TGI Friday’s Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks are a classic appetizer that has been served up at the restaurant for a long time. Now you can make these fried cheese sticks at home.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
For pure decadence, it is hard to beat fried mozzarella cheese sticks. Twice-coated in seasoned bread crumbs to seal in the gooey goodness and then fried to a golden brown crisp, these cheese sticks are the perfect starter or snack for anyone who can’t decide between ordering french fries or pizza. This cheese sticks recipe will take you back in time to TGI Fridays during the heady 80s when tiny things like fat and calories didn’t get in the way of a delicious idea. While this dish is certainly not something you should eat every day, it is excellent for an occasional indulgence.
What Type of Mozzarella Should You Use
There are some genuinely outstanding mozzarellas that you definitely should try, but just not in this cheese sticks recipe. Save your fresh burrata mozzarella for another time and opt instead to use a small block of standard pizza-quality cheese. Choose a full-fat version since cheese with reduced-fat have a different melting point and can develop an odd texture when hot.
How to Fry Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
Many people get intimidated when it comes to deep-frying, but it isn’t as scary as it seems. The key to successful frying is to make sure the oil is at the correct temperature, 350 degrees for this recipe.
The best way of maintaining the proper oil temperature is by using a deep fryer, but if you don’t have one, you can always use a heavy-bottom pan and a good thermometer. Fry the mozzarella sticks in small batches to keep the oil hot. Remember to allow time for the oil to come up to temperature again between batches.
When you take the mozzarella sticks out of the fryer, put them on paper towels to remove any excess oil.
Super Sauces for TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks
It would be a culinary tragedy to serve fried cheese sticks without any dipping sauce. But when it comes to sauce, you have a lot of options. The traditionalists will demand a tomato sauce of some kind. Many people like a marinara sauce for its chunkiness; others think a marinara sauce is too sweet and prefer a pomodoro sauce because of its tartness. Of course, you can do away with tradition and choose other sauces if you want.
- Sriracha Dipping Sauce Mix an equal amount of sriracha and mayonnaise for a spicy kick.
- Hot Beef Gravy This unique dip idea brings the flavors of a Philly cheesesteak to your mozzarella sticks.
- Thai Dipping Sauce This pungent and spicy dip from Yummly, takes your mozzarella sticks into a totally new global direction.
- Ranch Sauce Everything, yes, everything is better with ranch!
Tips for Making and Serving Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
- Serve alongside some vegetables. Especially if you are preparing this recipe for your kids, you can make it a little more healthy by serving in a few pieces of raw carrots and celery alongside the fried cheese sticks.
- Try freezing before frying. If you have trouble with the cheese oozing out, even after coating in two layers of breadcrumbs, freezing the cheese sticks can help. Freeze in a single layer just until the coating is frozen.
Here’s a list of what you need:
- Mozzarella cheese
- All-purpose flour
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil for frying
Ingredient and Recipe Tips
Do not use the buffalo style mozzarella because it will be too soft. Buy brick mozzarella cheese and it will work just fine.
You can use any type of frying oil. Peanut oil is my personal preference. I have used canola, vegetable oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil all with good results.
If you don’t have a deep fryer you can use a 2-quart pot. Simply add enough oil to your pot so that it has about three inches of oil.
Only fry a couple of cheese sticks at a time. This will keep the oil from cooling off too much. If the oil cools off too much the cheese sticks will absorb oil and become greasy.
How to Make TGI Friday’s Mozzarella Sticks
- Cut cheese into 3/8-inch thick slices.
- Blend together the flour and cornstarch in a bowl.
- Place cheese slices into the flour, then dip into milk, and then dip into the breadcrumbs.
- Shake off excess breadcrumbs and place mozzarella sticks on a wire rack.
- Repeat until all cheese sticks have been dipped once.
- Dip cheese sticks back into milk then into bread crumbs for a second time. Shake off the bread crumbs.
- Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
- Drop a few cheese sticks into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Remove cheese sticks from oil and place them on a wire rack.
- Serve fried mozzarella cheese sticks with your favorite marinara sauce.
Love TGI Friday’s? Try these copycat recipes!
- B52 Shot
- Fire Bites
- Nine Layer Dip
- Pretzel Beer Cheese Dip
- Sex on the Beach
- TGIF Potato Skins
- TGIF Jack Daniels Sauce
Favorite Cheese Appetizer Recipes
- Cheese Curds
- Cheese Fondue
- Cheese Fries Recipe
- Liptauer Cheese
- Sausage Cream Cheese Rotel Dip
- White Cheese Dip
TGI Friday’s Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 cup milk
- vegetable oil for frying
Cut cheese into long slices approximately 3/8 inch thick.
Blend together the flour and cornstarch in a bowl.
Place a cheese slice into the flour, then dip into a bowl of whole milk, and then dip into the breadcrumbs.
Shake off excess breadcrumbs and place mozzarella stick on a wire rack.
Repeat until all cheese sticks have been dipped once. Discard the flour.
Place cheese sticks back into milk, then into bread crumbs for the second time, and shake off the bread crumbs.
Heat vegetable oil to 350 for frying.
Drop a few cheese sticks into hot oil and fry until golden brown. This should take no longer than 1 minute.
Remove cheese sticks from the oil and place them on a wire rack.
Repeat frying in batches with remaining breaded cheese sticks.
Serve with your favorite marinara sauce.