Baked zucchini sticks are an easy appetizer recipe made with a handful of simple ingredients. Thin zucchini sticks are breaded with toasted panko, parmesan, and ranch seasoning, then baked in the oven until crispy.
Baked zucchini sticks are a fun way to use up extra zucchini you may have on hand, and make a flavorful, crowd pleasing appetizer!
Thin zucchini sticks are coated in egg and a parmesan panko breading, then baked in the oven. A few tiny details make all the difference in this recipe, like patting your zucchini dry, using a cooling rack in the oven, and toasting your breadcrumbs beforehand.
Serve baked zucchini sticks with ranch dressing, buffalo sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce. They make a great appetizer, snack, or side dish for your next meal.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - You'll need one pound of zucchini for this recipe. This equals about 3 small or 2 medium zucchini.
- Panko bread crumbs - Panko bread crumbs add a nice crispy coating to your zucchini sticks - the gluten-free version also works well in this recipe. This recipe will work with regular bread crumbs, although your breading will not turn out quite as crispy.
- Egg - Helps the breadcrumb mixture adhere to your zucchini sticks.
- Parmesan cheese - Adds a cheesy, salty flavor to your breading.
- Seasoning - Ranch seasoning can be homemade or store bought. Or, feel free to use an equal amount of your favorite seasoning blend, like Italian seasoning or Cajun seasoning, for a different flavor.
How to cut zucchini into sticks
First, slice off the top (stem) and bottom of each zucchini. Depending on the length of your zucchini (I used two medium for this recipe), you may want to slice each zucchini in half (perpendicular) to make shorter sticks.
Then, slice each of those pieces in half longways, making long, half moon shaped logs. Last, slice each of those halves into four sticks. Each medium zucchini should make 16 sticks when sliced in this manner.
Try to slice your zucchini sticks into similar sizes so that they bake at the same rate.
How to prevent zucchini from getting soggy
Several steps in this recipe will help prevent soggy zucchini. You'll also find this information in the recipe card, but here's a detailed breakdown.
- Pat your zucchini sticks dry before coating in the egg mixture. Once your zucchini is sliced, it will have a wet exterior and continue to 'sweat' as it sits. I recommend patting your zucchini dry, then immediately dipping into the egg and breadcrumb mixtures.
- Use an oven-safe metal cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. This prevents moisture from pooling under the zucchini sticks, making them soggy on one side. Don't have a cooling rack to use? They can be baked on parchment, but you'll want to gently flip them once halfway through to help each side bake evenly.
- Serve hot zucchini sticks on a layer of paper towels to prevent condensation on the plate.
- Some zucchini is simply going to contain more water than the next zucchini. If your zucchini seems very wet, try salting your zucchini sticks and allowing them to set for up to 20 minutes. Salt helps draw the moisture out of the zucchini. Then, thoroughly pat dry before breading.
What to serve with zucchini sticks
Zucchini sticks can be served on their own as an appetizer, side dish, or snack. They're also great for dipping! Any sauce you'd use for fries or chicken nuggets works well with zucchini sticks too.
- Ranch dressing
- Buffalo sauce
- Fry sauce/secret sauce
- Garlic aioli
- Barbecue sauce
- Tzatziki sauce
Baked Zucchini Sticks
- 1 pound zucchini, about 2 medium
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon ranch seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with an oven-safe cooling rack. Spray cooling rack with cooking spray and set aside.
- Slice zucchini into ½ inch wide sticks. Each zucchini should make approximately 16 sticks. Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add bread crumbs and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Remove from heat, pour into a shallow bowl, and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then, add parmesan cheese, ranch seasoning, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Crack egg into a separate shallow bowl and whisk with a fork.
- Pat zucchini sticks dry with a paper towel, then dip into egg, flipping to coat all sides. Gently shake to remove excess egg, then transfer to breadcrumb bowl and gently pat to coat all sides. Transfer to prepared cooling rack topped baking sheet. Repeat with all zucchini sticks.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and can easily be pierced through with a fork. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce, like ranch dressing.
- Serving size of 8 sticks is based on recipe making 32 sticks from 1 pound of zucchini.
- If your zucchini is very wet: optionally, after slicing your zucchini sticks, add salt listed in recipe and allow to set for 20 minutes. This will help draw out the moisture from your zucchini. Then, thoroughly pat dry with paper towels and continue with recipe as written.
- Zucchini can be baked on parchment paper, but may need to be flipped halfway through to help bake evenly and prevent a 'soggy' side on the bottom.