Spaghetti with Crispy Zucchini

Spaghetti with crispy zucchini covered in melted cheese and fresh herbs in a bowl with a fork.
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Hi-ho! It’s crispy zucchini spaghetti day, which means a big happy plate of steamy, twirly, saucy spaghetti (nothing too fancy here) piled high with roasty zucchini pieces surrounded by crispities of golden panko layered with a blanket of melted cheese and some bits of fresh basil.

It’s crunchy, summery, gardeny, cheesy in whatever way you want it to be cheesy (goat cheese, anyone?), steamy and satisfying, and totally perfect for a very hungry night because spaghetti doesn’t let us down.

Also: it’s very SOS-able.

We’ve been a part of a CSA this summer, which has been delicious and super fun for my toddler who loves the mystery of finding out “what’s in the box” week after week. It has also taken my relationship with zucchini to new heights. I practically need a new zucchini recipe every single day in order to keep up with the amount that we’re getting in our CSA boxes each week, and me and my zucchini are really progressing on our journey together.

One of our favorite ways to eat zucchini this summer has been zucchini fries or zucchini chips, and so you can understand that it was only just a matter of time until things evolved into a faster, lower maintenance, highly-delicious pasta-based way to eat more zucchini.

Can every day be crispy zucchini spaghetti day?

Roasted zucchini covered in breadcrumbs, melted cheese, and fresh basil on a baking sheet.

Because zucchini slices laced with crispy panko, Italian seasoning, Parmesan, garlic powder, and some lemon zest and blanketed under a bubbly little cheese quilt just sort of takes on a life of its own.

*grabs a piece hot off the pan*

*grabs another piece*

*and a few more*

A Very SOS-Friendly Ingredient List

Everything on your ingredient list is likely already in your pantry:

  • spaghetti
  • store-bought spaghetti sauce
  • zucchini
  • panko
  • egg
  • Italian seasoning
  • any cheese for topping, like Mozzarella for the melty goodness, or goat cheese for the creamy tang
Spaghetti with crispy zucchini in a bowl with melted cheese and fresh basil on top.

How To Make Spaghetti with Crispy Zucchini

To make this happen you’re going to have two main spots you’re working on (and I use the term “working on” very loosely):

  1. Your pasta pot (boil spaghetti / mix with sauce)
  2. Your sheet pan (toss zucchini with panko and spices, bake until yummy)

And with minimal effort, look at what you’re eating for dinner: a hot, twirly bowl of spaghetti loaded high with cheesy zucchini crispities and fresh basil. Add some extra lemon juice or red pepper flakes to wake it all up and this is not a sad dinner situation.

I have lost track of how many times my husband AND my toddler have gone back for seconds on this. The table just falls silent in delight as we slurp, twirl, and crunch, which, in my life right now, is the best kind of SOS dinner.

Close-up of spaghetti with crispy zucchini in a bowl with melted cheese and fresh basil on top. A fork is in the bowl twirling the spaghetti.

Spaghetti with Crispy Zucchini: FAQs

Yum! How can I make this gluten-free?

Just sub your favorite gluten-free pasta and use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Can I add meat to this?

Sure can! Some delicious store-bought meatballs would be a really SOS-friendly option here.

Does this save well as leftovers?

The zucchini might not stay as crispy as when you first make it, but if you’re still rocking that work-from-home life, you could pop the zucchini crispities in the oven to reheat for a few minutes the next day and pop them on top of your noodles.

Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

Watch Lindsay Make This Recipe on Stories!


Spaghetti with Crispy Zucchini

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


This Spaghetti with Crispy Zucchini is the perfect end-of-summer song! It doesn’t get much better than fresh summer zucchini coated in a crispy, cheesy breading piled high on top of spaghetti with fresh herbs. YUM! 


  • 1/2 pound of uncooked spaghetti
  • a jar of your favorite store-bought spaghetti sauce (I usually use about 2/3rds of a jar)
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch-thick rounds (about 23 cups)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • some kind of cheese – I like shredded mozzarella and provolone, but fresh mozzarella slices are great and goat cheese is also amazing
  • fresh basil leaves for topping


  1. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and toss with sauce. I like to add extra olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste to just kick things up a notch.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Beat the egg in a large bowl; add zucchini and toss to coat. Add panko, Parmesan, lemon zest, and spices. Toss to coat as much as possible. Transfer to a baking sheet – arrange the zucchini with some space between, and spoon the crispity crumbles on and around the zucchini. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until nice and golden brown.
  3. Remove pan from the oven. Sprinkle with your cheese of choice and return to bake or broil for a final 5 minutes. Top with fresh basil leaves, more olive oil, red pepper flakes, etc. 
  4. Serve the spaghetti in deep pasta bowls topped with a scoop of cheesy crispy zucchini and more fresh basil. Mwah. 
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired

Keywords: zucchini recipe, spaghetti, spaghetti and zucchini

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Collage of POY readers who made this recipe.

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