As much as I love the classic combination of mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce, I have occasionally wondered if there is a better combination.
Although mozzarella sticks are really versatile, let’s face it, they are a little bland, so they must work well with different flavors!
Marinara seems to be the perfect match, with its blend of tomatoes, herbs, garlic, and onions.
But how do you find the best alternative for your mozzarella?
What will complement the creamy, melty cheese?
Can you use a ready-made dipping sauce?
Do salty or spicy sauces work with mozzarella sticks?
Let’s get saucy with our mozzarella!
Mozzarella sticks are typically served with marinara sauce, but they work equally well with ranch dressing, Alfredo sauce, garlic butter, buffalo sauce, and BBQ sauce. The creamy, mild texture of mozzarella is a great match with both spicy and salty flavors. However, the flavor profile of the sauce should be considered carefully so as not to overpower the mozzarella. Dietary restrictions also need to be taken into account. Be careful with hot sauces, as they can make the breadcrumb coating go soggy and unappetizing.
Which Sauces Go Well with Mozzarella Sticks?
So, you have your crunchy mozzarella sticks heating up nicely to melt that delicious gooey cheese, but aren’t you bored of serving them with marinara sauce all the time?
There must be alternatives that go well with mozzarella sticks!
After experimenting with several options, I am pleased to announce that there are lots of dipping sauces that are a match made in heaven for mozzarella.
To be honest, mozzarella has such a bland flavor that almost anything would perk it up!
Let’s look at some of my favorites, which, hopefully, you will enjoy too.
You might be surprised to find that mozzarella sticks love spicy cuisines, such as Thai or Chinese.
Even just a simple ready-made sweet chili sauce adds a whole new element to your snack!
Thai peanut, soy ginger, and Vietnamese dipping sauces are a great accompaniment to mozzarella sticks.
But we can’t forget some of the all-time classics – ranch, garlic butter, BBQ, Alfredo, and buffalo.
Typically, mozzarella sticks are served with a cold sauce or dip.
They need to be eaten immediately when cooked to retain that gooey center and a crisp exterior.
But you do need to be wary of dipping the sticks in a warm sauce, as it could make the breadcrumbs go soggy, losing that necessary crunch.
Why is Marinara the Preferred Sauce for Mozzarella?
So, having given you a few suggestions for alternative sauces, I thought I would have a quick chat about why we typically use marinara anyway.
What makes marinara sauce the best match for mozzarella sticks?
Oh, and it’s also good with breadsticks!
Let’s look at the ingredients first.
Marinara is an Italian tomato-based recipe, also known as red sauce with the addition of garlic and herbs, such as basil and oregano.
It is said to get its name from the Italian word for sailor and is best made with whole San Marzano tomatoes.
As well as being a dipping sauce, it can also be used with pasta.
It’s very similar to a pizza sauce, only thicker, and that’s where the secret lies.
Mozzarella is typically the cheese of choice when topping a pizza.
So, by dipping your mozzarella sticks in marinara sauce, you are recreating the tried and tested flavor of a pizza!
The sauce should be smooth and cling to the crispy breadcrumbs.
Cheese Mozzarella Sticks with Homemade Marinara Sauce
- Mozzarella sticks are usually served with marinara sauce, but other options make a nice change
- Consider using Alfredo, BBQ, or buffalo sauce
- Ready-made sauces such as Thai chili are perfectly acceptable with mozzarella sticks
- Strong flavors work well, including salty or spicy, as mozzarella is quite mild and bland
- A hot sauce can make the crunchy coating go soggy
Don’t be scared of breaking out of the marinara sauce rut and trying something new!
Please let me know if you have any further suggestions for the perfect mozzarella stick and sauce combo!
And if you are in a hurry for your favorite snack, read my article about microwaving mozzarella.