TGI Friday’s Mozzarella Sticks Made Skinny


TGI Friday’s Mozzarella Sticks are extremely popular both in their restaurants and in the freezer section of the supermarkets. They’re dreamy, cheesy, and deep-fried. Happily, my skinny ones are baked not fried!  Each serving, including the sauce, has 81 calories, 3 grams of fat and 2 Blue WW Freestyle SmartPoints and 2 Green. These make a fantastic appetizer and a healthy snack for you and the kids.  Double the serving size and they make a yummy light lunch served with a salad. Watch them disappear quickly. They are that gooood!

Freeze Time: Cheese sticks must be frozen for 1 hour before using
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for Mozzarella Sticks:

12 light string cheese sticks, I used WW Smoke Flavored String Cheese or any brand of light low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks, see shopping tips

1 large egg, I like Egg-Land’s Best

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

cup panko crumbs, see shopping tips

¾ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking spray, I like olive oil cooking spray

Ingredients for Dipping:

¾ cup pizza sauce or marinara sauce, I used Classico Pizza Sauce, see shopping tips


1. Cut each cheese stick in half to create 24 pieces. Place cheese pieces on a plate and freeze for at least 1 hour until frozen. These can be stored for several days in the freezer until ready to use. Wrap them in plastic wrap, once frozen.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, beat the egg. Place flour in another small bowl. In a third small bowl, add panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

4. To assemble mozzarella sticks: Dip frozen sticks in flour, shaking off excess, then into egg, then finally coat with panko crumbs. Repeat steps to coat all of them.

5. Place all coated sticks on the baking sheet.  Spray the tops with cooking spray.

6. Bake for 5 minutes, turn over and spray with a little more cooking spray. Bake an additional 4-5 minutes until heated but NOT melted. In fact, be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t melt!

7. Remove from oven and place on a plate.  Serve with pizza sauce on the side.  Refrigerate any leftovers. They will keep for several days. To reheat, either zap in microwave for a few seconds or place on a baking sheet and heat in a 400-degree oven until warm but not melted.

Makes 24 pieces (each serving 2 pieces and 1 tablespoon sauce) These 2 pieces are equal to 1 string cheese stick!

Food Facts

TGI Friday’s is an American restaurant chain focusing on casual dining.  Alan Stillman created the original concept in 1965 in New York.  TGI Friday’s,Inc. restaurant chain was founded by Daniel R. Scoggin and partners in 1971.

They now sell many of their foods in the frozen section of the supermarket including their mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce.

Shopping Tips

I love WW Smoke Flavored String Cheese. It’s my very favorite kind of light string cheese!. WW sells it and I bought mine on Instacart.  I think Weight Watchers is the only brand that sells the smokey flavor.  If you can’t find them use another brand such as light string cheese such as Frigo or Sargento.

I like Classico or Prego’s pizza sauce. It comes in a small (14 oz) size jar.  You could also use a jar of marinara sauce if desired.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
WW SmartPoints 2-Green

SKINNY FACTS: for 2 pieces and 1 tablespoon pizza sauce
81 calories, 3g fat, 1.1g sat. fat, 20mg chol, 7g protein, 5g carbs, 0g fiber, 277mg sodium, 1.4g sugar

If you make this recipe, let me know how you liked it. Leave me a comment below or give it a rating. Thanks so much. Happy Skinny Cooking!