You’ll never eat frozen mozzarella sticks again. This is the best pan fried mozzarella recipe! So insanely delicious and easy to make. Top with red sauce and fresh basil.
- 2 16-ounce packages of pre-sliced fresh mozzarella rounds (approx. 14 slices per package)
- 2 cups plain panko bread crumbs
- 10-15 fresh basil leaves (more if you want)
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups of marinara or red sauce of your choice (more if you want)
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Shredded or fresh grated parmesan garnish, optional
- Follow along with my video and we’ll make them together!
- Set up your breading/dredging station with wide bowls for your eggs, flour and bread crumbs. The eggs: beat them well in a bowl. To the flour: add salt and garlic powder then mix together. To the bread crumbs: add Italian seasoning and shredded parmesan cheese – mix together.
- Put your pre-sliced fresh mozzarella cheese on a plate.
- Chop your fresh basil here. Once you start cooking there won’t be time for this. Stack your basil leaves on top of each other, roll them then slice them. (video shows this well)
- Heat your red sauce on low while you’re preparing the cheese. You can use my Big-Batch, Slow Cooked Spaghetti Sauce or your favorite jarred marinara here.
- Start the breading process. Here’s the order: Dip each mozzarella round in the egg, then the flour, then the egg again and finally the bread crumbs. My video shows this well. Do this for all the mozzarella rounds and place them on a sheet pan so you’re ready to fry.
- You should be heating your oil while you’re breading all the mozzarella cheese. I used vegetable oil for this, but Canola could work too. How much oil depends on the pan size. Generally, you’ll need ½” of oil. This is a shallow fry so the bottom of the mozzarella will be submerged in oil and will need to be turned once the bottom is browned. I do an egg finger flick test to make sure the oil is hot. Just flick a little egg in the pan and if it sizzles the oil is ready.
- Put some paper towel down on a sheet pan so you can transfer the fried mozzarella there as you cook.
- Start frying the mozzarella rounds. You have to work quickly here as it only takes a minute or two for each side to get golden brown. Gently place the mozzarella rounds in the oil. Again, they will fry very quickly. As soon as you can see a golden brown crust forming on the bottom, it’s time to turn them over. Kitchen tongs do not work well for turning the mozzarella. I used a fork and small wooden spatula and was able to turn them very quickly. Once you see cheese start to ooze out of the mozzarella round – remove them from the pan. It’s all a delicate balance but you can do it!
- Place the fried mozzarella on a paper towel lined sheet pan.
- Serve immediately. Do not let these sit on the counter for 20 minutes. The cheese will harden and not be as delicious. Serve right out of the pan with your heated red sauce and fresh basil. Garnish with fresh grated or shredded parmesan cheese (optional).
- I used two 16-ounce packages of pre-sliced fresh mozzarella. There’s about 14 slices per package. That makes 28 mozzarella rounds. Perfect for serving a crowd. If you’re just two people you can cut the recipe in half. OR – make them all and freeze them in packs of four like I did. These freeze very well. When you feel like a snack, take out a pack of four and re-heat them in your toaster oven.
- You can use a jarred marinara for this, but if you’re feeling daring, you should definitely try my Big Batch Slow Cooked Spaghetti Sauce for this. There are a lot of uses for this sauce and it’s very convenient to make a big batch and freeze it in various containers. Currently, on my website I use this sauce for my Crispy Chicken Parmesan, Eggplant Towers, Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sausage & Ricotta AND my Insanely Delicious Meatballs.
- I used plain panko bread crumbs for this because I find that panko is a crunchier bread crumb than plain bread crumbs. I chose to add Italian seasoning and mix myself which is a personal preference. I find that most “Italian Seasoned” bread crumbs from the store taste a little weird to me. So I like to add the seasoning myself.