One of the benefits of a keto diet is all the amazing, delicious meals. But you know what doesn’t get enough credit? The snacks! And while we love creating keto recipes dishes like burgers and pizza, nothing excited us more than being able to replicate a classic pub snack. Enter our Keto Mozzarella Sticks recipe.
Whether you want to impress your friends for game night or need to elevate your 3 o’clock snack, these Keto Mozzarella Sticks are just perfect. They’re crispy on the outside, perfectly gooey on the inside, and are the perfect keto low-carb substitute for your favorite breaded dipper.
Are Mozzarella Sticks Keto?
For a lot of people on this diet, keto is all about the cheese. So it would make sense that a snack that’s made from sticks of cheese is keto-approved, right?
Sadly, regular mozzarella sticks are coated in a high-carb crumbing. Like most breaded foods, even one piece could put your daily carb limit in jeopardy – and if you’ve ever eaten mozzarella sticks, you know it’s pretty much impossible to stop at just one!
Luckily, we’ve managed to make mozzarella sticks low-carb, and they’re just as delicious. Giving up fried food on keto? Not with these low-carb mozzarella sticks.
What Makes These Mozzarella Sticks So Great?
It’s not always easy replicating breaded foods on a low-carb keto diet, but we’re proud to say we think we’ve nailed it with this low-carb mozzarella sticks recipe. The texture and flavor are so close to the “real deal” that you might just be able to fool your next non-keto guests!
Their authenticity and low net carbs aren’t the only things that make these mozzarella sticks keto (and downright amazing). Check it out.
They’re Gluten and Nut-Free
These mozzarella sticks aren’t just for people on a keto diet. They’re also suitable for people who are gluten-free due to a gluten allergy or intolerance. If you’re gluten-free, chances are you’ve been missing out on the breaded snacks!
Plus, we don’t use almond flour in the gluten-free breading, which makes them nut-free, too. To bread the cheese sticks, we’ve instead used coconut flour, another low-carb flour that also happens to be considerably cheaper than almond flour.
That’s right – keto cheese sticks that are allergy and budget-friendly!
They Pack Some Impressive Flavor
The humble mozzarella stick might be an American classic, but it’s got a signature Italian flavor profile – and we’re not talking about the mozzarella or classic marinara sauce.
We’ve used classic Italian seasoning in the gluten-free breading mix that’s subtle, but enough to remind you of a flavorsome slice of margarita pizza. No wonder these keto cheese sticks are so hard to resist.
You probably don’t think of Keto Mozzarella Sticks as the most health-conscious snack choice. But did you know that mozzarella cheese is high in protein?
It’s true. 100 grams of mozzarella cheese typically has around 26 grams of protein. And protein is filling – one study suggests a potential link between eating a high-protein snack and consuming fewer calories later in the day.
In other words, these mozzarella sticks may just stop you from going overboard with the rest of the snacks later on in the game.
Want to know the secret to an extra-crunchy coating? We’ve double-coated these mozzarella sticks in the eggwash and breadcrumb mixture to create a double coating. This also helps to prevent the cheese from melting through the breading. This is one dish where double-dipping is allowed!
They Use The Perfect Keto “Breading”
In our opinion, pork rinds are the perfect gluten-free breading – and not only for cheese sticks. This underrated but versatile ingredient has a mild taste and adds that perfect “crunch” that’s often lacking in gluten-free breading that only uses flour.
For another keto recipe that uses pork rinds for crumbing, try these Easy Homemade Chicken Fries.
Step By Step Instructions
Follow these instructions for the best keto mozzarella sticks. These can be made in the oven or fried in oil. They definitely taste better fried, but either option will get you the tasty low carb mozzarella sticks you’ve been craving.
The list of ingredients needed for this mozzarella stick recipe is pretty straightforward. You’ll want mozzarella string cheese, herbs and spices, ground pork rinds, coconut flour, eggs, heavy cream, and oil for frying.
We’ve found “part-skim” string cheese to work the best in this recipe due to its lower fat content. This helps the cheese stay together long enough for the protective shell to form when frying or baking.
Freeze the String Cheese
While this step isn’t mandatory, it definitely helps to use frozen string cheese in this recipe. If you use room temperature string cheese it will melt before the coating has a chance to form. Using frozen mozzarella cheese is the best way to ensure you get the pub style mozzarella sticks you’re looking for.
Coating the Mozzarella Sticks
These are the key steps to making this recipe. We will be using 3 different stations to coat the mozzarella sticks in order to achieve a thick crispy exterior.
The first step is to dip the plain mozzarella sticks into the egg and heavy cream mixture.
Next dip the mozzarella cheese into the coconut flour. This creates a dry surface for the pork rinds to stick to. The pork rinds are what give this recipe a crunch!
Dip into the egg mixture again. Now we’re starting to build a nice exterior layer.
Lastly, dip the mozzarella sticks into the flavorful ground pork rind mixture. If you did the previous steps right you should have no problem getting the pork rind mixture to stick to the cheese sticks.
