Healthy Fried Cheese Sticks

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Healthy Fried Cheese Sticks

I used to love fried cheese sticks in high school and college and would even order these as my meal in restaurants. Something about the crispy breadcrumb fried exterior of mozzarella sticks combined with a warm, melty center is the ultimate comfort food. They go really well as an appetizer with these crispy Korean chicken wings too.

Since we don’t eat grains, all-purpose flour, or vegetable oils anymore, I decided to find a healthier way to fry food at home. I started with homemade chicken tenders and moved on from there. My kids quickly requested fried cheese sticks so I gave it a try. Several tries, actually. The end result was delicious, grain-free, and much cheaper too!

Homemade Fried Cheese Sticks

My quest to make cheese sticks healthier included using a grain-free coating. From other recipes, I knew that almond flour worked great, so I decided to go with that. I added some salt and a good amount of Italian seasoning and called it good.

By dipping the cheese into at least two layers of beaten egg and seasoned almond flour to double coat I get pretty good results.

In my cheese stick experimentation, the two most important things I learned were:

  • Make sure there’s enough almond flour on the cheese sticks or the cheese will leak out.
  • Make sure that the cheese is frozen to start or it will be too melty before the coating cooks and seals it in.

Freezing Tip: If you don’t want to fry (and potentially eat!) a whole batch of these mozzarella sticks at once, you store them in the freezer after breading and just fry a couple at a time as needed.

Frying the Mozzarella Sticks Recipe

The other key step to making healthier fried cheese sticks is to use a healthy fat source for frying. I don’t like to use peanut oil or canola oil, so I usually use tallow (rendered beef fat) or coconut oil. Both contain healthy fats and have a high smoke point, making them excellent for frying. Olive oil is a healthy oil, but not the best for frying (unless you want a smoky kitchen!).

If you haven’t used tallow before, don’t be afraid to try it! I like its mild flavor and healthy fat profile. Not familiar with tallow? I write more about it in my post for parsnip fries (which are delicious!) and get it from Thrive Market. You can re-use tallow or lard several times — just store it in the fridge.

An Alternative to Frying: the Air Fryer!

Since I originally published this post, air fryers have become a thing. I’ve experimented with mine quite a bit and have enjoyed making healthy recipes like zucchini fries. Also, air fryer sweet potato fries are waayyy tastier than oven-baked.

When I decided to update this post I figured I’d try cooking them in the air fryer, which worked beautifully. They’re nice and crispy, just like the deep-fried ones. I did learn though, that since they don’t cook quite as rapidly in the air fryer, the cheese tends to leak out more easily. So keep an eye on them. Once they’re browned and the cheese starts to drip out, take them out.

If you’re interested, this is the air fryer I have.

Healthy Cheese Sticks Recipe

A grain-free homemade take on mozzarella cheese sticks that uses almond flour for breading.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Freezing time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 47 minutes
Calories 142kcal
Author Katie Wells


20 cheese sticks


Oil for frying


  • Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper and set aside.
  • Cut the block of cheese into sticks. I like mine about ½” x ½” x 3”.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and water.
  • In a medium-size shallow dish, stir together the almond flour, Italian seasoning, and salt.
  • Dredge each cheese stick first into the beaten egg and then into the almond flour mixture, setting the breaded sticks onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Repeat the above step, dipping each cheese stick into the beaten egg and almond flour a second time. Make sure the cheese is completely covered or it will leak out when you cook it.
  • Place the baking sheet of cheese sticks into the freezer and freeze for about 3-4 hours or until the cheese is completely frozen.
  • In a medium-sized skillet add enough tallow, lard, or coconut oil to reach a depth of 1½-2 inches.
  • Preheat the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. If you drop a bit of the almond flour into the hot oil and it bubbles and starts to float, the oil is ready.
  • Remove the cheese from the freezer and fry 3 or 4 at a time in the heated oil for a couple of minutes until they turn golden brown.
  • Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the fried cheese sticks from the skillet and onto some paper towels to drain.
  • Repeat frying with the remaining cheese sticks until they're all cooked.


Nutrition Facts
Healthy Cheese Sticks Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cheese stick)
Calories 142 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Trans Fat 0.003g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 42mg14%
Sodium 210mg9%
Potassium 29mg1%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 192IU4%
Vitamin C 0.004mg0%
Calcium 139mg14%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


To air fry: Spritz the breaded, frozen cheese sticks with oil, then air fry at 400°F for about 5 minutes.
Serve these with homemade marinara or pizza sauce!

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

What was your favorite “bad” food before switching to a real food diet? Do you like cheese sticks? Share below!


Become a VIP member!

Get access to my VIP newsletter with health tips, special deals, my free ebook on Seven Small Easy Habits and so much more!

Easy Habits ebook on ipad

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


38 responses to “Healthy Fried Cheese Sticks”

  1. Andy Avatar

    Sounds tasty, but missing the part where they are healthy? Regular Mozz cheese, plus still frying them? Have you tried something like Lisanatti Mozz “cheese”? That would lower the fat content a little bit.. and then maybe baking them with a spray of oil around the breading? Just my thoughts.

  2. amy Avatar

    We make GF cheese sticks at home too. I find it a timesaver to just use organic string cheese, I normally bake them instead of frying.

  3. Kathi Avatar

    5 stars
    I have used a recipe similar to this to make other foods also. Think chicken tenders (chicken nuggets), fish sticks, breaded veges (the really hard solid ones need to be steamed a little first) etc.. Almost any fried foods version can be lightened up and cooked this way. Just change up your spices to fit into your taste preferences.

  4. Tanya Avatar

    Where do you find “healthy” cheese? What do you look for and not look for in cheese?

  5. Jen Petrus Avatar
    Jen Petrus

    5 stars
    Do you think I could re-freeze them after breading them, so they would be ready to pull from the freezer and go in the fryer at a later time?

  6. Aneah Avatar

    How many times do you re-use the tallow for frying before you discard it? thanks

  7. Mirna Avatar

    I really like your site. I think this recipe is great too.. Thank you.. I substitute almonds with grated Parmesan cheese, roll the sticks and freeze for two hours before frying.

4.20 from 5 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating