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Fried Mozzarella Bites are delicious, easy, and the perfect party appetizer when served with marinara. Everyone loves this bite-sized snack!

Mozzarella Bites are perfect for snacking! These bite-sized versions of one of our favorite appetizers, Mozzarella Sticks, are absolutely divine dipped in homemade Marinara or Ranch.

Fried mozzarella bites on a platter with marinara sauce.

Easy, Cheesy Appetizer

We love appetizers! This next recipe is one my sister, Kellyn, tried out. For years she’s always been the one to make Mozzarella Sticks, but she wanted to change things up and decided to make some Fried Mozzarella Bites instead.

Sticks? Bites? We weren’t complaining. We’re a family that loves cheese, especially gooey mozzarella cheese.

Best of all, these cheesy Mozzarella Bites were super easy to make. My sister made them just like we make our Fried Zucchini, but they can also be baked.

There are a few different types of mozzarella you can use. The recipe card states to use mozzarella sticks cut into bite-size pieces.

Marinated mozzarella balls or mozzarella pearls will also work. The latter are a bit smaller, but they turn out great and are so delicious.

How to make mozzarella bites process pic - cut up string cheese.

How to Make Mozzarella Balls

PREP. Cut string cheese into 1″ pieces

Prepare the coating process. Pour milk into a bowl and set aside. Put 1 cup of flour in a plastic bag. Add 2 cups panko, mixed with seasonings in a second bag.

COAT. Place cheese in milk, one handful at a time.

  • Toss into your flour bag and shake well.
  • Put cheese back into your milk bowl and coat completely.
  • Toss in panko bag and shake until evenly coated.

FREEZE. Place mozzarella bites on a plate or in a bag and freeze for at least 2 hours.

FRY. Heat up oil on medium heat. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Be sure to take them out of the oil before they get too hot or cheese will ooze out of breading.

ENJOY! Serve warm with marinara sauce. ENJOY!

Alternative Cooking Methods

Baking directions. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Place the coated cheese bites on the sheet. Lightly spray them with cooking oil.
  • Bake for 4-6 minutes or until heated and soft. One indicator is to wait for 1-2 bites to ooze a bit of cheese.
  • Remove and let cool just a bit before serving.

Air Fryer Directions. Easily air fry Mozzarella Balls. It’s healthier than frying in oil and they are still warm crisp bites.

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Spray the basket with cooking spray.
  • Place the bites in a single layer. Spray the top of the bites with cooking spray and then fry for 6-8 minutes or until warm and gooey.
  • They may need to be fried in batches. Keep the remaining bites in the fridge or freezer while the others are being fried.

Recipe Tips

Dipping. Our favorite sauces to dip Fried Mozzarella in is Marinara. It’s hard to beat that combination! You might like to place a cup of toothpicks near the bites to make it easier to dip.

For some other delicious combinations try pairing these bites with:

Cheese. I used mozzarella string cheese sticks for this Mozzarella Balls Recipe. Even though they are made of real mozzarella cheese they are low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese.

Fresh mozzarella balls are typically kept moist in water or brine and will need to be drained of excess moisture. Place the balls in a colander and let them drain naturally for a few minutes, then use a paper towel to soak up any remaining liquid. 

Oil. Vegetable oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, or avocado oil all have high smoking points and are perfect for frying. Keep in mind that the different oil may add extra flavor to the bites.

Seasoning. I used Italian seasoning to help give some flavor to the bites. Add additional spices like garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, or black pepper.

Oozing cheese. The biggest problem you’ll face is frying them enough to get crispy, but not long enough for them to ooze out cheese.

  • Freezing the coated cheese bites can help keep the cheese from oozing.
  • Work in small batches to ensure all bites can be removed at the proper time. The longer they fry the higher the chance that the cheese will ooze.
  • The bites should brown within 1-2 minutes. If they take longer, increase the oil temperature. If they burn within a few seconds the oil is too hot. 

Storing Info

STORE. Mozzarella Cheese Balls are best when eaten right away. If you do end up with leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

To reheat. Preheat the oven to 400°F and then bake until warm and crisp, about 5 minutes, or crisp them up in an air fryer.

