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Spaghetti with Crispy Zucchini

14 reviews / 5 average
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Hi-ho! It’s crispy zucchini spaghetti day, which means a big happy plate of steamy, twirly, saucy spaghetti (nothing too fancy here) piled high with roasty zucchini pieces surrounded by crispities of golden panko layered with a blanket of melted cheese and some bits of fresh basil.

It’s crunchy, summery, gardeny, cheesy in whatever way you want it to be cheesy (goat cheese, anyone?), steamy and satisfying, and totally perfect for a very hungry night because spaghetti doesn’t let us down.

Also: it’s very SOS-able.

We’ve been a part of a CSA this summer, which has been delicious and super fun for my toddler who loves the mystery of finding out “what’s in the box” week after week. It has also taken my relationship with zucchini to new heights. I practically need a new zucchini recipe every single day in order to keep up with the amount that we’re getting in our CSA boxes each week, and me and my zucchini are really progressing on our journey together.

One of our favorite ways to eat zucchini this summer has been zucchini fries or zucchini chips, and so you can understand that it was only just a matter of time until things evolved into a faster, lower maintenance, highly-delicious pasta-based way to eat more zucchini.

Can every day be crispy zucchini spaghetti day?

Roasted zucchini covered in breadcrumbs, melted cheese, and fresh basil on a baking sheet.

Because zucchini slices laced with crispy panko, Italian seasoning, Parmesan, garlic powder, and some lemon zest and blanketed under a bubbly little cheese quilt just sort of takes on a life of its own.

*grabs a piece hot off the pan*

*grabs another piece*

*and a few more*

A Very SOS-Friendly Ingredient List

Everything on your ingredient list is likely already in your pantry:

  • spaghetti
  • store-bought spaghetti sauce
  • zucchini
  • panko
  • egg
  • Italian seasoning
  • any cheese for topping, like Mozzarella for the melty goodness, or goat cheese for the creamy tang
Spaghetti with crispy zucchini in a bowl with melted cheese and fresh basil on top.

How To Make Spaghetti with Crispy Zucchini

To make this happen you’re going to have two main spots you’re working on (and I use the term “working on” very loosely):

  1. Your pasta pot (boil spaghetti / mix with sauce)
  2. Your sheet pan (toss zucchini with panko and spices, bake until yummy)

And with minimal effort, look at what you’re eating for dinner: a hot, twirly bowl of spaghetti loaded high with cheesy zucchini crispities and fresh basil. Add some extra lemon juice or red pepper flakes to wake it all up and this is not a sad dinner situation.

I have lost track of how many times my husband AND my toddler have gone back for seconds on this. The table just falls silent in delight as we slurp, twirl, and crunch, which, in my life right now, is the best kind of SOS dinner.

Close-up of spaghetti with crispy zucchini in a bowl with melted cheese and fresh basil on top. A fork is in the bowl twirling the spaghetti.

Spaghetti with Crispy Zucchini: FAQs

Yum! How can I make this gluten-free?

Just sub your favorite gluten-free pasta and use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Can I add meat to this?

Sure can! Some delicious store-bought meatballs would be a really SOS-friendly option here.

Does this save well as leftovers?

The zucchini might not stay as crispy as when you first make it, but if you’re still rocking that work-from-home life, you could pop the zucchini crispities in the oven to reheat for a few minutes the next day and pop them on top of your noodles.

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Spaghetti with Crispy Zucchini


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This Spaghetti with Crispy Zucchini is the perfect end-of-summer song! It doesn’t get much better than fresh summer zucchini coated in a crispy, cheesy breading piled high on top of spaghetti with fresh herbs. YUM! 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 pound of uncooked spaghetti
  • a jar of your favorite store-bought spaghetti sauce (I usually use about 2/3rds of a jar)
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch-thick rounds (about 23 cups)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • some kind of cheese – I like shredded mozzarella and provolone, but fresh mozzarella slices are great and goat cheese is also amazing
  • fresh basil leaves for topping

Instructions

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and toss with sauce. I like to add extra olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste to just kick things up a notch.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Beat the egg in a large bowl; add zucchini and toss to coat. Add panko, Parmesan, lemon zest, and spices. Toss to coat as much as possible. Transfer to a baking sheet – arrange the zucchini with some space between, and spoon the crispity crumbles on and around the zucchini. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until nice and golden brown.
  3. Remove pan from the oven. Sprinkle with your cheese of choice and return to bake or broil for a final 5 minutes. Top with fresh basil leaves, more olive oil, red pepper flakes, etc. 
  4. Serve the spaghetti in deep pasta bowls topped with a scoop of cheesy crispy zucchini and more fresh basil. Mwah. 
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired

