Healthy Appetizer: Parmesan Zucchini

A few days ago I was reading an article about Gwenyth Paltrow where she says that when she's working out hard she just thinks about all the fried zucchini she can eat when she gets home.

Since I don't have the time to spend two hours a day working out like she does to support my deep fried habit—I set out to create a recipe that would satisfy my craving without sacrificing all of my own hard work.

This recipe has the juicy sweetness of the zucchini paired with the crunchy/savory bite of the deep fried crust—with significantly less fat and calories.

This recipe makes four servings.

Nutritional Info: 114 Calories per serving—7g Fat—2g Saturated Fat—545mg Sodium


  • Seven small zucchini, washed
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Dried Basil
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Slice the zucchini in half and place the zucchini, white sides up, on a baking tray or ovenproof dish so that none of the slices overlap.

  2. Very lightly brush the tops of the zucchini with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  3. Mix the parmesan, breadcrumbs and garlic together, then sprinkle over the zucchini. Finish with a light dusting of paprika and basil.

  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, the zucchini should be tender with the cheese on the top a light golden brown.

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Dena Stern is a certified personal trainer and the Content & Community Manager for She works with a highly trained group of nutritionists, trainers, yoga and Pilates instructors and athletes to provide the best information, tools and motivation related to exercise and fitness.

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