Mozzarella sticks and Marinara are a classic snack and dip combination. However, if you wish to mix things up and experiment with other choices, you have plenty of options. So, what to dip mozzarella sticks in besides marinara?
Besides marinara sauce, you can try mozzarella sticks with spicy dips like hot sauce, buffalo sauce, Thai sweet chili, and tzatziki. Other winning combinations include salsa, regular or flavored mayonnaise, ranch sauce, honey mustard sauce, alfredo sauce, and cheese-based sauces like Hollandaise.
Let’s take a detailed look at these options now. But first…
- Interesting Facts About Mozzarella Sticks
- What Type Of Dipping Sauce Goes Best With Mozzarella Sticks?
- What Are The Other Dips Or Sauces That Go Well With Mozzarella Sticks?
- 1. Hot Sauce
Interesting Facts About Mozzarella Sticks
Mozzarella sticks are one of the most popular appetizers or hors d’oeuvre. They’re prepared by batter-frying cheese sticks in hot oil.
The practice of dipping cheese in batter and frying them dates back to 14th century France.
However, the present version of mozzarella sticks is believed to have originated in the USA after mozzarella cheese became abundantly available in markets.
This deep-fried food is now widely served by fast-food joints as well as traditional restaurants all over America.
To make mozzarella sticks, cheese sticks are coated with a bread batter and deep-fried in oil.
There are different recipe variations for this snack. Healthier versions may use baking instead of deep-frying as the cooking method.
Now, authentic mozzarella cheese is made from the milk of Italian water buffaloes. It has a soft and moist texture. It’s very creamy with a slightly sour and acidic flavor.
The cheese melts and takes on a creamy and sticky texture when it’s fried. Hence, mozzarella cheese makes an excellent filling. Since it doesn’t have a strong flavor, you can combine it with almost any dip or sauce.
You can make mozzarella sticks at home from scratch. You can also buy frozen mozzarella sticks from the supermarket and bake or fry them. It’s an easy snack that you can make ahead of time.
What Type Of Dipping Sauce Goes Best With Mozzarella Sticks?
As far as flavor goes, mozzarella sticks are bland. Although their interior is rich and creamy, they lack a strong and punchy flavor. Hence, you can mix and match this dish with various dips and sauces.
Due to their bland flavor profile, mozzarella sticks go best with spicy dips and sauces. The traditional combination, however, has always been Marinara sauce.
Marinara sauce is an Italian tomato-based sauce made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs. The tomatoes used for the sauce impart a rich and acidic flavor to the sauce.
Some recipes include other ingredients like olives, capers, salted anchovies, or even wine. These exotic ingredients improve its aroma and add more flavor.
The punchy flavor of marinara sauce goes extremely well with the creamy and crisp texture of mozzarella sticks. You can serve the sauce hot or cold with this snack, and it works well either way.
What Are The Other Dips Or Sauces That Go Well With Mozzarella Sticks?
Mozzarella sticks are incredibly versatile when it comes to choosing an accompanying dip or sauce.
This dish pairs well with most condiments, and it’s just a matter of finding one that suits your taste buds. Let’s look at some of the options available.
1. Hot Sauce
The hot sauce works well with mozzarella sticks because it’s spicy, hot, and pungent. The heat of the chili peppers in hot sauce balances the creaminess of mozzarella sticks.
Additionally, the hot sauce also uses vinegar and various spices and seasonings for a deep and complex flavor.
Depending on the recipe, it may even have fruits or vegetables in the base. So the medley of flavors will create an interesting combination with mozzarella sticks.
The soft texture and creamy taste of mozzarella sticks will mellow the strong pungency of hot sauce, helping the complex flavors of the peppers and other base ingredients shine through.
2. Buffalo Sauce
Buffalo sauce is a creamy and thick sauce made by blending hot sauce with fat or butter. It’s spicy from the chilies and pepper in it. However, it’s richer and smoother than hot sauce.
Mozzarella sticks and buffalo sauce make a rich, indulgent combination. The crispy and chewy texture of mozzarella sticks goes well with the luscious and creamy texture of buffalo sauce.
The spices used will also create a complex flavor combination with mozzarella sticks.
3. Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
Thai sweet chili sauce blends sweet, sour, tangy, and savory notes in a delicious silky sauce. It hits and engages all the taste buds, creating an explosion of flavors in your mouth.
