These gorgeous golden fried zucchini are soft and creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside with a subtle hint of Parmesan. It’ll be hard to just eat one!
They’re irresistible hot right off the skillet—let them cool just a little so you don’t burn your mouth! Serve them as appetizer or snack, with a little flaky sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. A glass of bubbly would also be nice. You may be transported to a terrazzo in Italy!
Medium Zucchini Are Best
While you could use any size zucchini, about 8 to 10 ounces each are best. Large zucchini have large seeds inside and tend to be bitter. Medium zucchini look pretty sliced into rounds and are the perfect two- to three-bite snacks. You’ll get 12 to 15 1/2-inch rounds from each.
I call for 2 medium zucchini in this recipe, so you’ll get 24 to 30 zucchini rounds. Of course, if you want to make more, you can! Just cut more rounds and increase the amount of flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs as needed.
All My Tips and Tricks for Frying Zucchini
- Chill the breaded zucchini: It helps the breading stay stuck, which means they won’t fall off in the fryer and they’ll be crunchier. Refrigerate the breaded zucchini for at least 15 minutes and up to 3 hours—it’s just enough time to help the breading stick.
- Use a neutral oil for frying: Vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil are great for frying, but my hands-down favorite is olive oil—it’s always handy and I like the taste.
- Adjust the heat as you fry: Start with the frying oil at 350ºF. Once you add the zucchini, the oil temperature will drop. Use an instant-read or deep-fryer thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature and turn the heat up or down to keep it around 350°F.
- Use a heavy-bottomed skillet, preferably cast iron: Cast iron holds heat admirably, which means the oil temperature will stay consistent. I find that a 10-inch skillet is the perfect size—it’s large enough to fry a few pieces of zucchini at once without having to use too much oil.
- Fry in small batches: Don’t crowd the zucchini in the oil—they’ll cook more evenly. Seven to eight rounds in a 10-inch skillet will take about 3 minutes per side.
- Keep the fried zucchini warm: To keep the zucchini warm and crispy, pop them into a warm (215°F) oven while you fry the remaining batches. Set them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
Serve it Simply or With a Dip
I’ll take mine with a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon, and a cold glass of cava or prosecco. Marinara, mustard, a creamy Parmesan dressing, or even ketchup would be great for dipping.
Plan Ahead, But Up to a Point
To help the breading stick to the zucchini, you’ll need to rest them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, but you could extend that up to 3 hours.
Once fried, I cannot lie, they are best hot right out of the skillet—don’t burn your mouth! That said, they will still be tasty after 2 to 3 hours. After that, they won’t be quite as crunchy. Reheat them for about 10 minutes in a 400ºF oven.