Batter-Fried Zucchini

Batter-Fried Zucchini is a crispy delicious way to prepare some of the glut of zucchini that shows up towards the end of summer. Rather than breaded coins, which is what you typically see for fried zucchini, this recipe thinly slices zucchini into ribbons that are then battered and deep fried. This makes an excellent appetizer, side dish, or even a snack! This post contains affiliate links.

battered zucchini on white plate with green ramekin and cheese shaker in background, on wood surface with grey background

If ever there’s a vegetable that screams summer, it’s zucchini. There’s a lot you can do with it, from just sauteing it in some olive oil, to making these Spiced Zucchini Muffins with Crème Fraîche Glaze

There are also a million variations on breaded and fried zucchini coins, which is how a lot of folks seem to enjoy their fried zucchini. And don’t get me wrong, that’s pretty good.

Dredge almost anything in enough breadcrumbs and deep-fry it, and I’m willing to at least try it once. Even pickles, of which I’m normally not a fan.

battered zucchini dipped in marinara sauce on white plate with green ramekin and cheese shaker in background, on wood surface with grey background

Batter-dipped anything is SO much better, especially because you get crunchy bits of fried batter in addition to whatever it is you’re eating. Batter-Fried Zucchini is no exception.

battered zucchini dipped in marinara sauce on white plate with green ramekin and cheese shaker in background, on wood surface with grey background

I first had this a lifetime ago, at an Italian restaurant in Pennsylvania. My memory is fuzzy now, but I think it was Mario’s, in Moon Township. I swear the place was straight out of “GoodFellas.”

Up until that point, all I’d ever had was mushy cooked zucchini that was nasty and I was convinced I didn’t care for it at all.

But again, batter and deep-fry just about anything, and I’m willing to give it a try!

battered zucchini dipped in marinara sauce on white plate with lemon wedges, a green ramekin and cheese shaker in background, on wood surface with grey background

It was crunchy and delicious, especially dipped in the marinara that was served alongside it. And for years after moving to the middle of nowhere, I would think about this dish.

I’ve tried recreating it over the years with varying success. I’ve gotten the best results from a simple soda batter. And by using a deep-fryer or Dutch oven, rather than trying to pan-fry them.

battered zucchini dipped in marinara sauce on white plate with lemon wedges, a green ramekin and cheese shaker in background, on wood surface with grey background

Unless your knife skills are amazingly awesome pro-level (which mine are not), you’ll also need a mandoline to get the ribbon slices.

This is a somewhat lengthy recipe, only because you need to let the zucchini sit for awhile after sprinkling them with some salt to leech some of the moisture out of the ribbons. But the nice thing is, it’s mostly hands-off time. 

Once the ribbons are coated in batter, the frying process takes all of about five minutes.

battered zucchini on white plate with green ramekin and cheese shaker in background, on top of green napkin on wood surface with grey background

And the end result is well worth it. Even the bambino declared this one a winner, which rather surprised me.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Batter-Fried Zucchini

battered zucchini on white plate with green ramekin and cheese shaker in background, on wood surface with grey background

Batter-Fried Zucchini is a crispy delicious way to prepare some of the glut of zucchini that shows up towards the end of summer. This recipe thinly slices zucchini into ribbons that are then battered and deep fried. It makes an excellent appetizer, side dish, or even a snack!

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 C club soda
  • Vegetable oil, for frying*
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving
  • 2 C marinara sauce, heated

Instructions

  1. Clean zucchini, and halve or quarter if necessary (depending on the size of the zucchini). Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, slice into thin ribbons. Toss with the 1/2 Tbsp. of kosher salt, and allow to sit for at least twenty minutes, or up to an hour.
  2. Drain off all excess liquid leeched from the zucchini and begin heating the oil to 365 degrees F.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt together. Whisk in the club soda, and stir until smooth.
  4. Add the zucchini to the batter, and toss to coat all the ribbons.
  5. Add the zucchini to the hot oil and give the basket a slight shake to spread out the ribbons slightly. Fry for approximately five minutes, or until browned and crispy.
  6. Drain quickly on paper towels before plating. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan, and serve hot with heated marinara sauce and lemon wedges.

Notes

*If using a deep-fryer, use according to manufacturer's directions and fill with the recommended amount of oil. If pan-frying, fill a deep skillet with about two inches of vegetable oil and separate the ribbons slightly to better-cook each one.

Recipe adapted from The Spruce Eats

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