TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks (Copycat Recipe)

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Craving some TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks? Learn how to make them at home with my super easy copycat recipe! Extra crispy and perfectly fried, my version of TGI Friday mozzarella sticks have that signature crunch that you get at the restaurant. Pair with your favorite dipping sauces and your new favorite app is served!!

titled: TGI Friday's Mozzarella Sticks


TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks

There isn’t anything much better than fried cheese, am I right?! I already have quite a few fried mozzarella recipes — homemade mozzarella sticks, fried mozzarella, and air fryer mozzarella sticks —  but I haven’t shared the TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks yet!

Crispy, crunchy, and so flavorful, there’s a reason why these are one of their most popular appetizers!

The last time I tasted them I got to thinking… how are they this golden brown and perfect every single time?

And then I figured it out! They must add double the breading to get double the crunch.

When I tried it myself a few days later, I knew I got it right… and was able to replicate my favorite TGI Friday’s mozzarella sticks at home!!

All you need are some easy to find ingredients, some hot oil, and about 30 minutes of active time.

You will need to be patient while they freeze (more info on why I freeze the sticks before frying down below), but otherwise they’re super quick.

Put down the takeout menu and make homemade TGI Friday mozzarella sticks with this copycat recipe instead!

ingredients for tgi friday's mozzarella sticks

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Mozzarella Cheese – When you’re doing your shopping, opt for a 1 pound block of mozzarella cheese.

    I don’t recommend using cheese sticks for this recipe as they won’t melt as well. 
  • All-Purpose Flour & Eggs – For the batter. 
  • Buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk at home. you can easily make your own by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk.

    Let it sit for about 10 minutes before using.

Otherwise, whole milk would work for TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks too.

  • Breadcrumbs – I typically use regular breadcrumbs, but you can use panko if you want a crunchier texture.

I also recommend adding some finely grated Parmesan cheese to whatever type you choose for an extra layer of flavor!

  • Vegetable Oil – For frying. Regular vegetable oil is fine, or you can use canola oil instead.
  • Seasonings – You’ll need garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper.

    Add them all to the breadcrumbs when you set up your dredging stations!
  • Dipping Sauces – Choose your favorites! I always pair my TGI Friday mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce and garlic aioli. 
cheese sticks dredged in flour

Tips and Tricks to Make Perfect TGI Friday’s Mozzarella Sticks

  • Don’t skip the freezing step.

After the mozzarella sticks are breaded, make sure to freeze them for at least 2 hours.

This step is crucial — it helps them hold their shape and keeps the cheese from melting too quickly (or oozing out of the breading) when fried.

Give yourself enough time to let them chill!

  • Don’t skip the double breading either!

After you’ve dredged the mozzarella in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture, turn right around and start over… at least with the egg and breadcrumbs! 

This double dipping method creates a thicker and crunchier crust, just like authentic TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks.

  • The extra seasonings add extra flavor.

Don’t forget to add the garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper to the breadcrumbs before you start dredging the mozzarella. 

Seasoned breadcrumbs will add even more flavor to the final product. The herbs add a bit of color too.

As mentioned, you may also want to add some Parmesan cheese into the mix to double the cheesy flavor!

  • Fry in batches.

You may be tempted to fry all of the mozzarella sticks at the same time. I’ve been there too!

But trust me, patience is a virtue — especially when it comes to deep frying. 

Overcrowding will cause the oil temperature to drop, which will give you greasy and/or soggy results.

Fry in small batches to allow each stick to cook evenly and crisp up nicely!

cheese sticks dipped in beaten eggs

Prep Ahead

  • Set up the dredging stations
  • Cut the mozzarella into ½ inch sticks

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Shallow Bowls for dredging.
  • Baking Sheets lined with Parchment Paper – Used for anything from freezing to cookies and roasting, a good baking pan will last for years.
  • You can use a Deep Fryer, or a Large Skillet if you don’t have one. Just make sure you add enough oil to fully submerge the sticks!
  • Use Tongs or a Slotted Spoon to carefully turn and remove the sticks from the hot oil.
cheese sticks dipped in breadcrumbs

Serving Suggestions 

These are best enjoyed immediately while the cheese is still hot and melty, just like TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks!

