Crispy Fried Mozzarella Cheese Bites with Chopped Spinach Salad
Perfect any day of the week, this crispy fried mozzarella sticks with chopped spinach salad recipe is so delicious. Crispy on the outside cheesy in the center, you are guaranteed to fall in love with this tasty appetizer. Top it with chopped spinach salad for a light and flavorful twist. Or dip it in tomato sauce marinara for a more traditional approach. Better yet, toss them in a salad and replace your croutons with a cheesy, delicious alternative. However you want to enjoy these crispy fried mozzarella rounds, it’s guaranteed to be delicious.
Ingredients Needed Crispy Fried Mozzarella with Chopped Spinach Salad
Cheese – You’ll need to get a fresh 16-ounce whole milk low moisture Galbani mozzarella cheese. Slice it into 10-12 evenly sized rounds.
Breading Station – You’ll run the mozzarella rounds through the cornstarch, followed by the whisked eggs and then the Italian / panko bread crumb mixture.
Spinach Salad – Chop the spinach and combine it with diced shallots, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Garden fresh is best for a full, deep flavor. Toss until well combined.
Marinara – You’ll need to heat your favorite jarred tomato marinara sauce. My favorite is Delallo Foods marinara sauce.
How to Make Crispy Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks with Chopped Spinach Salad
Slice the mozzarella into rounds. Make sure it is low moisture, whole milk fat mozzarella. I was able to get 10-12 rounds from a 16-ounce block.
Grab three plates, and cornstarch to one plate, whisked eggs to the second plate, and combine the Italian and panko breadcrumbs on the third plate. No flour required.
Run each round through the cornstarch, then the whisked eggs, and finally through the Italian / panko breadcrumb mixture.
Freeze the breaded mozzarella for 60 minutes or up to 24 hours for this recipe.
Heat 1-2 cups of vegetable or canola oil in a pan with sides.
You’ll want the temp to reach 365 degrees for proper cooking.
Fry the mozzarella until golden brown on both sides.
Place the golden-brown mozzarella on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Heat your marinara sauce and serve it on the side.
Add the chopped spinach salad on top or on the side.
Chop your spinach and add the diced shallots, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Toss until well combined.
Can You Fry Mozzarella Without Breading?
While a lot of people have tried to fry mozzarella without breading it, this cheese is known for being ooey-gooey good. That is, it melts quickly. If you’re looking for a no-fuss recipe that guarantees you get a delicious fried mozzarella cheese round at the end of cooking, then you’ll want to include the breading.
Plus, you won’t want to miss out on the mouthwatering crunch that comes from the breading, highlighting the mozzarella flavor in all its gooey-ness.
Fortunately, the breading we are using today is relatively light, with only Italian breadcrumbs (be sure to get this rather than the plain!) and panko to supplement the dish, while the cornstarch works to bind it all together.
Is Frying Mozzarella Healthy?
Typically, fried things aren’t considered the healthiest cuisine, but then you compare these mozzarella rounds to many other possible things that you could be cooking, it’s not the most unhealthy thing in the world. A lot of the current information on mozzarella sticks or fried mozzarella balls aren’t taking homemade variations into consideration.
Plus, with the light breading we are using in this recipe, you won’t have to worry too much – versus buying pre-breaded mozzarella balls from the store which are loaded with calories and preservatives. Not to mention, fresh-made always tastes best! For more information about calories and nutrition information, scroll down to see the recipe notes.
If you are concerned about the oil content, you can make fried cheese as air-fryer mozzarella sticks as well.
How Do You Eat Fried Mozzarella Sticks or Rounds?
A lot of people like to eat their fried mozzarella balls as a standalone appetizer, appreciating the light and gooey flavor that this cheese has to offer especially when topped over a delicious spinach salad.
If you’re looking for a side sauce, marinara sauce is one of the most popular choices, but you can also substitute this out for Dijon mustard or an herbed garlic dip.
If you’re looking to pair the mozzarella with specific dishes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that many people top their pizza with it, put it in salads, or have it over the top of a hummus dip for scooping into delicious, melty mozzarella bites.
Recipe Tip: Do You Freeze Mozzarella Before Frying?
Yes, you should at least keep your mozzarella chilled before it goes into the pan, otherwise you are asking for a gooey mess that doesn’t hold together. The trick to fry any kind of cheese is to make sure the inside is cold enough that it delays the cooking process and gives the outer breading time to cook. Because this is such a small part of the recipe, it can be easy to miss, but it’s essential to a delicious, well-prepared fried mozzarella cheese rounds.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat in the microwave until heated through.
If you have any trouble with condensation on the storage container, simply place a napkin underneath the cheese balls. This should help absorb additional water and keep your cheese balls from becoming soggy in the fridge. This, however, assumes you’ll have leftovers for other recipes!
Crispy Fried Mozzarella with Chopped Spinach Salad
- 16- ounce mozzarella, whole milk low moisture, sliced into 10-12 slices
- 2 eggs, whisked
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ¾ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ½ cup panko
- ½ cup marinara sauce, heated
- 1-2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- 6 ounces baby spinach, chopped small
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- ¼ cup shallots, diced small
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 saucepan for frying
- 3 plates
- 1 mixing bowl
- Slice the mozzarella into rounds. Make sure it is low moisture, whole milk mozzarella. I was able to get 10-12 rounds from a 16-ounce block.
- Grab three plates, and cornstarch to one plate, whisked eggs to the second plate, and combine the Italian and panko breadcrumbs on the third plate.
- Run each round through the cornstarch, then the whisked eggs, and finally through the Italian / panko breadcrumb mixture.
- Freeze the breaded mozzarella for 60 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Heat 1-2 cups of vegetable or canola oil in a pan with sides.
- You’ll want the temp to reach 365 degrees for proper frying.
- Fry the mozzarella until golden brown on both sides.
- Place the golden-brown mozzarella on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
- Heat your marinara sauce and serve it on the side.
- Add the chopped spinach salad on top or on the side.
- Chop your spinach and add the diced shallots, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Toss until well combined.