Why This Recipe Works
There are certain foods that scream game day! and these homemade mozzarella sticks with string cheese rival any that youve had in restaurants. Lightly fried with a crispy Panko coating and ooey-gooey cheese inside what else could you ask for? Oh, gluten free you say? Sure! With a simple switch of gluten free Panko breadcrumbs and a gluten free flour, this recipe satisfies your needs.
You can bake, air fry, lightly fry or deep fry this mozzarella stick recipe. So many options! Get ready for the Super Bowl or even for a game night at home and youll have a happy crowd. These will disappear quickly make a double batch!
Gluten Free Tips For Enjoying Cheese
Now that you have a better understanding of how cheese is made and which types are gluten free, youre ready to start enjoying it! Here are some simple gluten free cooking tips using cheese:
- Always check and double-check the label, just to be sure a product doesnt contain gluten.
- Look for the words all-natural on the label to reduce the likelihood of additives.
- Be mindful of using shredded cheese, as some contains starch to separate the shreds.
- Double-check the label for dairy-free cheeses as well as cheese spreads and powders.
- Take precautions against cross-contamination when eating cheese-containing dishes out.
If you also follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you may find yourself using more dairy-free cheese alternatives. Many are gluten free, but it never hurts to double-check.
Tips On Cheese Texture
You can create a variety of different textures of vegan cheese by changing the amounts and ratios of liquids, fats, agar agar, and starch.
- The more agar agar, the firmer the cheese.
- The more tapioca starch, the softer and stretchier the cheese.
- A higher fat content will give you richer and creamier cheese with a more authentic mouth feel.
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Ingredients In Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
This is a short and straightforward ingredient list! We’ll be working with just 5 ingredients:
- Raw cashews – they’ll need to be soaked overnight for this recipe or for at least an hour in boiling water. Learn more about How to Soak Cashews in this post.
- Filtered water
- Tapioca starch – you should be able to find this at your local grocery store!
- Pure maple syrup – I buy this in bulk because I use it in so many of my recipes.
If you like a little tang in your cheese you could add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice too. I personally like it better without but I know some people have to have that tang so I thought I would mention.
What Is Mozzarella Cheese
Now, for that 10 percent of the people in the room who have no idea what mozzarella cheese is, heres a heads up.
Mozzarella is a south Italian cheese, which is made from the milk of the Italian buffalo, using the pasta filata method. Having received the Traditional Specialties Guaranteed certification from the European Union in 1998, it became increasingly popular in the early 2000s.
The Italian Buffalo Mozzarella, sold as Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, and is only produced in the selected regions of Campania, Lazio, Apulia and Molise. Mozzarella is generally white in color, but depending on the diet of the buffalo, the color may also be yellow.
The semi-soft cheese has a very high moisture content and is traditionally served the day after it has been made, but can be kept in a brine up to a week or longer and is sold in vacuum-sealed packages.
Mozzarella cheese, which is low on moisture, can be stored for as long as one month. The different uses of mozzarella cheese can be used with pizza toppings or with pasta, or is served with sliced tomatoes and basil in Caprese Salad.
See the below video for How To Make Mozzarella Cheese:
Read the reviews of cheese slicers if you are looking for a cutter for cheese.
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When Can Gluten Get Into Cheese
Whenever you add extra ingredients, you increase the risk of gluten cross-contamination. However, in the vast majority of cases, these types of cheeses also will fall far below the currently-accepted “gluten-free” standard of 20 parts per million of gluten.
You should check the label for gluten ingredientsan important first step to avoid common mistakes people make when going gluten-free. You can also call the manufacturer of the cheese in question if you’re still in doubt.
Beware of “beer-washed” cheese. These types of cheeses are becoming popular, and companies are producing more of them. Beer is not gluten-free, of course, so you’ll need to steer clear of beer-washed cheese unless the manufacturer specifies that gluten-free beer was used to make it.
In addition, any cheese produced or packaged on the same equipment as beer-washed cheese will be subject to cross-contamination. Again, if you’re in doubt, call the manufacturer to double-check.
Fortunately, there’s usually an ample selection of different gourmet cheeses, even in smaller grocery stores, and you can avoid problems simply by steering clear of anything made by a company that also makes a beer-washed cheese.
How To Make Mozzarella Sticks
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Is All Cheese Gluten
In most cases, cheese you buy at the grocery store will be gluten-free. However, as with most types of food you’ll consume while following a gluten-free diet, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
Cheese is made by combining milk, rennet , and bacteria, which ferments the milk to produce cheese. Plain cheese made with as few ingredients as possible will have undetectable levels of gluten in virtually every case. In addition, cream cheese is gluten-free in most cases. However, you need to be wary with these types of cheese:
- Beer-washed cheese: This contains gluten unless the cheese-maker specifies that gluten-free beer was used to make it.
