I don’t know of anything more delicious than baked zucchini fries for a special appetizer or party snack. They’re crispy, they’re tender, and they’re a healthy alternative to the fried version.
I was first introduced to zucchini fries at Maggiano’s restaurant in downtown Chicago when it opened in the ’90s. We’d go for an Italian dinner and always start off with those crispy fried zucchini. And they were so good — not very healthy, but delicious.
On a Quest For a Healthy Crunch
I’m on a quest to remake the experience with a healthier version — not fried zucchini sticks, but baked zucchini fries. Bring it up a few notches in the health department. I think I’ve come pretty close to making them deliciously crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. (We also have a terrific vegan eggplant parmesan, since we’re talking Italian!)
Baked zucchini fries not only taste great but they have lots of nutrients. They’re definitely our friend. Here are some of the nutrition highlights in one cup of zucchini:
- Calories 17
- Protein (1 g)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
Zucchini also contains small amounts of iron, calcium and zinc, and several other B vitamins. It’s a real powerhouse.
FAQs About Zucchini Fries
Zucchini sliced into sticks, lightly battered and baked or fried.
Yes, baking them cuts down on the fat from frying in oil.
Dip the sticks in an egg bath (or Just Eggs for a vegan version) and coat with flavored Panko breadcrumbs and a little parmesan cheese. Tossing the fries halfway into baking helps crisp them up. Bake at 450 degrees.
Here are quick steps for making delicious crispy baked zucchini fries:
OK, you’ve got the quick steps above. Now let’s get into the recipe for the real cooks!Print
On a quest for healthy zucchini fries? This baked version, flavored with parmesan, Aleppo pepper and Italian seasoning should be on the top of the list.
- 3 or 4 medium zucchini
- 2 eggs or 4 oz vegan Just Eggs
- 1 t sea salt
- 1 t black pepper
- 1/2 t Aleppo pepper
- 1 t Italian seasoning
- 1 C Panko breadcrumbs (or gluten-free Panko)
- 1/2 C Grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Slice zucchini lengthwise in quarters and then cut in half both horizontally and vertically into fries (about a ½-inch thick). Make sure slices are even so they bake uniformly. See photos and captions above. Put into a large bowl.
- Whisk eggs with salt and black pepper in a shallow bowl (or use Just Eggs).
- Combine Panko, grated parmesan, Italian seasoning, Aleppo pepper, and salt in a second shallow bowl or plate.
- Make an assembly line: 1) zucchini sticks; 2) egg wash; 3) breadcrumb mix; 4) sheet pan with parchment.
- One at a time, dip the zucchini sticks first into the egg mix, shake off excess, then place into breadcrumb mixture. Be sure to cover all sides, gently pressing so the crumbs stick.
- Place the coated sticks onto the baking sheet as you go, about an inch apart.
- Bake for about 35 minutes until lightly browned and crisp. Be sure to toss fries on the sheet halfway through baking.
- To serve, assemble fries on a plate with a small bowl of ranch dressing or marinara sauce. To thicken up the dressing add a tablespoon of sour cream or your favorite plain yogurt.
- Hit the fries with a splash of squeezed lemon for extra zing!
You can easily make this dish vegan by using “Just Eggs” for the egg wash and your favorite vegan parmesan cheese and vegan ranch dressing.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian American
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© Photos/Health Food Radar