Mozzarella sticks, with their crispy golden exterior and gooey melted cheese within, are a beloved snack that satisfies our craving for both crunch and cheesiness.
But let’s face it, these delectable treats reach new heights of flavor when paired with the perfect sauce. A well-chosen sauce elevates the mozzarella sticks to a whole new level, enhancing their taste and adding exciting flavor profiles.
But what are the best sauces for mozzarella sticks? Honestly, there are no bad options here. Mozzarella is an easy-to-pair-with ingredient and virtually the only requirement today is creaminess.
In this article, we will explore the 11 best sauces that beautifully complement mozzarella sticks.
From classic favorites like marinara and ranch dressing to bolder options like garlic butter and sweet chili sauce, we’ll delve into the mouthwatering world of sauces that will take your mozzarella stick experience to new heights.
What Are Mozzarella Sticks?
Mozzarella sticks are these delicious, crispy-on-the-outside, melty-on-the-inside wonders that have captured the hearts (and taste buds) of food enthusiasts everywhere.
They’re typically made by coating long strips of mozzarella cheese with a seasoned breading or batter, after which they are deep-fried until they achieve that irresistible crispy exterior.
The result is a magical combination of gooey cheese and satisfying crunch that’ll make your mouth water just thinking about it.
The cheese inside is usually mild and creamy, with a slightly salty tang that perfectly complements the crunchy coating.
Now, let’s talk about the importance of dipping sauce.
While mozzarella sticks are fantastic on their own, the right dipping sauce takes them to a whole new level of deliciousness. Plus, it never hurts to add more complimentary flavors to the mix. It just makes the treats more interesting!
A dipping sauce adds a delightful element of contrast, balancing out the richness of the cheese and adding a burst of additional flavor. Not to mention, it makes every bite even more juicy!
11 Best Sauces For Mozzarella Sticks
When it comes to the best sauces for mozzarella sticks, the options are nearly endless. Here are 11 delectable sauces that will take your mozzarella stick experience to new heights of deliciousness!
1. Marinara Sauce
Marinara sauce is arguably the most popular accompaniment for mozzarella sticks across the globe!
The tanginess of the tomatoes in the sauce beautifully complements the creamy and mild flavor of mozzarella cheese. And, the natural acidity also cuts through the richness, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
Additionally, the herbs and garlic in marinara add an aromatic and savory element that enhances the overall taste experience.
But if you aren’t familiar with this sauce, what exactly goes into making it?
This is a flavorful tomato-based sauce that originated in Italy. It’s typically made with simple ingredients such as tomatoes, garlic, onions, olive oil, herbs (such as basil and oregano), and sometimes a touch of red pepper flakes for a hint of spice.
Variations of marinara sauce do exist. Some versions may include additional ingredients like capers, olives, or anchovies for added depth and complexity.
Other variations might involve simmering the sauce for a longer period to enhance the flavors or adding a splash of red wine for richness.
Our personal favorite that can be found online has to be this Organic Marinara Pasta Sauce by 365 Whole Foods Market.
The combination of crispy mozzarella sticks and tangy marinara sauce creates a textural and flavor contrast that is simply irresistible. It’s a match made in culinary heaven, with each dip bringing forth a burst of flavors that will have you coming back for more.
Exactly for its texture and flavor, marinara is considered one of the best sauces for mozzarella sticks!
2. Honey Mustard
There are MANY reasons why honey mustard sauce and mozzarella sticks pair exceptionally well together!
First, the delightful combination of the sweet and tangy notes in the honey mustard sauce perfectly complements the rich cheesy deliciousness of mozzarella sticks.
Secondly, the sweetness of the honey in the sauce adds a pleasant contrast to the savory flavors in the sticks. This sweet-salty pairing is also an expert-level trick to help create more balanced flavors.
Another reason this pairing works so well together is because of the tanginess of the mustard. It adds a zesty kick that cuts through the richness of the cheese while providing a subtle tang.
Furthermore, who can resist the creamy texture of the honey mustard sauce? The smooth and velvety consistency of the sauce complements the gooey and stretchy texture of the melted cheese inside the sticks. It adds a luscious element to the crispy exterior, creating a luxurious and satisfying mouthfeel.
For this option, Happy Belly’s Honey Mustard sauce has to be our favorite!
3. Ranch Sauce
Next up, we have the world-famous ranch dressing sauce. And honestly, we were even surprised by how many people are obsessed with this pairing.
