Fried Provolone or Mozzarella Sticks

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Fried Cheese using Provolone or Mozzarella is my favorite Italian appetizer of all time.

These cheese sticks are delicious before-dinner snacks, party food, and one of the requests for me to make during gameday gatherings.

The coating is very easy to make in our step-by-step instructions and you're going to love all that crunch with melted cheese oozing out and then dipped in the marinara sauce as an appetizer..

You may be more familiar with fried cheese sticks being made with mozzarella only but provolone has a stronger bold taste and it's my favorite of the two kinds of cheese.

Well, I am here to tell you both are fabulous, and it's a hard decision to choose which is better since we are talking about crunchy melted-fried cheese right?!

I happened to be introduced to the provolone version long ago at a favorite restaurant in Utica NY.

Back in the 1980s, there was a little place in Charlestown Mall that had a restaurant that had them on their menu.

When I saw them I was a little skeptical since they were always made with mozzarella, at least that's what I thought back then.

The soft provolone melty cheese was superb and better than anything I ever had, I decided to venture out and make a copycat of them and the first bite gave me a flood of wonderful memories because this was perfect as I remembered them!

The marinara is freshly made and I also use my recipe for fried cauliflower, fried zucchini and of course another family favorite, panzarotti.

Scroll down and follow my easy copycat printable recipe for Fried Provolone Cheese Sticks.

A Whole Meal By Themselves

Like I said before, they are addicting and filling.

Appetizers for me, are a whole dinner in itself, I can just make these with fresh marinara, rip off a chunk of Italian bread and I'm good to go!

These are the perfect replica, you will just have to try them to believe me.

Of course, you can stick to using mozzarella or any other cheeses that melt easily, however, I am pretty sure you will be hooked on these delicious provolone sticks like I was!

These are deep fried provolone sticks and how to make them from scratch along with marinara sauce in the back to dip them in. they are sitting on a crystal see through plate

Fried Cheeses

Deep-fried cheese has been said to originate in Paris, France in the 15th century.

However, recipes for breaded cheese sticks can be traced back to 1393.

The original recipe called for the use of Muenster cheese instead of Mozzarella, but the rest, as they say, is history.

Whatever cheese you decide to try, you won't be sorry, this recipe is spot on the best ever!!

this is a pan of homemade marinara sauce

My Hometown Style

Back in the late 1980s, my first fried cheese was soft sharp provolone.

I will never forget the first bite dipped into that fragrant fresh-tasting marinara sauce  (shown above) at the Charlestown Mall in Utica, N.Y. with all the gooey melted provolone cheese, it was epic.

Back then I saw only fried mozzarella sticks on the menus around town, but when I tried provolone deep-fried, that was it, love at first bite!

This became a copycat recipe of what is now a long-gone establishment of the best memories I had eating fried provolone.

Setting up a Dipping Station (you will need 3 bowls)

  • This is easy, the station consists of 3 bowls or you can shake them in plastic bags.
  • Slice a full brick of cheese into long 2-inch wide pieces.
  • Easy assembly line with directions to make things easier when in order for your breading station.
  • Dip in flour, egg then breadcrumbs last

Cheeses to use

  • provolone
  • mozzarella
  • swiss
  • cheddar
  • Colby
  • cheese curds
  • queso blanco
  •  halloumi
  • paneer
  • bread cheese
  • flavored cheddars

Japanese panko bread crumbs in a bowl

Ingredients You Will Need Fried Provolone or Mozzarella Sticks

  • sharp soft provolone, fresh mozzarella, or other soft cheese in block form
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • flour
  • eggs 
  • Italian middles of bread cut up in pieces
  • Japanese-style panko bread crumbs
  • Parmesan/ Romano blended grated cheese
  • minced cloves of garlic
  • granulated garlic powder
  • fresh parsley chopped
  • dried oregano
  •  salt
  • black pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Marinara sauce for dipping

This is sticks of cheese cut up on a white cutting board. The block of sharp provolone cheese is being cut with a sharp Wilkinson knife

Tools You Will Need

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Deep bowls or plastic bags
  • Pie plate
  • Frying pan or deep fryer
  • Tongs or fork
  • Paper towels
  • Parchment paper or wax paper

these are eggs beaten with a wire whip in a corning wear dish


  • Freezing these on parchment paper for 1 hour helps keep the coating on
  • Make sure the oil is hot enough and sizzles before adding the cheese sticks test with a piece of bread
  • Turn them only once and make sure the bottom is brown first before flipping them
  • Do not overcook the cheese or it will burst open
  • If you would like to bake them or air fry them spray each one with cooking oil first
  • Place each dipped stick on wax paper until all of them are coated and ready to fry

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Fried Provolone or Mozzarella Sticks

Yield: 12
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 1 Mtotal time: 21 M
Italian deep-fried cheese is one of the most delicious appetizers on the planet. Then dipped into a homemade marinara sauce, these fried cheese sticks are totally addicting.


  • 1 lb block of sharp soft provolone fresh mozzarella or other soft cheese you like
  • into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch then sliced into flat style sticks as shown
  • Vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs whisked together 
  • 3 pieces Italian middles of bread cut up in pieces
  • 1 cup Japanese-style panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan/ Romano blended grated cheese
  •  extra cheese, grated for garnishing
  • 2 finely minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Marinara sauce for dipping


How to cook Fried Provolone or Mozzarella Sticks

  1. Heat a deep fry pan or use a deep fryer to medium heat.
  2. Place the bread, breadcrumbs, Parmesan blended cheese, garlic fresh and granulated, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl of a food processor.
  3. Pulse leaving a few coarse crumbs.
  4. Place three medium-sized bowls filled with the flour, one with eggs and the last with the bread crumbs from the food processor bowl or you can shake them in a large baggie after dipping in egg.
  5. Roll the sticks of provolone or mozzarella into flour, then egg, and lastly into the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. I like to repeat the egg and breadcrumbs twice to be a thicker bread coating, this is optional.
  7. Place the cheese on parchment paper as you make them or wax paper.
  8. Using tongs or a fork, add the cheese into preheated oil not touching or crowded.
  9. Fry until brown on one side, (the bottom edges looks browned) and turn them gently.
  10. It takes around 3 minutes to cook them.
  11. Drain on paper towel.
  12. Place on a plate served with marinara and sprinkled with grated cheese.
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fired provolone, fried mozzarella, fried cheese, appetizer recipes
appetizer recipes, Italian appetizers, cheese recipes
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These are deep fried provolone sticks and how to make them from scratch along with marinara sauce in the back to dip them in. they are sitting on a crystal see through plate

1 comment

  1. I LOVE LOVE cheese sticks! These look so yummy, Claudia. Thanks for sharing your recipe.


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