Dehydrated Zucchini Chips (A 5 for 1 dealio!)

July 23rd, 2012 1:21 pm by Kelly Garbato

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Subtitle: The Great Zucchini Chip Experiment!
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While Shane was away at TAM, I spent the week tearing up the kitchen: Triple batches of granola! Marinara sauce made from garden fresh tomatoes and frozen for later! Homemade ranch dressing, with homemade sour cream! (The silken tofu? Store-bought. Not a level 5 vegan, I.) Banana ice cream as far as the eye can see! And zucchini chips, too! Stacks and stacks of dehydrated zucchini chips, in a futile attempt to deplete my zucchini stockpile. (Within two days of using up nearly all the zukes, my produce drawer was full again. Cue: existential crisis.)

Though these Baked Zucchini Sticks retain the title of Best Zucchini Recipe EVER, the zucchini chips are a close second. Not only do they use up a ton of zukes – seven zucchinis yielded about 18 cups of chips, which at the current rate of consumption will be gone within the week – but they’re freaking delicious, too. Especially the salt & vinegar ones, if that’s your thing. (I’m not just a member of the fan club, I’m the president!)

After poking around the interwebz, I came up with five flavors. So far I’ve only tried the first three (Salt & Vinegar, Salted Celery – aka Celery Salt, and Salt & Pepper), but the other two are on my to-do list. The Lemon Pepper should be interesting, and I’m sure Shane will get a kick out of the Spicy Cumin & Cayenne Pepper version. For an even simpler chip, stick to just the olive oil and/or salt – or omit the oil entirely for a lighter snack.

Don’t have a dehydrator? Try baking these in the oven. Sure, it’ll be hotter and you’ll have to process them in smaller batches, but baked zucchini chips are the bomb. I’m not sure how the vinegar will affect the baking process, but the other recipes should work just fine.

I have a Nesco Gardenmaster (reviewed here), which is big and bulky but also not super-expensive when purchased new. Sometimes you can score ’em at Goodwill for a fraction of the price. If you grow your own fruits, veggies, and/or herbs, they can be incredibly useful. Use it to make your own fruit leather when autumn rolls around and you can score apples on the cheap. It costs a fraction of the price of the store-bought stuff, and you can create any flavor you can dream up.

My sister actually puts my homemade fruit leather on her Christmas wishlist now, for serious! Plus it’s good for distracting dogs whilst you stab at them with needles. (Ralphie needs a shot of antigens every few weeks. I’m not a sadist, sheesh!) The more you know!

And now for the zucchini chips. The instructions are basically the same for each recipe, but I repeated them five times in case you’d like to copy, paste, and print one or two recipes in particular. (You’re welcome!) All the instructional type photos are in the first recipe.

Pro tip: While the general consensus seems to be that you should stick with younger, seedless zukes, I prefer the mega-ginormous overgrown ones. Not only do they produce a more substantial chip (when dried, zuke slices with a diameter of 1-2″ shrink down to practically nothing!), but the seeds aren’t really a problem – they dehydrate easy peasy.

Pro tip #2: Of course, this works best with veggies fresh from the garden – but in a pinch, dehydration is an excellent way of preserving older zucchinis that have started to shrivel a bit. Not that we ever let it get to that point, nudge nudge wink wink.

Ready, set, dehydrate!

 

2012-07-15 - Salt & Vinegar Zucchini Chips - 0035

Salt & Vinegar Zucchini Chips. Almost as good as the potato-y kind!
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Salt & Vinegar Zucchini Chips

Ingredients

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/8″ thick rounds
1 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (for a subtle salt & vinegar taste) OR
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (for a stronger flavor)
salt to taste

Directions

1. Begin by slicing the zucchini into rounds about 1/8″ in thickness. A mandolin is useful, but a steady hand and a large kitchen knife works well too. When cutting, try to maintain an even thickness so that the chips “bake” at the same rate. Toss the slices in a large bowl as you go.

 

2012-07-14 - Sliced Zucchini - 0004

Zucchini chips in progress.
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2. Add the olive oil to the zucchini slices and mix well. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Stir with your hands, rubbing the olive oil into the slices as you go. If one slice is over-saturated, rub it together with another slice to spread the oil around.

Note: Use one teaspoon of olive oil for a small, store-bought zuke; 2 teaspoons for a good-sized, homegrown one, like so;

 

2012-07-16 - Homegrown Zuke - 0008

A large – but not ginmormous – homegrown zucchini, set next to a book measuring 5″ by 8″ inches. It’s about an inch longer than the book, and between 1/3 and 1/2 its width.
Currently reading: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’m only on page 30, but so far it’s pretty awesome. Narrated by Death!
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and a full tablespoon (3 teaspoons) for a ginormous, mature zucchini, complete with dime-sized seeds.

