Baked Zucchini Fries

This season our garden has given us more zucchini than we know what to do with. Every week we harvest AT LEAST 2-3 large zucchinis and when I say large, I mean the equivalent of 2-3 store bought zucchinis in just one. I have been loving picking my produce from my own backyard but with so much of the same vegetable, I’ve had to think up some creative ways to use it without boring myself. One of the first things I thought to make was zucchini fries. If we’re using the word “fries” in the title, I 1000% expect it to be crispy and to live up to the glory that is potato based french fries. I knew it would take some time to perfect the recipe, but this last batch I made was about as perfect as it could get. Coated in fresh parmesan cheese, crispy panko breadcrumbs, and seasoned with Italian seasonings, these are out of this world incredible. This recipe is very straight-forward and although I am trying to create recipes right now that will allow you to avoid heating up your house with the use of your oven, let me just say that these zucchini fries are worth heating the house up. My last batch was gone in under 15 minutes and that was just between Adrian and myself. Now before we get into the recipe, let’s talk about the nutritional value of our star vegetable–zucchini.

Our zucchini plant

Nutritional Value of Zucchini

Zucchini is one of my all-time favorite vegetables because it is incredibly versatile and when cooked right, it can take on just about any flavor. Zucchini like all other fruits and vegetables is a carbohydrate except unlike potatoes, zucchini is not considered to be a starch. Zucchini is primarily made up of water and fiber (both soluble and insoluble) which is why so many people who are low-carb or diabetic look to it as a substitute for pasta or potatoes. Zucchini is also loaded with Vitamin A, C, K as well as minerals like Manganese, Potassium, and Magnesium to name a few. Because zucchini contains so much water, it is particularly helpful to aid in digestion. In addition, the fiber in zucchini helps to feed the colony of bacteria that lives in our gut (our microbiome) which play an important role in regulating our mental health as well as they synthesis of certain vitamins. All in all, zucchini is both a delicious and nutritious choice but now that we’ve talked about the health benefits, let’s get into the details of how you can make these delicious zucchini fries.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini (I used one giant one)
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (there is really no substituting fresh parmesan)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 3/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • Spray can of oil

Directions

Begin by cutting the zucchini in half lengthwise and continue to cut in half until you have equal sized pieces that mimic french fries. The thinner you cut them, the crispy they will turn out. There may be some pieces that are too soft because they contain too many seeds, if that is the case reserve those for another recipe because they will not hold up in the oven very well.

Next, prepare your breadcrumb mixture by adding finely grated parmesan, panko breadcrumbs, and seasoning into a shallow bowl and mix until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, crack 2 eggs and whisk until a uniform mixture. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and set aside.

Much like my cauliflower recipe, we are going to dip the zucchini first into the egg mixture and then place into the breadcrumb mixture until well coated. To keep from getting your fingers covered in the mixture, designate one hand for dipping the zucchini into the egg mixture, and use the opposite hand to coat it in the panko breadcrumbs.

As you finish coating the zucchini, place them on a non-stick baking sheet that has either been lined with parchment paper or that has been sprayed with cooking oil. I have used both methods and both work just fine but I do notice that I am able to achieve more of a golden brown color when I spray some cooking oil.

Be sure to leave enough space between the zucchini to prevent them from steaming.

Once you have about half of your zucchini coated, you can preheat your oven to 425F to avoid heating your house prematurely. If you have a convection bake setting on your oven, use that as it will help to evenly distribute the heat but if you don’t be aware that the lower rack on your oven will cook the fries faster than the top rack.

When the zucchini is ready, place them in the oven for a total of 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through (after 10 minutes).

When your zucchini fries are ready, they should be golden brown on the outside and crisp to the touch.

Serve as an appetizer with a side of marinara sauce, or replace traditional fries alongside a burger for a delicious meal!

2 thoughts on “Baked Zucchini Fries

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