Gluten-Free Baked Mozzarella Sticks (with Air Fryer Option)
These homemade gluten-free mozzarella sticks are crispy, cheesy, and restaurant quality! With oven-baked and air fryer options, this healthier version of the classic game day appetizer is easy to make and delicious to enjoy.
- 8 mozzarella cheese sticks, cut in half widthwise, use Daiya dairy-free cheese sticks if preferred.
- ¼ cup any gluten-free flour, rice flour or tapioca starch recommended.
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil or cooking spray, use enough to drizzle on the mozzarella sticks.
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- Parsley, to garnish
Begin by preparing the breading station with 3 bowls: one with the gluten-free flour, one with the eggs, and one with the breadcrumbs, salt, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir together the breadcrumbs and spices then whisk the eggs.
One at a time, coat each cheese stick lightly in the gluten-free flour, followed by egg, breadcrumbs, then back to the egg and breadcrumbs once more. A double breading will be your best protection against oozing cheese while cooking. Ensure that most of the egg drips off to avoid the breadcrumbs becoming too sticky. If you find this happening, add some fresh breadcrumbs. To avoid sticky breadcrumbs, try using the “wet hand, dry hand” technique, where one hand is reserved for dipping the mozzarella stick in the flour and breadcrumbs, and the other coats it in the egg. Place the breaded mozzarella sticks on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze for at least 2 hours. This is important! The mozzarella sticks need to be completely frozen before frying or baking, otherwise the breading may fall right off and cheese will ooze everywhere.If you will not be cooking the mozzarella sticks right away, transfer them from the baking sheet to an airtight container and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Oven Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Arrange the mozzarella sticks on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Drizzle with avocado oil or cooking spray. Bake for 10-12 minutes until crisp. Keep an eye on them. If they start oozing cheese, they are done.Air Fryer Instructions: Preheat the air fryer to 375ºF. Spray the basket with avocado oil or cooking spray. Place the mozzarella sticks in the basket with 1-2cm of space between them. You may have to do multiple batches. Spray the tops of the sticks with oil. Air fry for 5-6 minutes until crispy. If they start oozing cheese, they are done.
Remove to a platter and serve immediately with marinara sauce and a garnish of parsley. Enjoy hot!
Feel free to prepare the mozzarella sticks ahead of time. Flash freeze on the baking sheet until solid, about 2 hours. Then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake according to instructions.
Uneaten cooked mozzarella sticks can be cooled and stored back in the freezer. Reheat in the air fryer at 375ºF or the oven at 400ºF for a few minutes until crispy and warm again. Serve with marinara sauce if desired.
Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4.8g | Saturated Fat: 1.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.46g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.46g | Cholesterol: 23.5mg | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 66.9mg | Fiber: 0.54g | Sugar: 1.29g | Vitamin A: 63.9IU | Vitamin C: 0.75mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 0.41mg