A while back, I found a recipe on Pinterest that I wanted to try, but it was a side dish so I was waiting a main dish to pair it with. The other day, Tim wanted to make turkey burgers, and I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to try these oven baked zucchini sticks with sweet onion dip. I halved this recipe and only used one medium sized zucchini for the two of us, so that’s how I wrote it. If there are more than two of you though, you will want to make more because they are so delicious and they’ll go fast! All in all, they were pretty easy, were healthy because they’re a vegetable and weren’t fried, but were still crispy because of the panko breading. I’ll definitely be making these again!
The trick with these is that after you cut the zucchini into sticks, you have to salt them and let them sit in a colander for about an hour to draw out the moisture. If you don’t, they will end up soggy, and no one wants that. While the liquid is drawing out of the zucchini, you make the sweet onion sauce.
This is pretty easy too. The only cooking required is caramelizing some onions on the stove, which takes about 20-25 minutes over low heat. The rest is done with a quick whir of the food processor.
All that’s left is to coat the sticks in the egg and panko/parmesan mixture and then bake them!
Oven Baked Zucchini Sticks with Sweet Onion Dip
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 egg
- about 1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
- about 1/4 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
Sweet Onion Dip:
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium sweet onion
- 1 T cider vinegar
- 1 T honey
- 1/2 T dijon mustard
- 1/2 c lite or fat free mayo
Cut zucchini in 2-3 inch sticks. Coat with salt and place in colander for 45 minutes to an hour.
While the zucchini is sitting, slice half of a small onion. (Remember, this is for half the recipe.) Heat a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in nonstick skillet. Add onion, salt, and pepper, and cook over low heat until caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Low and slow is the key here. When the onions are nice and golden brown, put them in a food processor with the vinegar, honey, and mustard. Process until onions are finely chopped. Stir in the mayonnaise. Put in small bowl to serve.
After the zucchini have drained, thoroughly rinse to remove all of the salt and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
In a bowl, beat one egg. In a separate bowl, mix panko, parmesan cheese, and pepper. (The original recipe also has Italian seasoning in there.) Dip sticks, one by one, into the egg first, and then into the panko. Use one hand for wet and one hand for dry or your breading will clump up and you’ll end up with more on your fingers than the zucchini. Be sure to press the panko mixture into each side of the sticks to fully coat them. Place them on your baking sheet lined with foil and bake at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes on each side, or until the crumbs begin to brown.
Serve with sweet onion dipping sauce.