How to Make Fresh Mozzarella Sticks | culture: the word on cheese
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How to Make Fresh Mozzarella Sticks

Fresh Mozzarella Sticks with Homemade Marinara

Sounds boring, right? Give these chain restaurant staples an upgrade by making them at home with quality cheese and homemade marinara. Patience is key: don’t skip triple breading and freezing overnight. By frying frozen, the batter will seal around the mozzarella and you won’t be left with a mess.



  • 28 ounces San Marzano peeled tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay


  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella log unsliced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more
  • for seasoning
  • 3 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 4 cups vegetable oil



  • Blend tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, garlic, oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper in a food processor until smooth.
  • Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the blended tomatoes and white wine. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until thickened, stirring often.


  • Cut mozzarella log lengthwise into 4 quarters, then cut each stick to about 2 inches long.
  • Whisk flour and salt together in a small bowl.
  • Whisk together breadcrumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and parsley in a separate bowl.
  • Whisk together eggs and water in a small, shallow bowl.
  • One by one, dredge mozzarella sticks in the flour mixture, tapping gently to remove excess. Then, coat in the egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumb mixture. (Pro tip: keep one hand dedicated to the dry mixture and the other for the wet.)
  • Place on a baking tray and freeze overnight.
  • The next day, add oil to a heavy-bottom pan at least 2- to 3-inches deep.
  • Heat oil until it reaches 350°F.
  • Gently place the sticks in oil one at a time. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
  • Remove sticks from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel– lined plate. Season with salt and serve with marinara dipping sauce.

Derek Bissonnette

A former chef who worked in bakeries and three Michelin-starred restaurants throughout America and Europe, Derek Bissonnette has switched gears and now documents his passion for creating food with his camera (One Cheese, Five Ways, p. 25). Derek is the author and photographer of six cookbooks and is currently working on his seventh. He combines his skills for recipe development, styling, and photography at his studio in Saco, Maine.

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