If there’s one thing I have a hard time with when I’m doing meal-planning, it’s side dishes. I mean, yeah, I can throw together a mean salad to bring to a party, but I’m talking side dishes for dinner every night. This has gotten infinitely harder since I started Weight Watchers because the only “vegetables” my husband will willingly eat are potatoes and corn, which also suck up a whole bunch of my points and those are my ice cream points. Yes, I just admitted to opting for ice cream over something that grows in the ground–wanna fight?

My solution?

Baked zucchini fries.

Crispy, tender, salty, flavorful, dipped-in-pizza-sauce zucchini fries, fries that taste just like fried zucchini, only so much healthier.

I adapted these fries from Aggie’s Kitchen after I discovered them last fall and they have quickly become a staple at our house. These are easily my kids’ favorite vegetable. They’re a perfect little appetizer (Super Bowl, anyone?), side dish for sandwiches, or even a great after school snack. They’re inexpensive, virtually guilt free, and a totally painless way to get your veggies.

You’ll need about 1 lb. of zucchini, Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs, a couple of eggs, and some grated parmesan cheese.

If you don’t have or can’t find any Italian-style panko bread crumbs, just add 1/2 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. onion powder to 1/2 c. plain panko bread crumbs and you’ll be good to go. Either way, mix the bread crumbs with the parmesan cheese and set them aside.

Preheat your oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Cut the ends off your zucchini and then cut the zucchini in half so you have two short pieces. Set one half upright and cut it in half lengthwise.

Then cut each of those halves into half again lengthwise,
so you’ll have 4 short, flat planks of zucchini.

Stack two planks on top of each other, the rounded part up, and cut the planks into strips or “fries.” The thinner you cut the pieces, the crispier they will become (and they will also not taste at all like zucchini–this is, shockingly, how the picky eaters at my house prefer them), but the thicker they are, the more zucchini taste they’ll have. I actually really like them both ways, so I do a little bit of both.

Repeat with the remaining zucchini. When done, blot the sticks dry with a paper towel. If you’re not watching calories, you can totally toss the zucchini in a little flour rather than drying them off–it will help the bread crumbs stick. Just place about 1/4 c. of flour in a bag, add the zucchini, and shake the bag around.

Whisk together two eggs in a shallow pie plate.

Set up a little station with the blotted zucchini, eggs, bread crumbs, and the baking sheet. Now…panko crumbs are awesome because they add a lot of crispness and they’re actually lower in calories than traditional bread crumbs. However, they also soak up moisture like a sponge, so if you start dipping the zucchini in the eggs and then rolling the sticks in the entire 1/2 c. of bread crumbs, after a few batches, the bread crumbs won’t stick anymore. So you’ll want to work with about 2 tablespoons of the bread crumb/Parmesan cheese mixture at a time.

Dip the zucchini in the eggs and then shake the sticks to remove any excess egg. Roll the zucchini in the bread crumbs and then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining zucchini, making sure the zucchini pieces aren’t touching each other.

Bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes then remove from the oven and flip the fries with a spatula and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the zucchini are, for the most part, at least pretty crispy. Serve with our super-easy Pizza Sauce or Ranch Dressing.

 

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97comments

  1. 1
    Pedey @ Do You Smell That!!? says:

    Sounds like perfect point budgeting to me!! LOL I saved 7 of mine for a fudge-filled drumstick tonight – and loved every bite!

    These looks great – and I'm encouraged by you mentioning that the thin ones don't taste like zucchini because I am a non-zucchini lover but I feel so trapped by the same 6 veggies! We'll give these a shot!

  2. 2
    Jen says:

    I also have a hard time coming up with veggie side dishes for weeknight dinners! My husband is like yours — he likes very few veggies. Potatoes and corn are at the top of his list, although he does also like carrots and squash. I've made fried zucchini very similar to this recipe, which he likes, so I'll definitely have to try the baked version. I usually dip mine in flour before the egg, to help the egg adhere, but I'll try without next time to save calories (and time!)

  3. 3
    LollyChops says:

    OH WOW!!!!! I even have a zucchini in the fridge right now that I can turn into fries tonight!

    Thanks girls!

  4. 4
    jmommy08 says:

    OH MY GOSH! My husband LOVES Zucchini and my daughter loves French Fries! This could solve my "My Family Doesn't Get Enough Veggies" Complex except it's not Zucchini season. This is going in the recipe box until Zucchini season rolls around!

