Mozzarella Schnitzel

September 20, 2021
15 Ratings
Photo by Photographer: Julia Gartland Prop Stylist: Gerri Williams Food Stylist: Kate Buckens
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • serves 1
Author Notes

Like a mozzarella stick if someone sat on it by accident. Flattening the shape means more crunchy-crunch and the same molten, melty middle. It also means that the whole process becomes way easier, simple enough to whip up for a weeknight dinner or even a weekday lunch. No meat-pounding, no deep-frying, no fuss. The secret is pre-sliced, low-moisture mozzarella. When you stack a few pieces, you end up with a cutlet lookalike—the cheater’s version of sliced, pounded veal, as in traditional wiener schnitzel. Serve this with a bright, peppy salad (say, arugula with lemon juice or radicchio with sherry vinegar). And if you want to serve two instead of one, easy-peasy: Just double the amount of mozzarella, make two cheese stacks, and double the amount of panko. Everything else can stay the same. —Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

These super-sized mozzarella sticks are perfect atop a salad (ala fried goat cheese), in a sandwich with a spicy mustard, or on their own with a tomato dipper. Whatever your pleasure, make sure to make extras; you'll want them! —Food52

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Mozzarella Schnitzel
  • 2 to 4 slices low-moisture mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed, for frying
  1. Stack enough mozzarella slices to reach about ¾ centimeter in height. (For me, this is three, but it depends on how thick your slices are.) Gently press down on the stack to encourage the slices to stick together.
  2. Set up a dredging station in this order, leading toward the stove: Flour on a rimmed plate; egg cracked into a shallow bowl or rimmed plate and whisked until smooth; panko on another rimmed plate. Generously season each with salt and pepper.
  3. Set a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to thickly coat the bottom.
  4. Dredge your mozzarella: Coat the mozzarella stack in flour, then egg, then panko. Press firmly at the last station, so as many crumbs as possible adhere.
  5. Drop a piece of panko into the oil. If it instantly sizzles, you’re ready to cook. If not, wait a little longer.
  6. When the oil is hot, add the breaded mozzarella. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, until deeply browned around the edges and golden in the middle. Carefully flip, then cook for another 1 to 2 minutes on the other side until you get that same golden-middle, browned-edges color here.
  7. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and quickly blot both sides and remove excess oil. Eat immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rebecca Leon
    Rebecca Leon
  • Kambria McLean
    Kambria McLean
  • Christine
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    janet tipple
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

17 Reviews

Rebecca L. May 6, 2022
This was easy to make and turned out great. It looked just like the picture. Next time I’m going to add granulated garlic and Parmesan cheese to the flour. I had an opened jar of Rao’s pizza sauce and we dipped the schnitzel in that.
Kambria M. May 3, 2022
We made this with a marinara sauce, which we all (6 of us) thought greatly improved it over the first, non-marinara attempt. This was an instant family favorite!
Kambria M. May 3, 2022
We made this w but but
Anonymous January 12, 2022
Wow!!!!!!!!! Super delicious and so easy!!!! I made it with Italian panko which was fabulous too. I served it with some leftover homemade roasted red pepper soup = perfection!!!! Will make often!!!
ParcoMoon December 6, 2021
You can make this vegan with Miyoko’s Mozerella and Just Egg and it is absolutely delicious.
Antonia A. October 5, 2021
Made the Mozzarella Schnitzle and loved it! Scattered some cut cherry tomaToes and chives for a bit of color…WIll try with other cheeses as base. Thanks for the idea!
Christine September 22, 2021
I made this for dinner tonight, and wow!! It was ready so fast- I made them while FaceTiming and half distracted and they still were super easy. I had half a mozzarella ball left in the fridge from pizza night the other day and so my slices were not uniform but it didn’t make a difference. I cooked them accordingly. I also added some garlic salt to the Panko and flour- which was amazing!! I made a couple before I did that and also delicious! I will definitely make these again.
Elizabeth G. September 22, 2021
This was genius!! I thought there would be no way to get delicious fried cheese in 10 minutes or less! (With super easy clean-up!) You get lots of crunch around the edges, and the middle is a nice contrast. The serving size is perfect - plenty for one as an appetizer. It really is filling! I love the idea of the cheese slices - it makes it just the right thickness, without having to evenly slice cheese, and so much faster! We are also going to try mixing in other slices - maybe putting a slice of pepper jack in between the mozzarella. I think the only caveat I have from trying it is unless you have no cheese leakage (and we did on both pieces we made), don’t bother with blotting. It glued to the paper towel. Try to just tip it to drain off oil on the side as you lift out of the pan. The second one in which we did that turned out better. Awesome with lemon!
Raye A. September 22, 2021
What a great idea!! I'm always trying to figure out what to do with my fresh mozzarella, besides the usual pizza and caprese salad. I will try this, but yes I think I will add some dried Italian seasoning and some garlic powder. Thanks
Robin September 21, 2021
How thinly should the mozzarella be sliced?
loweexclamationpoint September 21, 2021
Sounds ok but not spectacular. The benefit of mozzarella sticks is that they have quite a bit of crunch per cheesiness. And around here they usually have some sort of Italian seasoning in the breading, could easily be added. Why use pre-sliced mozzarella rather than cutting the desired thickness from a block? Blocks keep longer. And how about a successful air fried version? Now that would be something special.
Robin September 22, 2021
I just made this and it is very good.
emily October 3, 2021
Did you make the recipe?
Nancy M. May 11, 2023
How about making the recipe first. No one cares what you think would be better unless you have made it, and actually even then probably no one cares.
janet T. September 21, 2021
Could you do this with halloumi?
Dani September 21, 2021
You totally could! I’ve had pita stuffed with crispy breaded halloumi. Amazing!
Maya September 25, 2021
I made this with halloumi and it was delicious! Added some Italian seasoning to the panko and served it with spaghetti and marinara sauce. Thank you Emma!