The best Crispy Baked Zucchini rounds with Parmesan cheese, Panko breadcrumbs, garlic, and spices. Never mushy, ready in 15 minutes, so much flavor!
Looking for a new veggie dish to make tonight? Look no further than this delicious, nutritious, fast, and easy Parmesan Baked Zucchini!
When it comes to easy, universally appealing vegetable side dishes, this baked zucchini is the way to go. Coated in Parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs, there is nothing not to like.
It's similar to baked zucchini fries, but it's easier to prepare. Just spread out of zucchini rounds and sprinkle with the parmesan topping. No problem if some fall on the side. In fact, those little baked crispy bits of cheese are delicious.
Why Everyone Loves This Zucchini
- Always crispy. Between the high oven temperature and crispy coating, you don't have to worry about soggy zucchini
- Quick and easy. Ready in less than 20 minutes with just 5 ingredients
- Versatile: Switch up the spices, make it without breadcrumbs, or try a different cheese.
Ingredients and Easy Swaps
Here is everything you need to make this recipe, plus some optional swaps depending on what you have on hand.
- Zucchini: For the most flavor, use small to medium zucchini for this recipe. Larger zucchini can have less flavor and more water content, meaning they won't be as crispy. Summer squash (yellow squash) also works in this recipe.
- Panko breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs provide the most crunch, but regular breadcrumbs work as well. Leave out the breadcrumbs for a lighter option.
- Parmesan cheese: For the best results, use finely grated Parmesan cheese. Pecorino romano cheese also works.
- Italian seasoning: Italian seasoning has dried basil, rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder so it's an easy way to add lots of flavor with a single ingredient. Feel free to swap in different herbs and spices.
How do you make Crispy Baked Zucchini?
Making this crispy zucchini is easy as pie!
First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, then slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch rounds. They can be cut thicker but will take a bit longer to cook any may be less crispy.
Next, toss the zucchini with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spread the coated zucchini on a prepared baking sheet in a single layer (so they get nice and crispy). Add another baking sheet if needed.
In another small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings. Sprinkle this mixture over the zucchini rounds.
Put your pan(s) into the oven and allow the zucchini to roast until they're tender, about 12-16 minutes, depending on how thick your slices are. The thinner the slices, the more quickly they will be done.
The zucchini will be tender and the topping will be browned when they are done. For extra-crispy zucchini, turn on the broiler the last 2-3 minutes.
How do you roast zucchini without it getting soggy?
Soggy zucchini is the worst and to be honest, it's a lot of the reason I was put off from eating it in the first place. Sure, it's fine if it's meant to be soft, like, in an au gratin recipe or as part of a stir-fry, but when zucchini is overcooked it gets mushy and that's just a big no-no.
If you encounter this problem when making your crispy baked zucchini, I recommended one of two things:
- Slice your zucchini thinner. Make sure it's ¼-in thick for best results. Watch while it bakes to make sure it's crispy but not burnt. Unless you like it that way, then by all means, crisp it up to your liking.
- Elevate the zucchini both literally and figuratively by adding a baking rack to your setup. So, you'll put a baking rack right inside your baking sheet. Spray the rack to make sure the zucchini doesn't stick. When it's ready to bake, put the zucchini right on top of the baking rack, then carefully add the breadcrumb mixture and bake. Adding a baking rack allows all sides of the zucchini to get hot air circulating around it, crisping it up on both sides.
- Choose small to medium zucchini: Bigger zucchini can have more water and get mushier.
- Don't overcrowd the pan: Another reason zucchini gets soggy when roasted is that the pan is overcrowded, causing the zucchini to steam instead of roast. Make sure to leave some space.
- Do not overbake: Cooking zucchini too long will make it mushy! It's better to take it out a minute or too early since it will continue to cook on the baking sheet when you take ti out of the oven.
This zucchini side dish pairs well with almost any dinner dish but with the Parmesan cheese, we love pairing it with meals with complementary flavors like the ones below.
- Chicken: Serve it alongside this Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken, or Pesto Chicken.
- Fish and shrimp: Keep things light and healthy and pair this with some Pan Seared Salmon or Garlic Shrimp.
- Pork: We love this on the side of this Skillet Pork and Peppers or Crispy Almond Pork.
- Vegetarian: Pair this with some Baked Italian Polenta or Chickpea Burgers.
Recipes Ideas: Spices and Dipping sauces
There are so many ways to vary this recipe and make it your own. Here are some really tasty ones to try!
- Ranch seasoning or dip: Adding a sprinkle of ranch seasoning to the breadcrumbs makes this recipe something really special. Or serve ranch dressing for dipping.
- Make it spicy: Add some red pepper flakes to the breadcrumb mixture or serve it with a spicy dipping sauce like this creamy chipotle sauce.
- Add nuts: Add a nutty flavor and texture by adding some finely chopped almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts to the breadcrumbs.
- Make it low carb: Skip the breadcrumbs and sprinkle with some almond flour.
- Everything bagel seasoning: Add a big bold flavor to this baked zucchini recipe with this favorite spice blend.
Air Fryer Option
This crispy baked zucchini works great in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees and then cook for 5-7 minutes until crisp. Likely you will need to prepare these in a couple batches since they need to be cooked in a single layer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about roasting zucchini.
Zucchini do not need to be peeled before cooking. The peel is soft and has a very mild flavor. Plus it is where a lot of the zucchni's nutrition is located.
Zucchini is a great, healthy vegetable to add to your diet. One serving is low in calories, has almost zero fat (less than 1 gram, so why even count it?), and even has 1 gram of plant protein.
One serving of zucchini also contains 1 gram of fiber; vitamins A, C, K, and B6; potassium, manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and thiamine. These vitamins and minerals help support your immune system, your vision, your skin, and your digestion. Zucchini also contains a large number of antioxidants, which are important compounds that help your body fight off free-radicals.
Zucchini is also a recommended plant source for people with type 2 diabetes, as it has been shown to be a low-carb vegetable that can help lower blood sugar levels.
So what do you say? Are you ready to add zucchini to your healthy diet today?
The best way to remove moisture from the zucchini when roasting is to place it on a baking rack so that any excess water can drip out while it cooks.
Some recipes may advocate salting zucchini before cooking, but when roasting that isn't really necessary. Salting is best for preparation including lasagna or zucchini parmesan when the baked zucchini may release liquid into the entire dish.
Crispy Baked Zucchini
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- 3 zucchini, sliced (into rounds about ¼ inch thick)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
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- Nutritional Information
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* 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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