Ranch dressing is a popular creamy salad dressing and dip that originated in the United States. It’s typically made from a base of buttermilk or mayonnaise, combined with herbs and seasonings like garlic, onion, dill, and parsley. The result is a rich and flavorful dressing with a cool and tangy taste.
Now, let’s talk about why ranch dressing is a perfect companion for mozzarella sticks.
First and foremost, the creamy nature of ranch dressing creates a luscious and indulgent contrast to the crispy exterior of the mozzarella sticks.
But it’s not just about the texture—ranch dressing also brings a delightful tanginess to the equation. The tangy notes in the dressing cut through the richness of the cheese, providing a refreshing and zesty flavor burst.
Additionally, the herbaceous elements in ranch dressing, such as dill and parsley, add a fresh and aromatic touch to the mozzarella sticks. These herbal flavors complement the mildness of the cheese and add a layer of complexity to the overall taste experience.
If you are looking for a versatile option, we highly recommend the Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing & Dipping Sauce. It’s arguably the best example of what ranch dressing should be, is super easy to find, and is very affordable.
4. BBQ Sauce
The BBQ dipping sauce is a savory and smoky sauce that adds a delightful, albeit unconventional, twist to your mozzarella sticks. It’s a popular condiment that typically combines a sweet and tangy base with smoky flavors.
The exact composition of BBQ dipping sauce can vary, but it often includes ingredients like tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, spices, and sometimes a hint of smoky elements like liquid smoke or smoked paprika.
While BBQ dipping sauce is not typically paired with mozzarella sticks, it can still be a delicious and adventurous choice.
Now, as you can imagine, there are thousands of BBQ sauce options out there. So, how do you choose?
Personally, we love a versatile option like this Jack Stack Barbecue Original And hot Sauce Combo. Both these sauces are super smoky, and extremely savory, and offer variety depending on the mood you are in.
You can also research some other options including sweet & tangy sauces, spicy BBQ sauces, smoky BBQ sauces, or fruit-infused sauces.
This is an excellent sauce option to experiment with as the product flavors can differ vastly!
Mayonnaise may not be the most traditional choice for pairing with mozzarella sticks, but it can be a surprisingly delicious and indulgent option.
The smooth and velvety consistency of the mayonnaise complements the gooey and melted cheese inside the sticks, creating a delightful contrast of textures.
Mayonnaise has a relatively neutral and mild flavor profile. This allows the creamy goodness of the cheese to take center stage while the mayonnaise provides a subtle and creamy backdrop. It doesn’t overpower the natural taste of the mozzarella, letting it shine.
Mozzarella sticks can sometimes be on the drier side due to their crispy coating. Pairing them with mayonnaise adds moisture and helps balance out the texture.
Additionally, you can experiment with different variations of mayo, such as flavored mayonnaise or mayo-based sauces. Some examples include garlic mayo, chipotle mayo, or sriracha mayo.
These variations bring additional layers of flavor and a hint of tanginess that can complement the cheesy goodness of the mozzarella sticks.
A mayonnaise that we HIGHLY recommend is Hellmann’s Mayonnaise. It’s made with real cage-free eggs and doesn’t contain any gluten, unlike many other options. It’s an easy-to-find affordable option that is of exceptional quality!
Ketchup, a classic condiment, is another easy pairing, albeit somewhat basic. This sauce option works best for kids or people who aren’t big lovers of different sauces or complex flavor combinations.
For an easy-to-find, affordable, delicious, and healthy choice, try this Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup.
Ketchup brings a tangy and slightly acidic flavor to the table. This tanginess provides a contrast to the rich and mild taste of mozzarella sticks. The tangy notes in ketchup help cut through the richness of the cheese, adding a refreshing element to each bite.
Mozzarella sticks are often served with marinara sauce, which is tomato-based. Ketchup shares a similar tomato base, so it complements the natural affinity between tomatoes and cheese.
While unconventional, the pairing of ketchup with mozzarella sticks is a matter of personal preference. If you enjoy the tanginess and tomato flavor of ketchup, it can be a delightful and accessible choice for dipping your mozzarella sticks.
Give it a try and savor the combination of tangy ketchup and the cheesy indulgence of mozzarella sticks.
7. Garlic Butter
There are hundreds of reasons this combo works! And we are here to make it even more popular than it already is!
First and foremost, the rich and savory flavors of garlic butter sauce perfectly complement the mild and creamy nature of mozzarella sticks.