If you overdo it and add too much olive oil, don’t panic – you can always blot it off after the chips are done!

Optional: Reduce or omit the olive oil for a healthier chip!

3. Add the apple cider vinegar and repeat step #2.

4. When done, place the zucchini slices onto the trays of your dehydrator, taking care not to overlap any of the slices. Salt lightly.

5. Repeat until you run out of zukes – or dehydrator trays!

Note: It took seven zucchinis to fill all twelve of my Nesco Gardenmaster trays.

 

2012-07-16 - Tower of Zucchini Chips - 0003

Hello, towering tower of deliciousness! Kaylee is forever unimpressed. Or maybe she’s just irked that she can’t reach the top tray? Who knows!
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FYI!

6. Bake at 135 degrees F for ten to twelve hours. Some time during hours four through six, pause the dehydrator and flip each chip over. (Carefully! They’re delicate, yo!) This will help to prevent them from sticking to the tray as they dry out. If some of the chips – the skins especially – still seem chewy after ten+ hours in the dehydrator, continue to run the machine in one to three hour increments. With oiled chips, fifteen hours seems to be the sweet spot for me. The drier, the crispier, the better!

If some of the chips seem greasy, lightly blot them with a paper towel as you remove them from the tray.

 

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Four zukes worth of Salt & Vinegar chips. CHOMP!
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7. Store in an airtight container. Party hard.

 

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Salty Celery Zucchini Chips. Betcha can’t eat just one!
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Salty Celery Zucchini Chips

Ingredients

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/8″ thick rounds
1 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon celery salt + extra to taste

Directions

1. Begin by slicing the zucchini into rounds about 1/8″ in thickness. A mandolin is useful, but a steady hand and a large kitchen knife works well too. When cutting, try to maintain an even thickness so that the chips “bake” at the same rate. Toss the slices in a large bowl as you go.

2. Add the olive oil to the zucchini slices and mix well. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Stir with your hands, rubbing the olive oil into the slices as you go. If one slice is over-saturated, rub it together with another slice to spread the oil around.

Note: Use one teaspoon of olive oil for a small, store-bought zuke; 2 teaspoons for a good-sized, homegrown one; and a full tablespoon (3 teaspoons) for a ginormous, mature zucchini, complete with dime-sized seeds.

If you overdo it and add too much olive oil, don’t panic – you can always blot it off after the chips are done!

Optional: Reduce or omit the olive oil for a healthier chip!

3. Add the celery salt and repeat step #2.

4. When done, place the zucchini slices onto the trays of your dehydrator, taking care not to overlap any of the slices. If any of the slices seem lacking in celery salt, sprinkle a tiny dash directly onto the naked ones.

5. Repeat until you run out of zukes – or dehydrator trays!

6. Bake at 135 degrees F for ten to twelve hours. Some time during hours four through six, pause the dehydrator and flip each chip over. (Carefully! They’re delicate, yo!) This will help to prevent them from sticking to the tray as they dry out. If some of the chips – the skins especially – still seem chewy after ten+ hours in the dehydrator, continue to run the machine in one to three hour increments. With oiled chips, fifteen hours seems to be the sweet spot for me. The drier, the crispier, the better!

If some of the chips seem greasy, lightly blot them with a paper towel as you remove them from the tray.

7. Store in an airtight container. Get wild.

 

2012-07-16 - Salt & Pepper Zucchini Chips - 0015

Salt & Pepper Zucchini Chips. Spicy!
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Salt & Pepper Zucchini Chips

Ingredients

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/8″ thick rounds
1 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper + extra to taste
salt to taste

Directions

1. Begin by slicing the zucchini into rounds about 1/8″ in thickness. A mandolin is useful, but a steady hand and a large kitchen knife works well too. When cutting, try to maintain an even thickness so that the chips “bake” at the same rate. Toss the slices in a large bowl as you go.

2. Add the olive oil to the zucchini slices and mix well. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Stir with your hands, rubbing the olive oil into the slices as you go. If one slice is over-saturated, rub it together with another slice to spread the oil around.

Note: Use one teaspoon of olive oil for a small, store-bought zuke; 2 teaspoons for a good-sized, homegrown one; and a full tablespoon (3 teaspoons) for a ginormous, mature zucchini, complete with dime-sized seeds.

If you overdo it and add too much olive oil, don’t panic – you can always blot it off after the chips are done!

Optional: Reduce or omit the olive oil for a healthier chip!

