I’m a huge fan of mozzarella sticks – and halloumi sticks, and mozzarella balls, and all kinds of coated cheese – and if they’re on the menu, you can be sure I’ll order them.
However, I’ve never been able to replicate the crispy coating and melted center at home. That was until I discovered it Cheetos Breaded Mozzarella Cheese Fryer Recipe in YouTube Shorts.
The original video was posted by Lisa Nguyen – a YouTuber with over 4.2 million subscribers – and the recipe only takes 10 minutes from start to finish. With 19 million views and counting, the recipe I followed is proof that the best air fryers are just as good for making quick bites as they are for cooking larger meals and side dishes.
Below, I’ll walk you through how to make Lisa’s mozzarella sticks recipe at home and suggest how you can give this comforting cheesy deliciousness your own twist.
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Recipe for fried mozzarella sticks
In her video, Lisa uses hot Cheetos to form a crumb into mozzarella sticks. I’m not a fan so opted for the standard Cheetos instead. However, any corn puffs or potato chips will do the job. You just need to make sure that they are finely crushed.
You can also use breadcrumbs, panko crumbs, or anything else you can think of for a crispy coating when cooked. The same goes for swapping mozzarella for halloumi, for example, or a vegan cheese alternative.
In Lisa’s original video, her mozzarella sticks were the same size and shape, but I couldn’t find those sticks at my local store. Instead, I bought a mozzarella ball and cut it into strips to get the same effect.
Fat-free mozzarella sticks ingredients
The amount of ingredients you need will depend on the number of sticks you want to make. The quantities listed below use one ball of mozzarella, which makes about eight sticks.
You can also use frozen mozzarella sticks; but keep in mind that cooking times may vary.
- Cheetos 120g
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 1 cup of flour
- Mozzarella sticks/balls
While this particular recipe is not suitable for vegans, you can replace the mozzarella and Cheetos with vegan alternatives, and the chicken eggs with flaxseed eggs (flaxseed mixed with water).
Air Fryt mozzarella sticks method
I used Tower T17099 Vortx Eco Air fryer with double basket (opens in a new tab), set to 380°F (200°C) for seven minutes. The result was a crispy crumb and a melted center that did not leak out of the coating.
Step 1: Cut the mozzarella ball into strips.
Step 2: Pour the flour into one bowl, break two eggs into another, and mash the Cheetos in a third, shallow dish.
Step 3: Dip each stick separately in flour before dipping in beaten eggs.
Step 4: Remove excess egg then coat mozzarella in crumbled Cheetos. Gently squeeze the skewer and Cheetos in your hand to press the crumb into the cheese.
Step 5: Arrange the coated mozzarella sticks in rows in the fryer. Spread the skewers as far apart as possible – preferably on the grill grate. If you don’t have a grill rack, line the basket with aluminum foil to make it easier to remove the fingers after cooking.
Step 6: Set the fryer to 380°F (200°C) and let it cook for seven minutes. If using frozen mozzarella sticks, adjust the cooking time accordingly. Make sure chopsticks are hot all the way through before serving.
Step 7: Remove from the fryer and set aside to cool briefly before serving. This is to preserve the structural integrity of the sticks and avoid them melting in your hands.
The verdict of the recipe for fried mozzarella sticks
If you’re a cheese lover, you won’t go wrong with this quick, tasty, and comforting recipe. Mozzarella sticks are the perfect appetizer or snack and will definitely be on the menu next time I invite friends over.
Despite the softness of the Cheetos corn puffs, they are crunchy enough to add a cheesy bite to the soft center.
They don’t have the crunch of deep-fried sticks, but they don’t have the calories either, so it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to have mozzarella sticks at home.
If you are still hesitating and wondering whether to buy a deep fryer, you may want to read our article to decide if deep fryers are worth it?