Healthier Baked Mozzarella Sticks
These Baked Mozzarella Sticks are a much healthier and much easier to make version of a great party classic! Now there’s no reason not to indulge!
Some of you will argue that Baked Mozzarella Sticks don’t really belong on a healthy eating food blog. I’ll give it to you, they are definitely not something that you’d want to actually feed off on a regular basis. No, they do not make for an actual, healthy meal. But, as we are getting closer to the Holidays, I think that most of us tend to indulge a little bit more, and well, if you’re going to indulge, I say these Baked Mozzarella Sticks are a good way to do that and still keep things on the healthy side…
You see, most people like to use string type cheese when they make mozzarella sticks; personally, I’m not a fan. While their size truly is super convenient, I find that they also contain too much added “stuff”, so I prefer to stick with something much less processed. Cheese doesn’t have to be bad for you if you make the right choices!
Also too, I used panko bread crumbs for the breading but I pimped it up with a little bit of almond flour and sesame seeds; Not only do they add tons of flavor, but they’re also better for you!
And lastly, I chose to bake my mozzarella sticks as opposed to deep or pan fry them. For starters, not only does it use a lot less oil but it also allows you to use the good kind, and it also makes the job so much easier to tackle. All you do is brush each individual stick with a little bit of your favorite healthy oil so they get all beautiful and golden brown as they bake, and shove the whole batch at once in the oven!
And I’m telling you, these come out so good, crispy, oozy and delicious, no one will complain that they’ve been baked, not fried. In fact, I say there’s a very good chance that they will prefer them to the “real” thing…
To make these Baked Mozzarella Sticks, you must first cut 24 sticks of roughly 2″x ½”x ½” out of a large block of your favorite mozzarella cheese. What I did is I cut 6 thick slices and then cut each of these slices into 4 pieces.
Then, in a shallow bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, almond flour, corn starch, sesame seeds, dried parsley, salt, garlic powder, dried mustard, paprika, black pepper and cayenne and mix that well with a fork or flat whisk until evenly combined.
Place the whole wheat flour in a second shallow bowl and in a third bowl, beat the eggs really well.
Now, if you’re like me and hate getting your fingers dirty, then you probably dread breading stuff, cuz you invariably end up breading your fingers along with whatever it is you are trying to bread.
Well, pay attention, cuz I’ve got a great trick for you: we’re going to use the wet hand / dry hand technique!
Soooooo, with your dry hand (in this case my right) roll a few pieces of cheese in the flour first…
Still using your dry hand, shake off the excess flour from one piece of cheese and drop it in the eggs, without touching the eggs.
Then, using your wet hand (in this case my left) roll the cheese in the eggs
Drop that piece of cheese in the crumbs mixture and, using your dry hand, bury it in the crumbs before you even touch it. Once it’s completely covered, you can roll it around a little bit to be sure you haven’t missed a spot, then lift it up…
…and drop it in the beaten eggs again. Use your wet hand to cover that same piece of cheese in eggs once again…
…and drop it in the crumbs for a second and final coating. Again, use your dry hand to cover the wet piece of cheese in crumbs before you touch it and roll it in the crumbs. This simple precaution will help tremendously in keeping your hands clean and “unbreaded”.
You could very well work with several pieces of cheese at once, if you wanted to, but make sure that you always have sufficient room to sprinkle the crumbs over the egg covered pieces of cheese before you ever touch them with your dry hands.
Place the finished piece of cheese on a baking sheet, and once they have all been coated, place them in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or even up to several weeks. Just be sure to transfer them to an airtight container once they are completely frozen if you’re going to keep them frozen for a prolonged period of time.
When you’re ready to bake your mozzarella sticks, preheat your oven to 400°F.
Brush or drizzle each stick lightly with olive oil, then bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes; after that time, set the oven to broil, flip the sticks over and return to the oven for about 3 minutes, or until the sticks are golden brown and the cheese is soft but not oozing out all over.
Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
I love mine with a traditional style cocktail sauce, but some people prefer something like honey Dijon, or ranch… ultimately, the choice is yours!
I say what matters the most, is the cheese…
I HAS to be ooey and gooey and ooze all over when you bite in to one!
Baked Mozzarella Sticks
- 6 slices mozzarella cheese, cut into 24- 2"x 1/2"x 1/2" sticks
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp salt, I use Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, for baking
- Cut 24 sticks of roughly 2"x 1/2"x 1/2" out of a large block of mozzarella cheese. I cut 6 thick slices and then cut each slice into 4 pieces.
- In a shallow bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, almond flour, corn starch, sesame seeds, dried parsley, salt, garlic powder, dried mustard, paprika, black pepper and cayenne and mix well with a fork or flat whisk until evenly combined.
- Place the whole wheat flour in a second shallow bowl and in a third bowl, beat the eggs really well.
- Roll each piece of cheese in the flour first, shake off excess then roll in the eggs and finally in the seasoned breadcrumbs, until well coated on all sides; then roll in the eggs and breadcrumbs again and then place the finished piece of cheese on a baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining pieces of cheese; once they have all been coated, place them in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or even up to several weeks. Just be sure to transfer them to an airtight container once completely frozen if you're going to keep them frozen for a prolonged period of time.
- When ready to bake your mozzarella sticks, preheat oven to 400°F.
- Brush or drizzle each stick lightly with olive oil, then bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes; after that time, set the oven to broil, flip the sticks over and return to the oven for about 3 minutes, or until the sticks are golden brown and the cheese is soft but not oozing out all over.
- Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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2 Comments on “Healthier Baked Mozzarella Sticks”
i have a very large block of baby swiss. could i use this? yours look wonderful.
Unfortunately, it wouldn’t… the Swiss cheese wouldn’t hold its shape as it melted the way mozzarella does.