1jar of whole Roasted Red Peppers (16 ounces)drained and diced
1/2yellow onionfinely chopped
128-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (with juices)
2garlic clovesfinely chopped
2tspItalian seasonings (dried)
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. This is where you'll place your mozzarella sticks before frying them.
Prepare three bowls with the following ingredients:Bowl #1: Gluten-free panko, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt mixed together.Bowl #2: Gluten-free flour.Bowl #3: Beaten eggs.
Dip each of the mozzarella sticks in the the mixtures in this order: 1. Flour2. Egg3. Flour4. Egg5. Panko
Place each breaded mozzarella stick on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Once all the cheese sticks have been breaded, place the baking sheet in your freezer for at least two hours or until you're ready to bake or fry them.
(1) Frying Method: Heat a small to medium-sized pot of oil (about 3 cups) to 320º degrees (see notes). A smaller pot is better because the oil is deeper and doesn’t splatter as much.
Cook one mozzarella cheese stick at first to ensure that the oil is at the right temperature. It should bubble quickly when you put the stick in the oil.
When the oil is bubbly, you can begin cooking 5-6 sticks at a time, turning them periodically and cooking them for about two minutes until they're light brown all over.
Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the mozzarella sticks and place them on paper towels to drain and slightly cool.
(2) Baking Method: Preheat the oven to 425º F. Spray the breaded sticks with avocado oil spray or another cooking spray on all sides and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake the sticks for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and the cheese is melted, turning them after 5-6 minutes.
Roasted Red Pepper Marinara
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the roasted red peppers and onion. Saute the red pepper and onion mixture over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute, then add in the Italian seasonings, sugar, salt, and pepper and saute for another 2 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes, reduce the heat and stir well. Allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes before serving.
You can serve the sauce as is (it'll be a little chunky) or for a smoother dipping sauce, allow the mixture to slightly cool, then use an immersion blender or food processor to blend the sauce to the desired consistency.
Nutrition value inclusive of red pepper sauce.Mozzarella Sticks: You can use mozzarella sticks cut in half, or use a block of mozzarella cheese and cut into 24 sticks.How Do You Store Leftovers? Store leftover mozzarella sticks in your fridge. They can be reheated in the microwave, oven or air-fryer.Can You Air Fry the Mozzarella Sticks? Yes, you can air fry them too. Spray the sticks with cooking spray and air fry at 390º F for 5 minutes. Turn them and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Air fry ovens will vary, so keep a close eye on them.Can You Freeze Them? You can freeze the uncooked, breaded mozzarella sticks. Simply store them in a zip top bag once they're frozen and use as desired.How Much Oil Do You Need? I used about 3 cups (24 ounces) of avocado oil. If you fry often, you can reuse the oil again for another recipe. Simply allow the oil to cool, strain it to remove leftover crumbs, and put it back into the same container it came from. Mark the container as used oil and put a date on it. You will want to use it again within 1-2 months tops. If the oil looks off or rancid, discard immediately and do not reuse.Why is the Oil Temperature 320º F vs 350º F? For many deep fried recipes, you'll notice that oil is usually heated to 350º F. I find that gluten-free bread crumbs burn quickly, so frying them at 320º F instead allows them to cook for a full two minutes without burning. You'll get a perfect golden crust.Is the Oil the Right Temperature? If you have a kitchen thermometer, it will come in handy here. If not, please note that the oil will take about 10-12 minutes to heat up over medium heat. You'll know the mixture is hot when you add a breadcrumb to the mixture and it begins to sizzle.