Unfried Game Day Food

February 4, 2017Allison Murray
Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of popchips. As always all opinions are 100% my own.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

So the other day Rob announces that he wants to watch TV. He doesn’t want to stream a show, he wants to actually watch television with commercials and all. He needs to know, how would he go about doing that. Um, okay? We don’t have cable or satellite service and, in fact, I haven’t paid for anything like that in over a decade. I did live in a house with satellite but I rarely watched it and I never paid for it. I stood there with big ol’ eyeballs and asked “why on earth would you want to do something like that?”

Now my Rob and I have lived together for over a year now but it seems we still learn things about each other all of the time. I knew that Rob liked basketball but I had no clue he liked football. And it turned out, Rob wanted to get everything set up so he could watch the big game come Sunday at home. So I dug out the ol’ antennae and set it up on the living room television and… Boom! We were all sorts of set.

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“Do you like football?” he asked? Oh, honey, I’m from Southern Oklahoma. You bet your britches I like football.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Game day isn’t Game Day without the right food, right? Typically you’ve got all of this junk that tastes SO good but is just terrible for you. And so we worked out our 3 very favorite fried snacks and decided to skinny them up with Pop Chips and our new-ish air fryer. And I gotta tell you, these treats are so good you won’t know it wasn’t actually fried.

Pop Chips have long held a place in my pantry. They are gluten free with 0 grams of trans-fat and don’t have a single artificial flavor or preservative. These were all things my doctor had advised me I needed to start looking out for in the food, or fuel I put into my body. “Junk in, junk out” she said. Pop Chips have this crazy satisfying crunch and some super awesome flavors with my favorite being Barbeque or Sea Salt & Vinegar – YUM! You can also get down with Sour Cream & Onion, Crazy Hot Potato, Salt & Pepper or Sweet Potato. 

I was raised on fried foods and I love ’em. As such I got in on frying my own food straight away when I became and adult living on my own. But now knowing that I need to eat better I’m finding ways to get the same taste and texture of the foods I love but without the actual frying. And with anything fried or unfried, as the case may be, your success all depends on how you batter that business. Let me show you the way!

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Now I made 3 unfried foods including mozzarella sticks, pickles and chicken strips. The process for all of them are done the exact same way. Since I’m not about to beat a dead horse, here I’ll show you how I made these mozzarella cheese sticks and then set you on your way to do the same with just about any food you please including our chicken strips and “fried” pickles.

I’ve always gotten great compliments on my mozzarella sticks and that’s because I borrowed a secret from a professional chef. Instead of using actually mozzarella, which melts super quickly, I’m going to use string cheese sticks. Cut each piece of string cheese in half.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Crack an egg or 2 into a small bowl and use a fork to whisk those babies up.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

To compliment the cheese we’re going to use the sweet and smoky Pop Chips Potato Ridges in the Tangy BBQ flavor. Using a rolling pin smash the chips into tiny, bread crumb like pieces. The best way is to place a small amount of Pop Chips in between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll the pin over the chips until smashed up to your liking. Here we want crumbs that are a bit chunky so we get some nice texture.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Now here is the Holy Trinity of battering business up. You’ll need a dish of flour (or gluten free flour blend like I use), whisked up eggs, and your breading.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Roll around and cover each cheese stick in flour. 

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Quickly dip the cheese into your egg with a fork and allow the excess egg to drip away. You can also run the fork along the edge of the bowl to remove the bulk of the eggs-tra. See what I did there? I’m so awesome ;)

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Roll the egg covered cheese in your Pop Chips crumbs taking care that no cheese is visible. Any holes in the breading is just an easy opportunity for your cheese to ooze out.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Place your breaded cheese onto a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours, though more is always best.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

If, like me your freezer is a danger zone where things slide right on out once that door comes open, a sign might need to be placed to prevent your Game Day guests from eating floor mozzarella sticks. (this is an actual thing in my family. One Thanksgiving our table was graced with Floor Turkey, yum!)

And then my Mr. Rob came home and the questions started… Rob: “Why does the freezer say N D?” Me: “It says NOOOO. DO NOT OPEN THE FREEZER! I have to slowly open it and catch the cookie sheet before all my hard work falls on the floor!”

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Once ready to prepare grab your sticks from the freezer and put straight into your air fryer at 360° for 9 minutes, turning halfway through and checking regularly. Should you want to bake these pop them in the oven at 400° for 6 minutes.

So let’s get that whole process in an easier to see recipe form:

Air Fried BBQ Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

  • String cheese
  • Pop Chips Potato Ridges in the Tangy BBQ flavor
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • flour

Instructions

  1. Cut your string cheese sticks in half.
  2. Whisk 2 eggs in a small bowl.
  3. Crush your Pop Chips into a bread crumb-like coating.
  4. One at a time, dredge your cheese in flour, follow with a dip in the whisked eggs removing the excess egg. Roll the stick in crumbs and place onto a cookie sheet.
  5. Freeze the sticks at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Air fry 360° for 9 minutes, turning halfway through and checking regularly or bake at 400° for 6-10 minutes.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Now what bout those “fried pickles” up there?

Air Fried Pickle Spears

This recipe uses perfectly salted Pop Chips with a few pantry staple spices.

  • Pickle spears
  • Perfectly salted Pop Chips
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika (per bag of Pop Chips used)
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder (per bag of Pop Chips used)

Instructions

  1. If your pickle spears are quite fat cut them in half. Blot the pickles with a paper towel to remove excess juice.
  2. Whisk 2 eggs in a small bowl.
  3. Crush your Pop Chips into a bread crumb-like coating. Add paprika and garlic powder and mix well.
  4. One at a time, dredge your pickle in flour, follow with a dip in the whisked eggs removing the excess egg. Roll in crumbs and set aside.
  5. Air fry  380° for 8 minutes, turning halfway through and checking regularly or bake at 420° for 12-16 minutes.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Chicken strips? Yes, please!

Air Fried Chicken Strips

If you love the cool flavor of sour cream and the unmistakable taste of cheddar cheese, these are going to be a favorite in your recipe box.

  • Thin cut chicken tenders, raw
  • Pop Chips Ridges in Cheddar & Sour Cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • flour
  • 3/4 cup of flour per bag of Pop Chips used

Instructions

  1. Remove fat from chicken and blot away any excess moisture.
  2. Whisk 2 eggs in a small bowl.
  3. Crush your Pop Chips into a quite fine bread crumb-like coating and place in a large zipper bag. Add 3/4 cup of flour (or gluten free flour blend) and toss inside of the bag until well incorporated.
  4. One at a time, dredge your chicken strip in flour, follow with a dip in the whisked eggs removing the excess egg. Place the chicken into the crumbs in the zipper bag and toss until well coated. Set aside.
  5. Air fry  390° for 10 minutes for thin cut strips and 20 minutes for thicker pieces of meat or until done. Turn the strips halfway through cooking. Alternatively bake your strips at 425° for 15-20 minutes.

Love mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and "fried" pickles? You're really going to love this unfried game day food!

Grab your fave Pop Chips flavors and un-fry up some tasty game day treats. And guess what? Save 20% off your order when you purchase your Pop Chips here online with the coupon code BIGGAME20. Enjoy the big game, y’all!

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