The Ultimate Vegan Mozzarella Sticks
Mozzarella sticks are hands down one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Crunchy and crispy on the outside, cheesy and melty on the inside. In this recipe, I share exactly how to make vegan mozzarella sticks entirely from scratch. No store-bought vegan cheese here! Just look at ’em, they’re beautiful, and they taste even better.
Nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia!
These cheesy sticks instantly bring me back to when I was younger. My dad would take us to our local gas station with the “fast food counter,” where they sold the most ultimate greasy mozzarella sticks.
Thinking back to those times, I’m a bit grossed out, like, “Ehhh…. gas station mozzarella sticks!?” But they were just so dang good.
The main ingredient is WHAT!?
The main ingredient in this recipe is raw cashews. It may sound weird if you’re not vegan, but trust me, the cheese sticks do not taste like cashews at all once combined with the rest of the ingredients!
The nuts are soaked in water for twenty-four hours to help soften them. I then drain and rinse them off. This method makes the nuts super plump and helps give the mozzarella a creamier texture. The cashews are the cheese sticks’ base, along with tapioca starch, which provides the mozzarella with its stretchiness.
Yes, these are made from some unusual ingredients . . .
BUT, they also contain a combination of classic ingredients. For example, the breading is made of panko bread crumbs tossed with a blend of seasonings, such as dried basil, oregano, garlic, and onion. So, although the sticks’ base is a bit different, the flavor profile and texture are genuinely similar to traditional ones. I promise you!
Make sure to pair these with a delicious marinara sauce.
Pairing these cheese sticks with a delicious marinara is more important than you may think. Pick a sauce full of flavor but without being too overpowering. Because, after all, the star of the show is still the mozzarella sticks! My Super Flavorful, Quick, and Easy Marinara Sauce is the perfect one to pair with these cheese sticks!
While making these homemade vegan mozzarella sticks is a bit more challenging and effort than a quick run to the local gas station, they are well worth it.
Cheesy, melty, crispy, and crunchy. What’s not to love!?
If you feel confused during this recipe whatsoever, make sure to watch my YouTube video! I take you through the entire process of creating these vegan mozzarella sticks. And, don’t forget to check out my “tiparooskis” section of this post. It is below the recipe and provides all of my tips and/or suggestions.
If you make these vegan mozzarella sticks, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!
The Ultimate Vegan Mozzarella Sticks
- 2 cups plain, raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 24 hours
- 3/4 cup almond milk, plain, unsweetened
- 2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp + 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup almond milk, plain, unsweetened
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
You Will Also Need
- 1 quart vegetable/canola oil, for deep frying
- Add all of the ingredients to a HIGH powered blender and blend until EXTREMELY smooth.
- Pour the mix into a medium-sized saucepot and place over medium-low heat.
- Whisk constantly for 10 minutes or until the entire mix gets stuck in the whisk. Remove from the heat.
- Take a rubber spatula and fold the mozzarella a few times to smooth out.
- Lay down a sheet of plastic wrap onto the counter and dump the mozzarella mix on top. Form it into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. The dimensions should be about 11 inches long by 3 1/2 inches wide. Wrap the plastic wrap over it nice and tight. Place on a sheet pan and into the freezer to semi-freeze for about 5 hours.
- Once the mozzarella is about 90% frozen, cut it into 1/2 inch thick sticks.
- Place the mozzarella sticks back on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put back in the freezer until you are ready to bread them.
- Now, place the flour into a wide, shallow bowl and place the milk into another wide, shallow bowl.
- Add the panko, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper in another shallow bowl and mix well.
How to Bread the Mozzarella Sticks
- First, coat the mozzarella stick in the flour very well and then shake off the excess.
- Coat the stick in the milk very well, making sure there are no spots of flour showing.
- Coat it in the panko bread crumb mix.
- Rub the stick in between your hands to create a more rounded out shape. Toss is in the bread crumbs again if necessary.
- Lay the mozzarella sticks on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes.
How to Deep Fry the Mozzarella Sticks
- Heat a pot or deep fryer with the vegetable/canola oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place no more than 4 mozzarella sticks into the oil at a time (unless you have a huge deep fryer, then you can fry more).
- Fry for 3 minutes.
- With a spider, pair of tongs, or a slotted metal spoon, gently remove the mozzarella sticks and place them on a paper towel-lined sheet tray to get rid of excess oil.
Welcome to my tip section of the recipe! Here I provide my top tips to help you perfect the recipe. Sometimes, I also give substitute suggestions that I think you may find helpful.
- You can use this mozzarella in ways other than as cheese sticks! I love using this cheese on pizzas and flatbreads. Instead of forming the cheese into a rectangle, as written in the directions above, divide the cheese into four even balls with lightly greased hands. Then, very tightly wrap the cheese balls in three layers of plastic wrap, twisting the top as tight as you can. Watch my YouTube video at the 8:56 time mark for more in-depth directions!
- Allow the mozzarella to chill completely before giving it a taste. This cheese does not taste amazing immediately after cooking it. I don’t understand the science behind that, as it tastes delicious after it has chilled and reheated later on. It’s like there’s some weird magic that happens to it in the refrigerator or something. Yes, I know I sound crazy, but take my word on it! Hahaha.