Baked Mozzarella Bites

What’s your favorite appetizer to get at a restaurant?

For me, it’s either:

chips & salsa
spinach artichoke dip
or
CHEESE STICKS!

When I saw a healthier version in the August 2011 Cooking Light magazine, I was sold!  I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me that it could be easier to make cheese sticks–or bites–at home.  Super easy!  It takes less than 30 minutes and that includes the time I had to wait for the oven to preheat.

Baked Mozzarella Bites

Recipe from Cooking Light–August 2011, slightly adapted

Ingredients:

1/3 cup panko
3 part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks
1 egg, whisked, with salt & pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.

Heat a small skillet on medium heat.  Add panko to the skillet and stir frequently.  Cook for 2 minutes until brown and toasty.  Remove panko from skillet and add to a small bowl.

Cut your cheese sticks into 1 inch pieces.

Now dip your cheese into the egg.  Then take your eggy cheese piece and dredge into the panko.

Place the panko cheese pieces onto your baking sheet.

Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is hot and softened.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, such as marinara sauce or ranch dressing.

Serves 3, estimated calories 116