These golden Cheesy Baked Zucchini Bites are like peanuts, it’s impossible to eat only one. Fresh finely grated zucchini is combined with chive and onion cream cheese, butter, eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs and plenty of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Toss in some simple seasonings then they’re ready to bake in mini muffin tins. I like to top them just before serving with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh chives to make them pretty.
When someone gives you zucchini from their garden, it’s time to get creative. It usually doesn’t take me very long, when it comes to recipes like these cheesy zucchini squares and fried zucchini chips cooking with zucchini becomes deliciously fun. I love zucchini in almost any form and grew-up eating my Mom’s zucchini bread like it was a loaf of gold. Pure heaven. I also love combining it with crisp smoky bacon and making zucchini cornbread as a fun way to shake-up my side dish menu. To get my kids to interested in eating vegetables a bit more, I turn to these crispy baked zucchini fries that are amazing dipped in Ranch dressing or marinara sauce and served as a side dish or an appetizer. The sky is the limit when it comes to zucchini so, it was only a matter of time before I began making these bite-size beauties.
In this recipe I used whole wheat panko breadcrumbs but, you can use either whole wheat or plain panko with no other adjustments needed. They’re delicious served warm or at room temperature and they reheat beautifully. Need to make a batch in advance? Make and bake then cool completely and freeze. Simply place frozen zucchini bites in mini muffin tins or onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes at 375°F and they’re ready to be served as a swoon-worthy appetizer at your next soiree.
Cheesy Baked Zucchini Bites
- 4 oz softened Chive & Onion cream cheese softened
- 4 Tbsp butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Few dashes hot sauce optional
- 2 cups packed finely grated zucchini squeezed dry
- 2 cups finely grated sharp cheddar or cheddar blend cheese divided
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs Whole wheat or plain
- 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Sour Cream or plain Greek yogurt for serving
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray the openings of 2 (24) cup mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Finely grate the zucchini then twist in a kitchen towel or cheese cloth until all moisture is removed. Measure AFTER drying. Set aside.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, eggs, garlic salt, black pepper and hot sauce, if using. Whisk by hand until smooth.
- Add the zucchini, 1 cup cheese, panko, onion and Parmesan. Mix until fully combined.
- Using a tsp or 1-oz ice cream scoop divide evenly between the muffins tins. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a platter.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and chopped chives.
To prepare in advance, make, bake and cool thoroughly then freeze. To reheat, preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange frozen zucchini bites on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until heated through.