Remember to serve them with some marinara sauce and garlic aioli, or with your favorite dipping sauces.

To make it a meal, pair them with a side salad, steamed or roasted vegetables, and some cheesy breadsticks to sop up any extra marinara or aioli. 

And if you’re really in the mood for a feast, try them with this feta pasta bake with sausage!

fried tgi fridays mozzarella sticks

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Try to eat them as soon as possible for the best texture.

To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F and then place the sticks on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until crispy.

Don’t use you’re microwave as this will make the breading soggy.

My TGI Friday’s mozzarella sticks recipe also freezes beautifully! Simply bread them as instructed and keep them in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.

When ready to serve, you can fry them straight from frozen — no need to thaw!

TGI Friday Mozzarella Sticks FAQ

Why do you have to freeze mozzarella sticks before frying?

Freezing the breaded mozzarella sticks for 2 hours before frying helps the egg and breadcrumbs stick to the cheese, ensuring the sticks hold their shape. It also prevents the cheese from oozing out into the hot oil! 

Overall, freezing will give you the best tasting (and looking) results, plus you won’t have to worry about cleaning up cheesy oil. YUCK.

How long to deep fry Friday’s mozzarella sticks?

You only need to fry your TGI Friday’s mozzarella sticks for about 1-2 minutes — they cook up super quickly! Pull them out as soon as they turn golden brown and crispy to avoid overcooking.

Why do my mozzarella sticks keep bursting?

Freezing can be super helpful for this, as well as that double coating of breading. A thicker breading means less bursting, plus a better texture! It really is a win-win. 

tgi friday's mozzarella sticks on brown parchment paper

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closeup of gooey cheese in tgi friday's mozzarella sticks

cheese pull from tgi fridays mozzarella sticks

TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks (Copycat Recipe)

Donna Elick
TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks are so easy to make! Bread the cheese, freeze, and fry, then serve my copycat recipe with your favorite sauce.
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
freezer time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 16 mozzarella sticks


  • 1 pound block of mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk or whole milk
  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • marinara sauce, for dipping
  • garlic aioli, for dipping (optional)


  • Set up a breading station: Place the flour in one shallow dish. In another dish, whisk together the eggs and milk. In a third dish, mix the breadcrumbs with the garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper.
  • Dredge each mozzarella stick first in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture, and finally roll in the breadcrumb mixture, ensuring each stick is fully coated. Repeat the egg and breadcrumb steps for a double coating. This will create a thicker, crunchier crust.
  • Place the breaded mozzarella sticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 2 hours, or until firm.
  • When ready to cook, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large, heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F (175°C).
  • Fry the mozzarella sticks in batches for about 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Be careful not to overcook, as the cheese can burst out of the breading.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the mozzarella sticks from the oil, and drain on paper towels.
  • Serve hot with marinara sauce and/or garlic aioli for dipping, enjoy!

Donna’s Notes

Freezing the breaded mozzarella sticks before frying is crucial. This helps them hold their shape and prevents the cheese from melting too quickly when fried.
These are best enjoyed immediately after frying while the cheese is hot and melty.
For an extra layer of flavor, consider adding some finely grated Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb mixture.
If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and letting it sit for about 10 minutes.
The type of breadcrumbs you use can affect the texture of your mozzarella sticks. Panko breadcrumbs will give a crunchier texture, while regular breadcrumbs will give a more traditional texture.
If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can also fry these in a large skillet. Just ensure there’s enough oil to fully submerge the sticks.
Be careful when frying as the oil can splatter. Use long tongs or a slotted spoon to carefully turn and remove the sticks from the hot oil.
You can prepare these in advance and keep them in the freezer. When ready to serve, just fry them straight from the freezer. No need to thaw.
If you have leftovers, reheat them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-10 minutes to get them crispy again. Microwaving is not recommended as it can make the breading soggy.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 177cal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 287mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
TGI Friday's Mozzarella Sticks - PIN

Originally published May 2024

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