A skinny zucchini mozzarella stick, baked not fried. A perfect appetizer that will keep you in your skinny jeans.
Who doesn’t love cheese sticks? I would venture to say it is basically America’s favorite appetizer. They are practically on every menu at any major restaurant chain. My husband loves them. Personally I never order them because I feel so guilty afterwards.
However, I really love fried zucchini sticks. They probably aren’t much better for you than cheese sticks but somehow I rationalize that they are healthier because its a vegetable. Like my logic? Welcome to my world.
One night while sitting at dinner my husband came up with the idea of pairing cheese sticks and zucchini together. I thought it was a pretty genius idea. He is full of good ideas…like marrying me, that was a pretty great idea. ha!
So I decided to give it a whirl, with my own healthy spin of course (because summer is right around the corner!).Operation skinny zucchini mozzarella sticks was on! I started with some light string cheese. The macros on these things are great, they have only 50 calories, 7 grams of protein, and no carbs. They do have 2.5 grams of fat but the ratio of cheese in each of these zucchini sticks is very small so you would need to eat the entire batch alone to even hit 2.5 grams of fat….and 2.5 grams of fat really isn’t even worth debating. It is a pretty minuscule amount. I try to stick to a strict diet and I allow myself 47 grams of fat per day so that may give you an idea of how small 2 grams really is. There is no need to tell you that zucchini is really good for you. It basically has no calories. The rest is simple, a little bit of panko bread crumbs, some flour, seasonings and an egg for binding.
These skinny zucchini mozzarella sticks taste anything BUT healthy! I couldn’t stop eating them. The bulk of this appetizer is the zucchini with just a little bit of cheese, just enough to satisfy my craving and make it feel a little indulgent. I used a little low sodium marinara sauce for dipping but my hubby stuck with ranch. Both ways were great. They were crispy, crunchy, and gooey from the cheese. Everything that a good ol’ American appetizer should be…just skinner.
Enjoy…compliments of impending summer days and a handsome husband with great ideas!
- 1 Large Zucchini
- 2 Individually Packed Light String Cheese Sticks, very cold
- ¼ Cup Italian-Style Panko Breadcrumbs (Plain is okay)
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- ¼ Cup Flour
- 1 Egg, beaten
- Cooking Spray
- Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Remove the ends of the zucchini and cut in half and then into ½ inch strips. Remove string cheese from packaging and cut in half widthwise. Cut each halve into thirds. Each string cheese should yield 6 small pieces about the same length as the zucchini pieces. You should have a total of 12 pieces of string cheese In a shallow bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, onion powder and pepper. Mix well. Place the flour in a separate shallow bowl. Additionally, beat the egg in a separate bowl. Take each zucchini piece and pair it with a string cheese piece. Secure in place with a toothpick. Dip the zucchini/string cheese into the flour mixture, making sure to shake off any excess and then into the egg mixture. Finally, dip into panko mixture and place on foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the zucchini sticks one time during the cooking process and spray the tops with a little cooking spray. Serve with dipping sauce of choice.
*I am not a health consultant and all macro nutrient numbers listed above are solely based on my diet and what works for me.
Other Skinny Appetizers