Oven-Fried Cheese Sticks with Marinara Sauce Recipe

Oven-Fried Cheese Sticks with Marinara Sauce

Oven-Fried Cheese Sticks with Marinara SauceMy favorite thing about game days is the food. Fried mozzarella cheese sticks rank in my “top five”, along with bean and guacamole nachos, baked Buffalo wings kissed by ranch dressing, chicken tenders, and 7-layer dip. I feel much better about my version of cheese sticks, which are baked with whole-wheat bread crumbs, almonds, and heart-healthy canola oil. What’s your favorite game day food?

Cheese Stick Dipped in Marinara SauceOven-Fried Cheese Sticks with Marinara Sauce

5 slices 100% whole-wheat bread, torn into pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons (28 ml) expeller pressed canola oil

1/2 cup (56 g) sliced almonds

1 tablespoon (7.5 g) whole-wheat flour

1 (9-ounce, or 252-g) package part-skim mozzarella string cheese (12 sticks), cut in half crosswise

1 large egg

1 tablespoon (15 ml) lowfat milk

Zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)

1/2 cup (125 g) marinara sauce, warm

Line a large sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Whir bread in a food processor until fine crumbs. You should have 2 cups (100 g) breadcrumbs, depending on the size of bread used. Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and drizzle in oil with processor running. Put breadcrumb mixture in a large food storage bag. Whir almonds in food processor until ground fine, then add to bag, seal, and shake to blend well.

Place flour in a bowl, add cheese, and coat evenly. Beat egg in a medium shallow dish and stir in milk and zest. Lift cheese from flour, shaking off excess, add to egg mixture, and coat cheese completely. Lift cheese out of the egg with a large fork or slotted spoon to drain excess and add cheese to the bag of breadcrumbs. Seal bag and shake gently to evenly coat cheese sticks. Fill bare patches on cheese by pressing on additional breadcrumbs.

Place cheese sticks 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on sheet pan and freeze at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days*.

Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C, or gas mark 8). Remove pan from freezer, immediately place on middle oven rack and bake 8 to 11 minutes until lightly browned and squishy, but before cheese begins to ooze out. Allow to rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with dipping sauce.

*Once completely frozen, you can move cheese to a sealed container and freeze up to 1 month until ready to cook.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes, plus freezing time

Makes 8 servings, 3 cheese sticks and 1 tablespoon marinara each

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 244 calories, 14.5 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 439 mg sodium, 42 mg cholesterol, 14 g total carbohydrate, 2.5 g fiber, 14 g protein, 6% DV iron, 28% DV calcium, 7% DV Vitamin A, 1% DV Vitamin C.

 

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Oven-Fried Cheese Sticks with Marinara Sauce

Oven-Fried Cheese Sticks with Marinara Sauce

By Michelle Dudash, Chef and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Published: February 2, 2012

  • Yield: 24 cheese sticks, 8 tablespoons marinara sauce (8 Servings)
  • Prep: 34-38 minutes mins
  • Cook: 8-11 minutes mins
  • Ready In: 42 mins

Healthier cheese sticks baked iwth whole-wheat bread crumbs.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Line a large sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Whir bread in a food processor until fine crumbs. You should have 2 cups (100 g) breadcrumbs, depending on the size of bread used. Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and drizzle in oil with processor running. Put breadcrumb mixture in a large food storage bag. Whir almonds in food processor until ground fine, then add to bag, seal, and shake to blend well.
  2. Place flour in a bowl, add cheese, and coat evenly. Beat egg in a medium shallow dish and stir in milk and zest. Lift cheese from flour, shaking off excess, add to egg mixture, and coat cheese completely. Lift cheese out of the egg with a large fork or slotted spoon to drain excess and add cheese to the bag of breadcrumbs. Seal bag and shake gently to evenly coat cheese sticks. Fill bare patches on cheese by pressing on additional breadcrumbs.
  3. Place cheese sticks 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on sheet pan and freeze at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days*.
  4. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C, or gas mark 8). Remove pan from freezer, immediately place on middle oven rack and bake 8 to 11 minutes until lightly browned and squishy, but before cheese begins to ooze out. Allow to rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with dipping sauce.
  5. *Once completely frozen, you can move cheese to a sealed container and freeze up to 1 month until ready to cook.

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