- Gourmet cheese: If this cheese is packaged in a grocery store deli department it’s at high risk for gluten cross-contamination.
- Blue cheese: This cheese sometimes can contain trace levels of gluten due to the way it’s produced.
Store-bought cheeses also may contain salt and sometimes preservatives many also include extra ingredients to add flavors, such as herbs or spices. Read on for more details.
If Your Cheese Is Too Soft
If your cheese is too soft to shred and more jello-like, then you probably added too much tapioca starch or possibly not enough agar agar. Slight variations in these 2 ingredients will change the texture greatly.
Also, the strength of agar agar varies, so you may have a type that is not as strong, I hear reports of this in Europe more frequently. You can remelt the cheese add another teaspoon or two of agar agar, and let it boil for 6 minutes again.
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Pan Fried Mozzarella Sticks
Heat your oil to 375 degrees F. Use a thermometer to ensure you have the right temperature. Place 3-4 frozen sticks into the oil, gently laying them away from you so that the oil doesnt splatter towards you. Fry for 2-3 minutes then flip and continue for another 2-3 minutes. Lay the fried sticks on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
Note: I found that cup canola oil in an 8 inch frying pan was just right. The oil will come about halfway up the sides of the cheese and turning once after 2-3 minutes yielded a beautiful, golden exterior. Most of the oil will still remain after youve fried the cheese. Panko crumbs do not soak up as much oil as traditional breadcrumbs. Also, you are frying the food for such a short time that the coating doesnt absorb much oil at all. Always take care to dispose of the oil properly and never pour it down your sink.
Pros: Pan frying gives your mozzarella sticks a beautiful, golden finish. This cooking method is quick and produces gooey, melted cheese with a crisp exterior. I had the most success frying as the melted cheese didnt leak out as it had done in other cooking methods.
Cons: Frying can be frowned upon and may not be your first choice. It can be messy, although I didnt have much trouble with oil splattering over the stove top.
Best Way To Cook Mozzarella Sticks
Heres the thing the best way to cook mozzarella sticks is up to you. I am going to share my experience and then you can choose the option that suits you. I experimented with baking, using the air fryer, and lightly pan frying. Deep frying is an obvious choice too.
Let me spoil the surprise, though, and tell you that my lightly pan fried mozzarella sticks were the most successful. They were golden brown and delicious. The cheese didnt leak out of the sides before the exterior was cooked. While I dont fry most foods, it would be my recommendation for homemade mozzarella sticks. In the end I really didnt use all that much oil and most of it remained in the pan after I fried the cheese sticks.
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Artisan Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
Spray your air fryer metal basket with baking spray. Place the frozen breaded, gluten free mozzarella sticks on the basket. Fry at 375 degrees for 3 minutes. Rotate the cheese sticks and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on the cheese as it can go from ok to a melted mess very quickly.
Pros: I love that the air fryer fries without any oil.
Cons: My cheese sticks fell apart more easily in this cooking method and I didnt achieve uniformly baked cheese sticks. Each air fryer is different and you may have more success that I did.
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Is Mozzarella Cheese Gluten
Many people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities worry about whether or not mozzarella cheese contains gluten.
If you are one of those people, this blog post will answer your questions!
Well discuss why there is gluten in cheese, and then well talk about what types of cheeses contain it.
Finally, well answer some of the most common questions about mozzarella cheese and gluten.
Crispy Gluten Free Mozzarella Sticks Recipe
These incredible gluten free fried cheese sticks are double-dipped for the ultimate crispiness! If you LOVE gooey cheese, this gluten free mozzarella sticks recipe is a must-make appetizer! It is something you will want to make again and again!
If you have been missing fried cheese sticks since going gluten free, it is time to rejoice because this recipe is not only EASY, but these crispy sticks taste like the real deal! They are crispy on the outside and full of hot melty cheese on the inside! You will love the cheesy goodness!
If you are looking for a new appetizer recipe to make, I can’t recommend these gluten free fried mozzarella sticks enough. Enjoy them at game day celebrations, or any party.
Appetizers are my thing. If they are your thing too, check out all of my scrumptious Gluten Free Appetizer Recipes.
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Gluten Free Mozzarella Sticks
Mozzarella sticks are the ultimate game day food and making them gluten free is simple if you use gluten free ingredients for the breading. Crunchy gluten free Panko breadcrumbs help create a light and crisp coating that pairs perfectly with gooey mozzarella cheese. Dip these homemade gluten free mozzarella sticks in Sprouts Marinara sauce for restaurant quality food at home.
