Here is a recipe that I would like to share with you that I originally found on foodnetwork.com and then adapted. It was an immediate hit with my toddler (and husband), so much so that she kept asking me for more – and she would usually barely touch the zucchini on her plate! It’s super easy to make, but takes a little bit of time to bake in the oven, so plan ahead.
- 1-2 zucchinis (sliced into thin 1/4 –inch thick rounds)
- Cheddar cheese (or Parmesan/Mozzarella/Monterey Jack cheese)
- Bread crumbs
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 C), and line a baking tray with either aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Drizzle olive oil over the sliced zucchini rounds in a bowl, and mix thoroughly until the zucchini pieces are well coated. Be generous with the olive oil!
- In a different bowl, use a mini grater (this works absolute wonders!) to shred cheddar cheese, then add in some breadcrumbs, pepper and a pinch of salt if desired. Mix well.
- Coat each zucchini piece in the breadcrumb mixture until it is coated on both sides (may need to slightly press the coating onto each zucchini surface) then lay in the baking tray. Repeat with the other zucchini pieces.
- Place in oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the zucchini pieces turn slightly brown and become crisp.
- Serve and eat while warm. Enjoy!
I tried this recipe a few different ways and found that commercial bread crumbs seem to work a bit better than Panko bread crumbs, though Panko bread crumbs can still be used. Personally, I don’t think you need to even add a sprinkle of salt because commercial breadcrumbs tend to already have some salt, and cheese also contains sodium. If you want to save even more time and don’t have a mini grater, just get some pre-shredded cheese (then just mince quickly with a knife on a chopping board to make finer) or pre-grated parmesan cheese. These can also be made more nutritious by dipping the zucchini rounds in well-beaten egg white before coating them with the breadcrumb mixture. Try this recipe with other vegetables like yellow squash!
Other tips: You can turn these into “zucchini fries” but it made trying to coat all 4 sides properly more challenging (though they still turned out well!). Allergic to cow’s milk dairy products? You can try some soy cheese or just bake the zucchini rounds without any cheese. I’m sure they would still come out crispy even without a cheese component!