Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks

by amy on 16 November 2012

there are a lot of “bar foods” that i’m just so-so about. chicken wings? i can take ‘em or leave ‘em. potato skins? tasty, but not something i ooh + ahh over. but one bar food i truly adore? mozzarella sticks! i already have a weakness for cheese, + once you bread + fry it, it’s irresistible. the only thing i don’t love about ‘em is their less-than-healthy amount of calories + fat. so, when i saw a delicious-looking recipe for baked, healthier mozzarella sticks, i decided to give ‘em a try.

so, how were they? surprisingly, really tasty. they’ll never replace the full-fat, deep-fried version in terms of true delectable indulgence, but they definitely filled my cheesy craving for a fraction of the calories/fat. the cheese gets wonderfully melty on the inside + the exterior breading remained delightfully crunchy. i intended to just eat one or two after taking these pictures, but the next thing i knew, 6 of them were gone. however, since a 2-mozzarella-stick serving has less than 100 calories, they were still pretty guilt-free. hooray for healthified comfort food recipes!

Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks

makes 24 mozzarella sticks, adapted from skinnytaste

ingredients

12 sticks part-skim, reduced sodium mozzarella string cheese (i used Sargento brand)
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp flour
5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
5 tbsp panko crumbs
2 tsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried italian seasoning
olive oil cooking spray

directions

cut each string cheese in half to give you 24 pieces. place cheese in the freezer until cheese is completely frozen.

in small bowl, whisk the egg. place the flour in another small dish. in a third separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, panko, parmesan cheese + dried italian seasoning.

dip the frozen sticks in flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then coat on all sides with the crumbs.

repeat this process with the remaining cheese, placing them on a tray with wax paper. when all are done, place back into the freezer until fully frozen + ready to bake (this step is a must or they will melt before the crumbs get golden).

when ready to bake preheat oven to 400° F. line a baking sheet with aluminum foil + lightly spray with olive oil. place frozen sticks on baking sheet. spray the tops of the mozzarella sticks with a little more oil + bake in the bottom third of your oven until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. turn + bake an additional 4 – 5 minutes, watching them closely so they don’t melt.

serve hot with marinara sauce.

nutritional information per serving, as provided by skinnytaste:
servings per recipe: 12 • serving size: 2 sticks • old ww points: 1 pt • ww points+: 2 pts
calories: 86.8 • fat: 4.8 g • protein: 7.4 g • carb: 3.5 g • fiber: 0.2 g • sugar: 0.2 g
sodium: 168.6 mg

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 danielle November 16, 2012 at 7:21 am

ooh – love this idea! BTW I dont know if you saw but I featured your alfredo in my bookmark post last Saturday.

2 amy November 16, 2012 at 7:36 am

I’m not sure how i missed it, but i did! off to check it out now – thank you!!

3 Beth November 16, 2012 at 7:49 am

What a great solution for a high-fat food! I know the perils of thinking, “Just one more, just one more….”

4 amy November 16, 2012 at 7:50 am

it’s a slippery slope for sure! that “just one more” turns into 2, which turns into 3… =)

5 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar November 16, 2012 at 7:53 am

These sound like such a fabulous appetizer. Yum!

6 sally @ sallys baking addiction November 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

Amy, I’m the same way when it comes to bar food! I really am not interested in it too much – i find a lot of the fried stuff just so bland! but mozzarella sticks never cease to keep me interested. And hungry when I see them on the menu! I don’t order them much since they aren’t TOO good for you and I get all my extra calories from sweets lol. But a skinny version? I am so on board with!!

7 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel November 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

between you and ali i need to make mozzarella sticks again soon!! they’re my favorite appetizer to order anywhere but i rarely make them at home.

8 claire @ the realistic nutritionist November 16, 2012 at 9:30 am

These look INCREDIBLE Amy!!

9 Kelly November 16, 2012 at 10:16 am

OMG, I love me some fried cheese sticks! Had no idea they were so easy!

10 Meghan November 16, 2012 at 10:34 am

I don’t think I could stop at 2 either! These look great Amy!

11 Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel November 16, 2012 at 11:00 am

If my sister sees this recipe, she’s surely going to flip. out. majorly. She LOVES mozzarella sticks and sucks them down like normal humans suck air. These look AWESOME, Amy, and I’m totally making them for her when she returns from Texas this weekend!!

12 amy November 16, 2012 at 11:09 am

woohoo! hope you + your sister love ‘em. she sounds like my kinda lady. =)

13 Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker} November 16, 2012 at 11:19 am

Oh I MUST try these!! I’m in the same boat you are – a lot of bar food is take it or leave it with me!! These look fab!

14 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet November 16, 2012 at 11:49 am

Oooh, these look tempting!! I love that you used Italian bread crumbs – my favorite!!

15 angela@spinachtiger November 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

Nice modern twist on an old classic.

16 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef November 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm

mm, these would be perfect to make for my husband- he’s obsessed with mozzarella sticks!

17 CCU November 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I would devour many of these at once :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

18 natalie@thesweetslife November 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm

i’m not really a mozz stick fan but i love string cheese, so i need to try these!

