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Easy Keto Mozzarella Sticks

Do you love a good cheesy mozzarella stick – but have been skipping out on them because of the carb-filled bread crumbs?  These keto mozzarella sticks have a crispy outside with that classic melty cheese interior – and will fit into your low carb lifestyle!

I don’t know about you all, but back in the day I used to hit up TGI Fridays like it was no one’s business.  My favorite thing to get was their classic appetizer combo, which was a mixture of chicken wings, potato skins, and of course, mozzarella sticks.  Now that I’ve mastered a keto version of chicken wings, I thought it was time to move onto the mozzarella sticks!

A tray of keto mozzarella sticks along with marinara sauce

How to make keto mozzarella sticks

These seriously could not be any easier to make!  You only need a few simple ingredients:

  • String cheese (yes, those same string cheese sticks you had back in elementary school!)
  • Pork rinds
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Egg
  • Oil for frying

Ingredients to make keto mozzarella sticks

That’s it – 6 ingredients.

Once you’ve got everything set aside, you’ll slice your mozzarella sticks in half and pop them in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.  This is kind of a secret trick of the trade!  It will prevent the cheese from melting too much during the frying process.

While those are chilling, you’ll make your breading.  While normal mozzarella sticks are made with refined grains (hello, carbs) – these keto mozzarella sticks are made with a totally different breading.  There’s no flour used; instead you’ll grind up some pork rinds, parmesan, and Italian seasoning in the food processor!

Breading for keto mozzarella sticks made with pork rinds and parmesan

The result is a crispy and flavorful breading, sans carbs.

Then you just dip the cheese sticks in the egg, roll in the breading, and fry them up in some oil.

Alternatives to frying

Not going to lie, these taste the best fried.  I mean, if you want mozzarella sticks, let’s just go all-in, right?

If for some reason you don’t want to fry them, you can try these other cooking methods though:

  • Place in the air fryer at 375 degrees for about 6-7 minutes.
  • Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. (As a warning, it’s more likely that these can melt too much this way).

Dude – what’s up with the smell of pork rinds?

If you are new to using pork rinds for cooking, I’m just going to say it – they don’t smell good.  In fact, I very much dislike the smell.

BUT (here’s the key) the taste is nothing like the smell.  They don’t taste bad on their own at all, and when you combine them here with parmesan and seasonings for breading – you’ll be shocked at how reminiscent this recipe is to your favorite pub-style mozzarella sticks.

A woman's hand holding a low carb mozzarella stick

What to serve with keto mozzarella sticks?

The most common go-to is obviously marinara sauce.  Some of the store-bought marinara sauces have extra added sugar, so I generally just stick with plain canned tomato sauce.  An 1/8 cup serving (2 tablespoons) would be plenty for you to enjoy quite a few of these keto mozzarella sticks, and would only run you 2 grams of carbohydrates.  Just do a small dip to get the flavor and that’s all you need!

Of course, if you want to get more of the traditional marinara flavor, you could go ahead and make try your hand at a keto marinara sauce recipe like this one.  But for just dipping here, I think plain tomato sauce works just fine!

Other keto-friendly options for dipping include:

Dipping a keto mozzarella stick into marinara sauce

I hope you enjoy this delicious snack!  It’s a great option whether you need something to munch on for game day, a party appetizer, or just want some tasty grub on the weekend.

Easy Keto Mozzarella Sticks

These keto mozzarella sticks have a crispy outside with that classic melty cheese interior – and will fit into your low carb lifestyle!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time18 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: keto mozzarella sticks, low carb mozzarella sticks
Servings: 16 mozzarella sticks
Calories: 89kcal
Author: Yummy Keto Cooking

Ingredients

  • 8 mozzarella string cheese sticks cut in half
  • 2 cups pork rinds
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  • Slice 8 mozzarella string cheese sticks in half and place in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.
  • While the cheese sticks are in the freezer, place your pork rinds into a food processor along with your parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Pulse it a few times until it looks like coarse panko breading. Place it in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
  • Whisk the egg in a separate bowl. Place that bowl next to the breading mixture.
  • When the cheese sticks are ready to be cooked, pour oil in a frying pan (enough oil so that it’s about half an inch deep) and place over medium heat.
  • When the oil is hot, dip each cheese stick in the egg mixture then roll in the pork rind breading. Place in the oil. Repeat with the remaining cheese sticks, working in two batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
  • Cook each mozzarella stick for about 1-2 minutes per side, or until outside is golden brown and the inside is a bit melty. Enjoy right away with your favorite low-carb marinara or tomato sauce.

Notes

I don’t measure the temperature of the oil, but you’ll know it’s the right temperature if the outside gets golden brown while the inside gets a little melty. If the outside starts to burn while the inside is still hard, the oil is too hot. If you drop them in the pan and they don’t start to sizzle a bit, the oil is too low.
Nutrition Facts:
The nutrition analysis on this recipe is difficult, due to the lack of data on how much oil is absorbed. These nutrition facts assume 25% oil absorption (estimating around 1/4 cup across the entire batch) and also accounts for the fact that there is about 30-40% of the breading still remaining at the end.
Approximate per mozzarella stick:
89 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 0.5 g carbohydrate (0.5 g net carbs), 5.3 g protein, Vitamin A: 2%, Vitamin C: 0%, Calcium: 12%, Iron: 1%

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