Parmesan Crusted Fried Zucchini Recipe
Give the spiralizer a break and make these crispy Parmesan Crusted Fried Zucchini Sticks. Coated in Panko breadcrumbs, parmesan and buttermilk then lightly pan fried, you’ll never eat regular fries again. So amazingly addictive!
Recipe originally published in January 2016 and updated in August 2019.
Normally this time of year I have a million zucchini coming out of my ears….basically. But, this summer, something went terribly wrong with my vegetable garden and the few things I did plant ended up dead. I have a strong suspicion that the husband got a little fast and loose with the weed killer leaving me with exactly one jalapeno plant that managed to survive.
So, I’ve been relying on my local farm stand for their fresh zucchini because I totally crave this easy Parmesan Fried Zucchini. We used to make it years ago when I was on a tight budget because…let’s face it, zucchini is relatively inexpensive, especially when you have neighbors dropping it off on the regular. You can’t beat free zucchini!
And, although parmesan is the exact opposite of cheap, a good wedge of parmesan will last you a long time….and you can stretch it for so many recipes like these Baked Chicken Tenders….we love them as much as the Zucchini Fries! So always splurge on the parmesan cheese.
We also love that this Parmesan Fried Zucchini recipe is super simple to make and kids will devour them! Believe it….your kids will LOVE these Zucchini Fries…and they won’t even realize they’re eating zucchini. How awesome is that?
And it’s an awesome addition to the zucchini recipe arsenal because you can only make so much zucchini bread before you ready to launch a zucchini at your neighbor.
HOW TO MAKE FRIED ZUCCHINI
This easy pan fried zucchini is all about technique and isn’t difficult at all. Follow my tips for perfect Parmesan Zucchini Fries!
- Add a garlic clove to 1/2 cup of oil in a large skillet and heat until golden. Remove the garlic and turn the heat to medium/low.
- Set up a dredging station: seasoned flour; buttermilk; parmesan/panko breadcrumbs.
- Cut the zucchini into “fries.”
- Dip each zucchini stick into the flour, then the buttermilk and last the parmesan panko.
- Place the zucchini fry into the oil and repeat with the remaining zucchini being careful not to crowd the pan. Work in batches, if necessary.
- Fry the zucchini until golden brown and then flip. Fry the zucchini until all sides are golden and crispy.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Serve with garlic aioli or marinara for dipping, if desired.
If you want to prep ahead, you can cut the zucchini into fries and store in a zip top bag. I don’t recommend coating your zucchini until right before you’re ready to fry them or the breading will get to moist and not become crispy once it hits the oil.
Can you freeze Fried Zucchini?
I don’t recommend freezing your Parmesan Fried Zucchini because, again, they won’t remain crispy once thawed and reheated. Your efforts are best enjoyed shortly after you cook them.
Do you peel zucchini before you fry it?
I don’t peel my zucchini before I fry it for a few reasons:
- the peel helps the zucchini fry to hold it’s shape and keep it from becoming limp once it’s fried.
- it adds vitamins, fiber and color to your fried zucchini
Can you bake Fried Zucchini?
If you prefer to make Baked Zucchini Fries (which I sometimes do), you can make them the same way I make my Oven Fried Chicken recipe.
Simply follow the instructions for coating your fried zucchini and then bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time. Be sure to coat the baking sheet with cooking spray or oil before adding your zucchini fries and a HOT baking sheet will keep your oven fried zucchini from steaming on the bottom which will lead to a soggy crust on the bottom.
TIPS FOR MAKING FRIED ZUCCHINI
- I like to cut my zucchini into “fries” or sticks because I think they’re easier to handle and kids love the french fry shape. If you want to cut them into rounds or chips, that works well, too.
- Be sure to monitor your oil with a thermometer, your oil should be between 350-375 degrees F.
- If your Fried Zucchini starts to become too dark or burn easily, turn the heat down. You may also need to skim out some of the loose breadcrumbs that have escaped from your zucchini fries and are burning in the oil.
- I love the mixture of the panko and parmesan cheese because it gives the crust a light texture. If you don’t have panko breadcrumbs, you can use regular breadcrumbs for this recipe, too.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ZUCCHINI
Since some of you are probably swimming in zucchini during the summer months, you’ll be glad to hear that zucchini has a number of health benefits.
- Zucchini is nutrient rich and packed with folate, Vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, Vitamin C and and Vitamin K.
- It also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients which help fight the effects of aging.
- It can help improve digestion including reducing constipation and other digestive issues.
- You can also use zucchini to treat puffy eyes by placing slices of raw zucchini over the eyes. Leave the slices in place for about 30 minutes and repeat several times in a day.
- Zucchini is a rich source of B-vitamins, especially folate, riboflavin, and B6, it can help to boost energy production in the body. This reduces fatigue and improves moods.
MORE EASY APPETIZER RECIPES
- Easy Antipasto Skewers
- The BEST Baked Buffalo Wings
- Quick Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Simple Spinach Artichoke Dip
Parmesan Crusted Zucchini Fries
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 4 small zucchini cut into 1/2 inch strips (to resemble fries)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup low fat buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- Pour the 1/2 cup of oil into a large skillet and add the garlic clove. Heat the oil over medium heat until the garlic is golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and discard.
- While the oil is heating, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Pour the buttermilk into a separate shallow bowl.
- Whisk together the panko and cheese in a third shallow bowl. Dredge the zucchini in the flour, then the buttermilk and panko mixture.
- Carefully place the zucchini in the oil. Repeat with the remaining zucchini being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Work in batches if necessary.
- Once the zucchini is golden brown, carefully flip over. If the zucchini is becoming too brown, turn the heat down.
- When all sides of the zucchini are golden brown, transfer to a wire rack using tongs. (If you're running out of oil, add the remaining 1/2 cup)
- Serve immediately.