Mozzarella en carrozza is a favorite appetizer that is basically an Italian version of grilled cheese.  Mozzarella cheese is stuffed between two slices of battered bread and fried until golden and crisp on the outside, and melty and decadent on the inside.  Traditionally served with an anchovy sauce or lemon wedges these tiny sandwiches are perfect to dip in a simple marinara, or as a side to dunk in your favorite soup.

Mozzarella en carrozza triangles in white plate with lemon wedges.

Mozzarella en carrozza in Italian translates to “mozzarella in a carriage” in English, the carriage being the egg battered bread. 

It is served in many well-known Italian restaurants, such as Da Nico in NYC’s Little Italy, Tony’s Di Napoli, and many others.

It is quite simply, Italian grilled cheese, for lack of a better description.  But it is so much more than that too.  

The egg and parsley batter that encases the sandwich triangles creates a super crisp coating on the outside that seals in the heat to keep the mozzarella warm and melty.

I love serving mozzarella en carrozza alongside a simple marinara, but also with the traditional accompaniments of anchovy sauce or just some lemon wedges.

It’s also perfect to dunk in Italian lentil soup, spicy sausage potato and kale soup, or butternut squash soup.

Ingredients shown: Italian style white bread, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, milk, eggs, and parsley.

How to make mozzarella en carrozza

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Beat 5 eggs, 2 tablespoons of milk, 1/4 cup of Pecorino Romano, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and a 1/4 cup of minced parsley together and set aside.  Slice one block of mozzarella into 1/4″ thick pieces.

Mozzarella en carrozza recipe process shot collage group number one.

  1. Cut off the ends of 8 slices of white Italian sandwich bread, essentially making squares, and place the mozzarella onto one side.  If required cut the mozzarella to fit.  Note: You’ll have some leftover mozzarella pieces, so make a few more sandwiches or save for another use.
  2. Create a sandwich, then cut into triangles.

Recipe process shot collage group number two.

  1. Heat a 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large pan over medium to medium-low heat.  Once the oil is hot, grab a triangle and dip it into flour on all sides.  Shake off the excess and move on to the next step.  Note:  The triangles are not being deep-fried and the oil does not need to be super hot.  The goal is golden sandwiches and melted cheese.  
  2. Beat the eggs again, then place the floured triangle into the egg mixture.  Press it down and let it sit in the egg mixture for 10 seconds or so, then flip and let it soak for another 10 seconds.

Recipe process shot collage group number three.

  1. Drag the triangle out of the egg batter on the side of the dish (so that not too much egg batter drips) and place it into the hot oil.  
  2. Once the sandwich is nice and golden, carefully flip and continue to cook until the other side turns golden.

Recipe process shot collage group number four.

  1. Place the mozzarella en carrozza onto a wire rack to drain (you can also use a dish lined with paper towels).  Repeat for the next batch.

Serve immediately alongside your favorite soup, a simple marinara for dipping, or an epic green salad. 

While mozzarella en carrozza differs slightly from the famed ham and cheese sandwiches served at Harry’s in Venice, these would be fantastic with a bellini to wash them down!

Overhead shot of fried mozzarella en carrozza sandwiches on wire rack.

Top tips

  • Mozzarella en carrozza is traditionally made with fresh mozzarella.  However, in this recipe, I’ve opted to veer a bit from tradition and use block mozzarella as it makes it far easier to prep and fry.  The added bonus is block mozzarella stays melted longer giving you more wiggle room between making and serving.    
  • The oil doesn’t need to be overly hot.  A medium to medium-low flame will do the trick.  The goal is to get the crust golden without burning it and for the cheese to melt.  In order to achieve this, the triangles need to cook long enough.
  • Keep the oven warm at 175f and place the mozzarella en carrozza into the oven on the wire rack.  The cheese will remain melty while you prepare an anchovy sauce, cut lemons, or heat up some marinara.
  • To make the anchovy sauce, simply chop one tin of anchovy fillets and heat on low with a 1/4 cup of water.  While not traditional, I like to add a squeeze of lemon to the sauce as well. 

Hands pulling apart fried mozzarella sandwich.

More beloved Italian snacks and appetizers

I’m a big fan of Spanish tapas, and sometimes I borrow that concept and just make a bunch of Italian appetizers for dinner. 

