Okay, I know that every food blogger and their mother has posted a recipe like this, but there’s a reason for that…
THEY’RE REALLY GOOD.
These baked zucchini fries have been on my “to cook” list for almost the entire three years that I’ve been blogging, and my only regret is that I didn’t try them sooner. They’re tasty, light, and totally addicting! I would be completely content eating them plain, but I just happened to have made a fresh batch of slow cooker marinara, so I used that as a dipping sauce. Besides, I’m the type of person that will use any excuse to eat marinara sauce, and these zucchini fries are probably the most healthy vehicle you could find (aside from just eating it plain like a soup… which I may or may not have done).
I used panko bread crumbs because I like their light, airy texture and because I can buy them quite inexpensively from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. If you don’t have them available to you at a decent price, you can certainly use regular bread crumbs instead.
One thing you should know is that these fries will not stay crispy after refrigeration or upon reheating… but that’s not to say that they aren’t still totally delicious! I’ve been enjoying mine all week regardless of their texture.
Baked Zucchini Fries
- 1 lb. zucchini squash $1.69
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour $0.04
- ⅛ tsp salt $0.01
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs $0.35
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese $0.24
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend $0.15
- 1 large egg $0.25
- Rinse and dry the zucchini. Cut the ends off and then cut each one into strips, approximately ⅓ inch thick.
- Place the zucchini strips on a large zip top bag and add the flour and salt. Shake the bag to coat the zucchini in flour. In a wide, shallow bowl combine the panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. In a second wide, shallow bowl, whisk a raw egg with about 1 Tbsp of water until fairly smooth.
- Begin to preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and then place two wire cooling racks over top. One by one, take the flour coated zucchini strips and dip them in the egg and then the seasoned bread crumb mixture. Place the breaded zucchini on the wire cooling racks. The wire racks keep the zucchini up off of the baking sheet and allows hot air to circulate underneath, which will prevent soggy bottoms. Also make sure there is a small amount of space between each strip to allow circulation.
- Once all of the zucchini strips are breaded, bake them for approximately 15 minutes or until they are a medium golden brown color. Cooking time will vary with the thickness of your zucchini strips, so keep a close eye.
Step By Step Photos
The zucchini I got from the store just happened to be small and slender, which is perfect for cutting into fries. I started out with a pound and a half but quickly realized that it was too much, so I ended up only using four of these.
Cut the zucchini into thin strips. Try to make the strips as uniform as possible.
Place the zucchini strips in a large zip top bag and add the flour and salt. Shake it up to coat.
Make the seasoned breading by combining the panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning blend in a wide, shallow bowl. Stir to combine.
In another bowl, whisk one egg with about 1 Tbsp of water. The water helps break up the clumpiness of the egg, which will make dipping easier. One by one, take the flour coated zucchini strips, dip it in the egg, and then coat with the seasoned breading.
As you coat the zucchini strips, place them on a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack placed on top. This allows the bottom side of the strips to cook and get crispy instead of trapping moisture and getting soggy.
Bake the sticks in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Mine took a little closer to 20 minutes, but start keeping an eye on them around 15 minutes. Every oven is different and the cooking time will also vary quite a bit with the size of the zucchini strips.
Serve warm, either plain or with a dipping sauce like marinara or ranch dressing.