Sometimes even the most fun of foods needs a little refresh. Not only are these mozzarella puffs crispier and more fun to eat than the original fried mozzarella stick, but they're also easier since no breading is required! I haven't forgotten the marinara sauce, but feel free to use other sauces.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
15 mins
additional:
1 hr 5 mins
total:
1 hr 40 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
12 puffs
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine water, butter, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer; pour in flour all at once and reduce heat to medium. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until a dough starts coming together. Cook, scraping up and stirring the dough, for 2 to 3 minutes.

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  • Remove from heat; transfer dough to a mixing bowl. Let cool until no longer hot but still very warm, 5 to 10 minutes. Add egg and season with cayenne and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk vigorously until mixture combines into a very soft, sticky dough. Switch to a spatula and scrape dough into a ball.

  • Seal dough and spatula with plastic wrap and refrigerate in the bowl until cool, about 1 hour.

  • In the meantime, season marinara sauce with oregano, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar in a small pot over medium heat. Add anchovy fillet. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes; turn off heat and let sit until ready to use.

  • Grate mozzarella cheese over the dough and stir to combine.

  • Heat oil to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) in a deep fryer or heavy-duty pan over medium heat. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (93 degrees C) or any temperature for keeping warm.

  • Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of dough per puff and form into a football shape using two spoons. Fry puffs, 5 or 6 at a time, in the hot oil until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Keep puffs warm in low oven while frying the rest. Serve with hot marinara sauce.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

289 calories; protein 7.4g; carbohydrates 12.1g; fat 23.7g; cholesterol 54.7mg; sodium 645.4mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (16)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/03/2020
These are amazing. We kept some warm as suggested, and it was great. We didn't make the sauce out of laziness, but they are so crispy and delicious. Read More
(5)
19 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 17
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/03/2020
These are amazing. We kept some warm as suggested, and it was great. We didn't make the sauce out of laziness, but they are so crispy and delicious. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
04/10/2020
These are fabulous! My oil was probably too hot because it took much less than 2 or 3 minutes to cook, but I went by the color on the outside and they were done. The taste and texture are unique yet comforting! Like, if mac 'n' cheese and a mozzarella stick had a baby! Delicious. Next time I'll double the batch; there are just 2 of us but we ate them in record time. I've been a longtime fan of Chef John, and the video helped me know I wasn't doing it wrong when it felt like I was. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
01/26/2020
I had a dinner event and made this as an appetizer, super easy and I didn't have a single one left within 5 minutes! I made a second batch with almond flour as a gluten free option but they weren't as good as Chef John's recipe. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2020
I made this tonight, with no changes to the recipe. They are fantastic. Wife and daughters all loved them. My wife and I liked the sauce. One daughter liked it, one didn't. Great recipe. I will definitely be making this again...several times. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
02/19/2020
I made these without modifications in an air fryer. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
01/31/2020
I made them according to the recipe for dinner and they were amazing! They were ever so slightly too salty for my taste but i will adjust and make them again. They were so crispy and tasty. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/25/2020
I made them with almond flour and they were really good. I threw a little xanthan gum in to thicken the batter. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/14/2020
It was AMAZING!!! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
02/04/2020
These little things are awesome. As someone relatively new to cooking, I've never deep-fried anything before, but these were super easy to cook. I might try this recipe with other cheeses some day just to see how it comes out. Only thing I changed was that I doubled the ingredients. The amount of dough that came from the list here made enough for about 4 balls, not 8, but I may have just been making them too big. Either way, they taste amazing. Read More
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