Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella Sticks

If you like Olive Garden fried mozzarella, you have probably wanted to make it at home! It’s one of the most popular dishes on the Olive Garden menu. Now you can make fried cheese sticks at home with this copycat recipe!

copycat Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella Sticks on a wood board.

Triangle Mozzarella Sticks Recipe Just Like Olive Garden

Families have been going to the Olive Garden since it opened in 1982. But it didn’t take long for the Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella to make an impression and become a fan favorite.

These fried cheese sticks or triangles are made with tons of mozzarella cheese and a combination of Italian breadcrumbs and seasonings. They are cut into triangles to make it easy to dip each corner into your favorite marinara sauce.

These ooey, gooey and cheesy mozzarella sticks are so easy to make at home. The key is to make sure the cheese is hard enough to cut in the shape of a triangle.

What Makes This Recipe for Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella so Good? 

Sure, you can buy a package of frozen fried mozzarella sticks at your local grocery store for a few bucks. But, unless you like dried-out and rubbery cheese, the extra expense and effort to make this mozzarella sticks recipe at home is worth it.

When you use fresh mozzarella and high-quality breadcrumbs, the results are even better than you can get in most restaurants. 

What Is the Difference Between Fried Mozzarella and Mozzarella Sticks? 

Not much. As long as you are breading and deep-frying the mozzarella, the shape doesn’t matter. However, it is possible to fry mozzarella cheese without any breading, just like halloumi. See below to learn how. 

Mozzarella Stick Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Italian Breadcrumbs
  • Garlic Salt
  • Italian Seasonings
  • Flour
  • Cornstarch
ingredients to make fried mozzarella sticks: mozzarella, bread crumbs, flour, eggs, and more

How to Make Fried Mozzarella Sticks Like Olive Garden

Here are the simple recipe steps to make these tasty cheese sticks:

  1. Cut the mozzarella cheese into thick slices and then, if desired, into triangles.
sliced and chilled mozzarella cheese
  1. Mix together eggs and water and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, garlic salt, and Italian seasonings.
  3. In a third bowl, combine the flour and cornstarch.
  4. Dip the cheese in the flour/cornstarch, then the eggs, followed up with the breadcrumb mixture.
breaded cheese slices on a wire rack.
  1. Heat oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Fry the cheese sticks until golden brown.
  3. Serve immediately with marinara sauce.
homemade Olive Garden fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce on a wood board.

Tips for Making Fried Mozzarella Cheese

  • Chill the cheese before battering to help ensure it doesn’t melt in during the frying.
  • Paneer, Queso Blanco, or Hallumoini are also great for deep frying as they have high melting points.
  • Bread cheese completely. Ensuring the cheese is well-battered is helpful so the cheese does not ooze out of the coating.
  • Do not fry too many pieces at once as the oil temperature may drop too much. You should fry a few pieces at a time.

What Goes Well With Mozzarella Sticks?

While most people enjoy dipping their fried mozzarella in marinara sauce, there are other sauces to try.

How to Store and Reheat Olive Garden Mozzarella Sticks 

The best way to store fried mozzarella sticks is in the freezer, but they will last a few days in the fridge.

There are several ways to reheat pre-cooked mozzarella sticks, but the most common way is in the oven.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees to reheat refrigerated mozzarella sticks, or 450 degrees, if they are frozen.
  2. Spread out the mozzarella sticks on a wire rack
  3. Place the wire rack onto a baking tray and put it in the oven. Bake five to 10 minutes for refrigerated mozzarella sticks and 10 to 20 minutes for frozen ones. 

Another excellent method is using an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray the mozzarella sticks lightly with canola oil and put them in the air fryer, leaving space between each.
  3. Reheat refrigerated mozzarella sticks for five minutes and increase the time to 8 to 10 minutes if they are frozen.

Can You Freeze Homemade Mozzarella Sticks? 

Yes, you can freeze uncooked mozzarella sticks. In fact, some people always freeze mozzarella sticks before frying to prevent the cheese from melting too quickly.

To freeze uncooked mozzarella sticks:

  1. Spread the breaded mozzarella out in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. 
  2. Put the uncovered tray in the freezer for about two hours or until they’re frozen solid.
  3. Transfer the mozzarella sticks to a freezer bag or container. Keep in the freezer for up to three months. 

You can use the same method to freeze cooked mozzarella sticks made using unfrozen cheese. You should never refreeze food twice. 

Should Mozzarella Sticks Be Frozen Before Frying? 

Cooks have very strong opinions about whether the proper way of making fried mozzarella sticks requires freezing them first. The majority of people seem to fall on the ‘freeze first’ side of the debate, but the truth is that it depends on the thickness of the breading.

Mozzarella sticks with a thin coating don’t need to be frozen beforehand, but if you like a thicker, crunchier exterior, an hour or two in the freezer will help stop the cheese from oozing out while frying.

Fried Mozzarella Olive Garden FAQ

What Is Fried Mozzarella at Olive Garden? 

Fried mozzarella is a popular appetizer at the Olive Garden. The restaurant serves its breaded and fried mozzarella with marinara sauce. 

How Many Calories Are in Mozzarella Sticks from Olive Garden? 

According to a nutritional menu, the fried mozzarella Olive Garden customers love contains 800 calories as served in the restaurant without any additional sauce. This recipe’s version of fried mozzarella sticks has about 660 calories per serving without sauce. 

What Happens If You Don’t Freeze Mozzarella Sticks? 

The unfrozen cheese may overheat and bubble through the coating depending on your cooking method and the thickness of the breading.  

Can You Fry Mozzarella Without Breading?

Many people wonder if you can fry mozzarella cheese without any heavy coating, and the answer is, yes, you can. Breadless mozzarella sticks are a great option if you follow a keto diet or want to cut out unnecessary carbs and calories. To make fried mozzarella without any breading:

  1. Cut the mozzarella cheese into about half-inch slices. Pat dry.
  2. Season both sides of the mozzarella slices with salt and pepper.
  3. At this point, you have a decision to make. Do you want to go completely naked, or do you want a thin eggless coating? Both options work, but a quick dip in cornstarch creates an extra crunchy exterior and doesn’t add a lot of calories.
  4. Pour a quarter-inch of canola oil into a non-stick skillet and heat over a medium burner. 
  5. When hot, carefully add the cheese and cook until golden brown, about two minutes per side. 
  6. Drain on a paper towel and serve while still warm. 
overhead view of homemade Olive Garden fried mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce on a board.

Love cheesy appetizers? Try these recipes!

Be sure to check out more of my easy appetizer recipes and the best Olive Garden copycat recipes here on CopyKat.com!

What’s your favorite appetizer?  Let me know in the comments below.

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homemade Olive Garden fried mozzarella sticks and a cup of marinara sauce on a wood board.

Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella Sticks

Enjoy this easy to make Olive Garden Fried Mozzarella Sticks recipe. This appetizer is even better when made at home.
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Olive Garden Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 661kcal


  • 16 ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoons Italian seasonings
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch


  • If your cheese is in a brick, slice it thick and cut the cheese crossways to make triangles. Beat the eggs with water and set aside. Mix the bread crumbs, garlic salt, and Italian seasonings and set aside. Blend the flour with cornstarch and set aside.
  • Heat vegetable oil for deep frying to 360 degrees. 
  • Dip cheese in flour and cornstarch blend, then in egg wash and coat with breadcrumbs.
  • Place cheese carefully in hot oil and fry until golden; this takes just a few seconds so watch carefully. When golden, remove from hot oil and drain.
  • Serve with your favorite Italian spaghetti sauce and enjoy. 



  • You may want to chill the cheese before battering to help ensure it doesn’t melt in during the frying.
  • You can also fry cheeses like Paneer, Queso Blanco, or Hallumoini as they have high melting points.
  • Ensuring the cheese is well-battered is helpful so the cheese does not ooze out of the coating.
  • Do not fry too many pieces at once as the oil temperature may drop too much. You should fry a few pieces at a time.


Calories: 661kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 171mg | Sodium: 1636mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 970IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 678mg | Iron: 4.3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


    • Stephanie

      I think the Cheddar may simply ooze right out. You are going to need a different style of cheese, you would need another cheese that gets stringy when it melts. Off the top of my head, another stringy type of cheese is Swiss cheese.

    • fish

      chedder will work fine. Just put the cheese in the freezer for half an hour first. That will avoid the “ooze out” and give you amazing results.

  1. Tricia Fountain

    5 stars
    These are amazing! I have made them several times. With a lot of recipes I add a pinch of this or that, but these are perfect just as the recipe is stated. Thank you!

  2. Nicole M Bouteiller

    I cant wait to give it a try got a deep fryer for Christmas and having a large family that loves fried mozzarella I hope they will enjoy.thank you Stephanie

  3. Liz Nelson

    5 stars
    I love Fried Mozzarella I thought I would never be able to make it at home! This recipe looks so easy I’m going to try it!

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