Baked Zucchini with Parmesan and Thyme

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Crisp, tender baked zucchini with a golden crust of freshly grated Parmesan, thyme and oregano. These Italian-flavored zucchini sticks are a crowed-pleaser. Best served hot out of the oven with a little red sauce or served with red sauce or Tztaziki sauce for dipping. Vegetarian and gluten free.

One trick makes all the difference, be sure to read through for tips and watch the video in the recipe below!

Baked zucchini sticks, stacked on a plate with a side of Tzatziki sauce

Nutrient-rich zucchini is one of my favorite ingredients (almost always on my shopping list.) They’re easy to work with, whether you’re looking for a hearty main dish like ratatouille or Briam, a simple side like sauteed zucchini rounds.

Or you can try something crispy like today’s roasted zucchini with a golden topic of Parmesan and thyme. These are Mediterranean diet friendly, and like eggplant fries, these zucchini spears make the perfect appetizer or side next to almost any protein.

Baked zucchini with an Italian twist

If you ever have a few zucchini to use up on any given night, this recipe will come in handy! Your work time is 10 minutes tops, and the whole thing can be ready in 25 minutes or less.

These oven roasted zucchini are tender on the inside but firm and crispy on the outside. And you’ll love the Italian twist–a golden brown crunchy topping of grated Parmesan cheese and an Italian seasoning of fresh thyme and oregano.

Let me tell you, when I made these zucchini sticks the other night, they were finished before I was able to place them on the table! Thankfully, they’re healthy.

Parmesan, thyme, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper combined to make topping for baked zucchini

How to bake zucchini

Crispy and delicious zucchini will take about 20 minutes to bake at 350 degrees F. This recipe is so easy to make, here is how:

  • Cut the zucchini into spears (or thick sticks)
  • Put a wire rack on a large, rimmed baking sheet and arrange the zucchini in one single layer on top of the wire rack
  • Brush the zucchini sticks with some good extra virgin olive oil (this is what will help hold the topping and will allow the zucchini to crisp up nicely in the oven).
  • Add the topping. Mix the Parmesan, fresh thyme, oregano, and paprika in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly on the zucchini spears
  • To bake the zucchini, set the oven at 350 degrees F. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes or so. And to add that golden hue, put the zucchini under the broiler for a couple of minutes (watch carefully so the topping does not burn).
Baked Zucchini Sticks on Wire Rack

Important tips for this roasted zucchini recipe

  • Cut the zucchini into thicker spears. You’ll see in the video below that I basically take one zucchini, cut it in half length-wise, then each half is cut again creating two spears (or quarters). Because these zucchini sticks are thicker, they stay crisp and you get the perfect bite when baked.
  • Use a wire rack for crispier zucchini! Many recipes will have you putting the zucchini spears directly on a baking sheet. In this recipe, I intentionally add a wire rack (or cooling rack) on top of the baking sheet. The zucchini sticks are arranged on the wire rack, which allows the hot air to circulate freely so that the zucchini sticks will not get soggy on the bottom. The wire rack basically ensures better texture and the zucchini will be tender on the inside while having a firm exterior and crunchy exterior.

Ways to serve zucchini sticks!

These tasty zucchini are one of those items that can serve many roles on the table. I have some ideas for you:

Baked Zucchini Sticks On plate with garnish of fresh parsley

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You may also enjoy our collection of Mediterranean diet recipes. For all recipes, visit us here. 

Baked zucchini sticks, stacked on a plate with a side of Tzatziki sauce

Baked Zucchini Recipe with Parmesan and Thyme

Suzy Karadsheh

Crisp, tender baked zucchini with a golden crust of freshly grated Parmesan, thyme and oregano! These Italian-flavored zucchini sticks are a crowed pleaser, served with a little Tztaziki sauce, or as a quick side next to your favorite mains. Best served hot-out-of-the-oven!

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4.9 from 42 votes

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Course Appetizer, Side Dish

Cuisine Italian

Servings 5 people

Calories 66 kcal

Ingredients  

For Parmesan-Thyme Topping:

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves no stems
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika I used this all-natural paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • pinch kosher salt

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • In a bowl, mix together the grated Parmesan, thyme and spices until well combined.

  • Prepare a large baking sheet topped with a wire baking rack like this one. Lightly brush the baking rack with extra virgin olive oil (or use a healthy cooking spray.) Arrange the zucchini sticks, skin-side down, on the baking rack and brush each zucchini stick with extra virgin olive oil

  • Sprinkle the Parmesan-thyme topping on each zucchini stick

  • Bake in heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Then, for a golden crispy topping, broil for 2 to 3 minutes more, watching carefully.

  • Serve immediately as an appetizer with a side of tzatziki or hummus for dipping! Or serve it as a side next to your protein of choice.

Notes

  • Cook’s Tip: if possible, don’t skip using a wire rack in step #3. The wire baking rack allows the hot air to circulate freely so that the zucchini sticks will not get soggy on the bottom. The wire rack basically ensures better texture–zucchini sticks will be tender on the inside, while having a firm exterior with a crisp, golden Parmesan topping.
  • What to Serve Along: These zucchini sticks are a great appetizer to kick-start your meal, but they can also make an easy side next to your favorite protein. These mains would go especially well: Greek Meatballs, Garlic Dijon Chicken, or Pan-Seared Trout, Italian Baked Chicken, Salmon Kabobs or Lamb Burgers
  • Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and all-natural and organic spices. 

Nutrition

Calories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 4.8gProtein: 5.4gFat: 3.3gSaturated Fat: 1.8gPotassium: 319.4mgFiber: 1.6gVitamin A: 458.2IUVitamin C: 22.3mgCalcium: 139.3mgIron: 0.9mg

Keyword Baked Zucchini, Oven baked zucchini, zucchini sticks

*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2019 and has been updated with new information and media for readers’ benefit.