3. Add the black pepper and repeat step #2.

4. When done, place the zucchini slices onto the trays of your dehydrator, taking care not to overlap any of the slices. If any of the slices seem lacking in black pepper, sprinkle a tiny dash directly onto the naked ones. Sprinkle with salt.

5. Repeat until you run out of zukes – or dehydrator trays!

6. Bake at 135 degrees F for ten to twelve hours. Some time during hours four through six, pause the dehydrator and flip each chip over. (Carefully! They’re delicate, yo!) This will help to prevent them from sticking to the tray as they dry out. If some of the chips – the skins especially – still seem chewy after ten+ hours in the dehydrator, continue to run the machine in one to three hour increments. With oiled chips, fifteen hours seems to be the sweet spot for me. The drier, the crispier, the better!

If some of the chips seem greasy, lightly blot them with a paper towel as you remove them from the tray.

7. Store in an airtight container. Share with friends.

 

2012-07-16 - Tower of Zucchini Chips - 0011

Almost done!
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Lemon Pepper Zucchini Chips

Ingredients

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/8″ thick rounds
1 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper + extra to taste
salt to taste (optional)

Directions

1. Begin by slicing the zucchini into rounds about 1/8″ in thickness. A mandolin is useful, but a steady hand and a large kitchen knife works well too. When cutting, try to maintain an even thickness so that the chips “bake” at the same rate. Toss the slices in a large bowl as you go.

2. Add the olive oil to the zucchini slices and mix well. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Stir with your hands, rubbing the olive oil into the slices as you go. If one slice is over-saturated, rub it together with another slice to spread the oil around.

Note: Use one teaspoon of olive oil for a small, store-bought zuke; 2 teaspoons for a good-sized, homegrown one; and a full tablespoon (3 teaspoons) for a ginormous, mature zucchini, complete with dime-sized seeds.

If you overdo it and add too much olive oil, don’t panic – you can always blot it off after the chips are done!

Optional: Reduce or omit the olive oil for a healthier chip!

3. Add the lemon pepper and repeat step #2.

4. When done, place the zucchini slices onto the trays of your dehydrator, taking care not to overlap any of the slices. If any of the slices seem lacking in lemon pepper, sprinkle a tiny dash directly onto the naked ones.

5. Repeat until you run out of zukes – or dehydrator trays!

6. Bake at 135 degrees F for ten to twelve hours. Some time during hours four through six, pause the dehydrator and flip each chip over. (Carefully! They’re delicate, yo!) This will help to prevent them from sticking to the tray as they dry out. If some of the chips – the skins especially – still seem chewy after ten+ hours in the dehydrator, continue to run the machine in one to three hour increments. With oiled chips, fifteen hours seems to be the sweet spot for me. The drier, the crispier, the better!

If some of the chips seem greasy, lightly blot them with a paper towel as you remove them from the tray.

7. Store in an airtight container. Pucker up.

 

2012-07-16 - Zucchini Chips - 0003

Your only chance at eating seven zucchinis in one sitting!
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Hot & Spicy Zucchini Chips

Ingredients

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/8″ thick rounds
1 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin + extra to taste
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper + extra to taste
salt to taste (optional)

Directions

1. Begin by slicing the zucchini into rounds about 1/8″ in thickness. A mandolin is useful, but a steady hand and a large kitchen knife works well too. When cutting, try to maintain an even thickness so that the chips “bake” at the same rate. Toss the slices in a large bowl as you go.

2. Add the olive oil to the zucchini slices and mix well. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Stir with your hands, rubbing the olive oil into the slices as you go. If one slice is over-saturated, rub it together with another slice to spread the oil around.

Note: Use one teaspoon of olive oil for a small, store-bought zuke; 2 teaspoons for a good-sized, homegrown one; and a full tablespoon (3 teaspoons) for a ginormous, mature zucchini, complete with dime-sized seeds.

If you overdo it and add too much olive oil, don’t panic – you can always blot it off after the chips are done!

Optional: Reduce or omit the olive oil for a healthier chip!

3. Add the cumin and cayenne pepper and repeat step #2.

4. When done, place the zucchini slices onto the trays of your dehydrator, taking care not to overlap any of the slices. If any of the slices seem lacking in spices, sprinkle a teeny tiny dash of cumin and/or cayenne directly onto the naked ones. Salt lightly.

5. Repeat until you run out of zukes – or dehydrator trays!

6. Bake at 135 degrees F for ten to twelve hours. Some time during hours four through six, pause the dehydrator and flip each chip over. (Carefully! They’re delicate, yo!) This will help to prevent them from sticking to the tray as they dry out. If some of the chips – the skins especially – still seem chewy after ten+ hours in the dehydrator, continue to run the machine in one to three hour increments. With oiled chips, fifteen hours seems to be the sweet spot for me. The drier, the crispier, the better!

