Easy Baked Mozzarella Sticks • Simple Nourished Living


WW Recipe of the Day: Easy Baked Mozzarella Sticks
(224 calories | *2WW SmartPoints)

How l love classic bar food – potato skins, nachos, my all-time favorite deep fried mozzarella – and yet I avoid it like the plague. Too much deep frying, too much breading, too many unwise calories.

These Easy Baked Mozzarella Sticks are a great solution that looks the part and actually tastes better than their deep fried counterpart!

Baked mozzarella cheese sticks on potter plate on wooden table.

Easy baked mozzarella sticks

My baked mozzarella sticks have less than half the calories and 1/3 the fat and sodium of their restaurant counterparts. The trick is to begin with part-skim mozzarella string cheese sticks.

String cheese mozzarella is sold in packages of 12 or 24 at most supermarkets. I bought the 12 pack and made the recipe twice, freezing half of the unbaked sticks. Baking them as opposed to frying and using part skim cheese doesn’t effect how good these are.

One week later I popped the frozen sticks in the oven and in 20 minutes had the same flavor,  crispy texture and delicious soft and gooey center that I remembered.

When you are looking for an appetizer for your next game day get together or simply craving some classic bar food comfort food, these easy Baked Mozzarella Sticks are a tasty choice.

How Many Calories and WW Points in these Baked Mozzarella Cheese Sticks?

According to my calculations, each of these easy baked mozzarella cheese sticks has 112 calories and 2 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

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How to Make Easy Baked Mozzarella Sticks Step-by-Step

Step 1: Gather and prepare all ingredients.

Grated Parmesan, all-purpose flour, cashew flour, chopped basil, egg and six mozzarella cheese sticks on wood cutting board for making baked cheese sticks.

Ingredients for making baked mozzarella cheese sticks

I learned the hard way that it’s best to thoroughly freeze your cheese sticks before making this recipe. This is what happened when I made a batch recently without first freezing them. (They still tasted amazing – it is melted cheese after all, but not quite the presentation I was going for)…

Melted baked mozzarella cheese sticks in baking pan.

Melted mozzarella cheese sticks

Step 2: Heat the oven to 400F degrees. Spray a small baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside (should be large enough so that the cheese sticks sit side-by-side but do not overlap).

Step 3: Beat the egg in a shallow bowl, big enough to hold 1 cheese stick.

Beaten egg in shallow white dish on wood table.

Shallow dish with beaten egg

Step 4: Mix together the ground nuts or nut flour, white flour, parmesan and basil and place in shallow dish (large enough to roll one cheese stick).

Cashew flour, white flour, grated Parmesan and chopped basil in shallow white plate for coating baked cheese sticks.

Flour and cheese mixture for coating the cheese sticks

Step 5: Dip a frozen cheese stick first in the egg

Rolling mozzarella cheese stick in egg in shallow white dish.

Coating cheese stick with egg

and then roll it in the crumb mixture.

Rolling mozzarella cheese stick in flour-basil mixture in shallow white dish.

Coating the cheese stick with the nut flour-basil mixture

Place on prepared baking pan. Repeat with the five remaining mozzarella sticks.

Coated mozzarella cheese sticks in baking pan.

Ready to bake coated cheese sticks

Step 6: Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and cheese is just beginning to melt. (I used my Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven (affiliate link) so I wouldn’t have to heat up the whole kitchen.)

Cooking mozzarella sticks in Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven.

Using my convection toaster oven to cook cheese sticks

Step 7: Cool slightly and serve.

Baked mozzarella cheese sticks in baking pan.

Baked Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Baked Mozzarella Sticks Recipes Notes, Variations & Substitutions

To avoid opening your oven to discover a molten gooey mess, these MUST be frozen before you bake them. The good news is you can coat them all ahead of time then place them on a wax paper lined plate and freeze them until you are ready to bake. You can then transfer them to ziplock bags, so they’re ready and waiting when you want them. 

I used a combination of flour, ground nuts, Parmesan cheese and dried basil as my coating. Most any prepared nuts will do. I love the flavor of cashews so always have unsalted, roasted ones in the freezer. Almonds or ground almond meal works just fine too.

I used basil to keep the Italian theme, however 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, or 1/2 teaspoon of garlic or onion powder would be tasty here too.

You could also substitute dry bread crumbs or Panko style breadcrumbs if you prefer.

A tip that will save you from messy hands a clumpy topping is to bread the sticks by using one hand to dip them in the egg and the other hand to roll in the nut mixture. The nut-rolling hand should be kept dry if you can.

Easy Baked Cheese Sticks Serving Suggestions

The classic Italian marinara would be the likely sauce for these, although we loved them just plain.

We also tried slightly cooling the sticks and then topping a big veggie salad with them—a distance relative of the warm goat cheese salad. Delicious!

Two baked mozzarella cheese sticks on blue plate on wooden table.

Baked Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Ways to Use Leftover Baked Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Any leftovers can be very quickly reheated in the microwave. Just a few seconds! The cheese melts quickly, so err on the side of needing more time rather than ending up with fondue.

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Easy Baked Mozzarella Sticks

A lightened up alternative to deep fried mozzarella cheese, these easy baked cheese sticks served with warm Italian marinara sauce are a family favorite!

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time15 mins

Total Time25 mins

Servings (adjustable): 6

Calories: 112

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground cashews (or cashew flour)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 6 part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks, frozen

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Lightly spray a small baking pan and set aside (should be large enough for 6 cheese sticks to not overlap).

  • Beat the egg in a shallow bowl, big enough to hold 1 cheese stick.

  • In a separate bowl (or shallow dish), mix together the ground nuts or nut flour, white flour, Parmesan and basil.

  • Dip a frozen cheese stick first in the egg and then roll it in the crumb mixture. Place on the prepared pan. Repeat with the five remaining mozzarella sticks.

  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and cheese is just beginning to melt.

  • Cool slightly and serve with your favorite dipping sauce, or enjoy plain.

Recipe Notes

A tip that will save you from messy hands a clumpy topping is to bread the sticks by using one hand to dip them in the egg and the other hand to roll in the nut mixture. The nut-rolling hand should be kept dry if you can. Most any prepared nuts will do. I love the flavor of cashews so always have unsalted, roasted ones in the freezer. Almonds or ground almond meal works just fine too. Serving size: 2 baked mozzarella cheese sticks Weight Watchers PointsPlus: *3 Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints: *2

Nutrition Facts

Easy Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Amount Per Serving (1 cheese sticks)

Calories 112 Calories from Fat 63

% Daily Value*

Fat 7g11%

Carbohydrates 2.6g1%

Fiber -14.8g-59%

Protein 10g20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: American

Keyword: baked cheese sticks, lightened up baked mozzarella cheese, low carb baked mozzarella sticks

*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.

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Hallie HarronOriginally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Hallie is a chef-teacher who eventually found her way to Provence, France, where she gave food and wine tours of the region.

In addition to writing more than a dozen cookbooks, she has also been teaching both professional and recreational cooking classes since 1978.

Hallie looks forward to sharing some of her favorite easy, healthy recipes with you here on Simple Nourished Living.

More articles and recipes by Hallie Harron

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