Paula Roy: Whole Foods in Half the Time


Crispy Zucchini Sticks Your Kids Will Devour

An easy and delicious way to get your family to enjoy their vegetables

by: Paula Roy
Oven-baked zucchini sticks are crispy, healthy and delicious |

If there’s a gene responsible for devouring anything that’s been breaded and deep fried, I’m pretty sure the menfolk in my life both have it. I recently watched them mindlessly stuffing something brown and crispy in their mouths while watching sports and it occurred to me that I could probably wrap breadcrumbs around just about anything and they’d eat it. To test this theory, I made these crispy zucchini sticks. I didn’t bother to tell them they were oven-baked, rather than deep-fried, and they ate them up so quickly that I honestly don’t think they noticed. You can serve them with whatever dip your family likes; I’ve included the recipe below for one of our favourites. Bonus tip: If you want an all-in-one meal, cut a chicken breast into strips, double the panko mixture and beat in an extra egg and you can coat the chicken the same way, place it on a lightly-greased rack and in the same amount of time you'll be serving up delicious homemade chicken fingers to go with your awesome zucchini sticks.


For the zucchini sticks:

1 cup Panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp each dried oregano and basil
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slender zucchini, quartered lengthwise
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten


For the dip:

1/4 cup sour cream
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill, parsley or basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
Salt and pepper, to taste



  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of canola oil on a piece of paper towel and use it to wipe the surface of a cooling rack. Place the rack on a baking sheet and set aside.

  In a broad dish (a pie plate or round cake pan works well), combine Panko, Parmesan, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

  In a second broad dish, beat the eggs with a fork until well blended.

  Put the zucchini sticks in a plastic bag and sprinkle flour over top. Twist the top of the bag shut and gently shake the bag to coat the zucchini sticks.

Crispy Zucchini Sticks |

  Remove the zucchini sticks from the bag one a time. Tap one end against your work surface to remove excess flour then dip the stick in the eggs. Place the flour and egg-coated zucchini in the Panko mixture and press gently to coat, flipping the stick to coat all sides.

  Place zucchini onto prepared cooling rack; when all are coated, put the tray in the oven.

Crispy Zucchini Sticks |

  While zucchini sticks cook, combine dip ingredients in a small bowl and stir to blend well.

  Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

  Serve immediately.

Makes 16 sticks, enough for 2 – 3 servings.

Crispy Zucchini Sticks |

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