Remember when we were able to order mozzarella cheese sticks at restaurants? This gluten free version is just like what we remember! Crispy on the outside, melty gooey cheese on the inside. Add some pizza sauce for dipping and another memory becomes a reality 😋
How many of you look at an appetizer list on a menu these days and see all that fried food and just keep on reading? We know pretty much never can we have something fried in ANY restaurant, unless they're a dedicated gluten free facility. Because of cross contamination, fried foods are almost always off our radar.
Just like with my yeast donuts or my copycat Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets, these are foods we don't (or didn't) eat on a regular basis. But darn it, when we want a good donut occasionally, we should be able to have them!! Or a chicken nugget that isn't from a frozen section in the grocery store (that costs an arm and a leg and isn't that great).
INGREDIENTS FOR GLUTEN FREE MOZZARELLA CHEESE STICKS
- Mozzarella cheese -- the best mozzarella cheese for this is the string cheese found in packages of about 12. Fresh mozzarella doesn't work in this recipe.
- Eggs -- eggs are the binder that helps bread crumbs attach to the cheese sticks.
- Gluten free flour blend -- you'll need a little bit of this so the egg has something to hold onto.
- Gluten free breadcrumbs -- I found Italian seasoned breadcrumbs at Wegman's, but they can also be found online here. If you can't find them in your area or don't want to order them online, you can use plain gf breadcrumbs and season them with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Oil for frying -- I used peanut oil, but use any oil you'd like, such as canola or vegetable oil.
- Pizza sauce -- for dipping. I used my Copycat Pizza Hut Pizza Sauce, but feel free to use any pizza sauce you'd like.
TIPS FOR MAKING THESE CHEESE STICKS
- Cut each mozzarella stick in half. Half is the perfect size for this finger food.
- Set up a dredging station. The normal dredging station is flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, all in succession.
- Press the breadcrumbs into each stick so they completely coat the egg. You want a good amount of breadcrumbs on each stick to keep the cheese from oozing out when frying.
- Freeze the cheese sticks for at least one hour before frying. You can also dip them and freeze them on a sheet tray, and then place them in a gallon size freezer bag for later. They store very well in the freezer. You can then break out as many as you want and fry them up before serving.
- Make sure your oil is hot enough before frying. If not, they'll be soggy because the breadcrumbs will soak up a lot of the oil, instead of just lightly toasting.
What was your favorite appetizer back in your pre-Celiac (or gf) days??
Gluten Free Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
- 6 sticks (½ package) mozzarella cheese (string cheese)
- ¼ cup (35 g) gluten free flour blend (Kim's gluten free flour blend is what I use)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ½ cup (about 50 g) seasoned breadcrumbs
- oil for frying, such as canola, vegetable, or peanut oil
- pizza sauce for dipping (I use my Copycat Pizza Hut Pizza Sauce)
- Cut mozzarella sticks (string cheese) in half.
- Set up dredging station. Dredge mozzarella in flour to coat, followed by beaten egg, and finally in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere breadcrumbs. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with each cheese stick.
- Place baking sheet in the freezer for at least one hour.
- Heat oil in Dutch oven or deep fryer to 350°.
- Carefully lower cheese sticks into hot oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel-lined baking sheet. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.