Crisp Mozzarella Sticks — Meatless Monday

Crisp Mozzarella Sticks

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Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Think back to the mozzarella sticks you ate as a child (or last weekend at the sports bar): the frozen-then-baked sticks whose skin was soggy and cheese tough, or the grease-laden logs overpowered by the taste of dried herbs. Now forget them entirely, because these mozzarella sticks are nothing like those. Light and fresh, once-indulgent cheese sticks have been made over and are now not only healthy but deliciously satisfying, too.

The secret to making Food Network Kitchens' Crisp Mozzarella Sticks (pictured above) is using wholesome ingredients in each component of the dish. To make the coating, stick with ground whole-grain Melba toasts for texture and add whole-wheat breadcrumbs, plus fresh oregano and a dash of cayenne for flavor. After a double-dredge process in an egg-garlic batter and this dry mixture, the part-skim string cheese will be generously coated in a thick, crunchy crust. It's important to let the sticks chill in the freezer before baking them to golden brown so that the cheese doesn't melt as soon as it meets the heat. Served alongside a bowl of marinara sauce for easy dunking, these eat-with-your-hands beauties are a timeless, kid-approved favorite.

Get the Recipe: Crisp Mozzarella Sticks from Food Network Kitchens

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

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