I’m a fan of mozzarella sticks – and halloumi sticks, mozzarella balls and any cheese coated with crumbs – and if they’re on the menu, you can be sure I’ll order them.
However, I have never been able to reproduce the sharp overlay and center melt at home. That is until I found this out Cheetos covered mozzarella air fryer recipe on YouTube Shorts.
The original video was posted by Lisa Nguyen – a YouTuber with over 4.2 million subscribers – and the recipe takes just 10 minutes from start to finish. With 19 million views and counting, the formula I follow is proof that best air fryer both good for making quick dishes as well as for cooking larger meals and side dishes.
Below, I’ll show you how to make Lisa’s mozzarella sticks at home, and suggest how you can make this deliciously comforting treat yourself.
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Air fryer mozzarella stick recipe
In her video, Lisa uses hot Cheetos to form a crumb coating for mozzarella sticks. I’m not a fan, so I opted for the standard Cheetos instead. However, any kind of cornbread, or fries, will do. You just need to make sure they are finely ground.
You can also use breadcrumbs, panko crumbs, or anything else you can think of to create a crispy coating once cooked. For example, the same goes for exchanging mozzarella for halloumi or using a vegan cheeseburger instead.
In Lisa’s original video, her mozzarella sticks are the same size and shape, but I couldn’t find them at my local store. Instead, I bought a mozzarella and cut it into strips to achieve the same effect.
Mozzarella stick ingredients in air fryer
The amount of ingredients you need will depend on how many sticks you want to make. The quantities listed below use one mozzarella ball, which makes about eight sticks.
You can also use frozen mozzarella sticks; but, be aware that cooking times are subject to change.
- 120g cheese
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 1 cup flour
- Mozzarella sticks/balls
While this particular recipe isn’t suitable for vegans, you can substitute mozzarella and cheetos for vegan alternatives, and replace eggs with flaxseed eggs (flaxseeds mixed with water).
Air fryer mozzarella stick method
I’ve used Tower T17099 Vortx Eco two-basket air fryer (opens in a new tab), set at 380°F (200°C) for seven minutes. This results in a crispy crust and a melted middle that doesn’t ooze out of the coating.
Step 1: Cut mozzarella balls into strips.
Step 2: Pour the flour into one bowl, crack two eggs into the second bowl, and mash the Cheetos into a third shallow dish.
Step 3: Coat each stick in the flour before dipping in the beaten egg.
Step 4: Discard the excess egg and then roll the mozzarella stick in the crushed Cheetos. Gently squeeze the stick and Cheetos in the palm of your hand to press the crumbs into the cheese.
Step 5: Order coated mozzarella sticks line in an oil-free fryer. Place the sticks as far apart as possible – and ideally on a baking sheet. If you don’t have a grill, line the basket with aluminum foil to make it easier to remove the sticks after they’re done baking.
Step 6: Set the air fryer to 380°F (200°C) and cook for seven minutes. If you are using frozen mozzarella sticks, adjust the cooking time accordingly. Make sure the sticks are hot evenly before serving.
Step 7: Remove from air fryer and let cool briefly before serving. This is to maintain the structural integrity of the clubs and prevent them from melting in your hand.
Air fryer mozzarella stick recipe verdict
If you’re a cheese lover, you won’t go wrong with this quick, delicious, and comforting recipe. The mozzarella sticks are the perfect appetizer or snack, and they’ll definitely be on the menu the next time I have friends over.
Despite the softness of the Cheetos tortillas, they’re crunchy enough to add a slice of cheese to the soft middle.
They don’t quite have the crispiness of deep-fried sticks, but they don’t contain a lot of calories either, so I’m willing to sacrifice to have mozzarella sticks at home.
If you are still wondering whether to buy an air fryer or not, you may want to read our article to decide whether or not to buy an air fryer. Is the air fryer worth it?