Craving a Satisfying Starter? The Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella Recipe

What is Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella?

Olive Garden fried mozzarella cheese will blow your mind if you love mozzarella cheese. These fried cheese sticks have slices of mozzarella cheese and a blend of bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. It is one of the most liked dishes on the Olive Garden menu.

You’ve come to the right place if you want a fried mozzarella Olive Garden recipe. We’ll share a copycat recipe for homemade Olive Garden fried mozzarella.

Homemade Fried Mozzarella Sticks

A Copycat Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella Stick Recipe

Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella Sticks Recipe

Time: 20 minutes

Serving size: 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Nutritional Facts

  • Calories: 661kcal
  • Protein: 1.27 ounces (36 grams)
  • Carbohydrates: 2.1 ounces (59 grams)
  • Fat: 1.05 ounces (30 grams)
  • Saturated fat: 0.6 ounces (16 grams)
  • Sugars: 0.1 ounces (3 grams)
  • Sodium: 0.06 ounces (1.63 grams)
  • Fiber: 0.1 ounces (3 grams)
  • Sodium: 0.06 ounces (1.87 grams)
  • Cholesterol: 135 milligrams (0.0018 grams)

Equipment Needed

  1. Sharp knife
  2. Three mixing bowls
  3. Saucepan


  • 16 ounces (453.59 grams) package of mozzarella
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1½ cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
  • ⅓  cup cornstarch
  • ⅔  cups flour


  1. If you have a cheese brick, use a sharp knife to slice it into pieces, about 1 inch (2.54 centimeters). Then beat eggs and water in a small mixing bowl and set aside. 
  2. Mix garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and bread crumbs in a separate mixing bowl and set aside. In a third mixing bowl, mix the cornstarch and flour, then set aside.
  3. Use your saucepan to heat vegetable oil, and let it simmer for about two minutes. Dip the cheese slices (one at a time) in the cornstarch and flour mixture, then dip them in the eggs again. After that, roll it on the breadcrumbs and ensure all sides are well coated. 
  4. Place it in the saucepan and fry until golden brown. Finally, Remove from the simmering pan and drain the oil.

Serve and enjoy with your preferred side dish. 


  • To prevent the cheese from melting during frying, you might want to refrigerate it before battering.
  • Since they have high melting points, you can fry cheeses like Queso Blanco, Paneer, and Hallumoini.
  • To stop the cheese from melting out of the coating, make sure the cheese is well battered.
  • Avoid frying too many pieces simultaneously since the oil temperature can decrease too much. You can fry a few pieces (three or four) at once.

The Difference Between Fried Mozzarella and Fried Mozzarella Sticks

There is not much distinction between these two. Generally, the shape doesn’t really matter as long as you apply breadcrumbs and deep fry it. However, you can fry mozzarella cheese without breading, just like Halloumi.

Fried mozzarella is typically a single piece or several small pieces of cheese coated in breadcrumbs or a batter and deep-fried until golden brown and crispy. In contrast, the cheese inside is gooey and melted. You can serve fried mozzarella cheese as is or with a dipping sauce, for example, marinara or ranch.

On the other hand, fried mozzarella sticks are long, thin pieces of mozzarella cheese coated in breadcrumbs or a batter and deep-fried until crispy and the cheese inside starts to melt. Mozzarella sticks typically get served as finger food with a dipping sauce.

So the main difference between fried mozzarella and fried mozzarella sticks is the shape and size of the cheese. Fried mozzarella is a larger piece or pieces of cheese, while mozzarella sticks are smaller, thin, and elongated.

Another difference between fried mozzarella and fried mozzarella sticks is their preparation. You can make fried mozzarella by simply breading and frying a piece or pieces of cheese, while mozzarella sticks require a bit more preparation.

To make mozzarella sticks, slice the cheese into long, thin strips, then coat them in a breading mixture, often adding seasoning like garlic powder and paprika. After that, chill the cheese sticks for some time before frying. This helps prevent the cheese from melting too quickly and oozing out of the breading during frying.

In terms of presentation, fried mozzarella is often served as a standalone meal or as part of a larger meal. In contrast, mozzarella sticks are typically finger food or appetizers. You can find both fried mozzarella and fried mozzarella sticks on the menus of many Italian restaurants, and they are a popular choice for parties and gatherings.

