Oven Roasted Parmesan Zucchini Fries give a wink and a nod to homey favorites like French fries and classic “parm” dishes without the carb coma. If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy summer side that’s vegetarian, grain-free, keto-friendly, or a just a stand out burger partner, these baked parmesan zucchini wedges will hit the spot. Plus, it’s a perfect recipe for burning off that excess summertime farm-share or garden zucchini crop.
There are three types of people in this world when it comes to replacing starches with vegetable alternatives in otherwise carb-laden dishes.
There’s your purists: those who refuse regardless of their feelings on veggies. Love it or hate it, spaghetti squash ain’t spaghetti no matter which way you shred it.
There are alchemists: whether it’s a mom trying to sneak veggies on her kid’s plate under the radar or people following a particular food lifestyle trying to recapture some semblance of flavor/texture by substituting cauliflower for…everything.
And then you’ve got zealots: those who love and respect and think about vegetables like, all day long, and scrounge for new ways in which to get them in their mouths.
Whichever group you belong to, you’ll get no judgement from me. I fall into all three categories depending on the day. I love veggies. But I also love pasta and recognize zoodles are not pasta. Plus, I also frequently have to be sneaky with my picky children. I understand why people turn their noses up at the entire concept. There are plenty of culinary roads I won’t go down on principle alone, but if it’s anything that gets more vegetables on my plate, I’m in.
One of my friends who’s keto had been substituting turnips for potato in stews and Indian dishes for years and never mentioned it to her (now ex-)husband until one time he asked what she used turnips for… and then all of a sudden it became a BFD despite him having eaten those delicious meals before with no issue. (Note: She claims their parting had nothing to do with his unreasonable dislike of vegetables, but I often wonder…)
But that’s the thing, we’re so conditioned to think that things have to be a certain way instead of appreciating them for what they inherently are. So no, parmesan zucchini wedges aren’t battered potatoes plunged in boiling duck fat, but these fries are deliciously tender on the inside and crispy on the outside; they are perfectly seasoned; and, as a point of order, they are significantly healthier.
Ingredients for parmesan zucchini fries
- Zucchini: fresh from the garden or market, be sure to leave the skin on for better flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Do gently wash the skin, since you’ll be eating it, then pat dry.
- Parmesan Cheese: finely grated so that it coats evenly, melts slightly, and crisps beautifully. The smallest holes on a standard box-grater will do the trick.
- Egg White: beaten until fluffy, whites only will lend to a lighter, crisper result in the oven.
- Seasoning: a classic, flavorful blend of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and a bit of salt to finish.
How to cut zucchini wedges
Wedges are the perfect cut for these oven-baked fries. They’ll yield the most surface area for your cheesy coating (yum!) plus a flatter, wider edge allows for faster, even cooking for maximum crispness. Two birds, one stone.
- Trim the ends of the zucchini, then cut in half across the width (this will make the next cuts more manageable).
- Slice down the middle to create two halves.
- Lay the halves cut-side down and slice down the center lengthwise to create quarters.
- Then slice down the quarters lengthwise once more into eighths create slim, fry-like wedges that are half to three-quarters of an inch wide.
How to make parmesan zucchini fries
Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries with Parmesan are really a sleeper hit of a side dish. They couldn’t be any simpler or quicker to make, or any tastier to eat, especially during peak summer veggie months. Be sure to flip on the broiler for just a few minutes at the end so they crisp up a bit. Zucchini fries are best served right out of the oven, so save these for last. Just don’t burn your tongue!
- Beat an egg white with a fork in a small bowl until frothy. Add the seasonings, then beat once more.
- Combine the zucchini wedges and egg white mixture in a mixing bowl. Toss gently with your (clean) hands until the wedges are evenly coated.
- Dip a zucchini wedge into finely grated parmesan cheese and gently press each side to coat.
- Place the zucchini wedges upright onto a cooling rack nested in a baking sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender (but not soft) and the cheese has melted. Turn the oven to the broiler setting for 2-3 minutes, just until the cheese is golden brown and a bit crispy.
How to select ripe zucchini
- Look for dark green skin that’s smooth and free of (most) blemishes.
- The zucchini should feel firm with no soft spots (a signal that it’s overripe – save those for zucchini bread).
- Smaller (6-8″ in length), thinner zucchini are more intensely flavored (less water content) and even slightly sweet, and will cook to a firmer texture.
Are these zucchini fries keto?
You betcha! With just 4 grams of net carbs in an entire medium zucchini, they’re a staple of a low-carb keto diet.
Tips for Making This Recipe Perfectly
- Don’t overcook the zucchini! This is a surefire way to wind up with a soggy pile of zucchini seasoned with cheese. 15 minutes in the oven will yield cooked but firm zucchini fries that still have a nice bite. You should be able to easily insert the tip of a paring knife into the cooked zucchini without much resistance.
- Pat dry if you’re concerned about moisture, and withhold salt until the fries have been cooked (salt does a darn good job of drawing out moisture in zucchini).
- Feel free to use pre-grated parmesan cheese (just make sure it’s super fine), but don’t use the grated “shaky cheese” in a can – the additives will prevent it from melting.
More healthy summer side dishes
- Oven Roasted Basil Fries
- Summer Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables
- Garlicky Green Beans with Crispy Shallots
- Grilled Zucchini Salad with Corn and White Beans
- Healthy No Mayo Potato Salad
Did you make these parmesan zucchini fries? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below
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- Heat the oven to 400°F. Nest a cooling rack into a baking sheet; lightly mist the baking rack with cooking spray.
- Beat the egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Add the italian seasoning, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and beat until incorporated. Place the parmesan cheese into a second bowl.
- Dip a zucchini wedge into the egg whites, then dip the wedge into the grated parmesan cheese. Place the parmesan coated zucchini wedge upright onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining zucchini wedges.
- Bake 15 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender but not soft, and the cheese has melted. Flip the oven to broil and broil 2-3 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle the zucchini fries with the salt. Serve immediately.
- Grate the cheese on the smallest holes of a standard box grater for best texture.
- Use pre-grated parmesan cheese, but make sure it's finely grated with no additives (which will prevent the cheese from grating).
- Zucchini fries don't need a sauce, but you can't go wrong with classic marinara.
- These do not store and reheat well. Make only as much as you'll eat for dinner.