Appetizers & Snacks

Zucchini Fries (baked, air fryer, or stovetop)

5 August 2022 By Aleksandra

These easy zucchini fries are the perfect snack – super crispy, flavorful, and also healthy. You can prepare them 3 ways – you can bake them in the oven, in an air fryer, or cook them on the stovetop. My favorite option is actually the air fryer or oven – they come out really crispy and stay crispy when you reheat them! Even kids love these! It’s a must-try recipe when zucchini is in season.

Zucchini fry is being dipped in marinara sauce. More zucchini fries scattered around.

Ingredients

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Here’s what you need to make this easy recipe:

Labeled ingredients for zucchini fries.
  • zucchini – use firm zucchini, not overripe soft zucchini, smaller zucchini is also better than large zucchini (it’s less watery)
  • flour
  • spices (optional): garlic powder, basil, and lemon zest (adds a wonderful, bright flavor!)
  • eggs
  • Panko breadcrumbs – I really recommend using Panko breadcrumbs in this recipe and not fine breadcrumbs, they add a great crunch to the breading, they really make a difference
  • parmesan cheese – for a better flavor grate yourself a block of Parmeggiano-Reggiano
  • oil baking spray – to coat the breading, and olive oil for coating the baking sheet, if you want to make these on the stovetop, you will need frying oil to cook them

How to make zucchini fries step by step

Breading station consisting of 3 plates with flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs.

STEP 1: First, set your breading station. You will need 3 plates:

1st plate or a wide and shallow bowl: combine flour with spices and lemon zest, season lightly with salt and pepper

2nd bowl or high-rimmed plate: beat the eggs with a fork and season lightly with salt and pepper

3rd plate or a wide and shallow bowl: combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese

A collage of 2 photos showing how to cut zucchini into fries.

STEP 2: Cut your zucchini into “fries”

Cut the zucchini in half crosswise (or into thirds if the zucchini is long).

Next, cut the zucchini into 1-inch (2cm) slices which you will cut into 1-inch (2cm) thick fries.

It’s important to not cut the zucchini too thinly or it will be too soft after being baked. It should also be uniformly sized.

Season the zucchini fries with salt and pepper on all sides. It’s important to do this directly before breading the zucchini or it will release water and the breading won’t stick to it that well.

A collage of 3 photos showing how to bread zucchini fries.

STEP 3: Bread the zucchini

Dredge zucchini in flour, then dip in beaten eggs, then coat in breadcrumb-parmesan mixture. Press the breadcrumbs into the zucchini.

To do this a little bit quicker, you can add your flour mixture into a large plastic bag, add zucchini fries, close the bag and shake until the zucchini is well-coated on all sides.

Zucchini fries ready to be baked. Baked zucchini fries.

STEP 4: Bake zucchini fries

Grease a baking sheet generously with oil and place your breaded zucchini fries. They should not be overcrowded or won’t be crispy.

(For crispier fries, it’s better to NOT line the baking sheet with parchment paper, but you can do that if you want to have less clean-up).

Spray with oil baking spray.

Bake in batches for about 23 minutes or until golden brown. Baking time may vary depending on the oven so keep an eye on them after 15 minutes. If they’re browning too slowly, you can finish them under the broiler.

Enjoy!

Zucchini fries are best eaten right away!

Zucchini fries on a piece of parchment paper.

Different preparation methods

You can prepare zucchini fries in the oven, in an air fryer, or in a pan on the stovetop.

You may think that zucchini fries cooked in a pan with lots of oil will be better than baked but I really prefer baking these. Baked zucchini fries are super crunchy and cooking them is hands-free.

When cooking zucchini fries in a pan they will absorb lots of oil and you have to babysit them and turn them over.

Oven vs Air fryer: zucchini fries prepared in both of these appliances are equally crispy. I prefer Air Fryer because they are done more quickly and thanks to that the zucchini is more firm. Cons of the air fryer: if you have a smaller air fryer, it may take a while to cook these in batches. I have a countertop oven with an air fryer function so I can cook a lot of these at once. It works great.

Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

An air fryer is perfect for making zucchini fries. How to make them:

Prepare zucchini the same as described above. Place apart in the air fryer basket and spray generously with oil spray. Cook in batches at 425°F (220°C) for about 15 min or until golden brown. This recipe was tested in a countertop convection oven with an air fryer setting so the cooking time may be different (a little bit longer) in comparison to traditional smaller air fryers. Cooking times also vary depending on the brand.

Air fryer zucchini fries are just as crispy as zucchini fries baked in the oven but due to the shorter cooking time, the zucchini is less soft which is a good thing!

Zucchini fries in an air fryer basket.

