Are you watching basketball this week? I made a bracket which has pretty much been a disaster. I had a good first day and it’s all been downhill from there. Luckily the actual sports watching has never been super important to me – I’m all about the food!
I know a lot of people who are trying to eat healthier these days, so when I was planning out my game day snacks to bring to the party, I wanted to go with something that would still be tasty and indulgent, but not super unhealthy. I was also looking for something pretty quick since life has been busy lately. That is a lot to ask for in a recipe: quick, healthy(ish), and delicious, but this one checks all of those boxes.
Organic Valley Stringles are perfect for these baked mozzarella sticks. The string cheese is frozen to keep it from melting too much in the oven, then it is covered with breadcrumbs and a little extra Parmesan cheese before baking for just a couple of minutes to make the outside crunchy and the inside gooey and cheesy. You may also wonder how these can be healthy(ish): Organic Valley Stringles contain less fat than other types of cheese, only 80 calories, and when prepared, these mozzarella sticks are baked, not fried. Dip them in the marinara sauce of your choice, and you have a yummy game day snack!
Baked Mozzarella Sticks
These soft and gooey mozzarella sticks are baked not fried. You get the crunchy exterior and soft, melty cheese without the hassle (or calories!) of deep frying.
Cut the Stringles in half lengthwise and freeze until completely frozen.
Put the flour in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. In a third bowl, whisk together the breadcrumbs, Panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, herbs, and salt and pepper.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Dip a frozen cheese stick in the flour and gently shake to remove any excess flour. Dip in the egg, then coat with the breadcrumbs (make sure to cover the ends) then place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cheese sticks. Place the pan in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Bake for about 4 minutes, then turn the sticks over and bake an additional 4-5 minutes until light brown. Cool for several minutes, then serve warm with marinara sauce.
The cheese sticks can be prepared in advance and frozen for several days.
Take your time when coating the cheese in the egg and breadcrumb mixture, you want to make sure that the cheese is fully covered or else the cheese will leak and melt on the pan. If that happens the cheese sticks won't look quite as pretty, but rest assured, they'll still be delicious.
For an extra thick bread coating, you can prepare the cheese sticks as directed above, then dip them in the egg and breadcrumb mixtures a second time.
A former member of CROPP’s Sustainability Department, Annie has relocated to Indiana but remains a CROPPie at heart. Annie has a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and continues to work in the field of environmental sustainability. When she and her yellow lab Boomer aren't outside exploring local hiking trails, Annie can usually be found in the kitchen. While she cooks for subsistence, Annie’s real passion lies in creating indulgent baked goods for friends and family.