Zucchini Cheese Fries

Zucchini Parmesan Fries

July 1, 2015   13 Comments

I have not been the recipient of any free zucchini this summer but I know it is coming.

Zucchini grows like crazy here and when my gardener pals grow it – I get the “please come and take my zucchini phone calls”. Fortunately, I am the kind of friend that can help in this situation.

Why? I love zucchini!!!

It is sweet, low in calories, and very versatile. There is an excellent zucchini, banana, and almond breakfast muffin recipe in my book for this time of year.

I bought the zucchini for this recipe at my local Stop & Shop and I didn’t pay much. The concept here is to replace the “cheese fries” that you know you shouldn’t be eating.

I have to give my friends over at Men’s Health credit for naming the #1 Worst Food in America – the Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing (2,900 calories, 182 grams of fat, 240 carbs).

You can’t make this stuff up.

My version has 88 calories per serving and 40% of your daily value of Vitamin C. If you love cheese fries, you need to try to exchange them for something else. Zucchini slices with Parmesan cheese is a tasty alternative. You get a sweet, crunchy base to a delicious salty top.

You save a whopping 637 calories per serving with my recipe. Take that Outback Steakhouse!

On a side note, my husband is Australian and does not think that “cheese fries” can be found in the Outback (which I believe is good news for the kangaroos).

What do you do with zucchini?

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Zucchini Parmesan Fries Recipe

Makes 4 servings

2 zucchini (1-1¼ pound)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (very important or it will be difficult to clean). Scrub the zucchini to get any sand or dirt off of it. Slice lengthwise and across so you make ½ inch strips.

Put zucchini on baking sheet and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 12 minutes until softened. Finish under broiler on high for 2 minutes to brown the cheese.

Enjoy immediately.

¼ recipe is 88 calories, 3.3 g fat, 2.1 g saturated fat, 5.3 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g sugar, 6.3 g protein, 1.6 g fiber, 146 mg sodium, 2 SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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Hi Lisa, love this idea. I make my own ranch dressing using Kate's buttermilk, Greek yogurt and tons of herbs from my garden, as well as a dash of vinegar. It is delish and great as a dip, dressing or whatever. I use the buttermilk/0% yogurt combo all the time. I can't believe there wasn't a random zucchini or two at your Amherst farmers market. They're already coming in in eastern MA. BTW, just took one of my very cheap hotel turkey breasts from the deep freeze to defrost and spice up for weekend grilling. Makes me think of you. Happy 4th!

on July 1, 2015

I've been really getting into zucchinis this summer. Latest idea is to cut into round slices and eat them like crackers with cheese spreads, chicken or tuna salad, etc. on top. I can get my favorite spreads, but in a no-carb version.

on July 1, 2015

What are "hotel" turkey breasts?

on July 1, 2015

I recently heard of using nutritional yeast in place of grated cheese in recipes like this. It is a vegan option. I do not happen to be vegan but I do have sensitivity to dairy products. Has anyone tried this and is it a good grated cheese alternative?

on July 1, 2015

All I do these days with zucchini is spiralize it! Ha. No, really, I got into an intense discussion at the farmers market last week (initiated by the farmer because she was suggesting it to me!) about the awesomeness of zoodles, I'm THAT obsessed. But I am going to take a break from that to make these because they look so good!

on July 1, 2015

Dolores, I have nutritional yeast because I read it's a good subsitute for cheese. My humble opinion is that it is not. I'd try a vegan parmesan, they usually can be found by meat substitutes in the supermarket. You can try the yeast, but personally I was disappointed.

on July 1, 2015

This may be old news, but I just discovered it. I replace the sour cream with greek yogurt when I make ranch dip. It is yummy, tangy, and saves approximately HALF of the calories! My hubby, who won't eat anything healthy, loves it.

on July 1, 2015

It just so happened I was making zucchini tonight so I made them this way. While they are in no way a substitute for cheese fries, :) they are very tasty and easy to prepare. Even the husband, who is not a big zucc fan, said that it was a great way to cook them. He had seconds.


on July 1, 2015

Please note that Aussies do not know anything about Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries. I'm an Aussie mum. We do not have Outback Steakhouse, nor do our usual eating establishments offer cheese fries. So these are not reflective of Australian diets. We have many other ways of eating unhealthily and turning into Fatty Boombahs. Thanks heaps for your healthy options.

on July 2, 2015

Thanks, Jill! Appreciate the heads up. I will look for the vegan parmesan.

on July 4, 2015

I love zucchini fries - thanks for the tip about finishing in the broiler. I wouldn't have thought of that.

on July 5, 2015

This week I made a 10-min. hands-on casserole with zukes:
In a shallow baking dish, lightly oiled, in this order--1 med zuke sliced nickel-thick, slivered 1 sm. onion, 1 large juicy native tomato, sliced, s/p, 1 cup breadcrumbs* premixed with 2 tbsp melted butter. Cover with foil, 30 mins at 375, remove foil, 5 add'l. mins to brown.
*I ALWAYS keep homemade breadcrumbs in the freezer, they are vastly superior in texture and flavor plus they keep forever and save a ton of time. Speedy meatballs, topping for chicken, mac n cheese, stuffed clams, etc.
In processor, stale chiabatta or italian bread, fresh parsley, garlic, parm.

on July 11, 2015

whats wrong w/ potatoes? as long as they r organic? also when are ppl going to stop counting calories. it is a myth. we need calories .it should be simple carbs we count. lowfat is also a myth, our bodies cannot survive w/ out it. ..skin n bones we wld be..

on July 16, 2015

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