Stovetop Zucchini Fries

This is how I was preparing zucchini fries my whole life but after trying baking them in the oven I’m a full convert.

If you’d like to prepare them on the stovetop, it’s better to cut them into slices that will fit better in a pan and have just 2 sides that need to be browned.

How to do it: simply cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices (again, not too thin), bread like described above. Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium heat until very hot. Add zucchini slices and cook until browned on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack lined with kitchen towels to drain excess fat.

Serving suggestions

These fries are really good on their own but they are also great with some condiments. You can serve them with:

  • Yogurt dipping sauce (my favorite option): combine 1 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 small clove garlic (minced), 1/4 cup chopped chives, 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Ranch dressing (super good!)
  • Marinara sauce or pizza sauce or just ketchup
  • Avocado sauce
  • Romesco sauce
  • Garlic Aioli.

Storage

Let the fries cool down completely then store them in a tightly closed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Reheat in a 400°F (200°C) oven until warm or in an air fryer. They will be still very crispy but not as crispy as freshly made. Stovetop zucchini fries will be far less crispy when reheated.

More delicious zucchini recipes

Zucchini fries on a piece of parchment paper.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Zucchini Fries (baked, air fryer, stovetop)

These easy zucchini fries are the perfect snack – super crispy, flavorful, and also healthy. You can prepare them 3 ways – you can bake them in the oven, in an air fryer, or cook them on the stovetop. My favorite option is actually the air fryer or oven – they come out really crispy and stay crispy when you reheat them! Even kids love these! It’s a must-try recipe when zucchini is in season.
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Zucchini fry is being dipped in marinara sauce.
Print Recipe

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Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 274kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchini 2 pounds/900g
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (75g) flour
  • zest grated from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (70g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups (110g) Panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil cooking spray
  • olive oil for greasing the baking sheet

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Prepare your breading station – prepare 3 bowls/plates:
  • 1-large and shallow bowl/plate. Add flour, lemon zest, basil, and garlic powder, season lightly with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  • 2-large rimmed bowl – add eggs to this bowl and beat them with a fork. Season just lightly with salt.
  • 3-large and shallow bowl/plate. Add breadcrumbs and parmesan to this bowl and stir to combine.
  • Cut the zucchini into fries: Cut the zucchini in half or into 3 parts crosswise (depending on how long the zucchini is). Cut each part into 3 parts lengthwise and then each slice into 2 or 3 fries. You should end up with thick, at least about 1-inch (2.5 cm) fries. They shouldn't be too thin.
  • Bread the zucchini fries: season the zucchini with salt and pepper on all sides. Working with a couple of fries at a time, first dredge them in flour, then dip them in beaten eggs, then coat them in the breadcrumb-parmesan mixture. Press the coating into the zucchini. Transfer the breaded zucchini to a tray and repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Bake: grease a baking sheet generously with olive oil. Place zucchini fries apart on the baking sheet. Spray with oil baking spray. Bake in batches for about 23 minutes or until golden brown. Baking time may vary depending on the oven so keep an eye on them after 15 minutes. If they're browning too slowly, you can finish them under the broiler.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • The amounts of ingredients may vary depending on how big your zucchini is. Just make sure you have a little extra of each ingredient in case you need more.
  • It’s important to salt the zucchini directly before breading it or it will release water and the breading won’t stick to it that well.
  • Zucchini fries are best eaten right away.
  • Panko breadcrumbs are so much better than fine breadcrumbs in this recipe so try to not substitute them.
  • How to make it in an air fryer: Prepare zucchini the same as described above. Place apart in the air fryer basket and spray generously with oil spray. Cook in batches at 425°F (220°C) for about 15 min or until golden brown. This recipe was tested in a countertop convection oven with an air fryer setting so the cooking time may be different (a little bit longer) in comparison to traditional smaller air fryers. Cooking times also vary depending on the brand. Air fryer zucchini fries are just as crispy as zucchini fries baked in the oven but due to the shorter cooking time, the zucchini is less soft which is a good thing!
  • How to make it on the stovetop: simply cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices (again, not too thin), bread like described above. Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium heat until very hot. Add zucchini slices and cook until browned on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack lined with kitchen towels to drain excess fat.
  • What to serve it with:
    • Yogurt dipping sauce (my favorite option): combine 1 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 small clove garlic (minced), 1/4 cup chopped chives, 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    • or marinara/ketchup/ranch dressing/garlic aioli/avocado sauce/romesco sauce.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/6 of the recipe, baked or air fried version, pan-fried fries will have more calories). This is only an estimate!
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Tried this Recipe? Rate the Recipe and tell us what you think in the Comments!

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