  5. 5
    Carol says:

    I CANNOT wait to try these! I love zucchini and I'm gettin' kinda bored with my current low cal recipe. If I didn't know better, I thought I had written the first few paragraphs…dh only likes potatoes and corn, but, now shies away from even those because of the carbs! Salad every night does become boring. And, I am totally with you. Ice Cream over ANY veggie ANY day….gotta use those WW points wisely, I say!

  6. 6
    The Boob Nazi says:

    These sound amazing.

  7. 7
    Kristin says:

    Wow, these look great. I pretty much hate veggies but know they are necessary, can't wait to try these!

  8. 8
    Alisa says:

    it looks wonderful.I'll definitely give this one a try.

  9. 9
    Eve says:

    What a great idea! My vegetable co-op group will love this recipe! I hate to admit it, but sometimes the zucchinis go bad because we get so many. So this is a great way to get the kids to like them!

  10. 10
    Prudy says:

    I cannot wait to try these.

  11. 11
    Pup Fan says:

    Yum! (And I totally agree – one must be prudent in choosing how to spend those extra WW points! Ice cream always wins.)

  12. 12
    Maria says:

    We make these all of the time. Love them!

  13. 13
    Hope Filled Living says:

    Yummy! Can't wait to try them! Thanks….
    Mary

  14. 14
    Kelsey and Jon Edwards says:

    I'm really excited to try these! I have a hard time with sides too, especially healthy sides. So I'm not familiar with weight watches, do you happen to know how many calories are in these?

  15. 15
    The Wildes says:

    This is my favorite appetizer at Carabas….can't wait to try them.

  16. 16
    Cindy says:

    I love that you are including weight watcher points with your recipes.

  17. 17
    Mary Kelly says:

    I can't wait to try these. These look like a perfect side dish to me!

  18. 18
    stacief says:

    Yum! We eat these all the time in the summer with the zucchini from the garden! Delicious and healthy!

  19. 19
    Emmalea Bozone says:

    Mmmm. These look delicious! Will have to try these out next week! And it's such an easy recipe to make gluten free. Always a plus :)

  20. 20
    Amy says:

    Do you think the same technique would work for a baked version of fried green beans? (like they're serving at some restaurants)

    • 20.1
      Kim says:

      Yes. I previously cooked green beans in this manner too. First though you want to blanch them, boiling them and then cold bath….and trim the steams. Turns out great! :)

  21. 21
    Emily says:

    Such a good idea, especially during those bountiful summer months when everyone is trying to come up with another application for zucchini. Thanks.

  22. 22
    Kate @ Our Best Bites says:

    Amy–You could TOTALLY make these with green beans–in fact, I was thinking of that as I was making these. :)

  23. 23
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions says:

    I make zucchini fries all the time! They are sooo good!

  24. 24
    Sarah says:

    Yum! Those look absolutely amazing!

    I struggle with the veggies thing. I love them, particularly cooked with my food or in my food. However, my darling boyfriend is anti vegetable — he does taters, not even corn though. Any other veggies I might convince him to eat have to be soaked in butter or fried, and even then its unlikely. These sound like they are worth trying to get him to taste!

  25. 25
    Kimberly says:

    Thank you so much for this! My biggest problem since I just re-joined WW too is sides and snacks.

    I will have to give these a try (and don't be afraid to share more ideas like this).

  26. 26
    Susan G says:

    I have been doing WW for about a year and have a husband who rolls his eyes when I even mention that a recipe is WW or even WW related. And yes, he's only a corn and potatoes guy, too. He will eat fried eggplant, and I sneaked in some baked done like your zucchini with the panko crumbs last summer and he actually liked them! I haven't tried squash yet, but can't wait for the garden this summer. I also use egg beaters to cut down on the points a bit. I've done oven fried chicken and fried okra with the panko crumbs–they are a staple in my house now.

  27. 27
    DeeGeeRN says:

    You are hysterical! I totally get the ice cream points as I'm
    A newly diagnosed diabetic.

  28. 28
    The Food Hunter says:

    I love zucchini fries…

  29. 29
    Jennifer says:

    We have these all the time as a side with any italian food, but my fave is to pair it with meatball subs. I spray mine with a little pam because it helps with the crunchiness and doesn't add calories. They are yummy!

