Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

air fryer zucchinie fries on cooling rack

These extra crunchy air fryer zucchini fries are a no-brainer solution to a healthier french fry option, and you don’t even need to deep fry them! Try to make these air fryer zucchini fries for a quick and easy snack at home. They go perfect with a tangy marinara sauce or a rich ranch dip. Learn the tips and tricks to remove all the excess water from the zucchini and create the crispiest breading below. 

How to remove water from zucchini before frying

Removing water from the zucchini will make it extra crispy. This step helps keep the batter layer from getting too soggy–it prevents the zucchini’s moisture from hydrating the flour and bread crumbs too much.

The best way to remove water from zucchini before frying is to let the sliced zucchini strips air dry for about 15 minutes on a paper towel-lined plate. Then, right before breading, pat each of the strips bone dry with more paper towel.  

How do you cut zucchini for fries?

The best way to cut zucchini for fries is to cut them into ½-inch thick long strips:

First, cut the tips off both ends. 

Then, cut it in half lengthwise.

Finally, cut zucchini halves into ½-inch thick spears. You should get 6-8 spears for one medium-sized zucchini.  

Breading and seasoning ingredients

These air fryer zucchini fries are made up of crispy breading and seasonings:

  • Panko for extra crispy texture
  • Parmesan cheese for nutty and tangy flavor
  • Italian seasoning for earthy and fresh flavor
  • Garlic powder for a savory kick 

I bread these zucchini sticks with a traditional breading method of flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs/panko. This breaded trio will give you extra crispy and crunchy zucchini fries. I add seasoning for extra flavor for both the flour and panko dredging steps. I add kosher salt, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder to the all-purpose flour. And in the panko, I add grated parmesan and more kosher salt. I also like to thin the egg wash with water so the breading doesn’t get too thick and globby. 

Tips for crispy and evenly browned breading

  • Before breading, let the zucchini sticks air dry for about 15 minutes to make sure you remove as much water as necessary and get crisp zucchini fries. 
  • Season zucchini in both the flour and panko dredging steps to get optimal flavor.
  • After breading, let the zucchini sticks rest on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes. This makes the breading stick better to the zucchini and gives you an ultra-crunchy layer. 
  • Air fry them in a single layer so there’s no crowding and all the surfaces of your breading brown evenly. 

What to serve with zucchini fries

Air fryer zucchini fries are a great snack or appetizer best served with dips like buttermilk ranch. In Pittsburg, where fried zucchini was popularized, they serve it with marinara. 

Can you refrigerate and reheat zucchini fries?

I wouldn’t make this ahead of time because, like all fried and air-fried foods, they do get stale after cooking. You can reheat them from the fridge, but since zucchini are very soft to begin with, you may run the risk of overcooking them during re-toasting.

I would try to serve them immediately and eat them in one sitting–not like that’s a hard thing to do because they’re so delicious. Since they’re so quick and easy to make, you should only make as many zucchini fries as you’re going to eat in that sitting.

Is fried zucchini healthier than french fries?

While these air fryer zucchini fries can be healthier than traditional french fries because they’re not deep-fried in oil and higher in calories, it’s important to consume them in moderation because they are still heavily breaded. Compared to potatoes, zucchini have a lower glycemic index, so they won’t spike your glucose levels as much as eating french fries. 

How long do you cook zucchini in the oven at 400 °F?

I air fry these zucchini fries in the oven at 400 °F for about eight to ten minutes per batch. If your zucchini sticks are larger than ½-inch thick, you may air fry them for at least 10 minutes or longer. If they are thinner, they will cook much faster, about six to eight minutes. Don’t overcook them, or they will get too mushy.

air fryer zucchini fries

Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

5 from 1 vote
Learn how to make these air fryer zucchini fries that are healthier than traditional french fries, but just as crunchy and tasty.
BY: Huy Vu
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Resting: 10 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ¾ c panko
  • ¾ c grated parmesan
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand

Equipment Used

  • knife and cutting board
  • paper towels
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • air fryer
  • tongs
  • shallow bowls or ⅛ size sheet pans
  • cooling rack and quarter sheet pans
  • fork or whisk

Instructions 

Prep zucchini

  • Wash, then prep your 2 medium zucchini. Cut off both ends off of the zucchini. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Then, cut each half into ½-inch spears. You should end up with about 6-8 spears per zucchini. