TGI Friday’s Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

TGI Friday’s Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks are a classic appetizer that has been served up at the restaurant for a long time. Now you can make these fried cheese sticks at home.

copycat TGI Friday's Fried Mozzarella Sticks and marinara sauce on a platter

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For pure decadence, it is hard to beat fried mozzarella cheese sticks. Twice-coated in seasoned bread crumbs to seal in the gooey goodness and then fried to a golden brown crisp, these cheese sticks are the perfect starter or snack for anyone who can’t decide between ordering french fries or pizza. This cheese sticks recipe will take you back in time to TGI Fridays during the heady 80s when tiny things like fat and calories didn’t get in the way of a delicious idea. While this dish is certainly not something you should eat every day, it is excellent for an occasional indulgence.

What Type of Mozzarella Should You Use

There are some genuinely outstanding mozzarellas that you definitely should try, but just not in this cheese sticks recipe. Save your fresh burrata mozzarella for another time and opt instead to use a small block of standard pizza-quality cheese. Choose a full-fat version since cheese with reduced-fat have a different melting point and can develop an odd texture when hot.

How to Fry Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Many people get intimidated when it comes to deep-frying, but it isn’t as scary as it seems. The key to successful frying is to make sure the oil is at the correct temperature, 350 degrees for this recipe.

The best way of maintaining the proper oil temperature is by using a deep fryer, but if you don’t have one, you can always use a heavy-bottom pan and a good thermometer. Fry the mozzarella sticks in small batches to keep the oil hot. Remember to allow time for the oil to come up to temperature again between batches.

When you take the mozzarella sticks out of the fryer, put them on paper towels to remove any excess oil.

Super Sauces for TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks

It would be a culinary tragedy to serve fried cheese sticks without any dipping sauce. But when it comes to sauce, you have a lot of options. The traditionalists will demand a tomato sauce of some kind. Many people like a marinara sauce for its chunkiness; others think a marinara sauce is too sweet and prefer a pomodoro sauce because of its tartness. Of course, you can do away with tradition and choose other sauces if you want.

  • Sriracha Dipping Sauce Mix an equal amount of sriracha and mayonnaise for a spicy kick.
  • Hot Beef Gravy This unique dip idea brings the flavors of a Philly cheesesteak to your mozzarella sticks.
  • Thai Dipping Sauce This pungent and spicy dip from Yummly, takes your mozzarella sticks into a totally new global direction.
  • Ranch Sauce Everything, yes, everything is better with ranch!

Tips for Making and Serving Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

  • Serve alongside some vegetables. Especially if you are preparing this recipe for your kids, you can make it a little more healthy by serving in a few pieces of raw carrots and celery alongside the fried cheese sticks.
  • Try freezing before frying. If you have trouble with the cheese oozing out, even after coating in two layers of breadcrumbs, freezing the cheese sticks can help. Freeze in a single layer just until the coating is frozen.

Check out all of our other TGI Fridays recipes on YouTube!


Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Mozzarella cheese
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
TGI Friday's fried mozzarella sticks ingredients

Ingredient and Recipe Tips

Do not use the buffalo style mozzarella because it will be too soft. Buy brick mozzarella cheese and it will work just fine.

You can use any type of frying oil. Peanut oil is my personal preference. I have used canola, vegetable oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil all with good results.

If you don’t have a deep fryer you can use a 2-quart pot. Simply add enough oil to your pot so that it has about three inches of oil.

Only fry a couple of cheese sticks at a time. This will keep the oil from cooling off too much. If the oil cools off too much the cheese sticks will absorb oil and become greasy.

How to Make TGI Friday’s Mozzarella Sticks

  1. Cut cheese into 3/8-inch thick slices.
  2. Blend together the flour and cornstarch in a bowl.
  3. Place cheese slices into the flour, then dip into milk, and then dip into the breadcrumbs.
  4. Shake off excess breadcrumbs and place mozzarella sticks on a wire rack.
    mozzarella with one coat of breading
  5. Repeat until all cheese sticks have been dipped once.
  6. Dip cheese sticks back into milk then into bread crumbs for a second time. Shake off the bread crumbs.
    breaded mozzarella ready for deep frying
  7. Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
  8. Drop a few cheese sticks into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  9. Remove cheese sticks from oil and place them on a wire rack.
  10. Serve fried mozzarella cheese sticks with your favorite marinara sauce.
homemade TGI Friday's fried mozzarella cheese sticks and marinara sauce

Love TGI Friday’s? Try these copycat recipes!

Favorite Cheese Appetizer Recipes

Check out more of my easy appetizer recipes and the best copycat recipes for casual dining restaurants here on CopyKat!

copycat TGI Friday's Fried Mozzarella Sticks and marinara sauce on a platter

TGI Friday’s Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Fried mozzarella cheese sticks are one of the most popular appetizers out there. You can make and enjoy these from TGI Fridays at home.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheese Recipes, Fried Cheese, Fried Mozzarella Sticks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 751kcal


  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Cut cheese into long slices approximately 3/8 inch thick.
  • Blend together the flour and cornstarch in a bowl.  
  • Place a cheese slice into the flour, then dip into a bowl of whole milk, and then dip into the breadcrumbs.
  • Shake off excess breadcrumbs and place mozzarella stick on a wire rack.
  • Repeat until all cheese sticks have been dipped once. Discard the flour.
  • Place cheese sticks back into milk, then into bread crumbs for the second time, and shake off the bread crumbs.
  • Heat vegetable oil to 350 for frying.
  • Drop a few cheese sticks into hot oil and fry until golden brown. This should take no longer than 1 minute.
  • Remove cheese sticks from the oil and place them on a wire rack.
  • Repeat frying in batches with remaining breaded cheese sticks.
  • Serve with your favorite marinara sauce.



Calories: 751kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 1540mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 980IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 755mg | Iron: 4.9mg

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's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Queen

    5 stars
    I tried these out and they came out wonderfully. The only thing is that I added some egg to make some sort of egg/milk mixture. Thanks!!

  2. Elliot Adams

    I’m glad this is a recipe for the original Friday’s cheese sticks. Please don’t change it. Friday’s uses a different recipe now and it’s awful. They’ve added Asiago cheese. It’s been that way for over a year, maybe longer. I don’t know anyone who likes the new ones judging from web comments. So thanks for leaving this original recipe here please!

  3. Pinksparkles

    Ours were a disaster! Didn’t taste anything like the TGI ones and we followed your recipe 🙁 they were v disappointing and just bluergh!

  4. Mel

    Why do you use milk instead of eggs to add the bread to the mozzarellas? Is any difference between using one or the another?

    • stephaniemanley

      They do result in a different texture in the batter. I felt milk was the better choice here, I believe it results in a coating that doesn’t “fluff” up as much as what I think egg can.

  5. Carle Meier

    I can’t find this ANYWHERE…Salmon Oscar recipe from Saltgrass Steakhouse. PLEASE tell me you can find it?! 🙁 -Deprived of my favorite and broke. LOL

    • Stephanie

      I did not, I think with the double coating it works out well. I did not chill for the video, and you can see when I made jalapeno poppers live, and in the video similar batter technique got me very similar results.

5 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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