Baked Mozzarella Cheese Bites with Easy Marinara Sauce
Be prepared to be amazed with the crunch factor from these American, Simple Cooking with Heart melty oven-baked bites; you won't miss the deep-fried version a bit.
- 1 1/2 cups coarse-grain, no-salt-added, no-sodium, strained tomatoes OR
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium, jarred, crushed tomatoes
- 2 1/2 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 6 (1-ounce) sticks fat-free mozzarella string cheese (each one cut into 4 pieces)
Cooking Tip: To keep a baked coating on a slippery food like the string cheese, a dip first in cornstarch holds it all together. Try it out when coating other foods, like chicken breasts.
Keep it Healthy: Remember this easy-to-make marinara sauce for your next pasta dinner, which is just a combination of strained/crushed tomatoes and spices. Warm on the stovetop or just heat in the microwave. It has more flavor and less sodium, sugar, or preservatives than a jarred marinara.
Tip: Can't find fat-free mozzarella sticks? Use part-skim or 2 percent mozzarella string cheese.
Tip: Serving size 4 bites
Tip: Click on step to mark as complete.
- 1 Preheat the oven to 425°F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with foil and coating with cooking spray.
- 2 Add the cornstarch and panko breadcrumbs separately into their own large zip-top bags. In a shallow dish, whisk together egg whites, water, and pepper. Remove each string cheese from its plastic, and cut each one into 4 pieces.
- 3 To bread the cheese, add a handful of cheese pieces into the zip-top with cornstarch; shake to coat or let your child do the shaking action. Next, transfer the cheese pieces to the egg mixture, coating each one entirely with egg. Last, transfer the cheese to the zip-top bag with breadcrumbs, shaking until each cheese piece is fully coated with breadcrumbs. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat the breading process until each cheese piece is coated.
- 4 Cook in the oven just until the cheese begins to melt and ooze out of 1 or 2 bites, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- 5 Serve mozzarella bites with marinara sauce to dip.
Recipe copyright © 2016 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart ® Program. For more simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.
|Total Fat||0.0 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.0 g|
|Trans Fat||0.0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.0 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||14 g|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g|
1 starch, 1 lean meat
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