  30. 30
    Natalie says:

    I so appreciate all the WW posts!! I get so stuck with the same meals over and over. A lot of times it ends up being chicken, rice and salad….BORING!!
    I have tried many WW recipes you have on here and loved them all!!
    Thanks for sharing your ideas…I will be stealing this one too!!

  31. 31
    Evelyn Campbell Curtis says:

    I usually do fresh veggies at every meal.. Everyone in my family loves them (celery, cucumbers, carrots, salad, etc). This does sound tasty though. I think my family would really enjoy this. I know I would… so guess what, I'm making them. :) Power of the cook ;)

  32. 32
    Aggie says:

    I was eating these like crazy for a while! Haven't made them in a couple of months…thanks for the reminder! So glad you and your family are enjoying them! :) Good use of WW points too!

    (ps, thanks for the link love!!)

  33. 33
    Nedra says:

    We made these tonight for dinner, and even my 3 and 5 year old grandsons loved them! A great way to get kids to eat veggies.
    Coating each one was a little time consuming, but we felt it was well worth the effort.

  34. 34
    jennieo1024 says:

    Great timing! I had planned to make grilled zucchini for dinner tonight, then when I saw this, I changed my mind. These were really really good! Both kids ate them(although they both like zucchini). I have a hard time with sides also. My husband likes zucchini certain ways, and I think he might like this.

    Now, the coating on mine got crispy, but not really any of the actual zucchini… Was that how it was supposed to be? I didn't do a superb job on the blotting, but the egg and coating stuck to it just fine,…. did my lack of blotting skillz contribute to this? I mean, it tasted great, I was just anticipating more crunch.

  35. 35
    Suki says:

    Definitely putting these on my list of things to make {daily} when everyone gifts me zucchini in the summer! I've made fried zucchini rounds but I have a feeling I'll like these ones better.

  36. 36
    Melissa M says:

    I made these last night and they were awesome! I should have cooked them a little longer on the first side, but they turned out good. Our store didn't have the italian crumbs, just lemon pepper. So I used those and just added a little italian seasoning. I love zucchini and even though these were time consuming I will make them again!

  37. 37
    Amy says:

    My kids, husband and our friends go crazy for this method with eggplant (I peel it). I can't wait to try it with zucchini. Thanks!

  38. 38
    Kimberly says:

    I'm terrible at side dishes, too. I can't wait to try these though, and bonus – another zucchini recipe for when the garden explodes with it this summer. :)

  39. 39
    kellystarr says:

    Just finished eating these about 5 minutes ago, and they were great! I undid all the good of them being "healthy" by dipping them in ranch dressing, but better than if they would have been fried, right? :)

    I already had loads of zucchini (Trader Joe's only sells it in packs of 5 or so), and we have Italian bread crumbs (not Panko though) that are about to expire, so it was perfect!

    I was happy the clean up was easy – a bowl (egg) and plate (crumbs) that could go in the dishwasher, a baking stone that just gets rinsed clean… makes me a happy camper!

    Thanks for an easy and tasty treat!

  40. 40
    amiraskitchen says:

    I love that these are baked not fried! I may just try them for superbowl sunday this year!

  41. 41
    Kim says:

    My daughter ate these. That's all I have to say. :)

  42. 42
    Asia says:

    Any idea on a way to make these crispy without the panko? Or will they just end up soggy baked sticks of zucchini? I am on a low carb diet and I have such a hard time finding recipes. Thanks.

  43. 43
    cnk2cav says:

    Just to make sure, are the points values points, or points plus?

  44. 44
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Asia- no, if you bake the plain zucchini they'll just be soft. Sorry!

    cnk2cav – points plus.

  45. 45
    The Petersens says:

    They were very easy to make and very were very good! My husband really liked them as well as my sisters.

  46. 46
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction says:

    I just love zucchini fries… Your version looks lovely! I have to add these to the menu next week!

  47. 47
    Stacy says:

    I would love to see more side dishes on the blog. Like you, I can pull a main dish together, but the sides are always harder. Any help would be appreciated!

  48. 48
    Steve and Jamie says:

    We tried these for dinner tonight and they were DELICIOUS! I even got my picky kids to eat a few, and they've NEVER eaten zucchini on purpose.

    This recipe is kind of time consuming for a side dish, but it will be a great recipe for when I'm making a quick main dish.

    Thank you!