Time to Fry
To fry these keto mozzarella sticks we like to use a cast iron skillet and go for a “pan fried” method. This means putting enough oil into the pan to cover the mozzarella sticks about half way up.
For frying oils we like to use tallow, ghee, lard, coconut oil or avocado oil. Whatever you prefer is fine, we just like to avoid refined vegetable and seed oils.
Turn the mozzarella sticks once after cooking for 3-5 minutes. Allow them to cook completely until you get a crispy exterior. Place onto a plate with a paper towel to allow the oil to drain away.
Tips for Making Low-Carb Mozzarella Sticks
If you truly want to have the best snacks for game night, you’re going to need to pull out all the stops. Try some of these sneaky hacks and see your Keto Mozzarella Sticks become an instant party hit.
Experiment with Different Flavors
Don’t be afraid to change up the seasonings in your breading mix. We’ve used Italian seasoning, but you could always go for a Moroccan blend or even something on the spicy side.
If you’re feeling extra cheesy, try adding a little grated parmesan cheese to the mixture. You can never have enough cheese.
Try Them Air-Fried
While frying your Keto Mozzarella Sticks will produce the crispiest end result, you can also try baking them in the oven – or the air fryer if you’re lucky enough to own one.
If you’re really in the mood for fried food, try these crispy keto french fries!
An air fryer will use less oil, which means you’ll be able to make them a little less calorie-dense. Nothing encourages party guests to chow down on the snacks more than the reassurance that they’re lower calorie, right?
Air Frying? Embrace the Oil
Here’s a tip: adding a drizzle of oil when cooking in the air fryer will help make your Keto Mozzarella Sticks nice and crispy! It’s the oldest keto trick in the book.
Don’t Forget the Sauce
A good mozzarella stick is nothing without low-carb marinara sauce for dipping. For a brand that’s low in net carbs, we use Rao’s.
Choosing the Right Oil for Frying
Pan-frying rather than baking your Keto Mozzarella Sticks in the oven or air fryer? It’s important to choose the right oil.
We recommend using healthy oils that have a high smoke point suitable for frying. Some of our favorites include:
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Lard or tallow
How to Stop Your Cheese Sticks from Melting
You might be wondering how you’re supposed to bake or fry your Keto Mozzarella Sticks without them turning into melted puddles of liquid cheese. The secret? Put your cheese sticks in the freezer first!
By freezing the cheese sticks before breading and cooking, they’ll slowly heat up in the oven or pan as the breading cooks, but without reaching a messy melting point. The double breading also helps to contain all that delicious, gooey cheese.
Keep in mind that if you try searching the store for frozen keto low-carb mozzarella sticks, you’re only going to find the pre-breaded (and high-carb) versions. Instead, look for string cheese – the kind you might buy for a kid’s lunchbox.
These low-carb keto mozzarella sticks are the perfect easy keto snack for so many occasions, from game nights to parties to movie marathons – or even just a midnight snack attack!
Avoid lonely Keto Mozzarella Sticks by adding a few more players into the mix. Try out some of our easy keto recipes that are perfect for game night:
- Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers – a keto twist on a classic snack with bite.
- Homemade Keto Crackers – once you pop, you will NOT be able to stop.
- Easy No Bake Cookies – the perfect sweet treat to go along with a big gameday spread.
- Cauliflower Mac N Cheese – that’s right, mac n cheese is back on the menu!
- Keto Air Fryer Biscuits– an easy keto recipe that the whole team will love.
Feel free to add a little variety with your dipping sauces, too. While marinara and mozzarella sticks go together like PB and J, why not offer extra keto-friendly options alongside your low-carb marinara sauce? Some ideas include aioli, queso, or even a fiery hot sauce.
Keto Mozzarella Sticks
Preparing the Mozzarella Sticks
- In a medium sized bowl mix together the heavy cream and eggs. Set aside.
- Using a blender, grind the pork rinds into a fine powder. Then mix the crushed pork rinds and spices together in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
- Add your coconut flour to another medium sized bowl.
- Dip the frozen cheese sticks into the egg mixture, shaking off any excess. Immediately dip and batter with coconut flour.
- Then dip into the egg mixture again before finally dipping into the pork rind mixture to form a thick coating around the cheese stick.
- Heat the oven to 400F
- Place the breaded cheese sticks on a greased baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Then broil on low for a final 1-3 minutes.
- Heat your shallow layer of oil until it is hot enough to sizzle a mozzarella stick when dipped, but not hot enough to create smoke.
- Once oil is hot, place in your mozzarella sticks and fry for 30 seconds a side, about 2-3 minutes total. They should be a dark golden brown, but not burnt.
- Serve and enjoy. Recipe can be stored in fridge for 5 days. Reheat in the oven for 5 minutes at 400 degrees
Matt is a former college basketball player turned computer engineer who discovered his passion for health and nutrition after cutting sugar from his diet in 2016. That year he founded KetoConnect with Megha in order to share their ketogenic lifestyle through recipes, videos, and educational content. Matt is always seeking to grow and try new things, a passion he shares with his wife and two amazing sons.