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Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks

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