These Baked Mozzarella Sticks are perfect for #SundaySupper’s Easy Football Food Ideas for Game Day! Coated with crispy golden brown panko breadcrumbs, they can easily be baked for a crowd and enjoyed as a healthier version of one of our favorite game day snacks.
Today, #SundaySupper is getting together to celebrate game day! I am joining in with these Baked Mozzarella Sticks. Now I’m not going to lie and say that these are better than the deep-fried version, but they are still quite delicious and are easy to cook for a crowd instead of spending your time standing over a deep-fryer.
I especially love how the mozzarella sticks can be prepped ahead of time- and they actually need to be to keep the cheese from bursting through the breading. After coating, arrange them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and freeze for at least an hour before baking. If you don’t want to cook them on the same day, they can be transferred to a freezer-safe bag once chilled and stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Just pull them out, arrange on the prepared wire rack and baking sheet, and bake until heated through. If they have been frozen for a while, you may need to add a minute or two to the baking time.
I used the packaged mozzarella sticks as the base and cut them in half. The size was especially perfect for smaller hands. For a less expensive version, you can also cut a block of low-moisture mozzarella into individual sticks.
You only really need about 1 1/4 cup of the panko and a little less of the flour, but I upped the amounts just to make sure I had plenty in the bowl to thoroughly coat the mozzarella.
The panko needs to be toasted and allowed to cool before coating the cheese. I toasted them in a pan over medium heat while constantly stirring until a golden brown. This is the quickest way, but also requires constant attention and stirring as they can burn quickly. Another way is to spread the breadcrumbs in an even layer on a baking sheet and cook in a 350˚F oven until golden.
The Mozzarella Sticks are best served shortly after baking. As they cool, they will lose that gooey, melty texture.
I didn’t try this, but for an extra crisp coating dip the frozen breaded mozzarella sticks in the egg again and more panko before baking.
Easy Football Food Ideas for Game Day
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The Sunday Supper Movement is committed to bringing our readers delicious recipes that encourage them to gather and eat together around the family table. Search for your favorite ingredients on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Sunday Supper Pinterest boards for plenty more ideas and inspiration.
Baked Mozzarella Sticks Recipe
Baked Mozzarella Sticks
Adapted from Circle B Kitchen
24 small mozzarella sticks
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
12 mozzarella sticks
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup Marinara sauce
Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
In a large skillet, cook the panko, while constantly stirring, over medium heat until golden brown. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool.
Line a large baking sheet with foil. Top with wire racks.
Cut the mozzarella sticks in half crosswise.
In a wide bowl, add the flour and season with salt and pepper.
In another bow, beat together the egg and milk.
Mix the Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder into the cooled panko in the third bowl.
Dip a halved mozzarella stick into the flour and thoroughly coat. Then coat in the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off before completely covering in the panko, including the ends. Place on the wire rack over the baking sheet and repeat with remaining cheese sticks, placing them at least an inch apart.
Freeze the mozzarella sticks on the baking sheet for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Bake the mozzarella sticks in the preheated oven until heated through 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool 1-2 minutes before serving warm with marinara sauce and a sprinkling of parsley.