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+ servings
A cheesy stack of crispy breaded Zucchini Parmesan on a spatula.
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5 from 9 ratings

Zucchini Parmesan

Breaded Zucchini Parmesan is fried until crispy and baked in a casserole dish with layers of marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2-3 egg whites, beaten until frothy
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 20 oz. vegetable oil, for frying

Breading

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Bread/Fry the Zucchini

  • Note 1: There is no need to peel the zucchini unless they are jumbo sized, in which case the skins could be tough/bitter.
    Note 2: See notes section on instructions for baking or air frying the zucchini instead of frying. This is done before the casserole is assembled with marinara sauce and cheese.
  • Wash the zucchini and pat dry. Slice into ¼ inch slices, try not to cut thicker than that, or they won’t be as crispy. Place over paper towels and sprinkle evenly with a light layer of salt. Flip and repeat with more salt. Top with more paper towels. Let is for 30+ minutes, preferably up to an hour. Pat them each completely dry prior to dredging.
  • Beat the egg whites and garlic powder until frothy.
  • Combine the breading ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Dip each zucchini into the egg whites, then coat generously in breading mix. Use the back of a spoon to pat the breading onto the zucchini. Flip, and repeat.
  • Heat vegetable oil to 350° (medium-high heat), preferably in a cast iron skillet. Use enough to cover them about halfway. Add more oil while they cook as needed.
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Leave room around each one so they will crisp on the outside. Watch carefully as they fry, once they start to brown, it happens fast.
  • Set aside on a cooling rack, this allows air to circulate around them and keeps them crisp.

Assemble the Casserole

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Spoon marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish, just enough to coat it lightly. Top with a layer of fried zucchini. Spoon marinara sauce over each one, then sprinkle with a layer of mozzarella cheese.
  • Repeat until you’ve used all of the zucchini. You can make clean stacks or overlap them around each other.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and begins to brown. Serve with Cheesy Garlic Bread.°

Notes

Instead of frying the zucchini, you may choose to bake or air fry instead, prior to assembling and baking in the casserole dish:
Baking Method: Arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet and spray each side with cooking spray. Bake at 400 ° for 18-20 minutes, until golden and crispy.
Air Fryer Method: Spray each side lightly with cooking spray and cook in a preheated air fryer at 375° for 8 minutes or until crispy and golden.

Pro Tips:
  • Zucchini is 95% water, so let them sit after salting as long as you can. You'll extract more water and will have a firmer consistency. 
  • Don't let them sit too long after being breaded. Give them another dip in the breading mix if any moisture starts to creep through before they're fried. 
  • Make sure the oil has reached 350° (medium-high heat) before you add the zucchini. If it's not hot enough, the breading will fall off. You can then adjust up/down during cooking as needed.
  • Watch them carefully as they fry, once they start to turn brown it happens quickly.
  • To keep the zucchini crisp: Place them on a cooling rack after frying/baking/air frying.
  •  

Nutrition

Calories: 466kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 29g, Cholesterol: 32mg, Sodium: 826mg, Potassium: 448mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 700IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 274mg, Iron: 2mg