Fried zucchini is a crispy, delicious appetizer or side dish recipe that is crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and fried to golden perfection.
Whether you eat them as appetizers or a Southern fried side dish, you can’t go wrong with fried zucchini. I should know. I’ve been making them for years. I had actually never heard of these little fried bites of joy until I took a trip to the south to see a friend who’d moved there. One of the first things from her new home that she introduced me to was fried zucchini. I was instantly hooked! These fried zucchini medallions are tender on the inside and so crispy and delicious on the outside. They’re perfect with almost any kind of sauce, such as marinara sauce and ranch dressing, just to name a few, and as an appetizer or as a side to a main course for dinner!
This delicious recipe starts with zucchini that’s been cut into medallions. I dredge them in a buttermilk and panko breading coating, and then I fry them to golden brown, crispy perfection in a skillet. It’s an incredibly simple recipe that’s absolutely delicious. I love to serve these as part of a larger appetizer spread for parties and game days or simply as a side to a meal of almost any beef, chicken, or pork recipe.
Why You’ll Love This Fried Zucchini Recipe
- They’re crispy and golden brown on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside, and seasoned perfectly.
- They are great served as an appetizer, snack, or side dish and can be served with a variety of dipping sauces, such as marinara, ranch, or blue cheese.
- They’re easy to make and only take a few simple ingredients that are easily found at the grocery store.
Fried Zucchini Ingredients
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this delicious fried zucchini. You’ll find everything you need either in your kitchen or in one quick trip to the grocery store.
- Fresh zucchini squash
- All purpose flour
- Large egg
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Parmesan cheese, green container
- Slap Ya Mama
- Garlic salt or garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Vegetable oil or canola oil
How to Make Fried Zucchini
Making this recipe is super easy. It only takes a few minutes and a few simple steps. You’ll simply dredge and fry. That’s all there is to it!
Step 1: Make the Dredging Station
Add flour to a shallow dish. Then, whisk the buttermilk and egg together in a second shallow dish. Finally, combine breadcrumbs, tempura, parmesan cheese, seasonings, and pepper in a third shallow bowl.
Step 2: Slice the Zucchini
Wash and dry the zucchini. Then, cut off both ends of each zucchini and slice them into ½-inch pieces.
Step 3: Coat the Zucchini
Add a few zucchini slices at a time to the flour. Then, dip them into the buttermilk, and finally, coat them in the breadcrumb mixture.
Step 4: Fry
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Then add a few zucchini at a time to the oil and fry until golden brown on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fried zucchini to a plate lined with paper towels and continue until all the zucchini is fried. Enjoy!
- ½-inch slices are the sweet spot for this fried zucchini. Any thinner, and the zucchini will get too soft. Any thicker, and it won’t get soft enough.
- Gently tap your zucchini between each dredge for the perfect coating.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, combine 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and enough milk to make 1 cup in a liquid measuring cup. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and you have buttermilk!
- You can use sliced yellow squash or okra in place of zucchini.
- For a spicy kick, add a bit of cayenne or red pepper flakes.
- If you prefer a mild version, omit the Slap Ya Mama seasoning.
What to Serve with Fried Zucchini
This fried zucchini makes an excellent addition to a larger spread of appetizers and finger foods for parties, potlucks, or any kind of get-together. They also make a fantastic side dish for all kinds of beef, chicken, or pork dishes like:
- Beef or pork roast
- Fried chicken
- Chicken fingers
- Chicken fried steak
- Fried pork chops
You can chill the breaded zucchini for between 15 minutes to 3 hours if you’re prepping this dish ahead of time. Chilling the zucchini solidifies the coating and helps it stay in place when you fry them.
Be sure your oil is nice and hot and work in small batches. The key to keeping any fried food from getting soggy is hot oil. It will flash cook the outside and prevent the coating from absorbing too much oil.
Fried zucchini is a classic Southern dish, so it pairs well with some of your favorite Southern main courses. Try it with:
Fried chicken strips or nuggets
Chicken fried steak or pork chops
Fried pork chops
Baked pork chops
Fried zucchini is coated in a flour and breadcrumb mixture and then deep fried. Although zucchini is a vegetable, this coating and cooking method are decidedly unhealthy. That being said it’s important to enjoy all things in moderation.
Fried zucchini freezes very well and will last for up to 3 months in the freeze when stored properly.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Fried Zucchini
Refrigerate this fried zucchini for up to 2 days in an airtight container. For longer storage, you can freeze the zucchini for up to 3 months. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flash freeze them. Then, place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container in single layers separated by wax paper and store.
To reheat, place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Then, bake them at 375° until heated through.
Try This Delicious Crispy Fried Zucchini Recipe Today
This deliciously crispy fried zucchini is tender on the inside and so crunchy and flavorful on the outside. It’s a classic Southern appetizer or side that everyone will love the moment they take a bite. You’ll love how easy it is to make them, too! Give this recipe a try, and I’m sure it will become your new way to make zucchini.
More Delicious Deep Fried Recipes You’ll Enjoy
Crispy Chicken Strips are tender strips of chicken, coated and deep fried to golden, crispy perfection. These are great served as an appetizer, a quick and easy weeknight dinner, or added to a bigger dinner spread.
- Set up a dredging station with 3 shallow containers.
- In the first container, add flour, and the second container, whisk buttermilk and egg together.
- In the third container, add bread crumbs, tempura, Parmesan cheese, seasonings and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Wash and dry the zucchinis. Cut both ends off each zucchini and sliced each zucchini into ½ inch pieces.
- In a large frying pan or skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
- Add a few zucchini chips at a time into the flour, then into the buttermilk mixture, then into the breadcrumb mixture, and finally into the hot oil. Work in batches and do not overcrowd the pan.
- Fry until golden brown on all sides.
- Remove zucchini from the oil and place on a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
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