Last Updated on April 14, 2022
Next time you have a craving for something salty and crunchy, back away from that chip bag and make yourself a GIANT batch of these incredible zucchini chips! Low in calories, high in fiber and other goodies, these delicious zucchini chips are also paleo- and Whole-30 friendly. You’ll be thrilled how easy it is to replace an unhealthy chip habit with this simple and delicious zucchini chips recipe.
Easy Zucchini Chips Recipe for the Win!
I don’t know about you, but I often get a hankering for something salty and crunchy, and I generally prefer to eat A LOT of it. So it’s important to find things you can snack on with abandon — without abandoning your healthy eating goals.
When the squash vine borer hasn’t taken out my zucchini plants and the kitchen is overflowing with zucchini, it’s time to make this easy zucchini chips recipe!
Why these zucchini chips will be your new favorite snack:
- They are perfectly salty and savory
- They have great crunch
- They’re really good for you!
- They’re low in calories so you can scarf down a lot of them
- They’re a great use for all that zucchini from the garden, CSA, or farmers’ market
- They’re a terrific zero waste snack!
- They’re an easy preservation project that can help you eat seasonally all year round
How to Make Zucchini Chips
I’ve tried making zucchini chips in the oven and the dehydrator, and for me, the dehydrator wins hands down for ease and ability to make a ton of zucchini chips all at once. Dehydrating is also one of the easiest ways for beginners to get started with food preservation.
Dehydrator zucchini chips also don’t need oil, making these zucchini chips lower in calories than their oven-baked counterparts.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can absolutely make zucchini chips in the oven, but I find having to tend a hot oven for a couple hours in summer far less appealing than popping a huge batch of zucchini chips in the dehydrator and letting it hum along while I go about my business.
The dehydrator does add some heat to the house, but I usually run it while we’re sleeping, and zucchini surpluses and plum surpluses often happen at the same time, so the dehydrator needs to be going anyhow. When it’s really hot, we move the dehydrator out to the front porch and keep the noise and heat out of the house entirely.
The oven method means staying nearby and remembering to keep an eye on them, which isn’t always practical. Plus hours of oven heat really isn’t what I want, even on a not-so-hot summer day. Maybe in winter, I wouldn’t mind so much, but zucchini chips are all about using up summer zucchini, and I don’t tend to make them once the growing season ends.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can also make these zucchini chips using solar energy. Here’s how to dehydrate in the sun, and here’s a fun idea for turning your parked car into a dehydrator! (It really works. I did this a lot before I had a dehydrator.)
But once you find how easy it to preserve immense amounts of veggies, fruits, and herbs, you may decide a dehydrator is a good investment. This small, inexpensive one would work to get you started, but a larger (and not that much more expensive) one is generally more practical and comes with the very useful fruit screens and leather disks, vital for making delicious but healthy treats like dried bananas and homemade fruit leather.
You can go in on the cost with a friend or neighbor to make a dehydrator more affordable. This is the one I bought with a friend over a decade ago, and it’s still going strong. This is the one I want when it no longer works.
Flavoring Your Zucchini Chips
Dehydrated zucchini chips actually taste great on their own, with or without a sprinkle of salt. I find that yellow squash have a slightly sweeter flavor. And yes, you can absolutely use those ginormous zucchini bombs we all wind up with. Some people like to cut around the seeds, but I find them perfectly fine for making zucchini chips in the dehydrator. Maybe skip them if you get a truly HUMONGOUS zucchini, but your everyday large zucchini will be just fine. That’s the magic of dehydration.
A lot of recipes call for vinegar, which you can certainly try. I find the flavor a little overpowering and the resulting chips a little less crispy and prefer to just use salt or add some spices. The spice options are endless, so have fun experimenting with different flavors. Your favorite seasoned salt would work also.
Flavors to try:
- Italian spice blend
- chili powder
- onion powder
- soy sauce or coconut aminos
You can also try giving your zucchini a quick toss with your favorite salad dressing, or let them marinate for a stronger flavor.
- 2 large or 4 medium zucchini or summer squash
- Salt or seasoned salt
- Spice of choice: paprika, cumin, turmeric, curry are my favorites
- Slice zucchini about 1/4 inch thick, as uniform as possible so they all dry at about the same rate.
- Put zucchini in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and spices and toss to coat.
- Place in dehydrator at 135 degrees and leave for about 4 hours until crispy. Check and allow to dehydrate longer if they are not crispy when cool.
- Allow to cool and put in an airtight container to preserve crispness.
You can use a knife or try a mandoline slicer for thinner, more uniform chips. I find the chips hold up better if they're not too thin.
You can be pretty liberal sprinkling paprika and turmeric, but go easier with cumin and curry powder, or the flavor can be overpowering.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 25Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 197mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g
Now that you know how to make zucchini chips, you may be asking yourself, “How do I get my hands on more zucchini?” Of course the cheapest and most fun way is to grow your own. Here are some good options for summer squash and zucchini seeds, and if you’re not a gardener yet, I’d love to help you get started. Be sure to pick up my quickstart guide to growing your own food here.
If you decide to learn how to make zucchini chips, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
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Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.