Gluten-Free Fried Zucchini Chips with Lime-Mint Dipping Sauce

Gluten-Free Goddess Fried Zucchini Chips with Vegan Dipping Sauce
Gluten-free fried zucchini chips with vegan dipping sauce.

Dog Day Zucchini

The Dog Days of Summer are upon us. Gardens are exploding. Vegetables are shiny fresh and happy. From A to Z, produce is queen. 'Tis the season of abundance. You know where I'm going with this, right? Need I say more, Dearest Reader? Do I really have to wax poetic and effusive about the humble cucurbita pepo known as zucchini? Do you crave another verbal celebration of le fabuleux courgette?

Perhaps I should invent a tale about some beatific Italian grandmother and what she used to do with weathered buckets of fresh-picked zucchina, transforming the green torpedoes (still cozy-warm from the sun) into melt-in-your-mouth garlic laced bliss. I could go all James Frey on ya and pretend I had a childhood that included actual, fresh picked produce (in full disclosure, there were potatoes) and not canned corn and fried bologna.

Because I didn't have an Italian grandmother.

Or a French grandmother.

The one I had on hand was Polish. And not only did she not grow vegetables, Darling, I sincerely wonder if she ever ate a vegetable in her long and prickly life of nine decades- beyond said canned corn and the occasional boiled potato. Instant Sanka, Russel Stover Assorted Creams, and Lucky Strikes were her three favored food groups. So I often find it ironic that I blog recipes and take pictures of food.

Though Dr. Freud, perhaps, would not exactly be surprised.

I've been reading the book Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. It is a thought provoking read, and I highly recommend it. Though it is not for the faint of heart. There's stuff in there we don't necessarily want to hear, clinging as we do, to our assumptions.

Her gentle examination of our shallow culture and our collective obsession with appearance over spirit strikes a meaningful chord. How we all- to some degree- numb ourselves with one distraction or another to keep ourselves detached from living fully in the moment- be it counting cupcake calories or DVR-ing reality TV.

We are a culture living three feet from ourselves.

The painful truth about dieting as an addiction in and of itself, supporting a multi-billion dollar industry with an astonishing record of failure may be difficult to swallow at first (too scary-close to home) but as it sinks in, I find myself scratching through my initial resistance to a tangible sense of hope and freedom.

And I could not help but find parallels between sisters who wrestle with carbs or fat grams and sisters living gluten-free.

And some of us inhabit both camps.

Living gluten-free over time defines our body-mind-spirit- indeed our life- in terms of restriction and hyper-vigilance, even with the most positive, embracing, can-do spin on it, the bare bones fact is that every new day serves up dietary limitations and often, real, tangible scarcity. How we respond to this reality and regulate our lives delineates us. Patterns form and shape our behavior.

Food is emotionally charged with associations of comfort, denial, nourishment, rejection, love, acceptance, guilt, risk, pain. Food is more than just a cookie. And gaining weight is more than just eating said cookie. It's not about the food.

It's about who we are.

Living inside or outside of our body. Living inside or outside our head. It's about the health and wholeness and aliveness of our spirit. The resiliency and tenacity of our soul.

All this- in a culture unkind to imperfection, vulnerability, and aging.

How we eat reflects our core beliefs.

About everything.

I'm pondering all of this. And I'll be chewing on the implications for some time to come.

As I (gently, kindly) work on a new skill- leaving behind the past, letting go with open hands, and living in the only moment we have. Which- by all accounts- is now.

And as I do my pondering, I'll be sharing more recipes that I love, from my imperfect kitchen.

Like these amazing gluten-free fried zucchini chips.

Comfort food redux from an imagined childhood.

Gluten-Free Goddess Fried Zucchini Chips with Vegan Dipping Sauce
Zucchini chips and vegan dip. (Photo by Alexander Allrich)

Karina's Gluten-Free Fried Zucchini Chips Recipe with Lime-Mint Dipping Sauce

Recipe posted August 2012.

The gluten-free combo of ground hazelnuts and brown rice flour gives these golden chips a subtle nutty flavor and delicate crunch. I used organic Canola oil to fry these, but you could also use grapeseed oil or any organic oil suitable for high heat cooking. Choose slender, smallish zucchini squash for these chips, not huge, fat zukes.


Organic No-GMO Canola oil or other high-heat cooking oil
1 cup ground hazelnut meal
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon organic garlic powder
4 slender, firm zucchini squash
1 large organic free-range egg, beaten


Heat about an inch and a half of Canola oil in a heavy bottomed skillet, over medium heat.

Meanwhile, in a shallow soup plate, whisk together the hazelnut meal, sorghum flour, sea salt and garlic powder. Set aside.

Wash and trim the zucchini squash. Evenly slice the squash on a slight diagonal to create 1/4-inch thick chips. Press and pat the slices with a paper towel and set aside.

Pour the beaten egg into a shallow bowl. Working in batches, dip each zucchini slice into the beaten egg, and allow excess to drip off. Dredge the coated slice in the gluten-free flour mixture, patting it to coat both sides.

