Our zucchini tots recipe is a scrumptious and speedy side dish. This zucchini recipe for kids is a crowd-pleaser, thanks to its blend of Parmesan cheese and gluten-free panko breadcrumbs.
Come August and September, zucchinis are in abundance. It’s the perfect time to switch things up and experiment with these baked zucchini crisps. If you prefer, you can also choose to fry or air fry these crisps for a different twist on the classic.
Table of Contents
- 2 small zucchinis
- 1/3 cup Italian style panko
- 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- salt to taste
How To Make Zucchini Crisps
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Slice the zucchini into small rounds.
- Drizzle the zucchini rounds with olive oil and season them with salt.
- In a bowl, combine Italian-seasoned panko and Parmesan cheese.
- Coat each zucchini round with the panko mixture, making sure to press the mixture lightly onto the zucchini to ensure they are fully coated.
- Place the coated zucchini rounds on the prepared baking pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, remembering to flip them halfway through the baking time.
Slicing the zucchini evenly and pressing the panko mixture onto the rounds will help ensure they bake uniformly and turn out delicious.
Variations and Substitutions
Cheese Variations: Experiment with different types of cheese or cheese blends. Cheddar, mozzarella, or feta can be excellent alternatives to Parmesan.
Spice It Up: Add some heat with a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the panko mixture for a spicy kick.
Vegan Version: Use a dairy-free cheese substitute and skip the Parmesan for a vegan-friendly option.
Sweet Potato Zucchini Tots: Combine grated sweet potatoes with zucchini for a unique twist. You may need to adjust cooking times slightly to accommodate the different texture.
Dipping Sauces: Offer a variety of dipping sauces like garlic aioli, tzatziki, buffalo sauce, or honey mustard for a diverse flavor experience.
Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fries: Cut the zucchini into long strips to make zucchini fries. The cooking time may need to be adjusted slightly.
What To Serve With Zucchini Tots?
Tips and Tricks
- Choose Fresh Zucchini: Select fresh zucchini that is firm and free from blemishes for the best flavor and texture.
- Uniform Slicing: Try to slice the zucchini into rounds that are of equal thickness. This ensures that they will cook evenly, and you won’t end up with some overcooked and some undercooked pieces.
- Season Generously: Don’t be shy with the seasonings. Zucchini can benefit from a generous sprinkling of salt and any other desired seasonings, like pepper, garlic powder, or Italian herbs.
- Panko Coating: Press the panko mixture onto the zucchini rounds firmly. This helps the coating adhere better and gives the tots a nice crispy texture.
- Baking Temperature: Preheating the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit is important for achieving a crispy exterior. Make sure the oven is fully preheated before you put the zucchini tots in.
- Use Cooking Spray: Using non-stick cooking spray on the baking pan helps prevent sticking and makes cleanup easier.
- Flip Halfway Through: Remember to flip the zucchini tots halfway through the baking time to ensure they cook evenly on both sides.
- Serve Hot: These zucchini tots are best when served hot and fresh from the oven. They may lose some crispiness as they cool, so serve them promptly.
- Dipping Sauces: Consider serving them with a dipping sauce like marinara, ranch, or tzatziki for added flavor.
- Variations: Get creative with your seasonings. You can experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavor to your liking.
- Air Frying or Frying: If you have an air fryer or prefer frying, you can adapt the recipe accordingly. Just adjust the cooking time and method to suit your preference.
Yes, you can adapt the recipe for an air fryer. Simply follow the same steps for coating the zucchini rounds and then air fry them at a high temperature until they are crispy, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.
Absolutely! You can experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavor of your zucchini tots. Try adding garlic powder, paprika, or other seasonings to suit your taste.
Italian zucchini tots are a healthier alternative to traditional potato tots or fries. Zucchini is low in calories and a good source of vitamins and fiber. However, the final nutritional content can vary depending on how they are prepared and the amount of cheese and oil used.
More Side Dish Recipes for Kids
- Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
- Old Fashioned Banana Bread Recipe
- How To Roast Acorn Squash
- Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli
- Caramelized Peaches in Foil
- Easy Garlic Bread
CKC Features both Gluten-Free Guidance and Kids Cooking Instructions: If you’re new to eating gluten-free we understand it’s overwhelming trying to figure out which foods may contain gluten and which ones don’t. All of our gluten-free recipes marked with this symbol ✅ represent foods that need to be checked for gluten or cross-contamination.
The ⭐️ symbol in the recipe below denotes the steps in which kid cooks may need a helper (depending on age). If there is no ⭐️ symbol, that step (or recipe) doesn’t require a helper.
Zucchini Tots Recipe
- 2 small zucchinis
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1/3 cup gluten-free Italian style panko We use Ian's
- 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese ✅
- Preheat the oven and prep the pan. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Prep the zucchini. Slice zucchini into small rounds, and place into a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle zucchini with olive oil and season lightly with salt2 small zucchinis, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt to taste
- Combine the panko then coat the zucchini. In a small bowl, combine Italian seasoned panko and Parmesan cheese. Coat zucchini with panko mixture, then place on the baking pan.1/3 cup gluten-free Italian style panko, 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Bake. Bake for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Serve. Serve as is or with marinara dipping sauce.