Spaghetti with Oven Fried Zucchini because the simplest dishes are the best! Oven frying the zucchini brings out their natural sweetness, no deep frying necessary. Stir in fresh basil and garlic and serve over spaghetti topped with lots of freshly grated cheese and you have the perfect dinner!
Although I’ve picked many zucchini blossoms so far this summer, not one zucchini has grown on my plants! Luckily my mother provided me lots some from her abundant garden. One of my children’s favorite dishes made with zucchini is my mother’s baked parmesan zucchini crisps. Trust me when I say they’re just like potato chips, you just can’t stop at one!
But my favorite has always been this simple Spaghetti with Oven Fried Zucchini recipe, always best when made with our garden zucchini. You know how sometimes store bought zucchini can be quite dark skinned and taste bitter? This oven fried zucchini tastes incredibly sweet, if you can believe that, and paired with garlic and fresh basil this dish is irresistible!
Choose the perfect zucchini for this dish:
Avoid choosing zucchini that are too large. They tend to be less tender and have too many seeds in the center.
I also prefer lighter green zucchini as I find the darker skinned ones bitter.
How to oven fry zucchini:
The zucchini would typically be fried for this recipe. However, I tend to shy away from frying (unless I’m making arancini) and oven fried zucchini are just as flavorful without all the fuss. Of course, you do have to oil your pan generously to get that rich flavor, slightly crisp edges and golden color.
All you need to do to oven fry the zucchini is lay out the zucchini slices, without overlapping them, on a generously greased baking sheet with olive oil. Brush each zucchini round with more olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping them halfway. The result is these beautifully caramelized zucchini slices. You’ll never know they were not fried!
Warning, at this point you will be tempted to simply devour them right out of the pan! But if you can be patient for just a few more minutes you’ll have the perfect pasta dinner. All you have to do next is boil spaghetti and toss the oven fried zucchini with the pasta, fresh basil leaves and a clove of crushed garlic that you will remove before serving.
Serve hot with lots of freshly grated Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano cheese (or a combination of both as I prefer) and enjoy!
Tips and suggestions for making Pasta with Oven Fried Zucchini:
You may notice this is the first time I write “olive oil, as much as needed” in a recipe. Yes, I’m becoming like my mother! But it’s really difficult to specify a quantity here.
Just make sure each piece of zucchini is sufficiently coated. If the zucchini rounds dry out while roasting, then you know that you did not add enough oil. Same as when you serve the pasta. The spaghetti must be nicely coated with oil but you don’t want a large puddle of oil at the bottom of the pot. Just like the elderly Italian nonnas say, quanto ci vuole!
I also don’t sauté the garlic before adding it to the pasta. Simply crush a clove of garlic, stir it into the pot along with the pasta and zucchini and discard before serving. The whole dish is infused with a gently garlic flavor.
If you try out this amazing recipe, please let me know how much you enjoyed it by rating it in the recipe card below. Feel free to Pin it for later. Buon appetito!
Here are more delicious and easy pasta dishes for you to check out!
- Pasta with Ricotta
- Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower
- Pasta with Chickpeas in Tomato Sauce
- Pasta with Zucchini and Mushrooms
- Pasta ca’ muddica (Pasta with Breadcrumbs)
- 3 medium sized zucchini
- olive oil as much as needed
- 450 grams spaghetti
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- handful of fresh basil torn into small pieces
- Parmigiano for serving
- Preheat oven to 350F, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and generously coat with olive oil.
- Slice the zucchini into thin rounds, place on the prepared baking pans, brush with additional oil to coat and salt lightly.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping the slices halfway, until tender, golden and lightly browned. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain, return to the pot and stir in the cooked zucchini slices, clove of garlic and torn basil leaves.
- Drizzle with extra olive oil as needed, making sure that the pasta is sufficiently coated. Discard the garlic and serve the pasta hot with plenty of Parmigiano cheese.