Parmesan & Herb Zucchini Sticks: Super Bowl Party Appetizers

Parmesan & Herb Zucchini Sticks


It was a delicious day in the kitchen working on appetizer recipes for the Super Bowl with Parmesan & Herb Zucchini Sticks as the next recipe highlight.  Crispy coating, fragrant herbs, tender zucchini, and rich marinara create a fabulous vegetable delivery system. Baked to crunchy perfection, Parmesan & Herb Zucchini Sticks are a healthy alternative to fried mozzarella sticks on your party table.

Variations of this recipe are all over the Internet, however, there is technique included here to take this to a whole new level of crispy-from-the-oven goodness.  First, we take care of the extra moisture in the zucchini, which can wilt the best of breadcrumb intentions. Next, the olive oil is lightly mixed into the breadcrumbs and herbs to not only help it crisp in the oven, but also keep the herbs and seasoning evenly suspended in the breadcrumbs rather than settling in the bottom of the bowl. Finally, it’s baked on a cooling rack set over a pan so the heat can circulate on every side, which eliminates the need to turn the sticks while baking too.

I ate half of what I made before plating them for photos, wondering how cold the remaining pieces would be by the time I was done (ready to finish them off).  So, 20 minutes later when they were done modeling for me, I put them back in the oven to rewarm for lunch and they were as perfectly crisp as when I first took them out of the oven.  Yes, I ate a dozen of these zukes and don’t feel a bit guilty.

Panko breadcrumbs are a must here; the texture is just not the same with regular crumbs. Serve them hot from the oven with your favorite marinara sauce or creamy ranch dressing; just don’t be surprised if you can’t stop eating them.

Adapted from Aggies Kitchen’s Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks

Parmesan & Herb Zucchini Sticks
Serves / Yields: 32 pieces
  • 2 medium zucchini -- cut into ½" inch sticks
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 whole eggs -- whisked
  • ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs -- unseasoned
  • ¾ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese -- grated
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and then cut into ½" sticks by first cutting it in half and then cutting each half into 8 4"sticks per half. Lay zucchini out on a sheet of paper towels and sprinkle cut edges with salt. Let rest 10-15 minutes to allow salt to draw out excess moisture.
  3. Whisk egg in a shallow bowl until blended. If you have a mortar and pestle, crush the dried oregano, thyme, and basil leaves to release fragrant oils.
  4. Mix bread crumbs, cheese, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper in another shallow bowl. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to lightly moisten breading, mixing thoroughly with a spoon until all the bread crumbs are lightly oiled and the same consistency. The breading should still be light and fluffy like a bread crumb topping, not soggy.
  5. Once the zucchini has released some of its liquid, blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  6. Dip each zucchini stick in egg and then roll in the bread crumbs, gently pressing the breading onto the zucchini. Place on a rack-lined baking sheet or on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. If using parchment, turn zucchini half way through the baking time. Serve with marinara sauce or ranch dressing.
Notes & Suggestions
I consider an 8" x 1½" zucchini to be a medium, ideal size. When cut in half it will provide 4" long sticks.

Bet ya can’t eat just one!

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
The Weekend Gourmet Super Bowl Link Party
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
Mom Trends Friday Food
Eat Yourself Skinny-Skinny Super Bowl Snacks
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Family Fresh Meals: Super Bowl Snacks
Hearth & Soul Hop at Savoring Today

2013 Superbowl and Chili
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32 Responses to Parmesan & Herb Zucchini Sticks: Super Bowl Party Appetizers

  1. ChgoJohn January 26, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    These work on so many levels but for me, the bet thing about them is what they’re not. They aren’t fried which is often the bane of any game day. Great ideas & great recipes!

    • Judy January 26, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      Thanks, I was happy to get the crispy texture without being fried, especially since I ate so many!

  2. Greg January 26, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    Those look fantastic!

    • Judy January 26, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Thanks, I love it when it looks as good as it tastes. :)

  3. sportsglutton January 26, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    Excellent (non-fried) game day recipe. I didn’t think even the manliest of men would turn these down. 😉

    • Judy January 26, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      My manly man was disappointed I had eaten them all before he got home! 😀 I assured him we would have more for game day.

