No matter how many trays of these I make, everyone always wants more! With three hungry teenagers in our house, you have to be quick on the take or they will literally get taken from you. Sometimes, I have to hide a few for my husband 'cause he's kind of a slow eater. But for the most part, I'm happy that everyone gobbles these up (myself included) because they're vegetables (a.k.a healthy) and furthermore, baked, which translates to low calorie in my book. They're easy to make and you can even prepare them earlier in the day and crisp them up before serving. The only drawback is that they take a bit of time to prep if you make a lot and as I said above, I can't get away with making just one tray.
These little zucchini sticks are great on their own, but we almost always dip them into a mayo/sour cream/ketchup/horseradish mixture. It's super easy to make and can be tailored to your taste--we are ketchup addicts in our house--I mean seriously, when ketchup goes on sale I buy 20 bottles which we store in the basement and everyone gets nervous when we fall below the 10 bottle mark--but I think these would be great with a ranch-style dip too. I generally make the dip with all low-fat or light ingredients, so that's pretty healthy too and I feel like the "perfect" mother when I watch all three of my kids stuffing vegetables into their faces!
Other than the zucchini, these are made with ingredients you probably have around the house and you can sort of just do what feels right and add more or less or none of any of them. I don't measure when I make these and you don't need to either--it's that rock-star chef thing, where you just eyeball everything and it always turns out great. Same for the dipping sauce. I promise! Just get to the store soon while zucchini is still in good supply and not too pricey so you can enjoy them too!
Baked Zucchini Sticks with Dipping Sauce
4 medium zucchini yield about two trays worth
Prep Time: 30 minutes (more if you are using more zucchini); Bake Time: 35 minutes
For the zucchini:
- 4 zucchini (more if you like--just increase other ingredients, cut into sticks (not too thin)
- Bread crumbs (I use Italian seasoned)
- Japanese Panko crumbs (Plain or seasoned)
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- 2-3 large eggs
For the Dipping Sauce:
- Mayonnaise ( I usually use light)
- Sour cream ( I usually use light)
- Horseradish (the red kind they sell in the bottle in the refrigerated section)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with Pam or some other vegetable spray.
2. On a large plate or shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, panko, grated parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Crack the eggs into a medium sized bowl and beat together.
3. Throw a few pieces of the cut up zucchini into the eggs and toss to coat. Then, one at a time, draining well of the egg mixture, toss the zucchini stick into the breadcrumb mixture to coat and place it on the lined cookie sheet. Repeat till all of the zucchini is used up. When tray is filled, spray the tops of the zucchini lightly with the cooking spray.
4. Bake for about 25 minutes on one side.
5. While zucchini is baking, make the dipping sauce. In a medium sized bowl, combine about mayonnaise, a little sour cream, plenty of ketchup and a small spoonful of horseradish, depending on how much kick you want it to have. As I said above I never measure but if I had to guess I would say that I use about 1/2 cup mayo, a tablespoon or two of sour cream, a 1/4-1/3 cup of ketchup and maybe a tsp of horseradish--but really, don't measure--just do it to taste. Mix well together and chill until ready to use.
5. Flip zucchini over carefully--these are hot, be careful not to burn yourself--I use a spatula and tongs. Then bake for another ten minutes or until golden brown and crunchy. Transfer to a platter and serve with dipping sauce.
Note: You can make these earlier and then just crisp them up in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 350ºF. I almost always do because if you are making more than two trays you can never get them to all come out at the same time--this is especially good if you are making them for a party and don't want to spend all your time in the kitchen missing the fun!