Oven Fried Spicy Pickles with Chipotle Ranch Dip / by Chelsea Zwieg

You know what goes really well with shrimp burgers? Fried pickles. And with fried chicken? Fried pickles. And with any other dinner? And lunch? And afternoon snack? Fried pickles. The first time I had fried pickles was at a fried chicken place in Memphis. One of my first meals out in the South and it almost fooled me into thinking I might like the food there. Things like sweet tea came along to prove me wrong, but in that moment it was just me and some deep fried pickle spears and I was all about it. 

As I've said before, I can't be trusted around things like hot oil so if I want my deep fried pickle fix I will have to wait until my next trip to the deep south. But in the meantime, I can bake them. And let me tell you, I think they are just as good. 

Because they are coated in panko breadcrumbs they are super crispy and the panko can get mixed with any spices you like. I used cayenne because I like a lot of heat but that can be swapped out for something more mild like chili powder or chipotle. Or you can leave the spicy thing behind altogether and use something like garlic powder. Really, when it's a part of a perfectly crunchy pickle chip, you can't go wrong. 

And of course, this wouldn't be complete without some dip. I have realized that I am a serial dipper. If I don't have some kind of dip to go with fries (or fried pickles) I don't even know what to do with myself. This dip is a ridiculously easy chipotle ranch with a greek yogurt which makes it nice and and creamy but still spicy. 

So if, like me, you don't have access to the treasure of the South that is fried pickles, give these a try. If you are in the South, also give these a try. But then go get some real fried pickles too (and send me some). You can never have too many pickles. 

Oven Fried Spicy Pickles with Chipotle Ranch Dip

Serves 2-4

| Ingredients

For the pickles: 

  • 2 cups pickle chips (I used spicy sweet pickles, but you can use any kind you like)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper (you can use chipotle pepper or chili powder for a more mild heat)

For the chipotle ranch dip: 

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. ranch dressing mix
  • 2 tsp. pickle juice
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

| Instructions

Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire cooling rack on top. This helps keep them extra crispy, but if you don't have a wire cooling rack they will be ok. 

Place flour in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the two eggs. In a third bowl, mix breadcrumbs and cayenne. 

Drain pickles and pat completely dry with a paper towel. 

Working in batches, coat pickles in flour, dip in egg (letting the excess drip off) and coat in breadcrumbs. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crispy. 

Meanwhile, combine yogurt, ranch mix, pickle juice and chipotle peppers and sauce in a blender. Blend until smooth. 

Let pickles cool slightly and serve with chipotle ranch dip. These are best straight out of the oven. They do not reheat as crispy, but really, that never stopped me. I'll take fresh pickles, leftover pickles, pickles that accidentally fell on the floor.....