This post is sponsored. All opinions are my own. Bite sized baked mozzarella sticks are a great alternative to greasy deep fried party snacks. Skip the oil but not the gooey, cheesy, crispy satisfaction of a classic mozzarella stick.
It’s about that time again. Time to throw the pigskin on the field and throw the snacks in the kitchen. Football (food) season is here once again. I was chatting with my friends at Sprouts the other day about all things game day snacks, and decided that it was time to give a little photo refresh to one of my all time favorite (and most popular) snack recipes on my blog.
I’ll be honest, football food is my favorite part of football season. I love getting together over an array of appetizers to watch the big game, or in my case, chat with my friends or surf Instagram on my phone while The Hubs watches the big game.
While I’d love to be spending more “quality” time together as a family, if you put a plate of cheesy snacks in front of me I’m happy as a clam.
This year we’ll be doing our second annual Rusty’s PB chili challenge on SuperBowl Sunday. (Take a wild guess which blogger/chili cooker extraordinaire and her Hubs won the first year). Since I will be returning from what is sure to be a wild weekend in Seattle visiting my friend Jenny earlier that morning, I won’t be participating in this years chili cook-off, allowing someone else to take home the prize.
If chili isn’t your thing (or even if it is) you should definitely head down to Sprouts to stock up on everything you’re going to need for your game day spread. They have an awesome selection of both pre-made snack items and delicious, organic ingredients to prepare the cheesy, crunchy, salty snack buffet of your dreams!
Baked Mozzarella Sticks
Raise your hand if you hate deep frying! Yep, me too. I hate living with that oil smell in my house for days after consuming the delicious fried food.
Enter baked mozzarella sticks. It’s true people! You can enjoy the same crispy, cheesy goodness without busting out the vat of oil.
I made my own seasoned breadcrumbs using Sprouts panko breadcrumbs and Sprouts seasoning. A little dip in an egg bath is all it takes to coat these cheese nuggets before going into the oven. The key to success is FROZEN CHEESE. That’s right, freeze the cheese first to prevent it from melting in the oven.
Every cheesy bite needs a good dipping sauce, and for this round I opted for Sprouts arrabbiata pasta sauce. It’s like a spicier version of a classic marinara. The also have a great selection of cheese dips, hummus, pesto sauces, and more. Truly there’s a dip for every bite sized snack.
Of course one snack is never enough (not even for just the two of us) so I created an entire snack spread complete with all the game day food groups: crunchy, cheesy, salty, spicy and sweet. It’s time to fire up the the TV and settle in for hours of cheering and clapping (Hubs) and bored internet surfing and magazine flipping (me).
Are you on team football or on team snacks?
And if mozzarella sticks aren’t your thing, let me know what is. Leave a comment below and tell me what your MUST HAVE game day snack is. What is your family’s favorite? I’d love to try it out with my crew as well.
Baked Mozzarella Bites
- 1 lb block mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs beaten
- Cooking spray
- ½ cup marinara sauce for dipping
Cut mozzarella into 1-inch pieces. Freeze on a baking sheet for 45 minutes.
In a shallow bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
Place flour in a second shallow bowl and eggs in a third shallow bowl.
Dip each frozen piece of cheese first into the flour, then into the eggs, and finally into the panko breadcrumb mixture making sure each step fully coats the cheese. Repeat for all cheese bits.
Place coated cheese pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 15 more minutes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Just before baking, spray frozen cheese bits thoroughly with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving with marinara sauce for dipping.
Make sure your cheese is completely frozen before baking. This will ensure that the bites hold together.
More great game day snack recipes
For the vegetarians out there, try this Avocado and Chimichurri Bruschetta
If you’re looking for a bit more substance, you should check out these Healthy Turkey Potstickers (easier to make than you’d think)
Or if you just like fast and spicy, you cannot go wrong with Sriracha Popcorn