  4. Kelly January 26, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    What are Panko breadcrumbs?

    • Judy January 26, 2012 at 7:39 am #

      Kelly, I’m so glad you asked! I forgot to link that ingredient for explanation, whew, now that’s done. Panko is a Japanese breadcrumb product that is lighter in texture, more flaky in appearance than regular breadcrumb. You can find it in larger grocery chains, usually right beside other breadcrumbs or in the ethnic foods, in Asian markets, or at Whole Foods, which is where I get mine.

      • Kelly February 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

        Hey Judy,
        I wanted to let you know I made your zucchini sticks! The flavor was wonderful and they were really easy. I blew it on some portion of the moisture reduction process, though, so they were a bit on the soggy-ish side. They were good anyway, though, so I’ll definitely try them again.
        Thanks for the recipe!

        • Judy February 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

          Oh, that just does my heart good to hear that you liked them, though I am always up for knowing if you didn’t too–both help me refine recipes! Really, thanks for taking the time to say so, I really appreciate that.

  5. Linda January 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    These are so addicting!! In a very healthy way…love it!! I too make mine on a rack so they toast up perfectly. I’m definitely craving zuchini sticks now!

  6. Sammie January 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    That looks great! And it’s so healthy too!! Perfect snack that I can eat myself silly!!!

  7. Nicole Feliciano January 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    I want to come to your superbowl party! Thanks so much for sharing on Momtrends!

  8. Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) January 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing these in my Super Bowl linky party! I love that they’re yummy and healthy! So much football food is a bit heavy, but this is a great way to lighten things up. I could eat an entire tray of these…

  9. Kelly January 28, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    I have these in the oven right now!!! Just saw you had a similar recipe, yummy!! :)

  10. Raymund January 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    What a healthy snack appetizer!

  11. Hannah January 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    I love fried zucchini as a rare treat, but never tried breading and baking them. I’m already scheming up ways to remove those eggs- Thanks for the recipe, this is such a great idea!

  12. Bree January 30, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Oh la la! These look perfect!

  13. Corey @ Family Fresh Meals January 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Love these! I just made some pickles using the same technique. What a perfect, healthy dipping snack these zucchini sticks are! My one daughter isn’t a huge zucchini fan, but I bet she would be all over these! Thanks :)

    • Judy January 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

      Thanks for hosting the Super Bowl Snacks link, Corey, and thanks for stopping by!

  14. thedrivencook January 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    Oh yum these look awesome. I might not want to share!

    • Judy January 12, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      Oh, I know! It was hard to get a photo they were going so fast … and I was alone when I made them. 😉

  15. Cindy January 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    These look so good that even my veggie-haters will probably like them!
    Cindy recently posted..What’s for Diner? week of 1/13/13My Profile

    • Judy January 14, 2013 at 6:29 am #

      Maybe! But if they don’t, that leaves more for you and I don’t think you’ll mind. 😉

  16. betsyb January 24, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    I really need to revisit how I use zucchini and this looks like a terrific way to do it! In the past I’ve hated the soggy and limp version I had once they came out of the oven, but the way you’ve prepared this makes me crave it…and of course it’s perfect for the Superbowl festivities!

  17. April @ The 21st Century Housewife January 28, 2013 at 5:21 am #

    I like that you have used parmesan in these delicious zucchini sticks. I have never had them with parmesan in the breading before – what a fantastic idea! I adore fried zucchini, and I always feel good about eating it because I figure the goodness in the zucchini makes up for anything else :) Your photographs look mouthwatering!

  18. john@kitchenriffs February 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Gosh, somehow I managed to miss this! My loss – these look terrific. Panko makes a great coating, and I love the tip on salting the zucchini. These look wonderful! Thanks.
    john@kitchenriffs recently posted..Microwave Peanut Butter FudgeMy Profile


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