It is well established among my family and friends that I am a terribly picky eater. I already limit myself by being a vegetarian. Add to that limitation a dislike of most vegetables. I generally don’t like to try new foods. I use the “I just know I’m not going to like that,” excuse about foods I have never even tried. However, since my change to a healthy eating lifestyle, I have tried new foods and experimented more. Samuel and I tried an appetizer called “zucchini fritte” at a restaurant on vacation a month ago. We didn’t know what zucchini fritte was, but the price was right. I don’t typically like zucchini, and I was very hesitant to try it. Turns out, zucchini frittes are fried zucchini chips. They were incredible! The chips were salty, crunchy, and addictive. I’ve been thinking about them for a month. So, I decided to make my own!
This recipe is very easy. The first step is to cut the zucchini into slices. I have a mandolin slicer I had to break out of hibernation for this one. You can also use a sharp knife if you feel confident cutting thin slices of zucchini. I decided to go with the easy route and get them all the same size. I cut the bottom off the zucchini and started slicing away. The slices seemed a little thick, but they shrunk down just fine. I also had a small zucchini for this recipe, so the slices are not very wide. I am on the hunt for a larger zucchini for next time. I placed the sliced zucchini on a paper towel. After slicing all the zucchini, I pressed another paper towel on top of the slices. The goal here is to suck out as much moisture from the zucchini as you can. This will help the zucchini crisp up in the oven. After removing so moisture from the slices, I got ready to put them on a baking sheet.
For the baking sheet, you can either use parchment paper or aluminum foil. I like using parchment paper, so that’s the route I took. Give the paper or foil a light spray of oil. (If you want to use actual oil and not spray oil, you will need to brush oil on to each slice of zucchini before placing them oil side down on the paper.) Once the paper or foil is sprayed, place the zucchini on the pan. You can place them close together, just do not overlap them. My zucchini are placed farther apart because I did not know how much they shrunk. So next time I will place them so they are almost touching. Spray the zucchini lightly and sprinkle lightly with seasoning. (If you did the brushed oil you will now brush the tops of the zucchini with oil before seasoning.) I did a pinch of cracked sea salt on each slice to start with. You want to under season and not over season. It is easy to add seasoning but impossible to take it away. So sprinkle with less seasoning than you think is needed. I did regular cracked sea salt, but I am going to seasoned salt next time!
Once zucchini slices are seasoned, pop the tray into the preheated oven. This can be a long process, so be prepared to smell the delicious zucchini baking. Let the zucchini bake for 1 hour. After that, turn the tray around in the oven. You do not have to flip the slices since you sprayed the parchment paper the slices sit on. Check on the zucchini every ten minutes for up to another hour. You do not want to burn these delicious disks. The slices should be a golden brown color and they should feel crisp like a potato chip. If the slices are still soggy or soft, bake for longer. The slices get a little soggy after being left out for a couple hours. These are best eaten right out of the oven. If you need to add seasonings, you can do so right out of the oven. I added some additional salt to my slices out of the oven, and they were delicious.
These zucchini chips are yummy. I am a lover of all things crunchy, salty, and crisp. I just love that these are so low calorie, healthy, and delicious. These would be perfect for snacking on during football (I’m looking at you NFL Sunday!) or for when you just need a delicious snack. I am not normally a lover of the flavor of zucchini, but I enjoy that these don’t taste healthy. These taste like a chip not an impostor. I will be making these again this weekend, if not sooner. I am always a fan of a food that tastes like it should be really unhealthy but isn’t. I also love that this recipe is minimal prep and work. The hardest thing is slicing the zucchini on a mandolin, and lets face it that is a piece of cake. I hope you give these a chance because I believe you will love these more than you can imagine!
Baked Zucchini Chips
Total calories: 2 calories per slice of zucchini (my small zucchini made 36 slices = 72 calories)
Servings: 1 (One zucchini is 1 serving. This seems like a lot of chips, but the zucchini shrinks down so much that it really is enough for only one person.)
- 1 zucchini
- Canola, vegetable, or olive oil cooking spray
- Salt, seasoned salt, or other seasoning(s) of your choice
- Preheat oven to 225° Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil, and spray with oil. Set aside.
- Slice zucchini into thin slices. I used a mandolin slicer, but you could also use a sharp knife and do it by hand if you are precise. Keep slices 1/8” to ¼” thick.
- Placed sliced zucchini between two paper towels. Press firmly on the paper towels to get as much moisture out as you can. This step will allow the zucchini to be crisper.
- Place slices on prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops lightly with additional oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, or other seasonings, lightly. Since the zucchini shrink up, it is very important not to over-season them. It is better to sprinkle a pinch of seasoning on them now, and add more after baking if need be.
- Place zucchini in preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Rotate the baking sheet, and bake up to another hour. Check on the zucchini every 10 minutes after the first initial hour to make sure they do not burn. Enjoy the chips fresh out of the oven and warm!
You can turn your oven up higher and bake for less time. Just watch them so they do not turn black because ovens do cook differently. These chips are most delicious when eaten within a couple hours of removing from the oven, as they start to get chewy if left out. You can place already baked chips back into the oven and bake them if they get too soggy.
If you don’t have or want to use cooking spray, you can brush oil on the tops and bottoms of the zucchini slices. Just make sure you oil the bottom of the slices before putting them on the baking sheet.