These crispy, gooey keto mozzarella sticks are easy to make at home and take just minutes in the air fryer!
HOMEMADE KETO MOZZARELLA STICKS
One of the best appetizers of all is cheesy fried mozzarella sticks dipped in marinara sauce! Honestly that was the one appetizer I missed greatly when I decided to go on a keto diet. The breading alone was always what gave the sticks that crispy outer texture, but soft, gooey and cheesy in the middle. I knew that I had to recreate this popular appetizer and make it, not only keto friendly, but nut free as well, since my son has a tree nut and peanut allergy.
I adapted from my keto breading recipe published in my cookbook, Naturally Keto. It is what I use again and again for perfect, crispy coatings for pretty much everything!
My keto breading in my cookbook, Naturally Keto, combines crushed pork rinds with seasonings and whey protein powder. With the right portions of both, you end up with a fool proof breading that works for coating chicken, pork, any protein really and now even cheese! I've used this breading for my easy keto skillet chicken parmesan and my veal parmesan recipe.
AIR FRY OR OIL FRY
These are much easier using the Air Fryer. I have an extra large basket since we are a family of five so I am able to fit 12 comfortably without touching each other. They need to be separate so the air can circulate all around them. If you don't have an air fryer, I would highly recommend getting one! But of course, you can also fry these mozzarella sticks in your oil of choice. I'd use coconut oil or avocado oil for their high smoke point. If you do oil fry, I would suggest freezing your mozzarella sticks for about an hour before oil frying.
HOW TO STORE KETO MOZZARELLA STICKS
Store these keto mozzarella sticks, uncooked, between a layer of parchment in an airtight container. They will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. These keto mozzarella sticks can also be frozen and taken out of the freezer whenever you like. Pop into the air fryer for 5-8 minutes or to your doneness.
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IS THE WHEY PROTEIN NEEDED?
YES! Do not leave out the whey protein powder! I have made these just dipping the cheese sticks in egg and pork rinds and the result was completely flattened mozzarella sticks in my air fryer. All the gooey, delicious cheese and breading went right through the holes of the tray. Still delicious, but not what I was hoping for. Dipping the sticks in the whey provides it the extra coating it needs to keep their shape before air frying.
KETO MOZZARELLA STICKS (NUT FREE, AIR FRYER)
Keto Mozzarella Sticks (Nut Free, Air Fryer)
- Cut the mozzarella sticks in half and set aside on a baking sheet pan lined with parchment. You should have 32 halves. Freeze these for 30 minutes.
- In a shallow bowl, place the whey protein powder.
- In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg and cream together.
- Whisk together the crushed pork rinds, salt, parsley and onion powder in another shallow bowl.
- Roll mozzarella sticks into the whey protein powder, then coat with the egg mixture, then roll in pork rind mixture and place on the baking pan while you finish the rest.
- Place as many sticks as you can without touching each other, on the air fryer tray. I have an extra large basket and can fit 12 pieces. Coat the sticks on both sides with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray which will give them that nice golden color.
- Air fry at 400 degrees F for 4-6 minutes. Enjoy with my homemade keto marinara sauce!