Recipe Rescue: Mozzarella Sticks

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Mozzarella sticks are always a crowd pleaser, but with that fried cheesy goodness comes a lot of fat and calories. Here's a healthier version that's a delicious option to serve at parties or just make when you need a fix. (Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe!)

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Typical Recipe:
  • Regular mozzarella
  • Coated in flour and egg
  • Breaded
  • Deep-fried

Changes Made:

  • Regular mozzarella: Switched to light mozzarella cheese sticks
  • Coated in flour and egg
  • Breaded: Rolled in Italian-seasoned panko breadcrumbs (coarser crumbs that lend more crunch and crispness)
  • Deep-fried: Baked in oven at 400 degrees F until lightly golden and crispy. Cooking spray helps prevent sticking and encourages browning.

Nutrition Facts Face-Off!

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Mozzarella Sticks (Printable PDF Version)

Makes six 4-stick servings

Ingredients

12 light mozzarella cheese sticks

2 tablespoons flour

1 large egg

6-8 tablespoons Italian-seasoned panko breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1.5 cups pizza sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spray foil with nonstick spray.
  2. Cut cheese sticks in half so you have 24 pieces.
  3. Measure out flour in a small shallow bowl. Beat egg in another bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Roll one cheese stick piece in the flour, then into the egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Place coated cheese stick onto aluminum foil on the baking sheet.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for remaining cheese sticks.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until crisp. Be careful to not let cheese sticks melt completely, so that they keep their shape.
  8. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.