Fried Rosemary Mozzarella Balls

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Fried Mozzarella Balls ~These crispy little balls of molten cheese will lure everybody to the appetizer table, use your favorite marinara sauce for dipping!


Here’s a cold weather way to enjoy fresh mozzarella cheese.  You can do this with any shape mozzarella, even string cheese, but I like the little balls, they’re kind of like the cheese version of a cocktail meatball.  Fresh rosemary and Parmesan are the only flavors in the breadcrumb coating, so the point of these is more about texture than flavor…it’s all about molten cheese in a crispy crust.  Be sure to have a warm bowl of your favorite marinara sauce ready for dipping.


There’s no need for a huge vat of oil for deep frying, I used a small, high sided saucepan and a couple of inches of vegetable oil.   The breading process can be a little messy, so it helps to bread all of the cheese at once and set them out on a plate, ahead of time.  That way you can clean up while you heat the oil, and get straight to eating once the last balls are cooked.  This is one appetizer that won’t wait, the cheese will only stay melted so long.

Fried Rosemary Mozzarella Balls

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3.36 from 34 votes

Fried Rosemary Mozzarella Balls


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp very finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 8 oz container cherry sized mozzarella balls
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • your favorite marinara sauce for dipping


  • Set out 3 small bowls. Put the flour in one. Beat the egg and milk together in the second. Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and rosemary in the third. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste to the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Drain the mozzarella balls and dry them on paper towels. Dip the cheese balls first in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs, tossing well to get an even coating. I double dipped the balls back into the egg and once more into the crumbs to get a nice complete coating. Do this for all the balls, and set on a tray.
  • In a small saucepan with high sides, heat at least 2 inches of oil over medium heat. If you have a thermometer, you're aiming for around 330--340F.
  • Working in small batches, drop the balls into the hot oil and let them fry to a golden brown, about a minute or so. You don't want the cheese to ooze out, so watch them carefully. Toss the balls gently with a spoon to make sure they don't stick and they get evenly cooked. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and set them on a rack while you cook the rest.
  • Serve hot with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.


Make sure to get the entire surface of each cheese ball covered with the coating, or your cheese may ooze out during frying.
Japanese Panko crumbs make the coating extra crispy, and you will find them with the regular breadcrumbs in your store, or in the Asian section.


Shower them with a little extra Parmesan, set out the toothpicks, and dig right in.


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  • Reply
    January 15, 2020 at 5:48 am

    Can you make them in an air fryer? I would like to avoid the oil!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2020 at 9:01 am

      I’m not sure, but I think it should work. I don’t have an air fryer so I’m not sure about how it operates and what can go in it, sorry!

  • Reply
    Jules @ WolfItDown
    November 19, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    These look dangerously good! One pop, and you can’t stop 😀 The combination of flavours sounds heavenly too! 😀 Hope you are having a nice weekend 🙂 x

  • Reply
    October 10, 2015 at 8:48 am

    I would like to make these ahead of time before company arrives. How long do you think they could be prepared and refrigerated, without moisture ruining the coating, before frying them when company arrives? Thank you for a great recipe!

    • Reply
      October 10, 2015 at 9:13 am

      To be honest Elaine, I think the moisture from the cheese would saturate the coating. You could try, but I’m not sure how it would work, sorry!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Made these last night and they were wonderful !!! Great recipe will definitely make again 🙂

  • Reply
    October 9, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Where do you get mozzarella balls/what brand do you purchase? Thanks!

    • Reply
      October 9, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Gosh, I don’t know the brand off hand, I sometimes buy them at Trader Joe’s, and sometimes at my regular supermarket. I don’t think it matters, just be sure to dry them thoroughly and coat them completely before frying!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I tried those today but it was a massacre – how do you get them brown and crispy without exploding?
    Please tell me how I can make them look like on the picture??
    Thanks a million

    • Reply
      August 15, 2014 at 11:38 am

      These can be a little tricky, Lisa, if everything isn’t right. The oil must be at the correct temperature, the mozzarella must be completely coated with the crust, and then you will only fry them long enough to get golden. If the oil is too low, the cheese will melt and ooze out before the balls can get browned. Did you use a thermometer in your oil?

  • Reply
    Amanda Kindel
    August 6, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Made these tonight as an appetizer… I was a little nervous about the cheese “leaking” during the frying, esp since this called for fresh mozz, so as suggested by some other recipes for mozz sticks I put the coated balls in the freezer for about an hour and a half before frying. The final result was a nice golden brown, quite like the picture, but the inside wasn’t very melty and a few were actually even a tad cold. Taste was still great though!
    I only fried half of the balls, so I will leave the rest in the fridge (not the freezer!) and try with the remaining half tomorrow night. If I remember I will add an update tomorrow to see if the not-frozen balls fry up a little better. 🙂

    • Reply
      August 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      I didn’t have any trouble with the cheese melting or oozing out, but I was careful to get the whole thing well coated before frying. I think freezing the cheese before frying would make it hard for the cheese to warm up before the outside got too brown. Good luck with the next batch!

      • Reply
        Amanda Kindel
        August 7, 2014 at 6:07 pm

        Oh yeh! The second batch – fried straight out of the fridge – was warm, melty and yuuuummmy! 🙂

        • Reply
          August 7, 2014 at 8:45 pm

          You’ve got me craving another batch!

  • Reply
    Maria | Pink Patisserie
    November 21, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Those look just scrumptious.. and perfect party food!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    These kind of remind me of fried ravioli. Only better. I can just imagine the chewy, stringy, melted cheese. You are evil! And amazing, at the same time.

  • Reply
    October 18, 2013 at 10:08 am

    This is something that will disappear in my house before i know it love it !

  • Reply
    kelley {mountain mama cooks}
    October 16, 2013 at 6:25 am

    These are gorgeous. Saw them shared on Facebook and happy to have found your blog!

    • Reply
      October 16, 2013 at 7:21 am

      Thanks, and welcome, Kelley!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for desset
    October 15, 2013 at 8:13 am

    You are officially invited to any and all parties I have now or in the future! I guess I would have to eat all these while they’re hot – yummy indeed!

  • Reply
    Heather // girlichef
    October 15, 2013 at 4:51 am

    I would eat every last one. I SO need to make several HUGE batches.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    October 14, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    These would make such a great appetizer, I love the panko coating and rosemary!

  • Reply
    October 14, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    These photos couldn’t look more tempting, Sue! And while I’ve never been a huge fan of fried cheeses, this version with the rosemary sounds fantastic. I just added these to my list for you to feed me when I finally come visit you!

  • Reply
    hungry dog
    October 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Wow, these look amazing! What a great idea.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Oh these look fantastic!!!! I can just smell them! And the rosemary sounds delicious in these!

    • Reply
      October 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      I have a black thumb when it comes to growing herbs, but rosemary I have growing by the bushel out back, so I love to find new uses for it!

  • Reply
    Claire @ The Black Cat Kitchen
    October 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    oooo these look so good. LOVE fried cheese. Great tip about not needing loads of oil. I’m always put off by frying because of having to use loads of oil etc but using a small pan with a little oil is a great tip! Love the idea of using rosemary in the breadcrumb mix, bet it goes great with the mozzarella

    • Reply
      October 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      I love using the small pan method for frying, somehow you don’t feel so bad about doing it every once in a while.

  • Reply
    Norma - Platanos, Mangoes and Me!
    October 14, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Picture perfect and will be a favorite of mine….