Fresh zucchini fried until crispy is a great way to use up garden produce!
This recipe comes straight from my mama. I remember her making pan fried zucchini during the summer when the zucchini plants in our garden exploded with produce, and now I’m following in her footsteps.
I only have one zucchini plant in my garden, but it still produces one zucchini almost every day. Which adds up really fast! We’re having zucchini with dinner almost every night and this is one of my favorite ways to serve it. It makes a quick and easy side dish to any meal, but it also can stand alone as an afternoon snack or even a light lunch.
This pan fried zucchini recipe is super simple and more of a guide than a recipe. It’s just zucchini, an egg, some breadcrumbs, seasonings and oil for frying. And you can easily scale it up as needed to feed a group. Serve it as is, or dip the rounds in a sauce like ranch dressing or aoili.
When I first made pan fried zucchini on my own, I would get frustrated when the breading would slip off the zucchini or stick to the bottom of the pan. I’ve learned through trial and error a few tricks to guarantee the best results every time:
Remove excess moisture
Zucchini has a lot of moisture in it, and you’re just asking for trouble if you attempt to get breading to stick to a slick surface. So I sprinkle it with salt draw out some of the moisture and then I press the zucchini between paper towels to soak it up. It takes just a few minutes, and it works like a charm. Now the egg has a good dry surface to stick to and the breading will stay in place.
Use plenty of oil
Using plenty of olive oil in your skillet is important. I used to try to get by with as little oil as possible, and always wound up with most of my breading sticking to the pan instead of the zucchini. You’ll want a good coating of oil on the bottom of your pan, about a quarter inch. Also, try using a nonstick pan if you’ve got one. I love my Analon nonstick skillet.
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Pan Fried Zucchini Chips
- 1 medium zucchini , sliced into rounds
- Coarse salt
- Olive oil
- 1 large egg , whisked
- ½ - 1 cup breadcrumbs (see Note)
- Ranch dressing or aioli , for serving (optional)
- Line a sheet pan with paper towels and place zucchini rounds on top in a single layer. Sprinkle with coarse salt and cover with more paper towels. Place something somewhat heavy on top like another sheet pan or cutting board. Let sit for about 15 minutes. During this time the salt is drawing out excess moisture, which will help the breading stick better.
- In a wide skillet, pour enough olive oil to be about 1/4-inch deep. Set over medium high heat.
- Set up an assembly line with the zucchini rounds, whisked egg, and breadcrumbs.
- Dip each zucchini round first in the whisked egg and then the breadcrumbs, making sure they're completely coated.
- Add the breaded zucchini to the skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
- Transfer zucchini to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with more coarse salt. Serve immediately with ranch dressing or aioli or as desired.
- The amount of breadcrumbs needed will vary based on the size of your zucchini.
- I like to use seasoned breadcrumbs for added flavor and ease, but you can also use traditional breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs.
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