  49. 49
    sasha says:

    Brilliant!!! I didn't have any panko and refused to make a trip to the store…instead, I confess that I used wheat thins pulverized in the magic bullet. Not at all as good as the panko will be when I make them again, but good enough that both my kids ATE ZUCCHINI! Next time I will peel the zucchini – my five year old was munching happily until he figured out what it was…the dark green skin was a dead giveaway.

  50. 50
    Tawny says:

    oh..my..these look delicious! im definitely saving this!

  51. 51
    Tonia says:

    This looks great. As soon as I started reading this post, I instanly thought "Green Bean Fries!" Thanks for the great idea.

  52. 52
    Elizabeth says:

    I found a recipe to make a lower calorie version of Alfredo that uses Zucchini in it as well and it's pretty yummy!

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/fettucini-alfredo-with-zucchini-ribbons-recipe/index.html

    she also has a really yummy mac and cheese recipe that uses winter squash in it.

  53. 53
    ktivadar says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! My super picky 11 year old loved them! He even said "you know it's good when I eat my vegetables before the main course!!" So thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  54. 54
    Lanie says:

    Yummo! I linked to this in my Friday Favorites!

    http://www.laniejandco.com/2011/02/friday-favorites-2411.html

  55. 55
    CurlyKye says:

    Made these last night..they were awesome! Had mine with ketchup and had as a solo snack. Thanks for recommending.

    Next time I pay have to decrease the cook time…I cut mine pretty thin.

  56. 56
    kevnjess says:

    These little suckers are so good, The only thing I will do differently next time is make more!

  57. 57
    Ang says:

    Tried these tonight – what a great side dish! Cheese ravioli with marinara, these on the side, and canteloupe for dessert made a great meal!

    I’m a little sad, although not surprised that my kids wouldn’t eat many. They’re so odd: they’ll eat any vegetable as long as it is recognizable, but try to disguise or dress it up and they’re out. And they won’t touch ranch! Like I said, odd. ;)

  58. 58
    Cynthia says:

    My kids loved these. They like zucchini in general but they really like this recipe! Thank you!

  59. 59
    Karen says:

    I tried the zucchini fries last nite – they were FANTASTIC! We both really liked them a lot. We are watching carbs so grilling burger patties (no buns) & wanted something fry like to go with it & these were perfect.

    I could only find Lemon & Pepper panko crumbs but it added a nice little punch to the flavor & worked just fine.

    Just found this blog & loving it!

  60. 60
    Juanita Cantrell says:

    These were delicious…big hit with my family=) Thank you!!

  61. 61
    Ally says:

    Family loved them! Even my 2 year old little boy who wont touch veggies! :) Thanks for sharing!

  62. 62
    marlene says:

    Why can’t I print this recipe??

  63. 63
    Jana Norman says:

    Is there anything that can be used to replace the egg in recipes like this? I have a child with an egg allergy and would be grateful to learn or any tips.

  64. 64
    Erin W. says:

    I made these over the weekend and they were amazing! LOVE THEM! Even my “I-don’t-like-that-even-though-I’ve-never-tried-it” four year old who only eates grilled cheese, hot dogs and PB&J ate them and liked them! Ok, ok, I admit it… I did have to bribe her with ice cream to get her to take a bite but, whatever it takes, right? Woo-hoo for this MOTY (Mom of the year)!

  65. 65
    Suzanne says:

    These are absolutely amazing…I have made them three times already in the past two weeks! If only we could order baked zucchini fries out, think about how many calories you could save them! My fiance loves them too, we’ll make ranch dip and use light sour cream, pair it with a turkey burger…feels like you’re eating a burger and fries and cut half the fat. On another note, I love this entire website and I share this with any of my foodie friends!

  66. 66
    Jen b says:

    This was very tasty! A healthier alternative to fried zucchini. Thank you!

  67. 67
    food student says:

    thank you love this entry! just a quick idea.. the hungry girl show on food network did a twist on onion rings by baking them and covering them in ground up fiber one cereal ( the one that looks like twigs) with garlic ect.. added.. i’m going to try your recipe with this alternative.. i know that the fiber adds up and gives some kind of benefit for weight watchers.. so just a thought.. thanks for sharing the GREAT recipe!!!

  68. 68
    Kristen B says:

    I love fried veggies, especially with a GOOD dipping sauce, I do not like the calories though!! These are a great alternative!!! I actually make a light version of a mayo/horseradish dipping sauce which taste just like texas roadhouse’s sauce for thier onion blossom! Now everyone in the family will chow down on these!

