This is one of the base recipes featured in Part 2 of our Whole Life Meal Plan. Roasted zucchini is a favorite summer side at To Taste. Cutting the zucchini into sticks makes for a fun presentation and a great finger food for both kids and adults. This roasted zucchini sticks base recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Oven Roasted Zucchini Sticks
We use weight instead of volume for the zucchini because sizes can be highly variable. Weigh at the store or use a simple kitchen scale. It’s okay if you have slightly more or less than 1.5 pounds.
If the zucchini is sticking to the pan after cooking, allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then it will naturally release.
For best results when roasting, use our memorable acronym: ROAST WELL.
Set your oven to a high cooking temperature to achieve optimal caramelization. In general, anywhere between 400ºF and 500ºF is considered a roasting temperature. Zucchini requires a high temp due to its high water content.
Don’t be scared of oil! Healthy oils add nutrition, satiety, and great flavor to roasted vegetables. Make sure every piece is thoroughly coated with oil; it’s better to use a little too much than not enough. Use oils with high smoke points, such as canola or avocado oil.
If you want to roast an assortment of vegetables at the same time, select ones that are similar and will cook in the same amount of time.
Skip Pan Liners
For best caramelization and browning, place the oil-coated vegetables directly onto the pan. Although parchment paper, silicone mats, and foil make clean-up easier (we get it!), your vegetables won’t be quite as delicious.
Traditional Sheet Pan
When roasting, be sure to use a traditional sheet pan, with no more than a 1-inch rim along the sides. Deeper dishes cause vegetables to steam rather than roast – not optimal when trying to make crispy veggies! A metal pan also ensures browning.
Wash and Dry
You should always wash fresh produce before eating or cooking, but another important step when roasting is to make sure your vegetables are dry. Water generates steam, and again, we want to avoid steam to ensure the vegetables turn brown and crispy.
It is important to make your pieces approximately the same size to ensure even cooking. Small pieces cook faster than large pieces. Check out our online Knife Skills class to improve your speed and efficiency in the kitchen!
Spread the vegetables out on a sheet pan and leave plenty of space around each piece. If you overcrowd the pan, the vegetables will steam. Are you noticing a trend here? Steam is the enemy when trying to create crisp, roasted veggies!
When in doubt, use two pans. Yes, that might mean more dishes to clean, but we promise that it will be worth it!
Let them Cook!
Cooking requires patience. While it can be tempting to pull the vegetables from the oven once they are soft, make sure that they get that nice, brown exterior. For longer cooking vegetables, such as potatoes, you can stir them halfway through the cook time to brown on all sides, but it’s not totally necessary.
To learn more about how to roast vegetables, check out this article!
- Zucchini: substitute Mexican calabacita squash or yellow summer squash.
- Canola or Avocado Oil: substitute a lower-quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Spices: use your favorite or check out our suggestions under recipe variations.
We love buying our spices from The Spice House. Click on the picture below to view & try out hundreds of flavorful spices and herbs!
Because this is a base recipe, we encourage to use our recipe as a guide, then adjust to YOUR taste!
You can vary this recipe by changing up the spices or adding herbs. Keep it simple by adding a spice mixture such as cajun seasoning, garam masala, or taco seasoning. Or try your hand at mixing and matching your own spices!
For guaranteed recipe success, use the following pieces of equipment:
Health Benefits of Roasted Zucchini Sticks
Eating a variety of vegetables is best for overall health. All of the various kinds provide different health benefits. Roasting is a healthy cooking technique; it is a dry heat method that helps retain nutrients and makes vegetables taste absolutely delicious. This recipe features zucchinis, healthy cooking oil, and spices.
Zucchini is a summer squash rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and multiple phytochemicals, including lutein and zeaxanthin. These phytochemicals help prevent diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. (1)
Canola oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. It also has a high smoke point, making it ideal for high-heat cooking methods, such as roasting.
Using spices decreases the need for salt, which may help reduce hypertension risk and therefore promote heart health. (2) Additionally, spices contain powerful antioxidants which may help reduce inflammation in the body. (3)
Learn more about the health benefits of spices in this article!
How to Serve Roasted Zucchini Sticks
These roasted zucchini sticks make a delicious side at almost any meal! Pair with our healthy quesadilla base recipe, roasted fish, turkey pesto meatballs, or beef and bean burgers for a balanced plate.
Allow roasted zucchini sticks to cool, then store in an airtight container. Leftovers will last for up to 1 week in the refrigerator, but they will get mushy the longer they are held! Reheat in the oven for best texture.
Want more roasted vegetable recipes?
Try out these flavorful favorites!
Roasted Russet Potatoes Base Recipe
Roasted Diced Sweet Potatoes Base Recipe
Roasted Zucchini Sticks Base Recipe
- 2 medium zucchinis (1 – 1 ½ pounds)
- 1 Tablespoon avocado or canola oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ – 1 teaspoon spices (optional)
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons grated or shredded cheese
- Lemon juice and/or zest from half lemon
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
- Preheat oven to 450ºF.
- Cut ends off zucchinis. Cut in half crosswise. To create zucchini sticks, cut each half lengthwise, then into lengthwise halves or thirds again, depending on the size of the zucchini. Air dry for a few minutes or lightly dry sticks with a paper towel.
- Combine oil, salt, pepper, and optional spice blend in a bowl. Add zucchini and using clean hands or a spatula, toss to coat.
- Spread zucchini sticks on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place cut sides down for best browning.
- Roast ~12 minutes or until the sides touching the pan are brown and sticks are easily pierced with a fork. Enjoy!