The aromatic garlic adds a depth of flavor that enhances the overall taste experience. And the buttery richness of the sauce adds a luxurious touch to the crispy exterior of the mozzarella sticks, creating a delectable combination of textures.
The slightly pungent and savory notes of garlic also help cut through the richness of the cheese, preventing it from becoming overwhelming.
The combination of creamy cheese, crispy coating, and flavorful garlic butter sauce creates a harmonious balance that satisfies the taste buds.
Here, we do recommend making your own garlic butter sauce at home. Just because fresh garlic has the BEST flavor.
However, if that’s not an option, we would first recommend the Louisiana Fish Fry Garlic Butter sauce. It’s arguably the best of the non-fresh options you can find today, and makes it one of the best sauces for mozzarella sticks.
8. Sweet Chili
The combination of sweet chili sauce and mozzarella sticks creates a tantalizing flavor adventure that will leave your taste buds craving more.
The sweetness of the sauce provides a delightful counterbalance to the savory and slightly salty cheese. This harmonious blend of sweet and savory creates a dynamic flavor profile that keeps your palate intrigued with each bite.
Furthermore, the gentle heat from the chili adds a subtle kick that enhances the overall taste experience. The spiciness is not overpowering but rather adds a mild heat that complements the richness of the cheese.
And as always, the combination of the creamy mozzarella, crispy coating, and the touch of heat from the sweet chili sauce creates a harmonious balance of flavors that excites your taste buds.
When it comes to choosing a sweet chili sauce for dipping, the options are endless. So, you may need to experiment with different brands to find the one YOU love most.
We recommend starting with the G Hughes Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Sweet Chili Sauce. It is on the spicier side of the spectrum, but nothing too tear-inducing.
9. Buffalo Sauce
Buffalo sauce, a tangy and spicy concoction, is a beloved condiment that adds a fiery kick to various dishes. It typically consists of a mixture of hot sauce (usually cayenne pepper-based) and melted butter, resulting in a zesty and buttery flavor profile.
So why does buffalo sauce pair so well with mozzarella sticks?
The answer lies in the contrast it creates. The heat from the sauce cuts through the richness of the mozzarella sticks, creating a tantalizing combination of flavors.
The tanginess of the buffalo sauce adds a refreshing element that balances out the creamy and mild cheese.
This dynamic contrast of flavors elevates the overall taste experience, making each bite a delightful explosion of spiciness and cheesiness.
Whether you prefer a subtle heat or crave a fiery kick, dipping your mozzarella sticks in buffalo sauce is sure to satisfy your taste buds with its bold and flavorful combination.
Now, for a spicy buffalo sauce, you have to try the world-famous Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce. But be careful with the amount you use because it is hot.
10. Hot Sauce
We’ve kind of already covered the spice plus mozzarella stick combo and why it works so well.
The intense heat and bold flavors of hot sauce create an irresistible contrast that elevates the cheesy experience. The spiciness cuts through the richness of the mozzarella sticks, providing a vibrant and exciting dimension to each bite.
But where do you start in choosing a sauce that suits your liking? Experimentation is key here. And it’s often best to visit your local bar that likely has a couple of options on hand.
You can, of course, opt for something basic like Sriracha, Old Bay Hot Sauce, Tabasco, or Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce.
But don’t overlook small manufacturers like Melinda’s Habanero Hot Sauce. This variety pack will help you narrow down some hot sauce types that you like, making experimentation in the future much easier!
11. Tartar Sauce
Last and certainly not least, we had to end on an oddball!
Tartar sauce, typically associated with seafood, may seem like an unusual pairing with mozzarella sticks, but it can surprise and delight your taste buds.
The creamy and tangy nature of tartar sauce provides a refreshing contrast to the rich and mild mozzarella sticks.
The acidity from ingredients like pickles and lemon juice cuts through the richness of the cheese, adding a bright and zesty flavor. Additionally, the creamy texture of tartar sauce complements the gooey and melted cheese, creating a luscious and indulgent combination.
The unexpected pairing of tartar sauce with mozzarella sticks adds a unique twist that brings a burst of flavor to your snacking experience.
No wonder mozzarella cheese lovers often suggest tartar as one of the best sauces for mozzarella sticks.
Again, making a homemade tartar sauce will be best. It will have the freshest flavor and the best consistency.
However, for a premade option, you can try this Organic Tartar Sauce by 365 Whole Foods Market.