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Baked Zucchini Nuggets

Yet another zucchini recipe birthed in my mission to use up whatever zucchini we're able to snag from the garden. I know my son and husband hate zucchini, but I have been on fiery quest to find a way to get them to eat it. Let's just say... this was was right on target! They were close enough to chicken nuggets to convince them to even try it, and that in my book is a win, my friends. 

Each little zucchini cube was breaded the exact same way I'd bread little chicken pieces for chicken nuggets. Using a winning combination of Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs), Italian bread crumbs (using Italian adds in that garlicy/herb flavor I love), and parmesan cheese makes such a dreamy little crunch on the outside of each little zucchini. Instead of frying them up in a pile of bubby oil, I thought it would be much healthier to bake these little lovelies in the oven. I placed the breaded zucchini on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, popped them in the oven, and they crusted up beautifully. The outside coating sealed in that soft & beautiful zucchini flavor. 

Dunking these little zucchini nuggets in marinara sauce is a must. When Ryan and I lived in Provo, we'd visit Magleby's in Springville, Ryan would always let me order the breaded zucchini appetizer, and it always came with marinara sauce. Since then, I was hooked, and am thoroughly convinced breaded zucchini (like these darling little zucchini nuggets) need to be served with some warm marinara sauce. It's absolutely dreamy! Anyway, if you're thinking of whipping up something a little more outside-of-the-zucchini-bread box, give this recipe a try. We just love it! 

Baked Zucchini Nuggets
makes 4 servings

4 medium zucchini, ends removed, cubed
1 C all-purpose flour
3 eggs, whisked + a splash of water
1 C Italian bread crumbs 
1 C Japanese Panko crumbs
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, blended into a powder
Marinara sauce for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
2. Prepare three bowls: 1) flour, 2) whisked eggs + splash of water, 3) Italian bread crumbs, Panko and Parmesan.
3. Working in batches of 4 or 5 zucchini, and using one of your hands for wet ingredients and one hand for dry ingredients, submerge zucchini cubes in the flour, (switch hands) then the egg mixture, (switch hands again) then the dry crumbs. Place on the baking sheet, and repeat until all the zucchini has been coated and placed on the sheet.
4. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Check them at 25, flip over, and cook a little bit longer until you've reached a squishy texture and the coating is golden. Serve with warm marinara sauce. 

Recipe Source: baking with blondie
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