FRIED ZUCCHINI

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Fried zucchini is an all-time favorite! Sliced veggies are double breaded in a flavorful coating that includes herbs, spices and parmesan cheese. They’re deep fried until golden and crisp. Serve as an appetizer or veggie side.

This pan fried zucchini recipe is a nostalgic snack bar staple. It was served at bowling alleys, arcades, skating rinks, and the state fair. Today it’s a popular game day food enjoyed with corn dogs, hot dogs or cheeseburger sliders.

PIN PAN FRIED ZUCCHINI

Plate of fried zucchini with lemon wedges and dipping sauce.

INGREDIENTS

Fried zucchini batter is easy to assemble with a few basic pantry items. Here’s what you’ll need for this easy restaurant recipe.

  • Medium zucchini
  • Large eggs
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper, freshly-ground
  • All-purpose flour
  • Bread crumbs
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Dried basil
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne
  • Corn oil – for frying
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges
  • DIPPING SAUCE: Ranch Dressing

HOW TO MAKE BREAD CRUMBS: No packaged bread crumbs on hand? Make this ingredient at home! Cube up a few slices of sandwich bread. Reduce them to crumbs in a food processor. Spread crumbs in an even layer on a baking tray. Bake 7 to 10 minutes at 300ºF until lightly brown and dry.

Ingredients for fried zucchini recipe.

fried zucchini recipe

RECIPE PREP: Rinse the zucchini. Pat them completely dry with a clean kitchen towel. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Here’s how to coat the zucchini:

  • STEP 1: Slice off the stem ends and discard. Cut zucchini crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices, or lengthwise into 3-inch sticks for zucchini fries.
  • STEP 2: PREP FRIED ZUCCHINI BATTER: Pull out 3 shallow bowls. Add flour to the first bowl. Whisk eggs in the second bowl. In the third bowl, mix together bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and spices.
  • STEP 3: On your workspace, set up an assembly line of ingredients: sliced zucchini, bowl of flour, bowl of whisked eggs, bowl of seasoned bread crumbs, and prepared baking tray.
  • STEP 4: Coat a piece of zucchini in flour. Dip it in egg. Dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture. Lay coated pieces on prepared baking tray. Put the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes or refrigerate 1 hour. This step is a MUST for the breading to stick and not fall off during frying!
Fried zucchini recipe shown in 4 overhead step-by-step images.

HOW TO MAKE FRIED ZUCCHINI

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 200°F. Pull out a USA Pan baking tray with metal rack. Line the tray with paper towels. Place the oven-proof wire rack over the tray. This is the draining station for freshly-fried zucchini.

Here’s how to pan fry the zucchini:

  • STEP 1: Add 1/2 inch oil to a heavy skillet. Heat the pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add a pinch of flour to the pan. If the flour sizzles, the oil is ready for frying.
  • STEP 2: Add a few pieces of zucchini to the pan. We want to prevent overcrowding. There should be enough room for the pieces to freely float about in the oil as they cook.
  • STEP 3: When bottoms are golden and crisp, flip the pieces over. Total cooking time is 1 to 2 minutes. When working with a new batch, adjust the heat up or down as needed. The oil should gently bubble without smoking or burning the fried zucchini. We want a crispy coating without the pieces absorbing oil and becoming greasy. If using a food thermometer, keep the temp between 350° and 375°.
  • STEP 4: Transfer cooked pieces to the wire rack over the prepared baking tray. The oil will drain down. Do not use paper towels to directly blot off excess oil from the pieces, or the breading will stick to it.

HOW TO KEEP FRIED ZUCCHINI WARM: Remove paper towels from baking tray with rack. Put tray with metal rack in the preheated oven. It’ll keep this appetizer warm until serving.

How to make fried zucchini step by step as shown in 4 overhead images.

HOW TO SERVE DEEP FRIED ZUCCHINI

It’s often said, we eat with our eyes. When serving this dish for a gathering, select a platter that’s the ideal size for the zucchini, the dipping sauce bowl, and the garnishes. It’s easy to make this tasty appetizer look festive!

  • ARRANGE fried zucchini on a platter.
  • GARNISH with a sprinkling of salt, parmesan cheese and freshly-chopped parsley.
  • SERVE with juicy lemon wedges and ranch dressing.
Fried Zucchini in a cast-iron serving dish with ranch dressing, parsley garnish and lemon wedges.

