Let's welcome zucchini season with these crispy, baked zucchini sticks! They are covered in a crispy parmesan and panko crust, making them crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. And they are baked in the oven for a more healthy treat.
Why you’ll love this recipe
You will love this recipe if you're looking for ways to use up all your zucchinis on something DELICIOUS. They are full of delicious texture, from the soft zucchini interior to the crispy panko exterior.
And you will love them if you're trying to cut back on carbs. I'm not saying it's a super healthy dish, but it's, first of all, baked, and second of all, no carby potato. I mean, it could be worse.
It is the perfect summer snack or BBQ side dish!
Nothing fancy is needed to make this dish, so let's dive right in:
- Zucchini: Zucchini, also known as summer squash, or courgette in the UK. It is juicy and fresh, but not so flavorful. Hence why we add some extra ingredients to make it not just a pleasant and refreshing texture.
- All-purpose flour: Dipping the zucchini in flour before the eggs will dry the zucchini to make it easier to adhere to the whisked eggs. It kind of acts like a primer.
- Egg: Dipping zucchini in whisked eggs makes it possible for the flavors and panko to stick to the vegetable. The egg acts as a glue.
- Grated parmesan: Parmesan is a little salty and so good in a crust. When baked it goes beyond melted and becomes this delicious parmesan crisp (hence why it works for this parmesan-crusted grilled cheese too).
- Panko breadcrumbs: You can use other breadcrumbs, but panko breadcrumbs are so flaky, light, and airy and become much crispier. Which I think is just perfect for a recipe like this. I also use panko breadcrumbs for this chicken sandwich, which is to die for!
- Garlic and onion powder: A little extra umami flavor makes them extra savory and delicious.
- Italian seasoning: A little Italian herbiness that works well with the grated parmesan.
- Freshly ground pepper: Freshly ground is just so much better!
- Salt: Sprinkling with salt after baking will result in the salt crystals hitting your palate directly. This means that you can avoid oversalting but still perceive the zucchini sticks as salty!
Preheat the oven to 450℉ (225℃) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the zucchini in three (or half if you want longer sticks). Then slice each piece in 8 lengthwise. This way you will have 24 fries from 1 zucchini.
Prepare everything in separate bowls:
- One bowl for the all-purpose flour,
- one for the whisked egg.
- and one for the dry ingredients: parmesan, panko, garlic and onion powder, Italian seasoning, and freshly ground pepper.
Mix zucchini fries with flour and shake off any excess (1). Dip the zucchini in the whisked egg and shake off excess egg (2-3). Avoid using your hands in the eggs as it can get really messy really quickly. I use a fork.
You can, however, use one hand for the dry ingredients and one hand for the wet, but my coordination skills aren't that good so I prefer a fork.
Then dip it in the panko mixture (4). Place on the prepared baking sheet and continue with the rest.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. They should be golden and crispy on the outside. Sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately as they quickly become soft.
While they are baking, make the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, mix the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
Zucchini sticks are best eaten immediately. They quickly turn soft, and the breading doesn't keep well in the refrigerator. But they are so good anyway so you don't have to worry about this!
If you have leftover dipping sauce (what?), that can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Keep it covered.
Zucchini is a healthy vegetable that packs nutrition despite being low in calories, fat, and sugar. It is high in fiber which is good for your digestion. In addition, it's high in a lot of important minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
For example, it's a great source of folate, potassium, and vitamin A.
Dipping in eggs or flour first?
You should always dip the meat or vegetable in flour first. The flour soaks up the extra moisture from the meat/veggie. The hydrated starches become like a gel that the eggs can better adhere to.
The eggs are to make the breading stick better.
What to serve with the fries
You can eat these on their own and call it a day. Or you can...
Serve it with one of these dishes for a light lunch or summer dinner:
Another great option is to serve them as a side to some of my favorite BBQ recipes:
- Panko crusted chicken burger
- Chipotle cheddar burger
- Harissa grilled chicken
- Mushroom and black bean burger
- Rosemary garlic steak
- Baked falafel (why not try your hands at a spicy fusion dinner!)
- Healthy baked lemon chicken
You could also make a big board with some fresh fruit and veggies (+ these zucchini sticks of course) and a ton of dipping sauces:
- The lemony mayonnaise in this recipe
- Raita or tzatziki
- Curry ketchup
- Patatas bravas sauce (tomato aïoli)
Either way you choose to eat them, enjoy!
Did you like this recipe? Here are more side dishes I think you’d love:
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.
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