Keywords: zucchini recipe, spaghetti, spaghetti and zucchini

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More Zucchini Recipes To Close Out Summer

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35 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Dora

    This was absolutely delicious! Every bite with the basil and cheesy zucchini was perfect! ❤️

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Andrea

    This recipe sounds fantastic! I’m a bit confused though. First, the panko, Parmesan, lemon zest, and spices gets added to the egg mixture, is that right? If so, then what are the crispity crumbles we spoon on and around the zucchini? Might you define these steps a bit more?
    Thank you. I can’t wait to make this!
    Andrea

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Caz

      I was wondering the same thing about adding the crispity crumbles! Making this tonight so I guess I’ll wing it! 🤪

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Andrea! That’s correct. You’ll coat the zucchini in the egg mixture first, and then add in the panko, parm, lemon zest, and seasoning. The crispy crumbles are from the panko/parm that has fallen off the zucchini and crisped up on their own in the oven along with the zucchini. Check out the videos under steps 2 and 3 in the recipe!

    3. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Caz

      I somehow didn’t follow directions exactly. Added Zucchini last ! Crispy crumbles come from crumb mixture thatv didn’t adhere to Zucchini, delicious even with mistakes! Made with Spinach Linguine from TJ!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Lilly Rinaldi

        I have the zucchini in the oven now and the smell is “bananas”, and that’s a good thing! Easy recipe and directions, thanks very much!






  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jamie

    Liked this so much, I immediately shared the recipe with my mom. Our go-to “recipe” for zucchini is sautéed in a pan with onions then add mozzarella at the end. This tastes a little like that and a little like fries mozzarella sticks and a little like breaded zucchini. It was easy and tasty.

    My sons, 6&8 did not love the zucchini but happily ate spaghetti. My one year old gobbled all of it up, but I’m just careful he doesn’t get a glob of cheese.






  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Winston

    This was to die for! I loved the simplicity of it and the flavors were perfect. I used Raos sauce and didn’t use the extra mozzarella cheese (but only because I didn’t have any). 10/10 recommend! Perfect weeknight meal.






  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Chris

    This is brilliant. I have been on a zucchini binge all summer. We’re recent empty nesters so we’ve been eating our weight in all of the things our kid doesn’t like. I’ve been cutting planks, panko, etc and pan frying. The lemon zest? Never would’ve thought of it. Delicious.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Chris! It’s such a fun, easy way to enjoy zucchini!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Josie

    I made this tonight amidst protest from my self-proclaimed-zucchini-disliking husband. It was so delicious! I sliced the zucchini quite thin and the crispy panko completely makes the dish. I used grated mozzarella on top but actually think I’d go without next time; it didn’t really add a lot. This was so good that my husband got out of his chair to kiss me and apologize for originally not being in favor of the dinner choice. This recipe was also a true SOS dinner on a night I came home from work and was on the verge of ordering take out. Knocked it out of the park… Winner, winner!!!






  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    9.9 fat and 27.7 protein. You gotta be kiddin me this recipe is perfect. It’s so delicious… One of my favourite.






  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Nina Modern

    Excited to make this! I have lots of bread crumbs in pantry. Can this be used in place of panko??

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      We’ve only used panko, but regular bread crumbs should work just fine!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Diana Seeley

    Everyone loves spaghetti with a good sauce, but the real winner here is the crispy zucchini. It’s sooooooo good! In fact, I would eat just the zucchini as a meal or on top of a salad. It would make a great side dish as well. Another great recipe to add to the family favorites!






  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Christine

    Made this last night and it was delicious! (and super easy to put together, the kitchen was not a complete disaster after cooking, hahaha)






  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Diana

    This was fantastic!! I used Jovial brand grain free spaghetti along my own homemade sauce. But what made this dish was the zucchini crispy things! Wowza! My husband I couldn’t stop eating them! This is definitely a must make when zucchini’s in season! Thanks for another great easy recipe!






  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kimberly

    I didn’t expect for this to be so good! Unassuming ingredients, zucchini dishes never usually wows me! I used about half of the lemon zest and I will definitely continue to use it in the recipe.






  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sharon H

    This recipe is delicious! I can’t have egg so substituted with olive oil to dip zucchini in before GF breadcrumb mix.
    I didn’t use lemon zest and we used our favorite jar sauce Rao’s. My husband and I both had seconds. I can’t wait to make it again!