I know my family does!
Nine times out of ten, when we're at a restaurant and an appetizer is ordered, it is a big basket of fried, gooey mozzarella sticks. What can I say, they are so good! But those yummy sticks can be very unforgiving with your waistline... One popular restaurant chain serves mozzarella sticks that will cost you 940 calories and 48 grams of fat! I would have to walk for over four hours just to burn off my appetizer!
I came across this recipe for Baked Mozzarella Sticks from the Dr. Oz Show, and not only do they taste amazing, they are less than half the fat of the traditional recipe!!
The recipes starts off with part-skim mozzarella sticks you can purchase from any grocery store. I used Kraft Natural Cheese Part Skim Mozzarella Sticks. My kids love them, so we usually have a package in the refrigerator anyway!
The cheese sticks are placed in the freezer for one hour prior to baking. You want them to be really cold so they hold their shape and don't turn into a pile of melted cheese in the oven!
Then the sticks go through a 3 step coating: flour, egg whites, and seasoned panko breadcrumbs. The breading sticks really well to the cold cheese, and the panko gives them a great crunch!
The mozzarella sticks then go under the broiler for just a couple minutes and come out crisp and golden on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside! Just the way a cheese stick should be!
Just be sure to really watch the time!
Serve with your favorite marinara sauce and dig in! They are so scrumptious, you'd never know they're low fat! (ok low-ER fat!)
Baked Mozzarella Sticks
12 sticks part-skim mozzarella string cheese
3 tablespoons flour
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
Non-stick cooking spray
1 cup marinara sauce, warmed
Remove string cheese from individual packaging and freeze for one hour. Set oven rack to lower third and preheat broiler on high. Place flour in a zip top bag. Beat egg whites and water and place in a shallow bowl. Mix panko with the rest of the dry ingredients and place into another shallow bowl. Remove string cheese from freezer and coat with flour, then dip in egg whites, and finally coat with the panko crumb mixture. Carefully place them on an ungreased baking sheet and lightly spray with the non-stick spray. Broil for 2-3 minutes until browned. Use tongs to carefully flip each stick and broil another 1-2 minutes until browned on other side. Remove from oven and onto a plate to cool 2 minutes before serving with warm marinara.
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