Zucchini Chips

Probably like you, I had an overabundance of zucchini this past summer, and I was on an endless quest to find different ways to cook the little (sometimes not so little) courgettes.

Zucchini gone wild

Uh-Oh. Big zucchini – BIG ZUCCHINI! This one was apparently hiding from me for a few days!

Zucchini muffins, zucchini bread, deep fried zucchini, roasted zucchini with parmesan, zucchini lasagna…

Yeah… you get the picture.

I actually read somewhere on a gardening blog that you should only plant ONE zucchini for every two people, lest you have too many to store.  I planted two.  I just couldn’t live without zucchini, and after I lost all my zucchini plants to squash mosaic virus a few years ago, I have planted at least two zucchini every year since then, one as a back-up for just in case.

Um-Hmm.  Then this happened…

homemade zucchini chips

The plants grew lush and full, and I was soon harvesting that many (above) zucchini almost every other day!  It reminded me of the great zucchini invasion of 2014…

too much zucchini

Then I saw a recipe for oven dehydrated zucchini chips.

“Seriously?” I said to myself, “is this the holy grail of good tasting, good for you snack foods?”

Almost.  On further reading, I saw that olive oil was involved.  Don’t get me wrong… I adore olive oil!  I just wanted to see if I could make a chip without oil and save a few calories.

If you know me, you know I absolutely adore experimenting in the kitchen, and my dear hubby is the best guinea pig ever!  So I dove in.

First, I used my handy-dandy mandolin to slice up the pretty green squash.  Easy enough.  Except, I will say, as my experiment with zucchini chips progressed, I found that the fresher the zucchini, the harder it was to get perfectly Sun Oven dehydrated zucchini chipseven slices.  The zucchini that had already spent a day in the refrigerator didn’t tend to crack or chip off as easily. Strange, but true.  However, you don’t want to wait more than a day or so from harvest to slicing, or the zucchini can get limp, and that makes slicing with a mandolin harder, if not dangerous!

I started out slicing the zucchini on the thin setting because I figured this would make the crunchiest chips. Well, at least I thought it would.

The sliced squash was laid in a single layer on parchment and sprinkled with my dry homemade taco seasoning (I got the recipe HERE), then placed into my SunOven.  I left the glass door of the Sun Oven slightly ajar so that the moisture could easily escape, and directed the oven just slightly off of direct sunlight.  Why?  I wanted to dehydrate the chips, not cook them!

Dehydrated zucchini chips

Zucchini chips just placed into the oven. You can see the temp gauge is right at 150, which is where it stayed most of the time.

They were done in about 2 hours, and they were good!  Not the best chip I had had in my life, but they were good and didn’t taste at all like zucchini.  The taco seasoning pretty much stuck to the chip, I assume because I sprinkled it on the chips as soon as I sliced them, so they were still pretty wet.  Aha!  See… no oil is needed!

Just a bit too thin. And the thinner they were, the faster they cooked…almost too fast!

But they were just too thin.  They were crunchy, but only the first bite into the chip was crunchy.  You see, first I got the crunch, but then I got a melt-in-your-mouth when you don’t really want melt-in-your-mouth kind of feeling. Harrumph! Besides, there was no way this chip would hold up to even the thinnest dip.

But the flavor was great!

One thing I noticed, also, was that the thinner chips dehydrated A LOT FASTER than the thicker chips.  Yeah, I know, Duh… but what I mean to say is that it dried exponentially faster!

So, I sliced some more zucchini on the medium setting this time, and with this batch I sprinkled on some Lawry’s Roasted Garlic Salt (my new favorite seasoning).

Yes, yes!  So Good!  Perfectly crunchy, and thick enough to use a light dip. And again…no oil!  I also tried a batch using just sea salt and then another batch with salt and black pepper.  Meh.  The truth is, the zucchini has such a mild flavor that you need stronger seasoning on the chips. So far, my favorite zucchini chip flavor is the Lawry’s Roasted Garlic Salt.