When the oil is hot (about 325º to 350ºF), carefully place several zucchini slices into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown on both sides. Don't overcrowd the pan- give the chips some space to sizzle and crisp up.

Use silicone-coated tongs to remove the chips, and place them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Note: Keep a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a 300ºF oven (especially if you are making several batches), and keep the fried chips warm until serving.

Serve immediately with a creamy dipping sauce. See my easy dipping sauce recipe below.

Yield: Serves 4

Recipe Source:

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Gluten-Free Goddess Fried Zucchini Chips with Vegan Dipping Sauce
Lightly crunchy golden chips of veggie goodness.

Vegan and Dairy-Free Lime-Mint Dipping Sauce

Recipe posted August 2012.

This light and creamy lime-mint sauce brings out the fresh green taste of tender zucchini chips. And it's a snap to make, thanks to Vegenaise. I love using Vegenaise as a super quick base for non-dairy dips and sauces. It has a lovely bright taste that is not too tangy or mustardy. And it's not too sweet.


1/2 cup Vegenaise
Juice from half a lime
1 packed tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste


Combine the the Vegenaise, lime juice, fresh mint, sea salt and pepper. Taste test. Add more lime or mint, as you prefer.

Makes about a half cup of dairy-free dip.

Recipe Source:

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Dip in! Gluten-free fried zucchini chips + vegan dipping sauce
Let the dipping begin. (Photo by Alexander Allrich)

For substitution help, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.

xox Karina


  1. Oh wow! I can only imagine how good they must taste. And as always, I am completely captivated by your writing.

  2. Hindy20:21

    YUM! of course I dont have hazelnut meal but I will buy some tomorrow otherwise I would be frying this minute!
    I dont have vegenaise either,in case I dont find tomorrow would substituting with regular mayo taste as good? or does the vegenaise have a unique taste?
    THanks! You are amazing!

  3. That dipping sauce looks so beautiful and refreshing... I can imagine it would be perfect with the zucchini chips!

  4. Anonymous21:14

    I can taste these already! My favorite restaurant in Sacramento serves Zucchini Chips and know I can make these to soothe my gluten-free cravings. I can't wait to try this!

  5. Looks delicious! Can't wait to try!

  6. These look amazing -- and with the overabundance of zucchini coming out of my garden, I'm most excited to find yet another yummy use for them -- your blog continues to amaze and inspire me!! thank you!

  7. look yummy!!!
    I think I will pair them with a marinara sauce.

  8. Could these chips be baked? :) they look so yummy!!

  9. I love this post :) very inspiring, beautiful and yummy!

  10. My MIL creates all her salads from a tin- tinned peas, corn, asparagus, pineapple, beetroot,and even the mayonaise is made from tinned condensed milk... hmmm, wonder what this says about her core beliefs?
    She hates zucchini too, but I LOVE IT, and this is a great recipe, thanks!

  11. Oh, my dearest Karina, you make me laugh at the James Frey reference and then you get all serious on me and make me think I must buy that book. Food does hold so much power for us, doesn't it? Good and bad. I love everything from your "imperfect kitchen." Imperfect kitchens are the best IMHO and recipes from yours are certainly always at the top of my list. These zuchinni chips are gorgeous and I'll make them as soon as I can get some fresh zucchini. I'll probably wait 24 hours for our mid-week farmers market tomorrow to make sure I can get some local ones and support my area growers. :-)

    Thanks so much, dear! xo,

  12. These look lovely. I think you and I grew up with similar meals...although once in a blue moon, there was a salad in my house. Iceberg-based, of course. But otherwise, canned veggies were common. As were bags of ramen, cooked and seasoned with the packet, but water drained so they were a noodle dish instead of soup. Blech. And is this a first for our Goddess? Fried food on the blog? I can't remember you frying anything before. :)

  13. Thought provoking, splendidly written post Karina. I'm going to check out that book- thank you for recommending it!

    Can't wait to steal some zucchini from my friend and make these!

  14. Where do you usually get your Veganiase? I've been wanting to try it.

  15. Ooo yeah, this is how I am gonna try eating my zucchini from now on :-)
    Love the recipe!

  16. What a beautiful post! You're right, living gluten-free (and lactose-free for me) is complicated on so many levels. Your blog is a safe haven where I come to find good food and good thoughts. Thanks for doing it!

  17. These look fabulous! I made a lime cilantro mayo a while back that would go great with these too. Haven't had Veganiase before, but will give it a try!

  18. Anonymous20:43

    Please support my petition for the Girl Scouts to offer a gluten free and allergen free cookie.

