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Pretzel Crusted Zucchini Sticks + Parmesan Dressing

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Low Carb/Paleo
  • Vegetarian
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

While zucchini is prevalent all summer, keep this recipe on hand! Usually breading anything is slightly annoying to cook but produces a well-loved family meal. This breading process is quite simple and totally worth it. Use almost any leftover chips or cereal bag you have! See substitutions for all of the ideas.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pretzels (use the dregs of a bag!)
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 114 pounds Zucchini
  • 1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus a drizzle)
  • 3 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 4 cups Arugula (baby)
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 English Cucumber

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 425 DEGREES
  • 2. BREADING STATION

    Crush the pretzels finely - I just smash with a rolling pin into a bowl but you can use a food processor if you have harder pretzels. Stir together with breadcrumbs in a bowl.

    In a second bowl, whisk the 2 eggs with a teaspoon of water and a ½ teaspoon of salt.

    Set up a baking sheet at the end.

  • 3. ZUCCHINI

    Trim the stem off of the zucchini and cut in half. Slice in half again lengthwise to create a half-circle shape. Place the cut side down and slice each of those moons into 3 strips - it will have a wedged shape. Repeat with all pieces.

    Keep one hand wet and one dry. Use the wet hand to dip zucchini sticks in the egg and lift it out; place in the breadcrumbs. Use the dry hand to cover and press the crumbs firmly into the zucchini. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat until you’re done.

    Drizzle the breaded sticks with olive oil and make sure there is space between the tenders. Place in the oven and bake for 7 minutes. Flip zucchini over. Bake for 4 - 5 minutes longer until soft inside and golden.

  • 4. PARMESAN DRESSING

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients - 1 Tablespoon mayo, 1 teaspoon dijon, 1 clove garlic (minced), 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar, 4 Tablespoons olive oil - until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and the 3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese. Set aside.

  • 5. SALAD

    Wash and dry arugula. Add tomatoes (whole or halved). Add diced cucumber.

  • 6. SERVING

    Divide salads among plates, top with warm zucchini. Drizzle with dressing to taste. Leftover tenders are amazing cold and also delicious reheated in the toaster oven.

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Substitutions

  • PRETZELS:
    any type of potato chip, especially kettle chips. Experiment with flavors too - hello jalapeño chips! Yum. Corn flakes or other corn type cereal without a sugary or cinnamon-y taste. Ritz, club, or saltine crackers make a delicious breading, too
  • PARMESAN DRESSING:
    instead of making your own, use your favorite dressing, something creamy like ranch or caesar, honey mustard, or even a vinaigrette
  • CIDER VINEGAR:
    use red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or a white balsamic - lemon juice would also taste good

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Even my zucchini hating kids loved these; hopefully you’ll have success
  • Serve with a side of raw veggies or steam some broccoli (or preferred veggie) on the side instead of salad
  • You could serve with leftover pasta or rice, depending on what you had this week, or heat some frozen french fries for the side
  • Assorted veggies work - mushrooms, sweet potato rounds, and try tofu as well

For Toddlers

  • You can bake some zucchini without the pretzels, either uncoated or just coat lightly in breadcrumbs

For Choosy Eaters

  • Roast zucchini plain if they’d eat that, or with plain breadcrumbs
  • If kids are not vegetarians, look up our cape cod chicken for those instructions and prepare both together for the family
  • If you have a sauce lover, serve with their preferred dipping sauce
  • Heat a simple vegetable of choice for the side and add fruit or carrot sticks

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make parmesan dressing
  2. Crush the pretzel or chips and make the breadcrumb mixture
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