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air fryer frozen mozzarella sticks

Air Fryer Frozen Mozzarella Sticks (Keto, Low Carb)

Summer Yule
These keto mozzarella sticks made with pork rinds have only 1.4 grams of net carbs per serving!
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine French
Servings 10
Calories 125 kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 mozzarella cheese sticks
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pork panko
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • marinara sauce (for dipping)

Instructions

  • Note: Start this recipe at least 3-4 hours before it’s time to eat. The low carb mozzarella sticks need time to freeze.
  • Cut the mozzarella sticks in half widthwise. You should now have 10 mini cheese sticks.
  • Get out three medium-sized bowls. In the first bowl, stir together the almond flour and salt. In the second bowl, whisk together the eggs. In bowl three, stir together the pork panko, garlic powder, parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary.
  • Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Dip each mozzarella stick in the almond flour, the egg, and then the pork panko mixture (in that order). Then go through the steps again, breading the coated mozzarella stick with another layer of almond flour, egg, and panko. (Watch the video below!)
  • Make sure that the cheese sticks are completely coated, with no cheese peeking through. I like to pat the pork panko mixture on with my hands, it helps it to stick better. 
  • Put the mozzarella sticks that have been coated twice on the lined baking tray in a single non-touching layer. 
  • Freeze the tray of mozzarella sticks for 2-4 hours or more. Do not skip this step!
  • Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Keep the air fryer trays or air fryer basket in the air fryer so they get hot.
  • Once heated, carefully remove a tray (or basket) from the air fryer. Place the frozen cheese sticks on the tray in a single, non-touching layer. I was able to fit them all of the frozen breaded mozzarella sticks on one tray. 
  • Put the tray in the top rack position in the air fryer (closest to the heating element). Air fry for 3 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Then carefully flip the mozzarella sticks over and air fry them for an additional 3 minutes at 400°F (200°C). 
  • Let them cool 3-5 minutes before serving. Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Notes

This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Why did I make a recipe that’s only 125 calories and 1.4 grams of net carbs per serving level 3? That would be because I know it is pretty unrealistic to expect anyone will eat just one or two of these. (Truth time: I seriously snarfed like 4-5 of these and called it lunch. Haha) 
This recipe is very energy dense, high in fat from both the crushed pork rinds and the cheese. You’re not getting a good balance of macros from this recipe. Just because a recipe is keto does not automatically mean it is good for weight loss. 
If I had breaded these cheese sticks with whole grain breadcrumbs instead of pork panko and almond flour, it would actually be lower in calories. You’d lose out on some protein, but gain a smidge of fiber from whole grains.  
So, does that mean cheese sticks breaded with whole grains are better? Honestly, not really.  
I know I could eat my weight in both keto and regular mozzarella sticks. Many find it difficult to eat an appropriately-sized portion of cheese when it is served in the form of cheese sticks. Something about the explosion of crispy, salty, melty, cheesy goodness makes this treat a difficult one to resist! 
If you did want to balance this one out a bit more, add a large salad with leafy greens on the side. If you choose a light dressing, you’ll get a lot more filling volume into your meal for few calories. This tip should work regardless of the weight loss approach you have chosen (keto, calorie tracking, etc.). 
 Seasoning for the pork panko was adapted from this Taste of Home recipe.
Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe and does not include marinara sauce. Carbohydrates listed are net carbs (total carbs minus fiber). Nutrition information below assumes only about half of the almond flour has been used. 

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 1.7gProtein: 11.5gFat: 8.6gSaturated Fat: 2.8gSodium: 405.6mgFiber: 0.4gVitamin A: 2.1% DVVitamin C: 0.1% DVCalcium: 11.2% DVIron: 1.2% DV
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