Zucchini Fries Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Cook: 10 min./batch
For zucchini fries that crisp to perfection in the air fryer, we coat them with a cheesy, herby panko coating. Dunk in warm marinara sauce for a full-flavored bite.

Updated: May 31, 2024

Every gardener I know is excited to see her first zucchini blossoms. It means summer is on the way! Not long after, though, the sheer volume of zucchini becomes overwhelming. By the end of the summer, no one wants to see another zucchini, much less eat another soft zucchini side dish.

You need crisp, well-seasoned zucchini fries to rekindle your love of summer squash.

In this recipe, a panko bread crumb coating coats the zucchini for a crunchy exterior and garlicky, cheesy flavor. You don’t even need a deep fryer to pull them off. Unlike crisp zucchini fritters, we make our zucchini fries in the air fryer. (If you don’t have an air fryer, we’ll also include instructions on how to make zucchini fries in the oven.)

Zucchini Fries Ingredients

  • Zucchini: For best flavor and texture, use medium zucchini. Larger zucchini tend to have tougher skin, more seeds and mushier flesh.
  • Panko bread crumbs: Use crunchy panko to ensure the zucchini fries turn out gloriously crispy.
  • Seasonings: The bold flavor in the bread crumb coating comes from a combination of Parmesan cheese, basil, seasoned salt, garlic powder and oregano.
  • Eggs: Lightly beaten eggs help the seasoned bread crumbs stick to the zucchini.
  • Cooking spray: You don’t need a lot of oil to air-fry food, but a spritz of cooking spray helps the bread crumbs crisp up.
  • Marinara sauce: Dip the zucchini fries in warm marinara sauce. Use homemade marinara sauce or pick up a jarred pasta sauce from the grocery storee.

Directions

Step 1: Cut the zucchini

Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and then in half crosswise. Cut each piece lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices.

Editor’s Tip: You should be able to get about 32 pieces from two medium zucchinis.

Step 2: Dredge the zucchini fries

In a shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon of basil, salt, garlic powder, oregano and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. In a separate shallow bowl, place the eggs and remaining 1 teaspoon of basil.

Dip the zucchini slices in the egg mixture and then in the crumb mixture, patting to help the coating adhere.

Step 3: Air-fry the zucchini fries

In batches, place the zucchini pieces in a single layer on a greased tray in the air-fryer basket. Spritz with cooking spray. Cook until lightly browned, six to eight minutes. Flip each piece, and continue to air-fry until golden brown, three to five minutes longer.

Editor’s Tip: The fries won’t crisp up if the basket is overcrowded. To keep the fries warm, hold them in a 200° oven or loosely cover them with a piece of aluminum foil.

Step 4: Finish with Parmesan cheese

Sprinkle the hot zucchini fries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and serve with warm marinara sauce.

How to Make Zucchini Fries in the Oven

To make crispy baked zucchini fries, place the dredged zucchini pieces on a greased rack in a foil-lined rimmed baking pan. Drizzle the zucchini with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake in a 425° oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Skip the Parmesan cheese: To make dairy-free zucchini fries, omit the Parmesan cheese. Most panko is naturally dairy-free, but double-check the ingredients on the box.
  • Use a cornmeal coating: Instead of panko bread crumbs, substitute 1/4 cup all-purpose flour mixed with 3 tablespoons of cornmeal.
  • Cook the zucchini fries in a skillet: Slice the zucchini into coins and fry them in oil in a skillet over medium heat, similar to this fried zucchini recipe.
  • Try another vegetable: Use all kinds of vegetables to make fries! Try eggplant fries, air-fryer pumpkin fries, roasted carrot fries, air-fryer avocado fries or beet and sweet potato fries.

How to Store Zucchini Fries

Store leftover zucchini fries in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat fries in the air fryer, cooking them at 350° for three to four minutes or until crisp and warmed through.

Zucchini Fries Tips

How do you keep zucchini fries from getting soggy?

Some zucchini (especially large zucchini) have a higher water content than others, so you may need to take some preventative measures to avoid soggy zucchini fries. Before dipping the zucchini pieces into the egg, toss them with a bit of all-purpose flour to absorb excess water. Alternatively, sprinkle the zucchini pieces with salt. Let them stand for 15 minutes to draw out moisture. Then, pat dry with a paper towel and dredge the zucchini as directed.

How do you serve zucchini fries?

Serve zucchini fries as an appetizer or side dish for sandwiches or burgers. They taste great with warm marinara or a creamy dipping sauce like ranch dressing, Parmesan yogurt dip or garlic aioli (like the one in our spicy potatoes with garlic aioli). For a cheesy experience, try drizzling the fries with chili con queso.

Zucchini Fries

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 10 min
Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • Marinara sauce, warmed

Directions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 375°. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and then in half crosswise. Cut each piece lengthwise into 1/4-in. slices.
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon basil, salt, garlic powder, oregano and 1/2 cup Parmesan. In a separate shallow bowl, place eggs and remaining 1 teaspoon basil. Dip zucchini slices in egg mixture and then in crumb mixture, patting to help coating adhere.
  3. In batches, place zucchini pieces in a single layer on greased tray in air-fryer basket; spritz with cooking spray. Cook until lightly browned, 6-8 minutes. Flip each piece; fry until golden brown, 3-5 minutes longer.
  4. Sprinkle hot fries with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan and serve with marinara sauce.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 91 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 389mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.