Got zucchini? These Healthy Zucchini Fries are just as yummy and crisp as the restaurant version, minus all those pesky calories because this healthy appetizer is baked, not fried.
Our friend Ken dropped off some zucchini from his garden the other day…remember Ken from my Grilled Shishito Peppers post? I was pretty excited since I don’t have a garden this year, and even though Ken can’t stomach one more bite of zucchini, I was thrilled to get them.
First thing I did was make a batch of Healthy Zucchini Fries. I could eat these things all day long, so it’s lucky they aren’t deep fried. But they are crunchy, and lots of fun to dip.
My favorite Italian restaurant serves the deep fried version with marinara sauce, so I thought, in keeping with the lightened up theme, I’d go for a fresh tomato sauce, with a zippy ‘lemonnaise‘ alternate. These fries are so good I don’t think it much matters what you dip them into, but I’m partial to the lemonnaise.
After you slice the zucchini into sticks, it’s a simple 3 bowl dipping process, one bowl for flour, one for beaten eggs (or buttermilk if you have it) and the last one for seasoned panko bread crumbs. Panko are the extra crispy Japanese kind, you’ll find them right next to the regular crumbs in your supermarket. Panko help give these Healthy Zucchini Fries the ‘deep fried’ crunch we all crave.
It’s a good idea to bake these on a cooling rack that is placed over a baking sheet, that way air can circulate all around the sticks as they bake, and crisp them better. Spray it first with cooking spray.
Healthy Zucchini Fries
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup buttermilk , or 2 well beaten eggs
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, I used whole wheat
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- marinara sauce , for dipping
- chopped parsley
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice, (1/2 lemon)
- 1 pinch salt
- Set oven to 425°F.
- Set a cooling rack over a baking tray and spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- Slice the zucchini into sticks.
- Set out three small bowls. Put the flour in one. Put the buttermilk or beaten eggs into another, and put the breadcrumbs, cheese, salt and herbs into the third.
- Coat the zucchini in flour first, then immerse into the liquid mixture, making sure to completely wet it. Then coat it with the breadcrumbs, pressing them on to completely coat each stick. Place the sticks on the rack.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until crisp and golden.
- Eat right away garnished with parsley, and serve with tomato or creamy lemon dip.
- To make the lemonnaise whisk the ingredients together until smooth.
- These are best eaten hot from the oven. If you have leftovers and are desperate, you can wrap loosely in foil and heat in a 300F oven, or if you are super desperate, microwave in a single layer, very briefly, start with 20 seconds, but they won't be very crisp.
- I used whole wheat panko because that's what I had in the cupboard, and I liked the little deeper color it gives these fries. Regular will work just fine.
Thanks for pinning!
Questions and Reviews
I do this with asparagus all the time, but I’ve never thought to do it with zucchini. I found your site today and I don’t even remember how. I think I was googling summer garden veg soups or something über fascinating like that. : /
Anyway, I poked around here a bit and I’m an instant fan. I love the simplicity/ease of your recipe playfulness. Just nourishing, delish, and (great photos!) pretty. Kind of inspires me to figure out my Pinterest password, just to keep track of you. xo
Oh, this would be so good, if there was just a gluten-free alternative!
Try cornmeal, Ole!
I recently bought gluten free panko crumbs at Publix. Publix is a supermarket in Atlanta and throughout the South, but they shouldn’t be hard to find outside the South in your local supermarket.
Gluten-free panic rocks. Certainly available at any grocery in Colorado… (lol, north). Can also pulverize whatever GF crackers or toasted bread you like. IMO, it’s pretty hard to get this recipe wrong. And that’s one reason it’s such an awesome one. Thx Sue!
I can’t tell these fried are baked if you don’t tell me! The coating is perfect. Saving the recipe so we’ll have perfectly “fried” okra next time!
I’ve never had fried okra!
Omgosh, I experimented with this a lot because of a good friend who missed okra… fresh okra (soaked in milk) + cornmeal is the key, for sure. Frozen only works if it’s soaked in milk or buttermilk for…. um, a while. Like, a long while. : )
I can’t believe I’ve ever had zucchini fries. I need to do something about that and this is the perfect recipe. I love zucchini and I am craving them now at 7 am!
Oooo! This looks so good!
Yes please to guilt-free fries! I love the panko coating, brilliant as usual ;).
These look delicious! What a great way to use up all the summer zucchini.
I love that crunchy coating!!! Maybe this is finally the recipe that will get my hubby to enjoy zucchini! If not, there’s just more for me 🙂
Exactly, it’s a win win 😉
Yum! These look great! I love panko for recipes like this. It stays nice and crunchy! A timely post, Sue, what with zucchini season upon us!