But, now I have a new quest… I need to find more flavors for my chips! I will spend some time this winter gathering recipes for chip flavors (please help), and then experiment again next summer when I have another over-abundance of zucchini. No oil zucchini chips

I would like to find a recipe for a homemade dry powdered ranch dressing mix to try as a flavoring for these chips.  I saw a recipe for this a few years ago, using powdered milk and other spices, but alas I did not save it and can’t find it anymore.

Sea salt and black pepper chips.

I wonder if it’s possible to make a nacho chip with homemade ingredients, or even sour cream and onion? Maybe barbeque? Perhaps you have a good homemade recipe for one of these flavors or maybe you have another suggestion?

 

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8 thoughts on “Zucchini Chips

  1. Yum! I think the garlic would probably be my favorite. I love zucchini with garlic. I’ll have to try this one of these days. Have you tried storing them? Do they stay crispy?

    • Good morning, Maridy. Yes, I did try storing them in a gallon sized freezer bag and they stayed crisp for a few days…until they were all gone. We ate each batch within a few days, so longer term storage wasn’t necessary. I was going to try storing them with my food saver, to see if that would work for long term storage, but the truth is I just never got around to it. I will be doing more experimenting with these chips next summer, so stay tuned!

  2. Hi Vickie!
    I’ve never liked squash or zucchini so I can’t really help you there, but this post makes me want to find a sun oven and make some sweet potato chips. Have you tried that yet? Spanish paprika and see salt sounds wonderful – at least on the sweets. To save me some dig time, can you tell me what kind of sun oven you got and from where perhaps? What is the lowest outside temperature that you have used your sun oven in?
    -Sharon

    • Hello, friend! Believe it or not, the Sun Oven (that’s the brand name of mine) worked for me in the winter when the outside temp was in the 40’s, but the sun was shining strong. I have heard that it will get up to 300 degrees even in freezing temps. I got my Sun Oven when it was on sale, which was a blessing because they are a bit pricey, but I must say that I have gotten my money back many times over since I got it. Not only do you not have to use energy (gas or electricity) to heat the oven, but you also don’t need to cool down your house during the summer because of the heat generated! I have used the Sun Oven over and over again and consider it one of my most useful food preparation tools! I know this sounds like an advertisement for the Sun Oven, but it’s all true, and I don’t get a penny from them for saying this. Sweet potato chips would probably be delicious, but I haven’t tried this yet. Thank you for the suggestion! Have a great weekend, Sharon.

  3. I have never tried zucchini chips, they look great! I’ve seen recipes for baked zucchini chips that are coated with panko and parmesan…never tried them, but someday I will. Most of my zucchini went into sauces (zucchini Bolognese, zucchini marinara, ratatouille) that are all in the freezer for winter pastas. I also made some soups (cream of zucchini that involves no cream, tex mex soup, zucchini potato leek, zucchini chicken noodle) seriously I grated it into EVERYTHING. Even chili. You just don’t even notice it’s there, yet you’re cutting calories and adding texture. For that reason alone, I always make sure I plant lots of zucchini – it’s so versatile! I even made zucchini chocolate cake this season and it was so friggin good I made it again! Last thing was zucchini muffins, which we finished off last week. Zucchini season is over but we’ll be feasting on those lovely vegs all winter long – woo hoo!! 🙂

    • Hooray for zucchini…right? I love that you made chocolate cake with it! You are right, there really isn’t much flavor to zucchini and, like mushrooms, it seems to take on the flavor of just about any sauce, soup or what-have-you. Did you post your recipe for cream of zucchini soup? If you did, I must have missed it, so I need to go-a-searching on your blog to find it. I just adore cream of broccoli soup, so I assume I will also enjoy cream of zucchini 🙂 Have a wonderful Veteran’s Day and weekend, Debbie!

    • I agree – never too many recipes, although I have been to the point where I think there are too many zucchini! 😉 Thank you for your kind comment today, Judee.

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