Baked Zucchini and Summer Squash Fries with garlic, parmesan, and a perfectly crispy coating couldn't be more delicious. They will make everyone want to eat their veggies.
This will quickly become your new favorite healthy side dish - Baked Garlic Parmesan Zucchini and Summer Squash Fries that are cheesy, crispy, and delish.
If you have someone you love that turns their nose to veggies, make these garlicky, panko and Parmesan crusted, zucchini and summer squash fries immediately. The coating is crunchy, cheesy, and full of garlic and herbs. The zucchini and squash are tender and dunked in some marinara, skinny ranch, or basil pesto, it's pretty darn delicious.
True story. When I made these last week, we polished them off before they even made it to the table. It started with one, that quickly turned into two, and after about 5 minutes the tray was gone and we had dinner without a side dish. Poor lonely burgers...Although these burgers are so good I don't think anyone really cared.
The inspiration for this dish came from my niece who wants to eat "zucchini chips" every night. Zucchini chips are essentially just sliced zucchini covered in Parmesan cheese and baked until tender and just beginning to brown. She is obsessed. But it is one of the only veggies she will eat. Since summer squash and zucchini are so similar, we tried to switch out some zucchini for its yellow cousin, and no-go. She avoided them all.
Since I never back down from a challenge, I decided to give it another try with some zucchini and summer squash fries. Since she loves anything crispy and literally eats Parmesan cheese by the handful, I knew I wanted these to be packed with Parmesan cheese and have a super crispy coating. And then, of course, garlic! It's a natural fit.
Do you need to peel the squash and zucchini?
The skin of both zucchini and summer squash is thin and doesn't have an overly bitter flavor like some vegetable skin. For that reason, there is no need to peel it before making these fries. However, if you don't like the skin for any reason, you can peel them and the fries will still come out great.
Tips For Making Crispy Zucchini and Summer Squash Fries
There are a few really important steps to making sure you get super crispy fries each and every time.
- Size: It is really important to cut the zucchini and summer squash fries a uniform thickness. I recommend around 1/4 of an inch. If the sizes vary greatly you will get some overcooked fries and some soggy fries.
- Space: This is perhaps the most important thing - your veggie fries need room to breathe. If you place them too close together on the baking sheet or on top of each other, they will steam instead of roast. This leaves you with a soggy fry. Make sure everything is in a single layer with some space between.
- Salting: If you want really crispy squash fries and have some extra time, you can salt the fries first. After cutting the fries, simply sprinkle them with salt. Let them sit out for 15-20 minutes and then use a towel to soak up the extra moisture. The salt draws out the moisture in the zucchini and yellow squash and leads to a crispier outcome.
What makes Baked Zucchini and Summer Squash Fries Healthy?
Compared to regular deep fried potato fries, these baked veggie fries are so much healthy. Not only are they lower in calories and fat, but they also are packed with more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Consider that a one cup serving of standard restaurant fries has between 300-400 calories while these veggie fries only have 150 calories plus all kinds of extra health benefits.
- With just 39 calories in one yellow squash, it is a healthy and lower calorie and carbohydrate option than traditional potatoes. Additionally, it is packed with calcium, iron, and vitamins C, A, and B, as well as beta-carotene and lutein.
- Zucchini is packed with minerals, vitamins, and has just 33 calories per piece. It is known to be packed with anti-inflammatory qualities and also known to prevent heart and digestive health.
Looking for more veggie fries and wedges? Try out these:
Baked Garlic Parmesan Zucchini and Summer Squash Fries
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- 2 zucchini
- 2 summer squash
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup Parmesan
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking spray
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Dip the zucchini into the egg whites and then into the breadcrumbs mixture. coating on each side. Place on a baking sheet covered in foil (for easy clean up) and sprayed with cooking spray. Once you have all the wedges on the baking sheet, spray with cooking spray. This helps the wedges to stay crispy.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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