expert tips & FAQ

  • SHOULD I PEEL THE ZUCCHINI FOR THIS RECIPE? No. Don’t peel this veggie. Keep the skin on! It’s edible and will help the fried zucchini keep its shape. Additionally, the skin offers several nutritional benefits.
  • INGREDIENT SWAP FOR PLAIN BREAD CRUMBS: Use Italian-style bread crumbs or Panko breadcrumbs.
  • CAN I USE CORNMEAL FOR BREADING THE ZUCCHINI? Yes. If you don’t have breadcrumbs on hand, use cornmeal instead. Many restaurants prefer cornmeal. But the texture of the fried zucchini will be different. Instead of soft, the coating will be crunchy, a little sweet, and mealy.
  • HOW TO KEEP THE BREADING FROM FALLING OFF: Stick the tray of breaded zucchini in the freezer for 30 minutes, or refrigerate the pieces for 1 hour. If you want the breading to stay on during frying, don’t skip this important step.
  • WHAT TO DO IF CRUMBS FALL OFF IN THE OIL? Between batches, use a metal skimmer or strainer to remove the pieces.
  • BEST COOKING OIL FOR DEEP FRIED ZUCCHINI: Corn oil or peanut oil. Both have high smoke points, which is a must for deep frying. Here’s an informative article from Cook’s Country: Getting to know oils.
  • CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED? Yes, this recipe can doubled. But it’ll be easier to work with the breading ingredients if the veggies are coated in 2 separate batches. But after this prep work is done, they can all be fried during the same cooking session.
  • CAN FRIED ZUCCHINI BE FROZEN? Yes, it can be frozen. Here’s how: Briefly fry breaded pieces. The coating should be pale rather than golden and crisp. After cooling, transfer zucchini to a baking tray lined with parchment paper, leaving space between the pieces so they don’t touch. Freeze 35 minutes or until stiff. Arrange frozen pieces in single layers between sheets of parchment paper. Freeze in an air-tight container. When ready to enjoy, fry until crisp.
  • HOW TO MAKE BAKED ZUCCHINI FRIES: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 3-inch sticks. Coat with breading, per this recipe. Arrange zucchini fries in a single layer on the baking tray. Spritz zucchini with cooking spray. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
  • HOW TO MADE AIR FRYER ZUCCHINI FRIES: Preheat air fryer to 375°F. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 3-inch sticks. Coat with breading, per this recipe. Arrange zucchini in a single layer. Cook THE air fryer zucchini fries for 8 minutes, or until crisp and golden blonde.
  • BEST DIPPING SAUCES: Ranch dressing, zesty tartar sauce, marinara sauce, or honey mustard dipping sauce.
Fried zucchini in a rustic metal serving dish with ranch dressing and juicy wedges of lemon.

MORE GAME DAY FOOD IDEAS

Add these delicious game day food ideas to your recipe arsensal. Like fried zucchini, these popular favorites are perfect for snacking!

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Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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FRIED ZUCCHINI


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

Fried zucchini is a nostalgic snack-bar staple. It’s a great way to eat more garden veggies! Serve it as a crispy appetizer or a tasty side. Make this easy recipe in 30 minutes. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick medallions
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups dry plain bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly-ground
  • Corn oil, for frying
  • Coarse salt, for garnishing
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnishing
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

DIPPING SAUCE: Ranch Dressing


Instructions

HOW TO COAT ZUCCHINI

RECIPE PREP: RECIPE PREP: Rinse the zucchini. Pat them completely dry with a clean kitchen towel. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  1. Slice off the stem ends and discard. Cut zucchini crosswise into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick slices, or lengthwise into 3-inch long sticks for zucchini fries.
  2. Pull out 3 shallow bowls. Add flour to the first bowl. Whisk eggs in the second bowl. In the third bowl, mix together bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and spices.
  3. On your workspace, set up an assembly line of ingredients: sliced zucchini, bowl of flour, bowl of whisked eggs, bowl of seasoned bread crumbs, and prepared baking tray. 
  4. Coat a piece of zucchini in flour. Dip it in egg. Dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture. Lay coated pieces on prepared baking tray.
  5. Put the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes, or refrigerate 1 for one hour. This step is a MUST for the breading to stick and not fall off during frying!

HOW TO PAN FRY ZUCCHINI

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a baking tray with paper towels. Place an oven-proof wire rack over the tray. This is the draining station for freshly-fried zucchini.

  1. Add 1/2 inch oil to a heavy skillet. Heat the pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add a pinch of flour to the pan. If the flour sizzles, the oil is ready for frying.
  2. Add a few pieces of zucchini to the pan. We want to prevent overcrowding. There should be enough room for the pieces to freely float about in the oil as they cook.
  3. When bottoms are golden and crisp, flip the pieces over. Total cooking time is 1 to 2 minutes. When working with a new batch, adjust the heat up or down as needed. The oil should gently bubble without smoking or burning the fried zucchini. Between batches, use a metal strainer to remove pieces of coating left behind in the oil. 
  4. Transfer deep fried zucchini to the wire rack over the prepared baking tray. The oil will drain down. Do not use paper towels to directly blot off excess oil from the pieces, or the breading will stick to it. 

HOW TO KEEP FRIED ZUCCHINI WARM: Remove paper towels from baking tray with rack. Put tray with rack in the preheated oven to keep appetizer warm until serving. 

HOW TO GARNISH AND SERVE DEEP-FRIED ZUCCHINI

  1. ARRANGE fried zucchini on a platter.
  2. GARNISH with a sprinkling of coarse salt, parmesan cheese and freshly-chopped parsley. 
  3. SERVE with juicy lemon wedges and ranch dressing.

Notes

SHOULD I PEEL THE ZUCCHINI FOR THIS RECIPE? No, keep the skin on! It’s edible and will help the deep fried zucchini slices keep their shape. Additionally, the skin of the zucchini offers nutritional benefits.

INGREDIENT SWAP FOR PLAIN BREAD CRUMBS: Use Italian-style bread crumbs or Panko breadcrumbs.  

CAN I USE CORNMEAL FOR BREADING THE ZUCCHINI? Yes. If you don’t have breadcrumbs on hand, use cornmeal instead. Many restaurants prefer cornmeal. But the texture of the fried zucchini will be different. Instead of soft, the coating will be crunchy, a little sweet, and mealy.

HOW TO MAKE BAKED ZUCCHINI FRIES: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 3-inch sticks. Coat with breading, per this recipe. Arrange zucchini fries in a single layer on the baking tray. Spritz zucchini with cooking spray. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

HOW TO MADE AIR FRYER ZUCCHINI FRIES: Preheat air fryer to 375°F. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 3-inch sticks. Coat with breading, per this recipe. Arrange zucchini in a single layer. Cook THE air fryer zucchini fries for 8 minutes, or until crisp and golden blonde.

  • Category: Appetizers, Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Fried Zucchini

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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