Melty, Creamy Snacks to Make With Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella cheese may be the perfect topping for pizza, but that’s not the only thing it’s good for. Stretchy and mild-flavored, mozzarella is also a good choice if you’re looking for a filling, high-protein snack. And while there’s nothing wrong with grabbing some string cheese if you’re in a rush, you’re missing out if you don’t explore the other tasty ways to make this creamy treat part of your diet. Check out these five snack recipes that prove why mozzarella is the most popular type of cheese in the United States.
1. Baked Mozzarella Bites
Turn string cheese into a fun and satisfying snack for both kids and grown-ups with this incredibly simple recipe from Cooking Light. Preparing these baked mozzarella bites takes only a few minutes, and because they’re baked, not fried, you don’t even have to feel bad about chowing down.
- ⅓ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 3 (1-ounce) sticks part-skim mozzarella string cheese
- 3 tablespoons egg substitute
- Cooking spray
- ¼ cup lower-sodium marinara sauce
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add ⅓ cup panko to pan. Cook for 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and place the panko in a shallow dish.
Cut mozzarella sticks into 1-inch pieces. Working with one piece at a time, dip cheese in egg substitute; dredge in panko. Place cheese on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 3 minutes or until the cheese is softened and thoroughly heated.
Pour the marinara sauce into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, stirring after 30 seconds. Serve with mozzarella pieces.
2. Prosciutto and Basil Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks
Here’s another snack recipe that upgrades a humble piece of string cheese into something more exciting. These prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella sticks take just seconds to make, so they’re perfect if you need a quick post-workout snack, but also fancy enough to serve to guests. Recipe from Queen of My Kitchen.
- 6 thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto (about 3 ounces)
- 6 mozzarella sticks (about 5½ ounces)
- 1 ounce fresh basil leaves
Directions: Place a slice of prosciutto flat on a work surface. Lay one or two leaves of basil on top. Place a mozzarella stick on the edge of the slice of prosciutto, then roll up. Slice in half, secure with a toothpick, then serve.
3. Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders
Inviting a crowd over to watch the big game? Then you better make sure you have an adequate supply of snacks, like these meaty, filling sliders (recipe from Real Housemoms). You can prepare the meatballs for these mini sandwiches in advance and then freeze them. Then, all you have to do day-off is toss them in a slow cooker with some marinara sauce and let guests serve themselves.
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1¼ pounds Italian seasoned ground turkey
- 30 (1-inch) cubes of mozzarella
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 30 slider rolls
Directions: Combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, and egg in a large bowl. Add the ground turkey and mix to combine (be careful not to overmix).
Take 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture into a ball. Push 1 cube of mozzarella into the center of the meatball, then reseal. Repeat the process with the remaining meat and cheese.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook until brown. Flip and cook until browned on the other side and cooked through.
Pour the marinara sauce into a crockpot. Add the meatballs and heat on low until warmed through. Place a meatball on a slider roll, add a little sauce, and serve. (Alternatively, you can freeze the meatballs once cooked and serve them later.)
4. Avocado Caprese Bites
Healthy avocado, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, and fiber, is paired with creamy mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and basil for a refreshing spin on a traditional caprese salad in this recipe from Noble Pig. For this snack, you’ll want to purchase bocconcini, small balls of fresh mozzarella that are packed in brine.
- 1 California avocado, sliced in half, pit removed
- 12 fresh mozzarella balls
- 12 small fresh basil leaves
- 12 small grape tomatoes
- Balsamic glaze
- 12 toothpicks
Directions: Use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh of the avocado (you’ll need to make 12 balls). Thread each avocado ball onto a toothpick, followed by a grape tomato, basil leaf, and mozzarella ball. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, then serve.
5. Garlic and Herb Marinated Mozzarella
Bite-sized balls of fresh mozzarella seem to be designed for snacking. They’re delicious on their own, but if you prefer your snacks with a bit more kick, the experts at The Kitchn suggest marinating the cheese in a mixture of olive oil and herbs before serving. Once prepared, these marinated mozzarella will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks, though we suspect you’ll finish them off long before then.
- ¾ cup good-quality olive oil
- 5 to 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (e.g., basil, thyme, oregano, or parsley)
- 1 teaspoon black or rainbow peppercorns
- 1 to 2 bay leaves
- Peel from half a lemon, thinly sliced
- Splash of sherry, red wine, or balsamic vinegar
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 pound (16 ounces) bocconcini or ciliegine, drained
Directions: Warm the olive oil and garlic in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and let cool. Add the herbs, peppercorns, lemon slices, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Put the bocconcini in an airtight container and pour the mixture over. Cover and refrigerate, letting marinate at least overnight and for up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.
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