Are surprise guests about to make an appearance on your doorstep? Or do you need a quick snack for your hungry kids? If you answered “yes” to either one, this recipe for 3-Ingredient Real Quick Zucchini Chips is sure to fill the bill — in the healthiest way possible!
Plus, there’s no need to waste time and energy using the oven for hours, or to use lots of electricity by plugging in the dehydrator. All you need to make these chips is a microwave oven and 10 minutes, max!
Again, you’ll find a video on how to make these zucchini chips right under the recipe box.
Tips for making the zucchini chips
These are really easy to make, but there are a couple of things to remember to ensure best results. First of all, be sure to use enough oil so that your chips will be crispy: Too little oil just makes them mushy.
Second, don’t overlap the zucchini slices on the plate. They should be next to each other — they can touch each other, but they shouldn’t overlap. If they do, the crisps will end up mushy and stuck together. And that’s not the texture you’re looking for!
Third, be sure to have enough zucchini at hand: the chips shrink a lot while cooking. After you make one batch, you’ll want to prepare another one… and another one… and another one, since these super-scrumptious snacks are guaranteed to disappear quickly! That’s okay though: they’re completely guilt-free and low in calories. I like to have one batch in the microwave while preparing another one!
Here’s how to make these zesty zucchini chips:
First, take a zucchini of the preferred size. (Organic is best.) Oh, and remember to wash the zucchini first.
Trim both ends of the zucchini.
Slice the zucchini thinly. You can use, for example, a mandoline slicer, or the poor man’s version, a cheese slicer, like I have here. (A cheese slicer is great for a small zucchini, but it’s not the best choice for a large one.)
Oil a large microwave-safe plate thinly but thoroughly with olive oil. This will prevent the zucchini chips from getting stuck to the plate. To be honest, though, even I don’t always remember to oil the plate—and I haven’t had major problems with the chips sticking to it. (You might notice that I forgot to oil the plate in the video, yet the cooked chips are still easy to remove from the plate.) So no worries if you forget, too.
Place the zucchini slices on the plate, next to each other…
…in a single layer.
Brush each zucchini slice generously with olive oil. You can also spray the oil on if you have an oil sprayer. Remember, don’t skimp on the oil, it helps make the chips crispy!
Carefully sprinkle some unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt on the zucchini slices. Hey, I said carefully! A little bit too much and the zucchini chips will turn out inedibly salty.
Cook, uncovered, on high in the microwave for 5 minutes.
Check the result. If the chips still aren’t crispy, cook them for longer.
Still, be careful that the zucchini chips don’t get too brown! Below is a cautionary example of what not to do:
After 7 minutes in my microwave, the chips look perfect. They’re nicely crispy and golden brown, but not too brown. Let the chips cool down until you can handle them, and then remove them from the plate.
Serve, for example, with Homemade Ranch Dressing, which works well as a dip. Good old guacamole is a reliable choice, too. For adults, you might want to try my Sugar-Free Sweet Chili Sauce or Pico de Gallo which contains jalapeno.
My zucchini chips experiments
As you might remember from my previous posts, we’ve spent a lot of time in our summer cottage, which is smack in the middle of nowhere. There’s lots of forest and a big, beautiful lake. (I have to confess that I haven’t swum in it even once: the water is very cold due to the cold springs at its bottom, and it’s really deep, too.)
I’ve used my free time wisely, though—mainly by playing with my six-year-old son and cooking. Plus, I’m writing a new book and have read lots of material as research for that. (As a perfectionist, I want to know the topic and all its background really, really well!)
But how did I come up with this super-quick zucchini chip recipe? Well, it all started when I had bought a zucchini and was wondering what to do with it. Somehow I was thinking of crispy snacks, but I wasn’t about to turn the oven on that day. So I had to think of other ways to make the crispy snacks I was craving. And when you make zucchini chips — or any other kind of vegetable chips — in the oven, you need to bake them for several hours before they are ready. What a waste of energy! And, since I’m impatient, I definitely didn’t want to spend hours waiting. I wanted crispy, slightly salty zucchini chips, and I wanted them right away.
Luckily, we have a microwave oven in our summer cottage. I had never made any type of vegetable chips in the microwave, but now I wanted to give it a try. I thought, All I need is zucchini, olive oil, and salt.
So I took that zucchini and cleaned it. Then I sliced it into very thin slices with a cheese slicer. I took a big plate that just fit inside the microwave and covered it with thin slices of zucchini. I placed the zucchini slices next to each other, in a single layer. Using a pastry brush, I brushed the slices with an ample amount of extra virgin olive oil.
We have an electric salt grinder filled with sea salt, and I ground a generous amount of salt on each zucchini slice.
Then I put the plate on the microwave and cooked the zucchini slices on high (700 W) for 5 minutes. After that, I snuck a peek—only to notice that the slices were still soft. Good heavens, are they going to turn crispy at all?! I thought. Maybe more time in the microwave would help?
So I cooked them for 2 more minutes. The result was somewhat crispy. Well, okay—but I wanted really crispy chips. Maybe oiling the plate would help?
Besides, the chips were waaaaay too salty. I mean, I love super-salty food, but this was too much even for me. The tiniest amount of salt would have done the trick.
For my next experiment, I oiled the plate well. Again, I placed the zucchini slices next to each other on the plate, in a single layer. I brushed them with oil, and very, very carefully, I ground sea salt on top of them.
This time, I cooked them for exactly 8 minutes in the microwave. The result? The chips were too browned, but were definitely crispy and just salty enough! 7 minutes might be the ideal cooking time in that microwave oven, I thought.
So I embarked on yet another experiment, cooking the chips for 7 minutes. The result was perfect! My son grabbed the bowl and munched up all the chips. I didn’t mind: it was the perfect way to get him to eat zucchini—which he usually hates!
Later, at home, I finalized the recipe and shot the photos and the video. Also, at home the ideal cooking time was 7 minutes even though my microwave is 1000 W.
|Nutrition information||Protein||Fat||Net carbs||kcal|
|In total:||4.1 g||27.0 g||7.7 g||290 kcal|
|Per 1/2 cup (120 ml):||1.4 g||9.0 g||2.6 g||97 kcal|
Tips for variation
Believe it or not, this basic version tastes wonderful as it is. But you can feel free to season the chips to your liking. Salt and vinegar chips are my favorite variation; I sprinkle a little bit (a teaspoon or so per plate) of raw apple cider vinegar on top of the zucchini slices before cooking them in the microwave oven.
A spicier version is easy to make, too: just add cayenne pepper. Even better, add chipotle chili powder for an exciting smoky note.
Or, you can sprinkle a little bit of onion powder or garlic powder on top of the zucchini slices before cooking. And you can try garlic salt or celery salt instead of unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt.
Which flavor variations are you going to try?