This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. I appreciate the opportunity to share recipes made with ingredients from brands I trust and support. All opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Sprouts Farmers Market. #sponsored
Why This Recipe Is Great:
- I teach you the tips and tricks to make gluten free cheese sticks that don’t fall apart or lose their crispy coating. These are the crispiest, best gluten free mozzarella sticks EVER!
- This recipe is my favorite recipe, and it will easily become yours too. The best part is that I use simple ingredients that you can find at any local grocery store.
- Although mozzarella sticks are considered the most popular fried cheese, you can use any flavor of cheese. Pepper Jack and cheddar cheeses also are deliciously fried.
- If you are egg-free, you can substitute the egg for ranch dressing!
If you love gooey melted cheese as much as we do, you will also want to try this Stuffed Queso recipe too!
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Recipe Step By Step Directions:
First, you need to gather up your ingredients. You only need 6 simple ingredients to make this gluten free fried cheese stick recipe.
Step 1: Grab three shallow bowls. In the first bowl, combine bread crumbs and dried Italian seasonings. Mix the breadcrumb mixture well. In the second shallow bowl, add the gluten free flour blend. Lastly, in the third bowl add the egg and whisk it.
Step 2: Dip the piece of string cheese in your gluten free flour. Next, dip it in the egg mixture, then back in the gf flour.
TIP: If you like a crispy coating on your fried cheese sticks, you must double-dip your mozzarella sticks. Another reason double-dipping is good is that the thicker coating will prevent your cheese from leaking out when they cook.
Step 3: Take the cheese sticks and dredge them in the egg again. Dip them in the bread crumbs, then back in the egg. Repeat one more time for the crispiest gluten free cheese sticks ever.
Step 4: Heat up your vegetable oil in a dutch oven or frying pan. I like deep frying foods in a cast-iron skillet or cast-iron Dutch oven on the burner attachment next to our grill to keep the house from smelling like fried foods.
You want your oil to reach about 350-365Âº F before dropping in your gluten free mozzarella sticks.
Step 5: Fry each coated cheese stick in the hot oil for 30-60 seconds until the coating becomes golden brown. The cheese melts inside the crispy crust.
Deep Fried Mozzarella Sticks
Bring the oil to 375 degrees F. Gently lay the frozen cheese into the oil so that it is fully submerged. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the coating is a lovely golden brown.
Pros: Quick cooking and produces that deep golden brown that you are used to seeing in restaurant mozzarella sticks.
Cons: If you arent used to deep frying, it may be intimidating to heat up a larger amount of oil on the stovetop. Use a high sided pan to keep the hot oil from spraying out. Also wear long baking mitts to protect your hands and arms.
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Is Cheese Gluten Free
Find out if cheese is gluten free and what to look for when choosing gluten free cheese.
If youre a cheese lover, you know that everything goes better with cheese. It pairs perfectly with toasted bread and tomato soup, and no pizza would be the same without it. Unfortunately, cheese may not be the safest choice for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Cheese is made from milk, whether it be from a cow, sheep, goat, or some other animal. It is first pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria then cultured to start the process that turns the milk into cheese. Depending on the type of culture and the length of the aging process, the resulting cheese may form small, soft curds or it might be pressed into a hard block.
On their own, milk and most of the ingredients used to make cheese are gluten free. That being said, depending on the cultures used and any additives, the end product might not be. Keep reading to learn more about how cheese is made so that you can best understand which cheeses are gluten free versus which are not.
Is All Cheese Gluten Free
Dairy products made with all-natural ingredients generally dont contain gluten. Of course, always look for the certified gluten free label to be sure. It is important to realize, however, that gluten is sometimes added during the manufacturing process for certain types of cheeses and dairy products.
Plain and full-fat cheeses are most likely to be gluten free, while cheese that contains add-ins as well as low-fat, low-salt, and fat-free cheese are more likely to contain gluten. Gluten-containing ingredients are often used as thickeners in certain types of cheese or as a stabilizer to increase the shelf life. Some ingredients that may indicate gluten on a food label include hydrolyzed wheat protein, malt, food starch, powdered cellulose, artificial flavor, fillers, emulsifiers, and spice blends.
Here is an overview of some of the most popular types of gluten free cheese youre likely to find in the supermarket:
- String cheese
- Queso cheese dip
Even if a cheese doesnt contain any sources of gluten on the ingredients list, you still need to be careful. Gluten free cheese can become contaminated by products containing gluten at any point during the manufacturing process. This can happen at the farm, in the factory, during packaging or transport, in restaurants, or in the grocery store at the deli counter. Remember to check the label and look for an FDA or certified gluten free label to indicate less than 20 ppm gluten in the final product.
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