  19. Karina,

    I appreciate you bringing light to the issues that surround us as well as our children. Living in a world that from my perspective puts much more importance on the way we look instead of whether or not we are healthy, we need voices that speak hope into the world. Myself and my sister have gone from obsessing over counting calories (leading to a more problems than I can explain) to the freedom of being empowered to live the abundant life God has for us. This life is all about taking care of ourselves on the inside and out and dealing with the belief systems we have carried all our lives so we can heal and actually be healthy. On that journey we discovered we are Celiac which as you said adds another layer of restriction if you let it. In the moment we choose to be empowered... to choose what is best for our health. It is always so encouraging to hear stories of others on the same journey. You have blessed me.

  20. Karina, how would you recommend making these egg-free? I'm really allergic to eggs but these look so yummy!

  21. Anonymous18:39

    I just finished eating these. Oh what a delightful dipping sauce. I used what i had and that was almond in place of hazelnut. Nice texture on the zucchini. I'll be eating them again today. Dang, that sauce is good. I made honey today too so after a honey taste it was a taste of the sauce and boy that brought out the lime......YUM Thank you again, Karina, for keeping us thinking and eating well for ourselves :o)

  22. Anonymous21:45

    Yeah, what Saretta said.....

  23. Such a yummy-looking way to use neverending amounts of summer zucchini!

  24. Karina, is there a substitute for the hazelnut meal for those of us who have a deadly allergy to nuts?

  25. Karina, I don't know if I've commented before, but I just wanted to tell you that your blog is such a pleasure to read! Not only do you post delicious recipes with beautiful pictures, but your writing style is both poetic and warm.
    This zucchini recipe looks great- I love the ground hazelnuts in the batter!

  26. Wow Karina! You've outdone yourself on this one. The crunch of the zucchini, the cooling dip, so delish!!!

  27. Thank you Everyone for the fried zucchini love! I can't wait to make these again.

    If you cannot eat nuts, I suppose I'd suggest subbing your favorite gluten-free flour- but having said that- I won't guarantee the texture will be as crispy. Some gluten-free flours get gummy. Experiment and see what works for you, nut-free. Traditional tempura uses rice flour, so I might start there.

    Cheers! xox


  28. Yes yes yes. I can't wait to try this. I love breaded vegetables. I just bought a tempura mix and can't wait to try.
    Making it all from scratch sounds cheaper...thank you

  29. Karina, toasted hemp seed works and tastes wonderful.

  30. I'm reading the same book and find it so interesting how the notion of the food we eat and our beliefs are so entwined. I'm also trying to do much the same and live in the moment. Tough, but so doable. In the meantime I'll be making your zucchini chips or fried cardone for that matter.

  31. Lydia22:19

    LOVE! Just made this for an appetizer tonight - such a hit! And the dipping sauce was so simple and tasty :) I have been cooking more and more because of you - thank you for all of your g-free recipes!!

  32. I made these tonight and they were delicious! I didn't have lime or mint so I did lemon and basil. So good!!!

  33. Anonymous03:07

    For a great egg free version mix cornflour and water to a slurry and dip zucchini slices into this mixture and then into coating. Turns out crispier than egg coating and spares the poor chickens.

  34. Thank you for sharing this recipe and thoughtful words.

  35. I REALLY enjoyed your ponderings today. :) And this recipe? Out of this world, YUM!

  36. Anonymous20:58

    In case anyone is looking online, the vegan mayo is actually spelled vegenaise, with an e not an a. Pronounced vej-en-aze. I used to make this stuff when I worked at Follow Your Heart/ Earth Island. Karina, absolutely love your blog! The book by Geneen Roth is one of my favorites. The last time I was Barnes and Noble, I saw it in the bargain section. Worth a look!

  37. Well, that's the most inspiring and thought-provoking blog post I've read in a long time. Thank you for reminding me why I don't count calories and why I should keep up my meditation and yoga classes. Gorgeous recipe too. Thanks, Karina. x

  38. Hi Karina!
    We made these tonight (with a somewhat larger than young tender zuke that I found hiding in my garden) and they were fabulous! My GFCF son doesn't like mayo, so he dipped them in ketchup... I guess his core beliefs are that he chooses to eat right for his own body, but he eats what he likes. :-) And thanks to you, we have an endless array of options of food he likes!

  39. Nice post! looks so delicious.Amazing recipe. I made these tonight. I am completely captivated by your writing. Very inspiring! Thanks for sharing this info!

  40. Wow Karina, you nailed exactly what I've been feeling but haven't been able to put words to... scarcity! Well put. I'll have to check out the book and of course the zucchini chips sound divine. Oh - if it makes you feel any better, I grew up with a half- Italian grandma but still saw plenty of canned corn.

  41. That looks yummy! I'm going to try making some today.

    Found your site through a friend and I love it! I was diagnosed with Celiac 4 years ago and I've struggled to find yummy recipes to make at home. I look forward to trying some of yours.

  42. I just made this entire dish and it is wonderful. Substituted fresh lemon juice for the lime and it turned out wonderful. Thanks!

  43. Is there any subsitution to the hazelnut meal? Locally it is a little trickier to track down and I want make this for a bbq. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!

  44. Those look yummy! I love lime


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Karina - Gluten-Free Goddess xox