Fried Zucchini

Fried Zucchini - Alex Guarnaschelli
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Zucchini is the ideal ingredient to fry: filled with water, healthy and tasty and ready to take on the cheese and breading this recipe requires.


January 29, 2021

This dish is designed like a vegetarian version of “Fritto Misto” with the lemons and herbs rounding out the flavors and textures. I like oregano and parsley the most here but basil or tarragon is equally tasty if you have that on hand instead. You can also bread and freeze the zucchini and fry as needed. Frying them from cold or frozen is best…

Fried Zucchini - Alex Guarnaschelli

Fried Zucchini

Course: Side Dish
Serving Size: 4 -6
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  • cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 medium zucchini ends trimmed and cut, lengthwise, into 10 wedges like pickle spears
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large lemons one cut into very thin rounds, pitted and the other into wedges (for serving on the side)
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 4-6 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 4 cups Canola oil


Mix the breading:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and cayenne. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs with 1 tablespoon cold water.

Bread the zucchini:

  • Arrange the zucchini in a single layer on a baking sheet, flesh side up, and season with salt. Submerge the zucchini wedges in the egg mixture. Remove the pieces, 1 by 1, shaking off excess egg and roll in the breadcrumbs until they are coated on all sides. Arrange in a single layer on the same baking sheet. Refrigerate, ideally, for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

Get ready:

  • Pour the oil into a deep, heavy- bottomed pot with a fitted lid and thermometer. Heat to 350F. When the oil comes up to temperature, test the oil by dropping in one piece of zucchini. It should rise to the surface fairly quickly, begin the bubble and fry gradually. Prepare two baking sheets fitted with a kitchen towels and a slotted spoon.

Fry the lemon:

  • Drop the thin lemon rounds into the oil and fry until lightly browned and crisped, 1-2 minutes. Remove them with the slotted and spread on half of one of the baking sheets to cool.

Fry the herbs:

  • Herbs tend to splatter when they hit hot oil so have the fitted lid for the pot ready in one hand. Drop the parsley in the oil with your other hand and immediately cover and fry 1-2 minutes until darker green color. Remove with the slotted spoon and spread on the other half of the baking sheet. Season with salt. Repeat the same process with the oregano.

Fry the zucchini:

  • Bring the oil back up to 350F. Drop half of zucchini into the oil and gently, slowly “swirl” the oil as they fry so they fry evenly. When they are light to medium brown, 2-3 minutes, remove them slowly with the slotted spoon and lay them out on the kitchen towel to cool. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining zucchini.


  • Arrange the zucchini layered with herbs and lemon slices, on a large serving plate with the lemon wedges.

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