  69. 69
    Jennifer says:

    These are fabulous!!! I am trying them for the 2nd time tonight with portabella mushrooms done the same way, can’t wait to try them!

  70. 70
    Brenda says:

    Pampered Chef makes a french fry cutter that just came out in the Spring Catalog that makes slicing the zucchini a snap. Just thought I’d share.

  71. 71
    Cary Atkins says:

    I am munching these right now, hoping there will be enough left for the fam! So yummy… I added “Seasonello Bologna Aromatic Herb Salt”. Fab on anything, BTW!

  72. 72
    kim jones says:

    Made these tonight and they took a long time to make, but they were delicious! We dipped them in tomato sauce. I have been looking for a new recipe for zucchini and this one is a keeper. Thanks for posting a yummy yet healthy recipe.

  73. 73
    Kimberly says:

    Great recipe and I can’t wait to try it.

    Just a thought though: I see a lot of comments out there on what the hubbies will and will not eat. If they don’t eat what you fix then they need to learn to fix their own side dishes or go without. Your health and weight is important and their picky eating shouldn’t derail your admirable efforts.

  74. 74

    YUM! Now I know what to do with the zucchini I’m starting to harvest!

  75. 75
    Anna says:

    Just made these tonight and they’re AMAZING!!

  76. 76

    Tried this today and 3 words: A. Maz. Ing! My kids were not fans, but hey, more for me, right? This is a new favorite (for me and hubbs, anyway)!

  77. 77
    Glee says:

    I love this idea. I tried it this afternoon and they turned out great. I tweaked the recipe by using what I had for the coating. I also eye-balled the amounts because I was only doing one zucchini as a trial run. At nearly 6000 ft, I had to adjust the time by about half and didn’t have to turn them over, which was a shock. But, all that is to say – Great recipe – LOVED IT! You’ve inspired me to try this with other veggies to get my toddler more excited!

  78. 78
    Betsy says:

    We made these last night. They were fantastic! I had some broccoli and mushrooms that needed to be eaten so I made them the same way, really yummy! I think I’ll even try onions next time. Zucchini fries are awesome, thank you for this recipe. I found it on Pinterest and I am also going to try another recipe I found for ranch dressing only you exchange the mayo for nonfat yogurt, much more healthy. That way we can feel much better eating them!

  79. 79
    Louise says:

    Wanna fight? Classic I laughed my head off! Never seen your site before but I think I’m going to have to join! The fries sound good too :-)

  80. 80

    [...] in the share. Our member Marci from Forest Grove shared with me this recipe… http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/01/baked-zucchini-fries/ . They sound perfectly easy and delicious. Her family devoured [...]

  81. 81

    [...] Baked zucchini fries -  by Our Best Bites [...]

  82. 82

    [...] That being said zucchini fries are another side dish that my man and I have loved. They’re a little messy to make, you have to get your hands dirty, but I think they’re totally worth it. I got the recipe from this website: http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/01/baked-zucchini-fries/. [...]

  83. 83
    Madeline says:

    Tried these for dinner tonight and they were outstanding. My husband even asked what vegetable they were made from! Although, I only ended up with 8 planks from each zucchini, not 16. I cut them in half crosswise, then cut each of those halfs into 4 planks. Maybe I didn’t do it right!

  84. 84

    [...] (Recipe from Our Best Bites) [...]

  85. 85

    [...] bought organic zucchini at one of the veggie stands, to use in a zucchini fry recipe I’ve been wanting to [...]

  86. 86

    [...] After lots of steamed Broccoli I decided I should change things up. This Zucchini Fries recipe from Our Best Bites are the perfect thing to get my veggies in but in a delicious [...]

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  88. 88
    Becky says:

    loved them! We like zucchini anyway, but my kids devoured these. THanks for sharing the garden produce recipes!!!!

  89. 89
    Becky says:

    Loved these! Had some sundried tomato pesto on hand so dipped it in that. Got a little tired of doing a few at a time so put them in a bag with egg, then a ziplock bag with the bread crumbs. Worked ok too. These really do need to be flipped over! Thanks!

  90. 90
    Fayettetopia says:

    Panko burned, zucchini was soft. Fail. And I can cook, so that’s not it. I think the temp is too high. I’d cook them low and slow, as if to dehydrate.

  91. 91

    […] Zucchini Fries – Original Recipe from Our Best Bites […]

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