If some of the chips seem greasy, lightly blot them with a paper towel as you remove them from the tray.

7. Store in an airtight container. Serve with water. Or beer. Any cold beverage will do.

 

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Ralphie is captivated by my mad cooking skillz.
(Read: the food.)
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24 Responses to “Dehydrated Zucchini Chips (A 5 for 1 dealio!)”

  1. Tor Says:

    These look amazing! Salty and crispy and yum. I don’t own a dehydrator, but I’d like to test these out in a low-heat oven once I have a proper kitchen! Which were your favourites?

  2. Kelly Garbato Says:

    Salt & vinegar, hands-down! The celery salt is pretty tasty too.

  3. Nearly Naked Zucchini Chips » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] immediately after last week’s 5-for-1 zucchini chip post, I decided to try out a batch of “naked” chips – just a touch of salt, hold the […]

  4. Dawn Says:

    Can’t wait to try these recipes, I see you have two dogs, just wondering if you give your dogs the dehydrated zuc’s because I would like to know if they like them because I will try them out with my two dogs. (I am assuming plain would probebly be the best to give them)

  5. Kelly Garbato Says:

    Hey Dawn! My dogs loves dehydrated fruits and veggies – zucchinis, apples, peppers, watermelon. Unseasoned veggies are probably the best though, since they’re lower in calories and sugar.

  6. Tara Says:

    Yum! This looks great! Can’t wait to try it out. You know what might be really great? Use a spiralizer and make dehydrated shoestring zucchini!! I’ll admit that I bought the gadget and only used it three times to make zucchini pasta (which I love, by the way). I’m broadening my spiralizer uses :)

  7. Kelly Garbato Says:

    Hey, that’s an idea! I’ll have to remember come next summer.

  8. Salt and Vinegar Chip Substitution = Zucchini! Gluten Free, Vegan « Everything's Better With Vinegar and Garlic Says:

    […] This recipe is extremely easy, but there is one catch: You need a dehydrator. The original recipe I found gives a baking method, but I haven’t tried it, and this would jeopardize all the nutrients and goodness of this recipe.  But if you’re hard up, check it out here. […]

  9. Sean Says:

    I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

  10. Tarnie Says:

    I have millions of zucchinnis, so thank you, i will do it today…..

  11. Tammy Says:

    How long do these need to cook in the oven and what temp?

  12. Kelly Garbato Says:

    @ Tammy – I published instructions for oven baking zucchini chips here: http://www.easyvegan.info/2008/10/03/veganmofo-day-3-baked-zucchini-chips/

  13. Dehydrated Zucchini Chips | Says:

    […] Dehydrated Zucchini Chips […]

  14. Lee Edwards Says:

    works well with yellow summer squash!

  15. Heather Darnell Says:

    My zucchini and squash plants didn’t do so well this year, but my cucumbers did! Do you think it would work on cakes? I’ve been hoping to run across someone who has dehydrated them before.

  16. Monday Musings… Zucchini Chips and such! | zebveg Says:

    […] are many inspirations out there and I did use this blog http://www.easyvegan.info/2012/07/23/dehydrated-zucchini-chips/ as a jumping off […]

  17. MAIRBUNNY Says:

    I USE LITEHOUSE BLEU CHEESE VINAIGRETTE DRESSING TO COAT MINE WITH AND THEY ARE SO GOOD. I JUST DO A VERY LIGHT COATING BEFORE DEHYRATING. IF YOU PUT TOO MUCH ON THEY TASTE REALLY STRONG.

  18. MAIRBUNNY Says:

    I ALSO USE PATTYPAN SQUASH FOR THIS AND THEY HAVE A REALLY NUTTY FLAVOR. VERY GOOD.

  19. Kelly Garbato Says:

    @ MAIRBUNNY – This is a vegan blog, so thanks but no.

  20. Nunyz Says:

    you have way too much time on your hands

  21. Tish Says:

    Will dehydrating the zukes last over a period of time? I see you give for Christmas presnts. What do you do to preserve them that long?

  22. Kelly Garbato Says:

    @ Tish – I just stored them in Tupperware containers. As long as you got all the moisture out, they shouldn’t go moldy (though I guess they could go stale if they’re not in an airtight container/you let them sit too long).

  23. Beth Says:

    I’ve tried two batches of zucchini chips and both have not been crispy. I thought maybe too much olive oil, so the 2nd batch I did very little. I just got a dehydrator so am a rooky… Does anybody please have a suggestion as to what I am doing wrong?!

  24. Kelly Garbato Says:

    Beth – Are you drying them out enough? If they’re a little on the chewy side, they might need another hour or two in the dehydrator.

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