Mozzarella en carrozza is definitely one of my top apps, but these are a few more of my favorites.  Which are your favorite appetizers?

  • Clams oreganata – Baked Littleneck clams stuffed with garlicky breadcrumbs and topped with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Italian stuffed mushrooms – Mushrooms are piled high with a garlic breadcrumb mixture and baked until perfect.
  • Marinated mushrooms – Tiny button mushrooms cooked in vinegar and hot red pepper flakes and chilled.
  • Italian zucchini fritters – Shredded zucchini mixed with Pecorino Romano batter and fried to golden.
  • Eggplant caponata – Classic sweet and sour eggplant dish with the addition of raisins and pine nuts.
  • Taralli – Italian snack crackers that are perfect with any appetizer spread.

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Mozzarella en Carrozza

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Mozzarella en carrozza is a favorite Italian appetizer. Sliced mozzarella is sandwiched between bread that has been battered and fried until golden and crisp on the outside, while warm and melty on the inside.

Ingredients 

  • 8 slices white bread crust removed
  • 1 pound block mozzarella sliced 1/4" thick, see notes below
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 5 large eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup parsley minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano

Instructions 

  • Beat the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, Pecorino Romano, and parsley together and set aside.
  • Lay 2 slices or enough mozzarella to cover one slice of bread, then lay another slice on top and cut in half diagonally. Repeat for a total of 8 triangles.
  • Heat a large nonstick pan to medium to medium-low heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Dredge the triangles into the flour on all sides and shake off the excess.
  • Beat the egg mixture one more time then soak the triangles in the egg mixture for 20 seconds, flip and soak the other side for 20 seconds
  • Fry the egg battered triangles until golden on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Place the finished fried sandwiches on a wire rack or paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Do not overcrowd the pan. Work in batches and use the remaining olive oil for subsequent batches.
  • The sandwiches can be kept warm in a 170f oven while waiting to finish more sandwiches or if making a big batch. Serve with lemon wedges, anchovy sauce, or marinara sauce on the side.

Notes

  • Traditionally mozzarella en Carrozza uses fresh mozzarella.  Block mozzarella is easier to melt and stays melted longer.  Use what you like!
  • The oil doesn't need to be overly hot.  A medium to medium-low flame will do the trick.  The goal is to get the crust golden without burning and for the cheese to melt.
  • A simple anchovy sauce can be prepared by chopping and heating 1 tin of anchovies with a 1/4 cup of water and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Sandwiches should be eaten right away, but can easily be refried in a low heat pan to warm up if necessary.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 611kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.8g | Protein: 36.9g | Fat: 46.3g | Saturated Fat: 20.1g | Cholesterol: 302mg | Sodium: 1298mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 2.7g | Calcium: 728mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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14 Comments

  1. You make everything so good. I made the shrimp oraganata with the wine sauce. I steam the shells with wine,water and some pepper. It was amazing. Poured into the middle of the baking dish to cook with the shrimp. Yummy

  2. Dear Jim;
    Love your show and follow you religiously. I’m a teacher and applaud your easy teaching style. Keep up the good work. I can tell you’re blessed with a spectacular family.
    Ciao, Tony🎶

  3. You rock…I have made so many of your recipes and can I say each and every one was delicious…thank you for your great videos !!

  4. 5 stars
    I was out of parsley but wanted something green in the batter so I snipped a few scallions (green onions) and added them instead. Freaking fantastic! I also love it with parsley but wanted you to know that this alternative is great too. Excellent recipe as always Jim. Thank you!

  5. I am new to this but I thought bread crumbs was used for mozzarella en carrozza? Btw I asked a question the other day about escarole and beans that you made without chicken stock. My question is when would you add the chicken stock? Thanks love ur show

    1. Hi Ray. Feel free to use breadcrumbs as well if you like. My Grandmother used to make it like this without. I’m pretty sure this is the way Da Nico in Little Italy serves them, though it has been years since I’ve eaten there. As far as the stock you could add in the beginning or end. The soup can simmer for as little as 10 minutes or for even hours. Escarole is a hearty veggie and can take a long simmer.

    2. You are my favorite chef on YouTube. Love all your recipes. I tell everyone about you. Your son is so cute also. He will probably follow in your footsteps!! Thank you!!