Mozzarella Sticks

This makes about 12-14 "sticks" and is a nice appetizer for a few people. I went to an outdoor "block" gathering where we brought our own beverages and appetizers with the recipe on cards for everyone, since we are not sharing food right now and all my recipe cards were gone in minutes.
  • 1 lb. block (I got a "block" from my deli department) mozzarella cheese, cut into about 3-inch by 1/2-inch square sticks
  • 34 cup flour - I used rice flour
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups Margo Morsels Primo Parmesan finely crumbed, I like the little extra flavor "kick"
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. chile flakes or, more if you like your sauce to have a little more heat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • canola oil, for frying

Place the flour, eggs, and morsel crumbs in separate shallow dishes. Working with 1 stick of mozzarella at a time, dredge in flour, dip in eggs, and coat in morsel crumbs; repeat this process one more time. Lay on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to cook - they should be hot when served.

Heat olive oil and butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high; add garlic and onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes more, then add tomatoes, sugar, chile flakes, salt, and pepper; cook until thick, 15-18 minutes. At this point you can use a stick or immersion blender if you like your sauce a little smoother. Keep marinara sauce warm.

Heat 2″ canola oil in a 6-quart saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°; working in batches, fry mozzarella until golden and crisp, about 1 12 minutes. Transfer mozzarella sticks to rack over paper towels to drain; serve hot and with marinara sauce.

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