Mozzarella in Carrozza


fried cheese sandwich cut in half and showing cheese pull.

Mozzarella in Carrozza is the most amazing fried cheese sandwich ever!

Gooey cheese, soft bread and fried, eggy crust makes this the sandwich you really must have!

fried cheese sandwich cut in half and showing cheese pull.
Gooey cheese and eggy fried bread – amazing!

Why you’ll love this recipe 

I’m not sure that I even need to convince you, do I? Who doesn’t want to tuck into something fried, golden and delicious?

Mozzarella in Carrozza is a traditional recipe from southern Italy originally created to use up leftovers. Stale bread and leftover cheese was cleverly combined to create this wonderful fried mozzarella sandwich. 

My Italian family was no different – nothing was ever wasted. My mother was from Calabria and these sandwiches were regularly made to use up leftovers. I adored these sandwiches and still do!

Even if you’re not using up leftovers, you’ll want to make these! Food that is fried in properly heated oil is never greasy and tastes so good. Just like Italian rice balls (arancini) and these ham and cheese sofficini, fried sandwiches are popular with everyone!

If you’re wondering what Mozzarella in Carrozza actually means, you’re not alone. The word carrozza means “carriage” – the bread is the “carriage” holding the mozzarella. Some say that when the sandwich is cut and pulled apart, the strings of melted cheese represent the reins of a horse and carriage. Either way this is a sandwich not to be missed!

Mozzarella in Carrozza makes a perfect appetizer for my delicious butterfly chicken recipe.  Be sure to give that one a try as well, the whole family will love it!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.

Ingredients 

mozzarella in carrozza ingredients as in the recipe card.
  • Mozzarella – nothing fancy here. Fresh mozzarella is too wet for this recipe. Look for the drier cheese from the supermarket that comes sealed in plastic.
  • Milk – to combine with the flour to form the glue which will prevent cheese escaping when frying.
  • Flour – this is essential together with the milk  to seal the edges so that no filling oozes out during frying.
  • Eggs – I like to use free range eggs with lovely yellow yolks but any eggs will be fine.
  • Oil – generally this sandwich is fried in olive oil and it really does provide the best flavor. 

Variations

Wholemeal or multigrain will work just as well as the white sliced bread. Or for a rustic sandwich use Italian bread, sourdough or any bread you enjoy. 

Along with mozzarella try filling the sandwich with:-

  • Anchovies 
  • Ham
  • Fresh basil
  • Green tomatoes 
  • Grilled eggplant 
  • Black pepper
  • A spoonful of besciamella (a smooth white sauce made with milk) 

For a crunchy exterior, coat in breadcrumbs after dipping in the beaten egg. Use panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch.

Instructions 

4 step process images showing how to make mozzarella in carrozza.
  1. Cut the crusts off the bread. Make three sandwiches with two slices of bread, slices of mozzarella and a sprinkle of salt on the cheese. Press firmly.
  2. Dip the sandwich quickly into the milk, then into the flour ensuring you flour the edges. Finally dip into beaten eggs.
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Carefully slip the sandwich in. It should be frying gently but well browned on one side in 2 minutes. Flip to brown the other side.
  4. Drain on absorbent paper.
  5. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
  6. Serve hot.

Tips for success and FAQ’s

fried cheese sandwich cut in half and showing cheese pull with second sandwich in background.

As with all simple recipes the ingredients make all the difference. However in this case fresh mozzarella that is sold submerged in water is far too watery. Use the mozzarella that comes sealed in plastic – it’s much drier. If the mozzarella is damp, dry the slices with absorbent paper.

Any bread can be used but white sandwich bread  is perfectly acceptable in this case. The slices should not be too thin – just under ½ inch (1cm) and the crusts removed (keep them to make Italian bread crumbs).

When making the sandwich, place the mozzarella in from the edge of the bread so that none escapes and burns when frying. 

Before closing the sandwich, sprinkle it with salt unless you are using a salty filling like anchovies or ham. Press the sandwich with your hands to help seal.

It’s important to not forget about the edges of the bread when dipping in milk, then flour and eggs. This is where the cheese will ooze out so it needs a good seal.

 Of course, the oil should be hot so that the bread doesn’t absorb oil. However not too hot that the outside burns before the mozzarella melts. Temperature should be around 340-350° F (170-180° C) maximum. I test by dropping in a crust and if it bubbles gently the oil is good to go.

Can this recipe be made in advance?

Ideally this fried sandwich should be served and eaten immediately. But if you have a few to fry, they can be kept quite well in a warm oven. Simply drain on absorbent paper then place on a rack over a baking tray. The rack ensures the bread doesn’t become soggy.

Can this recipe be halved or doubled?

Yes, this recipe can be increased or decreased with no problems. If you are doubling or tripling the recipe, keep the fried mozzarella in carrozza in a warm oven as described above while you finish all the frying.

How to store

This is such a delicious recipe that I doubt you’ll have leftovers. However if you do, allow to cool completely then place in a sealed container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm gently in the oven (320ºF/160ºC) for 10-15 minutes or until hot and the cheese has melted.

Serving suggestions 

Mozzarella in Carrozza is incredibly good served right out of the pan – just be careful not to burn your mouth. 

But if you’re after something extra, make a saucy marinara or a vibrant basil pesto to dunk your sandwich into. 

fried cheese sandwich cut in half and showing cheese pull.
Print

Mozzarella in Carrozza Recipe

The most amazing fried cheese sandwich you will ever eat! Gooey mozzarella sandwiched in eggy fried bread – delicious!
Course Appetizer, Bread, Brunch
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 people
Calories 477kcal
Author Marcellina

Ingredients

  • 6 slices white bread
  • 4 oz mozzarella (115 grams)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup all purpose (plain flour)
  • 2 large eggs
  • salt
  • Olive oil for frying

Instructions

  • Cut the crusts from the bread. Make three sandwiches with two slices of bread, slices of mozzarella and a sprinkle of salt on the cheese. Press firmly.
  • Dip the sandwich quickly into the milk, then into the flour ensuring you flour the edges. Finally dip into beaten eggs.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Carefully slip the sandwich in. It should be frying gently but well browned on one side in 2 minutes. Flip to brown the other side.
  • Drain on absorbent paper.
  • Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
  • Serve hot.

Notes

Tips for Success
  • Don’t use fresh mozzarella, it’s too watery. Use the dry mozzarella from the supermarket that comes sealed in plastic.
  • White sandwich bread is perfectly fine.
  • Place the mozzarella in from the edge of the bread so that none escapes and burns when frying. 
  • Season mozzarella with a little salt unless you are adding salty ingredients like anchovies
  • Press the sandwich with your hands to help seal.
  • Pay attention to the edges where the bread meets and dip well in the flour and egg coating.
  • Check that the oil is hot but not so hot that the bread burns. Temperature should be around 340-350° F (170-180° C) maximum. I test by dropping in a crust and if it bubbles gently the oil is good to go.
Please note: this nutritional guide is just that – a guide! In this case it doesn’t include any oil that it’s fried in because that all depends on individual circumstance. With a recipe like this, if you are concerned about the calories this isn’t the recipe you should make. This is not a low fat recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 551mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 513IU | Calcium: 412mg | Iron: 4mg

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