Light, crispy, and full of flavor, Panko Parmesan Zucchini Chips are perfect for a snack, side dish, or party appetizer that your guests will love
I am so grateful for your support of Karyl’s Kulinary Krusade. This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. Please note that there are no additional charges to you. My full Disclosure Policy is available HERE
As a kid, I was a pretty picky eater. My food couldn’t touch on the plate…there literally had to be space between each portion of food. And if something did touch, I wouldn’t eat it. Yes, I still portion and eat my food separately to this day. But it’s strictly habit now, and most of the time I don’t even notice it.
Also, if I decided I didn’t like some food (mainly vegetables), nothing and nobody could change that. My parents were good about it though, because I devoured the vegetables I did like.
Until a few years ago, I refused to eat zucchini. Then my dad used it in a stir-fry, so I decided to be adventurous. I tried a bite, and became an instant fan. I’m a huge texture eater, so the tender-crisp texture of the stir-fry was what sold me.
Pinterest is my go-to for recipe inspiration, and it’s easy to find zucchini recipes. My first recipe was baked zucchini fries, but it was a huge fail. The zucchini was mushy because I cut it too thick, and I didn’t get the golden crust. I got gun-shy after the fail, and stuck with stir-fry for a while. I finally decided to try again, with some new inspiration. And that’s how Panko Parmesan Zucchini Chips was born
These Panko Parmesan Zucchini Chips are so delicious. They have great crunch, and are really addictive. If you’re making them for a crowd, you can keep them warm in a 250° oven on a baking rack so they don’t get soggy. Mine never last that long…I usually eat them nearly straight out of the pan. I just can’t resist.
The first time I made Panko Parmesan Zucchini Chips I didn’t season the flour. The chips were good, but very bland. So now I add Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Sea Salt and pepper to the flour. This adds great flavor to the base of the chips. Of course, you can adjust the seasonings to your preference.
My good friend Pat owns Caulfield Provision Company, a small-batch hot sauce company. He sent me bottles of all their sauces, and I added Smoky Red Pepper Chipotle sauce to the egg wash. It has a serious kick, so I went light.
Panko Parmesan Zucchini Chips…Bake or Fry?
I considered baking these Panko Parmesan Zucchini Chips, but my fail with the zucchini wedges was still in the back of my mind. I sauteed them in cooking spray, but failed again. They took too long to cook, the crumbs burned, and the inside was mushy. The best method is to pan fry them in just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, cook them over medium-high heat, and drain well on paper towels before serving.
I have a love/hate relationship with lemon. I like it in small doses, but too much can completely overwhelm a recipe. Since I used lemon juice for the garlic aioli dipping sauce, I added some zest on top as well. I had some leftover zest and added them to the Panko Parmesan Zucchini Chips at the very end. I love the fresh burst of flavor that the zest adds to the chips. Again, a little goes a long way.
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese is the only way to go. I admit, I used the stuff in the green can until I bought a fresh chunk of Parmesan at the grocery store. I haven’t looked back since. There’s no comparison to the bite of fresh Parmesan.
Ingredients I Use for Panko Parmesan Zucchini Chips
Panko Bread Crumbs: I love the light and airy crunch of Panko bread crumbs. You just don’t get that same texture from regular bread crumbs. So it’s also easy for me to feel like I’m eating a little healthier!
Chosen Foods Avocado Oil: I previously used Canola oil, but I recently got a sample of this oil at a conference, and was immediately sold. Avocado oil has a 500° smoke point, and it has a light and silky texture.
I usually make Panko Parmesan Zucchini Chips for a snack, because I can make a whole bunch and not feel super guilty. I’ve done them as a side dish before, but then I get so full from the chips that I can barely eat anything else!
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 2 cups zucchini, cut into 1/3" slices
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon water
- spring onions, chopped, for garnish
- lemon zest, for garnish
- hot sauce, to taste (optional)
- Avocado oil, or other oil with high smoke point
- Prepare breading station: * Panko bread crumbs & Parmesan cheese in one container * Flour & seasonings in another container * Eggs and water in another container
- Dredge zucchini pieces first in flour mixture; then egg wash; then finish in Panko & Parmesan mixture. Press zucchini pieces firmly in Panko mixture to form solid coat
- Add enough oil to heavy bottom pan to coat the bottom of pan, and heat over medium-high heat. Test with a small sprinkle of bread crumbs. When the crumbs immediately start to sizzle, then oil is ready
- Add zucchini pieces to oil, making sure to leave a little space between them. Otherwise, they will steam and not cook properly
- Turn zucchini when bottom is golden brown. Continue cooking until other side is golden brown. Remove immediately and drain on paper towels
- Add more fresh Parmesan, spring onions, and lemon zest. Enjoy!