Want to turn a summer veggie into something truly delicious? Well then, you deep fry it and dip it in ranch.
This recipe is just the ticket, delivering golden, crunchy bites packed with flavor in under 20 minutes.
- Deep fryer or large pot
- 2 medium zucchinis sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- vegetable oil or peanut oil for frying
- dipping sauce marinara, ranch dressing, or your favorite dipping sauce for serving
- Preheat your deep fryer to 375°F (190°C).
- Assemble components. Prepare a breading station: In a shallow dish, combine the flour with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, whisk the eggs. In a third shallow dish, mix the panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
- Dip. Bread the zucchini slices: Working in batches, coat each zucchini slice in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Then, dip it into the beaten eggs, letting any excess drip off. Finally, coat the zucchini slice with the panko mixture, pressing gently to ensure an even layer of breading.
- Fry. Fry the breaded zucchini slices: Carefully lower the breaded zucchini slices into the hot oil, working in batches to avoid overcrowding. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the zucchini from the oil and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Serve. Season and serve: While still warm, sprinkle the fried zucchini with additional salt, if desired. Serve immediately with marinara sauce, ranch dressing, or your favorite dipping sauce.
This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
You’ll need the following for this yummy appetizer:
- Medium zucchinis
- All-purpose flour
- Large eggs
- Panko bread crumbs
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Garlic powder
- Italian seasoning
- Ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Optional: Your favorite dipping sauce (like marinara sauce or ranch dressing) for serving
Step One: assembly line!
Preheat your deep fryer: Before diving into the prep work, get your deep fryer up to temperature by setting it to 375°F (190°C). This way, it’ll be hot and ready for action when your zucchini slices are all breaded.
Set up your breading station: It’s all about efficiency! Grab three shallow dishes and arrange them side by side. In the first dish, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. In the second dish, beat the eggs until they’re well combined. For the third dish, create your flavor-packed breading mix by combining panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
Bread those zucchini slices: One by one, coat each zucchini slice in the flour mixture, making sure to shake off any excess. Next, give it a good dunk in the beaten eggs, letting any extra egg drip off. Finally, press the zucchini slice firmly into the panko mixture, ensuring an even, delicious layer of breading.
Step three: deep fry
Get your fry on: Carefully lower your breaded zucchini slices into the hot oil, working in batches to avoid overcrowding and ensuring maximum crispiness. Fry each batch for 2-3 minutes per side or until they’re a beautiful golden brown color. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, lift the zucchini out of the oil and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
While the fried zucchini is still hot and fresh out of the fryer, give it a sprinkle of extra salt, if you like. Then, go ahead and serve it up with your favorite dipping sauce, such as marinara or ranch dressing. These crispy delights are best enjoyed immediately, so dig in and enjoy!
🥫 Storage instructions
Storing Leftovers: Place the cooled zucchini rounds in an airtight container and refrigerate. They should stay good for up to 3 days. But remember, like most fried foods, these zucchinis are best enjoyed fresh.
Reheating: Preheat your oven or air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Spread the zucchini rounds on a baking sheet and heat them for about 10-15 minutes or until they’re hot and crispy again. Avoid using the microwave to reheat them as it can make them soggy.
Freezing: If you want to prep these in advance and freeze them, you can! Just follow the recipe until you’ve breaded the zucchini rounds but before you fry them. Arrange the breaded rounds on a baking sheet and flash-freeze them for about an hour. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to cook them, there is no need to thaw! Just preheat your fryer and cook them as per the instructions in the recipe, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time to ensure they’re heated through.
While panko bread crumbs give a unique crunch, you can certainly use regular bread crumbs or even crushed cornflakes if you’re in a pinch. Just remember, the texture might be a bit different.
Feel free to experiment with other herbs and spices. Paprika, cayenne pepper, or even a bit of lemon zest could add a nice twist.
If you’re looking for a lighter option, you can bake the breaded zucchini slices. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C), arrange the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. They might not be as crispy as the fried version, but they’ll still be delicious!
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Watch your zucchini thickness: When slicing your zucchini, aim for about 1/4-inch thick slices. Too thin, and they may get overly crispy and lose their zucchini goodness. Too thick, and the insides might not cook through properly.
- Don’t skip the salt in the flour: Adding salt to the flour helps ensure your zucchini rounds are seasoned all the way through, not just on the outside.
- Press the breadcrumbs into the zucchini: When you’re breading your zucchini slices, don’t be afraid to press the breadcrumbs into the zucchini. This helps create a thicker, crunchier crust.
- Keep an eye on your oil temperature: If the oil is too hot, the zucchini will brown too quickly and might not cook through. If it’s too cool, the zucchini can become greasy. Aim for a steady 375°F (190°C) for the best results.
- Don’t overcrowd the fryer: Frying a few pieces at a time ensures that the zucchini rounds cook evenly and get that perfect crispy texture. Overcrowding can drop the temperature of the oil and lead to soggy, greasy zucchini.
- Drain well after frying: Place the fried zucchini on a plate lined with paper towels after frying. This will help absorb any excess oil and keep your zucchini crispy.
- Serve immediately: Like most fried foods, these zucchini rounds are best served hot, right out of the fryer. The longer they sit, the less crispy they’ll be.
📘 Related Recipes
🍽 Serve it with
Grilled Meats: These crispy zucchini make a perfect side for grilled chicken, steak, or fish. They add a nice contrast in texture and flavor.
Pasta Dishes: Serve these alongside your favorite pasta dish. Whether it’s rigatoni al forno or creamy fettuccine Alfredo, these zucchinis will fit right in
Burgers and Sandwiches: Add some crunch to your favorite burger recipe with some crispy zucchini on the side.