RECIPES:
May 28, 2021

Mozzarella en Carozza Recipe

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Mozzarella en carozza is like when a mozzarella stick meets a grilled cheese sandwich, but this simple recipe, made with humble ingredients, is much easier to make than mozzarella cheese sticks.

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Slices of part-skim mozzarella are sandwiched between slices of buttered bread coated in panko breadcrumbs and pan-fried until a golden-brown crust develops and the cheese becomes melty. I add additional flavor to the crust by adding lemon zest and garlic powder. 

This melty cheese sandwich comes from Southern Italy, specifically the area of Naples and the term  “en carroza” in Italian translates to “in carriage” in English.

I have found differing histories behind the name mozzarella in carriage. One is that when the halves of the sandwich are pulled apart the gooey strings of cheese resemble the reigns of a horse and carriage. Another is that the sandwich is traditionally made with Neapolitan bread, and that its shape resembles the wheels of a carriage. Originally the recipe was created to make use of stale bread and leftover mozzarella. 

I’m sharing a recipe as well as tips and tricks on how to successfully create a traditional mozzarella en carozza.

Mozzarella en Carozza Recipe

Mozzarella en Carozza Recipe

Substitutions/  Other Ways To Prepare Mozzarella En Carozza

Fresh mozzarella

While I prefer using part-skim cheese because the low-moisture, dry, rubbery texture melts better though fresh mozzarella has a softer, more buttery texture. It doesn’t melt as well but the flavor is great so you can always give it a try in this recipe! It also doesn’t last as long in the fridge. Low-moisture cheese can be kept for much longer making it for an easily accessible snack. 

Sandwich bread

This is the way that I make mozzarella en carozza. The sandwich bread requires no forethought and white sandwich bread is a great side for this recipe. It’s slightly smaller than other bread. 

Stale bread

As mentioned before this recipe was originally created to make use of stale bread. When you use stale bread it absorbs the egg mixture, softening the bread and crisps up well when it fries.

Italian bread crumbs

Italian bread crumbs can be used in the place of panko bread crumbs in this recipe. I prefer using panko because it absorbs less oil and gives the recipe a light and airy crunch. If you use this then I’d recommend first coating the bread in flour before the egg mixture so it gets crispier. 

Ingredients in Mozzarella en Carozza 

Mozzarella

I use part-skim, also called low-moisture mozzarella in this recipe. Fresh mozzarella has a higher water content and it becomes runny rather than gooey as it melts. If you can’t find deli-sliced mozzarella choose a block of part-skim mozzarella and cut it into ⅛”-thick slices.  

Bread

White bread works best for this recipe. The size of white sandwich bread is perfect for this appetizer while the airy texture works to soak up the egg mixture so the panko sticks well. If you use thick slices of bread it will take much longer for the cheese to melt on the inside while the outside browns too quickly. 

Butter

Unless noted otherwise, I use unsalted butter in my recipes. I find the amount and type of salt can be controlled and added as needed. The butter helps to hold the sandwich together before frying. 

Panko breadcrumbs

Panko, or Japanese breadcrumbs, are light and airy. They absorb less oil than Italian breadcrumbs which makes for a crisp, crunchy texture. 

Lemon zest

the lemon zest is the grated outer skin from the lemon. Use a zester or microplane to remove the zest. If you don’t have a zester use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the rind and finely chop it.  

Garlic powder

Ground and dried garlic powder has a much more mellow taste and aroma than fresh garlic. 

Pecorino Romano

The pecorino romano adds additional flavor to the sandwich and melts into the outer coating. 

Eggs

The bread is coated in a simple egg batter. The eggs should be whisked until they are smooth and fall like ribbons from the whisk. 

Vegetable oil

I fry the sandwich in vegetable oil rather than olive oil because it has a higher smoke point and neutral flavor. 

Parsley

It’s more of a personal preference, but I like to use flat-leaf parsley rather than curly parsley. 

Marinara sauce

Use my homemade recipe here or warm a store-bought sauce in a pinch. 

Easy Mozzarella en Carozza Recipe

Instructions 

Get all your ingredients set up before you begin cooking to make the process easier. The method for making them is somewhat similar to a monte cristo sandwich. The mozzarella is sandwiched between slices of sandwich bread then coated in egg followed by panko and fried until golden brown. 

Methods to make Mozzarella En Carozza

  • In an airfryer – This recipe can be made in an airfryer. Simply assemble the sandwiches according to the instructions then add one at a time to the basket and cook with 1 teaspoon of oil for 4 minutes on each side, or until crispy and golden brown. 
  • In a deep-fryer – Fill a deep fryer oil and heat to 350ºF. Assemble the sandwiches according to the instructions then drop each sandwich into the deep fryer. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes total. 
  • In the oven – While frying it makes it much crispier, these can be baked and broiled.  Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Assemble and bake for 15 minutes then broil until crispy, about 1 minutes on each side. 
Mozzarella en Carozza Recipe steps
Steps 
  1. Prep the egg mixture in one medium shallow bowl and beat the eggs. In another medium shallow bowl combine the breadcrumbs, Pecorino Romano, lemon zest and garlic powder. 
  2. Spread the butter on one side of each of the slices of bread. Top half of the slices of buttered bread with mozzarella slices. Close the sandwich so the buttered sides hold the mozzarella in place. Press down gently so the cheese adheres to the bread, then carefully trim the crusts off the bread. 
  3. Work in batches and add a sandwich to the beaten egg mixture, coating it on both sides. 
  4. Heat a large nonstick pan, and add oil to the pan and heat through. 
  5. Add the sandwich to the panko mixture and gently press to coat the sandwich. 
  6. Add the sandwich to the oil and fry, until golden brown and crispy on both sides. 
  7. Remove to a cooling rack set over paper towels and repeat with the remaining sandwiches until all are cooked. 
  8. To serve, cut in half diagonally and top with parsley with marinara for dipping. 
mozzarella stick meets a grilled cheese sandwich

Mozzarella en Carozza Recipe

fried mozzarella sandwiches pulled apart with marinara
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher salt as needed
  • Freshly ground
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 ounces deli-sliced part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Vegetable oil as needed, for frying
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup marinara sauce, warmed

Instructions:

  • In a medium, shallow bowl, beat the eggs until well combined. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • In another medium shallow bowl stir together the panko breadcrumbs, Pecorino Romano, lemon zest and garlic powder.
  • Spread the butter on one side of each of the slices of bread. Top half of the slices of buttered bread with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese. Close the sandwich so the buttered sides hold the mozzarella in place. Press down gently to adhere the cheese to the bread then carefully trim the crusts off the bread.
  • Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat, add enough oil to reach ¼” up the sides of the pan (just enough to fully coat the bottom of the pan) and heat through.
  • Working one at a time, add the sandwich to the beaten egg mixture, coating it on both sides.
  • Add the sandwich to the panko mixture and gently press to coat the sandwich. Add the sandwich to the hot oil and fry, until golden brown and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Use a spatula to flip the sandwich cooking until golden brown, about an additional minute. Turn the heat down to medium-low if the outside browns too quickly. The inside should be melty.
  • Remove to a cooling rack set over paper towels and repeat with the remaining sandwiches until all are cooked.
  • To serve, cut in half diagonally and top with parsley with marinara for dipping.

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