In terms of nutritional value, both fried mozzarella and fried mozzarella sticks are high in calories, fat, and sodium. However, mozzarella sticks are typically smaller and portioned out, making it easier to control the amount consumed than a larger piece of fried mozzarella. 

Additionally, some recipes for fried mozzarella sticks may use lower-fat or reduced-sodium ingredients to make them slightly healthier.

Our Top Tips for Making Fried Mozzarella

Use the right cheese: The best cheese for fried mozzarella is fresh mozzarella, which has a higher moisture content and melts quickly. You can also use low-moisture mozzarella, which may not melt and can become tough or rubbery.

Chill the cheese: Before breading and frying the mozzarella, it’s a good idea to chill it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. This will help the cheese hold its shape and prevent it from quickly melting during frying.

Use a flavorful breading: A flavorful breading is critical to making delicious fried mozzarella. Use seasoned breadcrumbs or add some herbs and spices to the breading mixture to add flavor.

Double-coat the cheese: To ensure a crispy, crunchy exterior, it’s a good idea to double-coat the cheese in the breading mixture. This means dipping the cheese in the egg mixture, then in the breading mix, and repeating the process before frying.

Don’t overcrowd the pan: Avoid overfilling your pan with breadsticks when frying the mozzarella. Fry the cheese in small batches to ensure even cooking and prevent the cheese from sticking together.

Use a thermometer: To be sure the vegetable oil is at the right temperature for frying (around 375° Fahrenheit (190° Celsius)), use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. This will help ensure the cheese cooks evenly and won’t burn.

Drain excess oil: Drain the fried mozzarella on a paper towel-lined plate to remove extra oil before serving. This will help keep the cheese crispy and prevent it from becoming soggy.

Breaded mozzarella cheese sticks

What to Serve With Fried Mozzarella

Fried mozzarella sticks are a well-liked and delectable snack, made of breaded and deep-fried mozzarella cheese that is melty and gooey on the inside and crispy on the exterior. Although the marinara sauce is often ideal for dipping, you might be curious about what other side dishes would go well with them. Here are some:

Marinara Sauce

In addition to adding a tangy and salty flavor to mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce is a popular traditional dipping sauce for fried mozzarella.

Pesto Sauce

The fresh and herbaceous flavor of the pesto sauce, created from fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese, complements the oozy mozzarella sticks.

Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are a delightful and tasty side dish that goes well with mozzarella sticks. They are crispy and tender. They make delicious finger snacks that are simple to share on an appetizer platter.

Potato Rosti

These deep-fried mozzarella sticks pair perfectly with the crispy, golden potato rosti, made from grated potatoes cooked till they form a delectable crust.

Pizza Bagels 

Pizza bagels are a tasty and flavorful side dish that complements the cheesy theme of mozzarella sticks. They are bite-sized and loaded with tomato sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings.


Fresh and flavorful bruschetta serves as a light and delectable side dish to counterbalance the robust flavors of mozzarella sticks. It consists of chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil on toasted bread.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms offer a savory and delectable side dish to go with the cheesy bliss of mozzarella sticks. 

Garlic Bread

The perfect way to enjoy every last piece of mozzarella sticks is with warm, crispy garlic bread, which you can use to scoop up any sauce left on the bowl or plate.

Caesar Salad

The crispy and tangy Caesar salad makes a perfect side dish for your thick and oozy mozzarella sticks. This salad comprises croutons, romaine lettuce, and Parmesan cheese.

Antipasto Platter 

Antipasto platter makes your mozzarella sticks dinner more delicious; the platter includes a selection of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and marinated veggies.

Caprese Salad

To accompany the deep-fried cheese sticks, a simple Caprese salad made with mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, basil, and a splash of balsamic sauce makes a tasty side dish.

Onion Rings

Crispy and aromatic onion rings and mozzarella sticks make a decadent side dish for a tasty and entertaining appetizer tray.

Spaghetti Marinara 

A classic spaghetti marinara is a delightful and cozy side dish with your mozzarella sticks. It has a tangy tomato sauce and al dente pasta.

Tomato Soup 

A hearty bowl of warm, creamy tomato soup is an excellent side dish that pairs well with mozzarella sticks’ delicious cheesiness.

