The summer months when the garden is bursting with produce are some of my favorite cooking months. To be clear, we don't have much of a garden (unless you count planters on a downtown Chicago patio!), but you get the idea! The grocery stores and farmers' markets are bountiful, and I can't help but want to cook! These Baked Zucchini Sticks with Garlic Aioli are a great way to use summer zucchini to create a delicious side or snack. Plus, they're veggies, so there's nothing wrong with eating the whole batch!
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The zucchini is the star of the show with this recipe! There are just a few other ingredients you'll need.
- Zucchini: 3 medium, or 2 large zucchini will be perfect. You'll want to cut these into ½ inch x 3 ½ inch "sticks" or "fries". Ideally you want these to all fit on one baking sheet, so keep that in mind! This would also work with yellow summer squash.
- Breadcrumbs: I like to use Panko Breadcrumbs but you could also make your own breadcrumbs (a great way to use up some crusty, past-its-prime bread, if you have some!).
- Egg whites: this will be your binder to help the breadcrumb mixture stick to the zucchini.
- Mayonnaise: this will be the base of your aioli. I like to use a low-fat mayo, but use whatever you prefer!
- Garlic cloves: needed for the aioli. I do not recommend using garlic powder instead of minced garlic cloves. Make sure you're keeping texture in mind.
- Lemon juice: fresh-squeezed is always best!
- A few pantry spices including salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
See recipe below for full list of ingredients and directions.
First we'll bread the zucchini, then bake and enjoy!
Chop the zucchini into "sticks" or "fries" approximately ½ inch x 3 ½ inch. Let them rest on a paper towel to soak up some of the moisture.
Use one hand to toss the zucchini in the egg wash, coating all sides.
Use the other hand to toss the zucchini in the breadcrumb mixture.
Lightly shake off any excess and transfer to the baking sheet.
While the zucchini is baking, whisk together all ingredients for the Garlic Aioli dipping sauce. Serve the fries immediately while they're still warm!
Hint: The moisture content of your zucchini is important. Yes, we're dipping it in egg whites, but you don't want them to be sopping. If your zucchini is very wet on its own, pat down with paper towels to soak up some of the moisture before placing in the egg whites. If it's too wet, the breadcrumbs won't adhere very well, and the fries will never get crispy.
There is minimal equipment needed for this recipe. You'll want a good cutting board and knife to cut your zucchini, as well as some shallow bowls for the egg white and breadcrumbs. You'll also need a half-sheet baking pan.
These are best right out of the oven, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To reheat, you can warm them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, but they will be quite soft. You can also reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (this will give you a little more texture!).
Cutting the zucchini in uniform "sticks" is an important first step so they'll cook evenly. Also, more surface area means more room for breading and crispiness! And note: you don't need to peel zucchini - keep the skins on!
Baked Zucchini Sticks with Garlic Aioli
- 3 medium zucchini (or 2 large) cut into ½ inch x 3½ inch "sticks"
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 egg whites
- fresh parsley, for garnish
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients for the Garlic Aioli in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
- Wash and cut your zucchini into ½ inch x 3 ½ inch "sticks." Spread on paper towels and lightly pat dry to soak up some of the moisture.
- In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and black pepper. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy.
- Working in batches, use one hand to toss the zucchini sticks on the egg whites, coating evenly. Then use the other hand to toss the zucchini sticks in the breadcrumb mixture, coating evenly. Shake off any excess and transfer to the prepared baking sheet so the sticks are close together but not touching.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then lightly spray the zucchini sticks with cooking spray (this is optional, but helps them get a little crispier), and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp. Serve immediately with the Garlic Aioli dipping sauce.