Fried Zucchini

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Fried zucchini is an all-time favorite! Tasty veggies are sliced and double breaded in a flavorful coating that includes herbs, spices and parmesan. They’re deep fried until golden and crisp. Enjoy as an appetizer, snack or side. Serve with buttermilk ranch dressing.

📌 Pin Fried Zucchini

Plate of fried zucchini with lemon wedges and dipping sauce.

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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.

🛒 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: The star of this recipe.
  • Large Eggs: Helps adhere the bread crumb coating to the sliced zucchini.
  • All-Purpose Flour: For coating the zucchini.
  • Seasoned Bread Crumbs: For the delicious crumb coating.
  • Kosher Sea Salt: Adds flavor so the coating is not bland.
  • Black Pepper: Adds an earthy, rustic taste with a bit of heat.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: Adds a delicious cheesy flavor.
  • Corn Oil: A neutral tasting oil with a high smoke point (of about 450°F). It’s ideal for cooking fried zucchini until crisp without burning the veggies or coating.
  • Fresh Parsley: For garnishing. It provides color and freshness.
  • Lemon Wedges: For serving. They provide a bright citrus taste.
  • Dipping Sauce: Ranch Dressing is a favorite pairing with deep fried zucchini.

DIY seasoned bread crumbs: If you don’t have seasoned bread crumbs in the pantry, combine: 2 cups dry plain bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Ingredients for fried zucchini recipe.

📖 Fried Zucchini Recipe

🥒 Bread the Zucchini

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 1/4-inch thick slices, or lengthwise into 3-inch sticks for zucchini fries.
  2. Prep the coating: 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 slice of zucchini in flour. Dip it in egg. Dredge it in 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.

🥘 Pan Fry the 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.

  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. We want a crispy coating without the pieces absorbing oil and becoming greasy. If using a food thermometer, keep the temp between 350°F and 375°F.
  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.
  5. 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.
How to make fried zucchini step by step as shown in 4 overhead images.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert Tips

  • How to make homemade breadcrumbs: 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.
  • If you don’t have bread crumbs 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.
  • It’s important to keep the cooking oil clean when frying zucchini. Between batches, use a metal skimmer or strainer to remove the pieces.
  • 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 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 make 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 zucchini fries for 8 minutes, or until crisp and golden blonde.
  • Best dipping sauces for fried zucchini: Ranch dressing, zesty tartar sauce, marinara sauce, or honey mustard dipping sauce.
Fried Zucchini in a cast-iron serving dish with ranch dressing, parsley garnish and lemon wedges.

🧑🏼‍🍳 Recipe FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions for making the BEST fried zucchini, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

Can this recipe be doubled?

Yes, it can. But it’ll be much easier to work with the breading ingredients if the veggies are coated in 2 separate batches. But after the prep work is done, they can all be deep fried during the same cooking session.

Do I peel zucchini for fried zucchini?

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.

Best cooking oil for 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.

How to keep coating from falling off fried zucchini?

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.

Can I freeze fried zucchini?

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.

Fried zucchini in a rustic metal serving dish with ranch dressing and juicy wedges of lemon.

🍽 More Game Day Food

Add these delicious game day food ideas to your recipe arsenal. Like fried zucchini, these popular favorites are ideal for snacking and feeding a crowd.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friends and family say this is the best deep fried zucchini recipe. The crisp delicious coating, and the crisp fresh veggies made this appetizer a winner. They claim it’s better than the fried zucchini served at bowling alleys, sports bars, Carl’s Jr., and the state fair.

If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with friends. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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FRIED ZUCCHINI


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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

Units Scale
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 lbs), sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick medallions
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Corn oil, for frying
  • Coarse salt, for garnishing
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnishing
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Dipping Sauce: Ranch Dressing


Instructions

Coat the Zucchini Slices

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

  1. 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, and salt and pepper.
  2. 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. 
  3. Coat a piece of zucchini in flour. Dip it in egg. Dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with remaining slices. As you work, place the coated pieces on the prepared baking tray.
  4. 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!

Deep Fry the 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 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. 
  5. Arrange the fried zucchini on a platter. Garnish with a sprinkling of coarse salt, parmesan cheese and freshly-chopped parsley. Serve with juicy lemon wedges and ranch dressing for dipping.

Notes

Should I peel the zucchini? 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.

DIY seasoned bread crumbs: If you don’t have a container of seasoned bread crumbs in the pantry, you can make them at home. Combine the following: 2 cups dry plain bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.

How to keep fried zucchini warm: Remove paper towels from baking tray with rack. Put tray with rack in the preheated 200°F oven to keep appetizer warm until serving.

Oven Fried Zucchini: 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.

Air Fried Zucchini: 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 zucchini fries for 8 minutes, or until crisp and golden blonde.

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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