Roasted Veggies

A simple side dish of roasted veggies like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers offers a healthful and colorful side dish to counteract the richness of the mozzarella sticks.

Storing and Reheating Olive Garden’s Fried Mozzarella Sticks

When it comes to storing your Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella sticks, it’s best to keep them in a freezer if you don’t intend to consume them soon. However, if you plan to consume them within a few days, you may store them in the fridge.

The oven is the most popular method for reheating already-cooked mozzarella sticks. Nonetheless, there are several other methods to use. Let’s look at each and how to use them.


The renowned chain restaurant Olive Garden advises reheating leftover mozzarella sticks in the oven. They place them in a foil-lined bag with instructions on the back when they package them for you to take away. Here are easy steps to go about it:

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350° Fahrenheit (176.6° Celsius).
  • While still in their restaurant bag, cook the fried mozzarella sticks in the oven for five to eight minutes.

If you already threw away the restaurant bag, don’t worry; you can wrap them in foil and follow the steps above to reheat your breadsticks.

Air Fryer

Many people mistakenly believe using an air fryer only entails making healthier versions of their preferred fried foods. However, air fryers are a fantastic culinary tool you can use in various ways, like reheating fried mozzarella sticks. Here is how to do it:

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350° Fahrenheit (176.6° Celsius) for about three minutes
  • Put the breadsticks in the fryer basket in their original Olive Garden bag or foil.
  • Set your timer for four minutes, then turn the pan over and continue cooking for one more minute.

Note: You can reheat your Olive Garden fried mozzarella sticks without wrapping them. All you need to do is spray the sticks with a little olive oil before reheating. Your Olive Garden breadsticks will heat up less quickly and more evenly in the air fryer than in the oven.


Although reheating Olive Garden breadsticks in the microwave won’t create the same quality as in the oven, it is quick and, if done correctly, can be just as wonderful! This is how to reheat your Olive Garden’s fried mozzarella sticks in a microwave:

  • Take the fried mozzarella sticks from the bag or container you’ve been storing them in and wrap them in a damp paper towel. Set the breadstick bundle on a microwave-safe dish.
  • Depending on how many mozzarella breadsticks you reheat, cook for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Make sure they get warmed through; flip them over and cook them for 15 seconds per side until they get hot.

The damp paper towel creates a similar result to steaming by trapping moisture. If your microwave is strong, try lowering the power to 50%.

Toaster Ovens

Reheating leftover Olive Garden fried mozzarella sticks in a toaster oven is terrific. It functions as a little oven and heats up much more quickly. Follow these easy steps to reheat your mozzarella sticks in a toaster oven:

  • Preheat your toaster oven to 350° Fahrenheit (176.6° Celsius).
  • Wrap the fried mozzarella sticks in foil or an Olive Garden bag.
  • Place it on a toaster oven tray and cook for about five to eight minutes.

The only drawback of using this method is a toaster oven may not accommodate all your leftover mozzarella sticks. If so, simply reheat them in batches while following the same instructions.

Steamer Basket

Even while using a steamer basket may seem unusual to some, it’s a great option if you don’t have any of the previously mentioned machines. Here is how to use a steamer basket:

  • Set a sizable pot of water to boil on the stove.
  • Place the steamer basket over the water as it begins to heat up.
  • Wrap your Olive Garden fried mozzarella sticks in either parchment paper or a clean kitchen towel. The kitchen towel method is our preferred choice.
  • Place the wrapped bundle in the steamer basket once the water has reached a gentle simmer after bringing it to a boil. Keep the lid on and allow the steam to run for seven to eight minutes. 

After five minutes, check your sticks to ensure it isn’t going soggy. Reheating Olive Garden breadsticks in a steamer basket can preserve their fluffy and airiness.


Although it’s not the best method, using a toaster to reheat Olive Garden fried mozzarella sticks will do. Don’t fill the toaster with too many breadsticks. Here is how to do it:

  • Wrap your fried mozzarella sticks individually on parchment paper to prevent the cheese from spilling into the toaster.
  • Place a breadstick on each side of the toaster and set the temperature to medium-low; do not use the high setting.
  • Turn it over and repeat the procedure.

Although the breadsticks may not get cooked uniformly, they will get sufficiently warmed.


