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
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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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Comments

  1. says

    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 says

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

    • Judy says

      Kelly, I’m so glad you asked! I forgot to link that ingredient for explanation, whew, now that’s done. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panko 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.

      • says

        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 says

          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.

  2. says

    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!

  3. says

    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…

  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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!

  6. says

    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!

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