You can either make your very own Thai sweet chili sauce at home or find it in Asian food supermarkets.
This sauce uses red chilies, garlic, ginger, sugar, vinegar, and various other ingredients.
Some versions also include fish sauce, honey, and Asian spices and seasoning. The overall effect is light, but the sauce is full of flavor.
Mozzarella sticks and Thai sweet chili sauce are an excellent fusion combination. The flavors of the sauce complement the cheesy texture of the mozzarella sticks.
The tzatziki sauce is a refreshing, cool sauce made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, lemon, mint, garlic, and herbs. It’s aromatic and creamy, with just the right hint of spice.
Mozzarella sticks with tzatziki sauce are the perfect combination for hot summer days. The yogurt base will refresh the palette and cool the body. The combination will satisfy your hunger without weighing you down.
Tzatziki is easy to prepare at home. You can also buy it from the store and refrigerate it for up to four days.
Salsa is a tomato-based sauce that is a staple of Mexican cuisine. Its primary ingredients are tomatoes, bell peppers, vinegar, onions, and garlic. It also includes various herbs and spices like oregano, peppers, cilantro, and cumin.
Salsa is commonly used as a dip for nachos and as a filling for various Mexican dishes. It has a chunky texture and delicious flavor combination, which makes it a good side for crispy mozzarella sticks.
The creamy cheese filling of mozzarella sticks balances against the acidic tomato flavors and aromatic spices used in salsa.
Mayonnaise is a popular and very versatile dip. It’s widely served with fries, sandwiches, wraps, and even meat-based dishes. If you like creamy and indulgent food, pair your mozzarella sticks with mayonnaise.
If the breading of your mozzarella sticks includes fiery spices like cayenne or pepper, mayonnaise will help to temper and soften the taste.
You can either make mayo at home or opt for store-bought varieties. Flavored mayonnaise, like garlic mayo, will also work with mozzarella sticks.
7. Ranch Sauce
Ranch sauce is a staple pantry ingredient in most American households because of how versatile it is.
It’s made from buttermilk, salt, garlic, onion, and spices in an oil emulsion or mayonnaise. Some recipes include sour cream and yogurt.
You can slather Ranch sauce on your mozzarella sticks. It will balance the crispy bite of the cheesy snack and create an indulgent combination that appeals to all.
8. Honey Mustard
Honey mustard is a sauce made with honey, mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, and a blend of spices. It’s sweet, with a hint of sharpness shining through.
The incredible balance of sweet and tangy flavors in the honey mustard sauce makes it an excellent condiment to pair with cheese sticks.
Alfredo sauce is a cheese-based sauce made with butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. This white sauce has its roots in Italy, and it’s typically used in pasta recipes.
Since Alfredo is cheese-based, you will be on a calorie-high when you combine it with mozzarella sticks. However, the combination is satisfying and delicious.
10. Hollandaise Sauce
Hollandaise sauce is another rich and highly indulgent sauce made with melted butter, egg yolks, and vinegar. It’s usually served with vegetables or seafood.
The smooth texture and rich flavor profile of this sauce work well with Mozzarella sticks.
11. Asian Sauces
Asian sauces involve various interesting spice and seasoning combinations. Most of them are hot, spicy, tangy, and sweet at the same time. So they’re perfect as dips for creamy, indulgent finger food like mozzarella sticks.
If fusion food is your forte, you should try dipping your mozzarella cheese sticks in Asian sauces like Sriracha or Thai peanut sauce that is readily available at Asian supermarkets.
Sriracha sauce is made from chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and spices. It’s hot, spicy, and very aromatic.
The rich cheesy flavor of mozzarella sticks will mellow down the heat of this sauce, forming a delicious combination.
13. Thai Peanut Sauce
Thai peanut sauce is a traditional Asian sauce that combines the sharp flavors of soy sauce, ginger, and rice wine vinegar with the creamy texture of powdered peanuts and sesame seeds.
It’s thick and creamy. Some recipes use coconut milk as well to enhance the flavors.
This sauce has delicious Umami flavors that work well with mozzarella sticks. Nonetheless, this sauce is also rich in calories. Combining it with mozzarella sticks creates a calorie-dense combination.