Today was the Super Bowl, and I must admit, I didn’t really care about the teams that were playing. What I DID care about was the food! I decided to make these easy baked mozzarella sticks to snack on while I watched the Super Bowl commercials…I mean…the Super Bowl.
There is something you must know before making this recipe: Cut the mozzarella sticks in half and freeze a couple of hours before baking. This step is necessary other wise the cheese will melt in the oven before the crumbs get golden!
- 12 sticks part-skim, reduced sodium mozzarella string cheese
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp flour
- 5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 5 tbsp panko crumbs
- 2 tsp parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
Cut cheese in half to give you 24 pieces. Place cheese in the freezer until cheese is frozen.
In small bowl, whisk the egg. Place the flour on another small dish. In separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, panko, parmesan cheese and dried parsley.
Dip the frozen sticks in flour, shaking off excess…
Then into the egg…
Then coat with the crumbs.
Repeat this process with the remaining cheese placing them on a tray with wax paper. Place cheese back into the freezer until ready to bake.
While the mozzarella sticks are in the freezer, prepare the marinara sauce.
In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn.
Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add fresh basil.
When the mozzarella sticks are frozen and ready to bake, preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with oil.
Place frozen cheese sticks on baking sheet. Spray the tops of the mozzarella sticks with a little more oil and bake in the bottom third of your oven until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 4 – 5 minutes watching them closely so they don’t melt.