Crispy Marinated Mozzarella


Crispy Marinated Mozzarella

When my sister came over for pizza the other night I also attempted to make some fried mozzarella. I say attempted because the first go around pretty much failed. Not one to give up on the quest to find the perfect fried cheese, I decided to give these little devils a shot again last night and I am happy to say things worked out beautifully. First, I marinated sliced mozzarella in a mixture of olive oil, dried basil and fresh garlic. Next, I dipped each slice in flour, then egg and finally a panko/dry bread crumb mixture and fried until golden brown. The result was crunchy, melty, garlicky goodness.

When I first attempted these, I dipped the marinated mozzarella in egg and then in panko. The breading didn’t really stick so the mozzarella kind of oozed everywhere. It tasted wonderful, but did not look that appetizing. I think the panko just wasn’t heavy enough to coat the mozzarella by itself. The addition of the flour and the plain dry breadcrumbs in this recipe really helped create the crunchy crust I was looking for.


The Recipe

  • Serves 4
  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 8 (1/4 inch) thick mozzarella slices
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • oil for frying


  1. In a bowl combine, olive oil, garlic, basil and kosher salt.
  2. Lay mozzarella slices on a plate and pour garlic mixture over the top. Turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. The breading process is three step. In one bowl place flour, in a second bowl place egg, in the the third bowl combine the panko and plain dry bread crumbs.
  4. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a pan over medium heat.
  5. Dip each piece of mozzarella in the flour, then egg and finally press into the bread crumbs to coat completely.
  6. Drop a few bread crumbs into the oil, if they sizzle, it is hot enough. Fry breaded mozzarella for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Serve immediately.

So Ryan doesn't like fried mozzarella (gasp!) I know its hard to believe. Whenever we go out and I see mozzarella sticks or fried mozzarella on the menu, I put on my cutest face and suggest it for an appetizer and it never works. But these were so good that last night, I had to slap his hand away as he reached for mine. Don't mess with a girl and her fried cheese! :)

  • Risa

    Wow! This really looks incredible. I am glad you did not give up after the first attempt.

  • Jamie

    This Looks awesome! I love your recipes!

  • Lucy

    WOW!! Amazing & awesome!

  • Theresa

    OMG WANT! If there’s anything I love more than cheese, it’s fried cheese :)

  • nina

    I love the idea of marinading first……great idea!! Mozzarella does not have too much flavor of its own!! Bookmarked!!!

  • Mrs. L

    Fried cheese? Works for me! I agree, awesome.

  • Marta

    We’re talking deep-fried cheese here… how could it not be perfect?! I love that you’ve marinated it, to take this away from pub-food and into classy backyard-party appy :)

  • Hillary

    Talk about sophisticated mozzarella sticks! This sounds so delicious.

  • sara

    can’t wait to try this! Can you tell me if you used fresh mozzarella or just the good old standard Kraft…

  • Deseree

    I hope you enjoy it sara! While I think the kraft ball of mozzarella would work fine for this, I used fresh vacuum packed mozzarella. I would avoid the fresh mozzarella in water, it would be too wet for this. Hope this helps!

  • Kevin

    Garlicy fried mozzarella sounds great!

  • Gianna Chachere

    this does not work. i am so sorry i tried this recipe. what was i thinking??? you can’t fry mozzarella without it oozing and melting in hot oil. bad idea, a total waste of time and money.

  • Deseree

    Gianna- I am sorry to hear that you did not have luck with this recipe. Despite your problem, you can in fact fry mozzarella without it oozing and melting in hot oil. As with all of my recipes the picture above is the mozzarella just before we ate it and as you can see it worked. A few things could have caused the problem: 1. the oil wasn’t hot enough. 2. It is important not to overcrowd the pan or it will reduce the heat of the oil. 3. the mozzarella weren’t completely breaded allowing some of the oil to get into the cheese. I hope this helps!

  • Mary

    Yummy! I can’t wait to try, but what’s Panko?

  • Deseree

    Mary- Panko are Japanese bread crumbs. You can find them in the Asian section of your local super market. Hope this helps!

  • Jason

    Holy Cow (or chicken in this case!)!!! That was amazing! I used veg oil cuz I didn’t have olive and I didn’t soak it for near that long, and I added onion and garlic powders, as well as salt, pepper, and parsley to the flour, but we REALLY liked this recipe! We deep fried chicken breast strips with it, as well as provolone sticks. I would really like to try onion next time too! I haven’t had much luck with crispy breading in the past, but this came out fantastic!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  • Bobbi

    Deseree, I want to make this as an appetizer for my gourmet dining club this weekend. I have a couple of questions. What oil is best for frying in? Also, you say serve immediately. After I prepare them, I have a 30 minute drive plus set up. Any suggestions on how to handle this? I was thinking I could put them on a cookie sheet covered with foil and when I get there, remove the foil and broil them for a few minutes to bring them back up to temperature.

  • Deseree

    Hi Bobbi- A gourmet dining club? How fun! I would recommend frying these in canola or safflower oil. Both of which are good for high heat cooking. As for traveling with them, I think that your plan should work. I would definitely do the double bread method of repeating the breading sequence twice. Let me know if you have any other questions and I hope you enjoy them!

  • Bobbi

    Deseree – it worked fabulously! I followed your recipe and directions exactly except I tripled it. I used the fresh mozzarella from Sam’s club (pre-cut to 1/4 inch slices), Italian breadcrumbs and plain Panko ( I did use the Lemon Pepper Panko on the last of the 3rd batch & it was great, too). The mozzarella was still cold & I was careful to make sure it was completely coated. I used canola oil in a cast iron skillet (~ 1″ of oil) on med/med low gas burner & made sure it really did sizzle when I dropped a clump of the flour/egg/breadcrumb in the oil. I tried to time it, but it was easy to tell when they were done based on the color and mozzarella attempting to escape :-) I drained them on paper towels and placed on a foil lined sheet pan for the trip. It was about an hour later that I reheated in a 400 F oven for about 5 minutes. They were a BIG hit with the Marinara sauce & Mucho Macho hot & spicy tomato sauce.

  • Deseree

    Bobbi- Wonderful! I am so happy to hear that they worked out well for you :)

  • Guy

    i would further recommend to add some high-proof alcohol to the egg, such as vodka.
    you wont taste it, but it helps to get the coating even more crisp.

    As alcohol vaporizes at 68 °C the whole energy of the oil in the form of heat is first consumed just to convert the alcohol to steam. When that happened it starts to cook the things inside the coating. So before the inner parts even get warm, the crust already is crunchy – thus preventing juices to get out. perfect for fried chicken and so on.

  • Deseree

    Thanks for the tip Guy! I will definitely have to give that a try sometime.

  • Samantha @ The Ascension House

    These look so perfect! Going to have them atop veggie spaghetti for dinner! :)

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A little bit about me...

My name is Des. I’m a Mom to Kellan and Preston. Wife to Ryan. Dog mom to Pumpkin and lover of all things food. Whether it is cooking it, eating it, shopping for it or watching TV about it, food is one of my favorite things. Read more »

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