For More Appetizers:

Mozzarella bites on a white platter with a side of marinara.

For more mozzarella recipes:

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4.91 from 22 votes

Mozzarella Bites Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Fried Mozzarella Bites are delicious, easy, and the perfect party appetizer when served with marinara. Everyone loves this bite-sized snack!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
FREEZE: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 package Mozzarella string cheese (12 count)
  • 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Marinara Sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • Oil for frying
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Instructions 

  • Cut string cheese into 1" pieces
  • Prepare coating process by pouring milk in a bowl and setting aside. Put 1 cup flour in a plastic bag and in another bag add 2 cups panko, mixed with seasonings.
  • Place cheese in milk, one handful at a time.
  • Toss into your flour bag and shake well.
  • Put cheese back into your milk bowl and coat completely.
  • Toss in panko bag and shake until evenly coated.
  • Place mozzarella bites on a plate or in a bag and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  • Heat up oil on medium heat. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Be sure to take them out of the oil before they get too hot or cheese will ooze out of breading.
  • Serve warm with marinara sauce. ENJOY!

Nutrition

Calories: 136kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 124mg, Potassium: 92mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 55IU, Calcium: 71mg, Iron: 1.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




39 Comments

  1. Barb Leenstra says:

    Our Christmas tradition is to fondue. I made these last year to fry in the oil and they were delicious so easy to make I will be making a double batch this year. I freeze them individually on a a cookie sheet then put them in a baggie back in the freezer I make them a couple weeks ahead of time one less thing to do on a busy Christmas Da

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      What a fun tradition!! Thanks for sharing what you do. 🙂

  2. Tiffany says:

    3 stars
    These are extremely tasty, but even after freezing them and cooking them according to directions, my cheese melted and everything ended up as one big pile stuck together!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Sorry to hear! Thanks for the feedback and for giving the recipe a try!

  3. Michelle Race says:

    If you are going to bake instead of fry do you still freeze them before baking? And if you do freeze them is the cooking time still 4-6 minutes or longer? Thanks!

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      If you are going to bake, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the coated cheese bites on the sheet. Lightly spray them with cooking oil. Bake for 4-6 minutes or until heated and soft. One indicator is to wait for 1-2 bites to ooze a bit of cheese. Remove and let cool just a bit before serving.

  4. Jenna Shapiro says:

    5 stars
    My daughter is going to love these!!!!

  5. Jeseka ney says:

    5 stars
    10 out of 10 love them and so easy

  6. Britni Vigil says:

    5 stars
    These were so good! Loved the breading on the outside!

  7. Judy Fragoso says:

    I am IN LOVE with your website. All of your recipes are so clearly explained and so delicious. i’ve tried quite a few of them and my family has yet to be disappointed. you are “the bomb” when it comes to COOKING AND SHARING YOUR RECIPES

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Awe!! That is so nice of you!! Thank you so much for saying that! I am so happy you think that!!

  8. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    So tasty! I tried this recipe yesterday for my family and It has been appreciated! Thanks KRISTYN!! I will try other recipes you shared on your blog 🙂

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      You are so welcome!! I’d love to know what you think of other ones you try 🙂 Thank you so much!

  9. sandy_of_wv says:

    I read recipe – I have “?”
    listed in ingredients… 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs -but- in instructions… stated 1 cup panko
    What happened to the other cup?

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Oops, sorry! Will need to fix that. Just keep it the 2 cups. Really, it doesn’t need to be exact. The more the better for me 🙂 Hope that helps!

  10. brenda lawrence says:

    oh my goodness, Kristyn…this is the best recipe site I have ever seen…just wish I could save the recipes…but I am not very good on the computer…I am so hungry now…and only looked at the soups and the appetizers…lol…you are doing an awesome job…just hope I can find your site again….Keep up the good work, you are doing great…and this is coming from a 50 something year old woman !!!

    1. Lil' Luna says:

      Awe, you are so sweet!! Thanks so much for saying that! You can PIN the recipes, if you have pintrest, that way you can save them or print them & make your collection of recipes to try 🙂 I hope you like the ones you try!