten-free breadcrumbs, but I like the crunch that you get from panko.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 2 months. To reheat, bake in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes.
  • Nutrition notes below are an estimate as you will likely not use all of the breadcrumbs or frying oil.

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
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