19 amy November 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I love both mozz sticks AND string cheese, but for different reasons – these definitely are more mozz stick-like than they are string-cheese-like. i’ll be curious to see what you think of them!

20 Cassie | Bake Your Day November 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I LOVE mozarella sticks…must make at home asap.

21 Ashley - Baker by Nature November 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I’m a bit of a sucker for bar food – it’s my guilty pleasure. Mozzarella sticks are one of my all time favorites, I’m SO trying these at home soon!

22 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious November 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I totally go crazy for mozzarella sticks too! I mean there’s just something about melted cheezy goodness that I can’t resist. I love that you lightened this up too – that just means I’ll have twice as much. No wait, three times as much :)

23 Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen November 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Oh my Amy these look great! You would never know they were baked and not fried by the look of them!

24 luv what you do November 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm

OMG! My mouth is watering right now looking at these. I love motz sticks but try to avoid the fried kind. I am looking forwrad to making these!

25 Julie @ Table for Two November 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I love that these are skinny!! That means i can keep dipping these cheesy sticks in marinara and never gain weight right? ;)

26 amy November 17, 2012 at 7:32 am

Oh, how i wish! =)

27 EA -The Spicy RD November 17, 2012 at 8:46 am

Definitely pinning to make with my Tall Papa gluten-free breadcrumbs! My hubby and kids always order Mozarella sticks at one restaurant we go to a lot, and I’m always feeling left out. Maybe I’ll share these with them…Maybe :-)

28 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl November 17, 2012 at 9:27 am

These turned out awesome! We LOVE mozerella sticks, but I usually don’t eat them often because (1) they are fattening and (2) I can’t stop eating them. This is the perfect solution!

29 Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie November 17, 2012 at 11:53 am

Yum! Mozzarella Sticks are one of my favs too – and I love that these are lightened up. I would feel a lot less guilty after devouring a bunch :)

30 Shannon November 17, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Wow. These look amazing! Mozzarella sticks are my total weakness.

31 Erin @ Texanerin Baking November 18, 2012 at 9:39 am

YAY! You posted them! :D They look great. I started a month of eating gluten-free today (to see if it helps with my issues) so I’ll have to save this for my first day back to regular eating. Can’t wait! I love that they’re baked. I’ve fried them before and they were delicious but kind of silly for a few sticks…

32 amy November 18, 2012 at 11:17 am

i’ve never tried the fried version at home, but i should give them a try for days when i’m wanting to splurge. and good luck with the gluten-free month – hope it helps!

33 kathryn November 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

These are one of my absolute favourites too – I can’t wait to try this skinny version!

34 Tracey November 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm

These sound amazing Amy!! Mozzarella sticks remind me of going out with my friends for appetizers in high school – we always, always got these :)

35 Kristen @ notsodomesticated November 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I saw a similar recipe recently and wondering how they would taste. I was skeptical that the baked version could be anywhere near as tasty as the fried. But maybe I need to give these a shot!! ;)

36 Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen November 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm

I need these in my life! There is a takeout pizza place near me that delivers really late, and I’ve succumbed to the allure of their mozzarella sticks via delivery more times that I’d care to admit. These look much less artery clogging :)

37 Scrambled Megs November 19, 2012 at 1:25 am

these sound absolutely incredible. i’m such a fan of cheese – will have to give these a go!

38 April @ Angel's Homestead November 19, 2012 at 7:00 am

Boy does this look good! I tried my hand at making a fried version one time, and while they were tasty, the deep frying turned me off from making them again. I cant wait to try these.

39 Jed Gray (sportsglutton) November 19, 2012 at 9:56 am

Everything homemade is better even mozzarella sticks…period! ;-)

40 Angela @ AnotherBitePlease November 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

lol…how did you know that I tried making homemade mozz sticks a few weeks ago and they melted into one big cookie sheet of cheese…oh because I didn’t realize I should re-freeze! thank you for saving me…I still have bag of frozen string cheese to use up!

41 amy November 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Yes, you definitely have to re-freeze them or they’ll turn into a big cheesy puddle! I hope they turn out wonderful when you re-try ‘em. =)

42 The Food Hound November 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm

So… I never make skinny recipes because they usually taste like crap. But since I don’t have a fryer and I LOVE mozzarella sticks, these are totally up my alley! I bet they taste so much like the real thing + you can eat them in your sweatpants without having to go out to a bar, haha!

43 Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations November 27, 2012 at 12:39 am

I love, love, love mozzarella sticks! Thanks you for posting this healthier version :)

44 Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings December 10, 2012 at 10:28 am

Great idea!!! I’m trying to cut down my fat intake, so this is perfect! While I know nothing compares to the taste of freshly fried mozzarella sticks, I know that this version comes close enough! You always make the food that you know your readers will appreciate. And I thank you for that!

45 amy December 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Aww, you’re welcome Jen – thank you for your always-uplifting comments!

46 Phô mai que July 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm

I always love this food, cheese sticks. Here, we usually fry it. However your pictures look very yummy, I have to try the bake one some time. Thanks a lot!

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