Are you out camping and want to reheat your Olive Garden fried mozzarella sticks? No worries; you can warm them up on a grill. Charcoal or gas grills will both work perfectly fine. Follow these easy steps to reheat your fried mozzarella sticks on a grill:

  • Turn the grill’s heat to medium.
  • Brush your leftover fried mozzarella sticks with olive or vegetable oil and place them directly on the grill grates. Cook for two to four on each side.
  • Also, you can wrap the fried mozzarella breadsticks in foil and set them on the grill to roast for five to eight minutes.

When using a charcoal grill, place your mozzarella sticks away from the flame to avoid over-smoking or burning the breadsticks.

Can Mozzarella Sticks Be Frozen?

Chefs have extremely strong opinions about whether or not to freeze mozzarella sticks before frying them. Although most people appear to support the “freeze first” position, the truth is that it relies on the thickness of the breadcrumbs.

If your mozzarella sticks have a thin coating, you should not freeze them beforehand. However, if you like a thicker, crunchier surface, freezing them for an hour or two will help prevent the mozzarella cheese from melting out while frying.

Many people freeze mozzarella sticks for a quick and easy snack or appetizer on hand.

To freeze mozzarella sticks, put them in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container and store them in the freezer. It’s best to freeze the mozzarella sticks immediately after making or purchasing them to maintain their quality.

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen mozzarella sticks, there’s no need to thaw them beforehand. Simply preheat your oven to the temperature recommended on the packaging or recipe instructions and bake the frozen mozzarella sticks until they are hot and crispy.

It’s important to note that freezing mozzarella sticks may affect their texture slightly. The cheese inside may become slightly drier or denser after freezing and reheating, but it should still be tasty and enjoyable. If you’re concerned about the texture, you may want to freeze a small batch before freezing a larger quantity.

Calorie Content

The beloved fried mozzarella offered at Olive Garden restaurants without additional sauce has 800 calories, according to the restaurant’s nutritional menu. The fried mozzarella sticks in this recipe have roughly 660 calories per serving without the sauce. 

The calorie content of fried mozzarella can vary based on factors like the portion size, the type of cheese and breading used, and the cooking method. However, as a general guide, a typical serving of fried mozzarella can range from 300-500 calories.

One small mozzarella stick, about 1 ounce (28 grams), can contain around 85-100 calories. However, this may vary based on the brand and recipe. A larger portion of fried mozzarella can have significantly more calories, such as a plate of fried mozzarella bites or a sandwich with fried mozzarella.

It’s worth noting that fried mozzarella is high in fat and sodium, which can concern those watching their calorie intake or on a restricted diet. To reduce the calorie content, consider using a lower-fat cheese or a lighter breading, and try baking the mozzarella instead of deep-frying it. Additionally, enjoy fried mozzarella in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Can You Fry Mozzarella Without Breading?

Yes! You can fry mozzarella cheese without using breadcrumbs coating. If you are on a ketogenic diet or trying to lose weight, breadless mozzarella sticks are a terrific alternative. Making fried mozzarella without breading requires the following:

  1. Slices of mozzarella cheese should be about half an inch thick.
  2. Slices of mozzarella should be salt and pepper-seasoned on both sides.
  3. It would be best to make a choice right now. Do you like a thin eggless coating or to be fully naked? Both techniques are viable, but a brief coating in cornstarch adds an extra layer of crunch and a few more calories.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet with 1/4 inch of canola oil on a medium flame. 
  5. When the pan heats, carefully add the cheese and cook for two minutes on each side or until golden brown. 
  6. When still heated, drain on paper towels and serve. 

Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What Dipping Sauces are Best for Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella Sticks?

Half the fun of eating fried mozzarella sticks is the dipping part. Here are a few dipping sauces that go well with fried mozzarella sticks:

  • BBQ sauce
  • Marinara sauce
  • Honey mustard sauce
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Ranch dressing
Fried mozzarella

In Conclusion

Olive Garden fried mozzarella sticks are a tasty and versatile appetizer that most people love to snack on throughout the day. Knowing how to make this delicious starter can bring so much happiness to your home. We hope you found this recipe helpful. Feel free to try it at home and tell us how well you did in the comment section.

And don’t get worried if you can’t finish your tasty Olive Garden fried mozzarella sticks. Store them in your refrigerator and reheat them when you are ready to enjoy your meal again. Follow one of the steps described above when reheating your fried mozzarella sticks.