A much better and healthier version of zucchini chips that’s baked to a crisp instead of fried. You’ll be surprised after handling a few that there’s no greasy residue on your fingers because no oil was used!
You might remember from posts I’ve written in the past, that I don’t like to deep-fry. Recipes that call for deep-frying are usually a deal breaker for me if I can’t somehow adapt it to bake in the oven. Enter these zucchini crisps that is a revised recipe from what most of us are familiar with as zucchini chips that are usually greasy and cooked in oil to achieve a crispy texture.
No oil used here. Egg whites, seasoning, panko bread crumbs, herbs and Parmesan cheese are the only ingredients coating these golden zucchini rounds. They’re tasty and what a surprise to handle a few as you take bites, only to happily realize that there’s no oily residue left behind on your fingers!
I’m sharing this version of the recipe for zucchini crisps from cookbook author Virginia Willis’ newest cookbook “Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome” (book review to follow). Except for the oven temperature written for 425°F, which I felt was too high, the recipe adapted for baking turned out deliciously well. It’s a great small plate, appetizer or side!
Virginia Willis generously shares her favorite classic Southern dishes that she either grew up enjoying or cooked when she became a professional chef. She reworked these recipes making them lighter, using less fat and calories, and higher in fiber than the more traditional versions.
Dishes like Smothered and Covered Chicken and Gravy, Buttermilk Biscuits with Turkey Sausage Gravey, and Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie have been lightened up without sacrificing flavors, textures and visual appeal.
I enjoy that each of the ten chapters and every recipe includes an informational and personal introduction. What I really appreciate is that every recipe includes calorie, fat, carbs, fiber and protein information. Beautiful photography throughout the book and an easy to read recipe layout make it easy to follow the recipes without confusion.
There are ten chapters, many of which is what you would expect to find in a cookbook that covers all aspects of American meals. However, there are two chapters that stand out from the rest that you may not find in many other cookbooks: “From the Garden” and “Grains. Grits, and Other Starchy Goodness.” Having found my love for gardening and enjoying the fruits of my labor to the table, I appreciate cookbooks like this that section off recipes that gives me inspiration and resource for using my garden’s harvest.
It’s a well laid-out book with recipes to enjoy for all aspects of a meal and throughout the year.
- 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- 2 medium zucchinis, stemmed and sliced 1/4-inch
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano -OR- Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
- 2-3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with silicon baking mats. Place egg whites in a large bowl and beat with a whisk until frothy. Add zucchini slices and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper and stir to coat both front and backs.
- In a large shallow dish or a large mixing bowl, combine the panko, cheese, and fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
- Dip each squash round into the panko mixture, coating evenly on both sides and pressing the mixture into the squash to adhere.
- Place on prepared baking sheet in a single layer without the rounds touching.
- Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and crispy – rotating from top to bottom.
- With a thin spatula, immediately remove the crisps to a cooling rack to slightly cool. Do not leave on hot/warm baking pan or they will become soggy.
- Serve as is or with a complimentary dipping sauce. © Images & content: Cristina A-Moore for TeenieCakes.com.
- As a variation, add lemon and/or garlic
- Can be rewarmed and recrisped by returning to oven at 400°F for about 10-12 minutes.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container or sealed plastic bag.