Nonna’s Fried Zucchini

Posted on Jun 26, 2013

My great-grandmother was from Italy, and this is one of the many recipes she used to make. I don’t think she used bread crumbs.** I think that’s something my mom and I have added over the years. And this method also works well for cauliflower, potatoes, and chicken (just to name a few). My favorite, though, is the zucchini.

**Update: After talking to my mom, I found out that the breadcrumbs is something her and I changed some years back. My great-grandmother always did flour-egg-flour. My mom and I both prefer the breadcrumb method for zucchini, but the flour-egg-flour method is still best for chicken (but that’s a slightly different recipe for another day).


Heat olive oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. You don’t need a lot. This isn’t deep frying. Just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

Start by slicing your zucchini into around 3/4 slices. Season with salt. I like fat slices, but you can cut it thinner, if you like. Next, set up three bowls. The bowls should contain the following:

  1. All purpose flour, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
  2. One egg, beaten
  3. Bread crumbs

How much of each depends on how many slices of zucchini you’re doing. For one medium sized zucchini, you’ll want about a cup of flour and at least a cup of breadcrumbs. Don’t worry. It’s easy to add more as you go if you’re running low. One egg should be plenty.




Next all you have to do is dip your first slice of zucchini into the flour until it’s covered. Shake off the excess. Then dip the flour covered slice into the egg. Flip it a few times to make sure it’s covered. Hold it above the bowl for a few seconds to let the extra egg drip off. Next dip it in the bread crumbs. Flip it again to cover both sides with breadcrumbs. Immediately add the zucchini to the pan. Repeat with remaining slices.

Let the zucchini cook until the first side is brown and then flip it over to brown the second side. When it’s down, move it to a plate and sprinkle the top with salt and parmesan or Romano cheese. It’ll be crunchy on the outside and tender, but not soggy, on the inside. It’s a wonderful contrast. And be careful with your first bite. Those little zucchini hold a lot of heat!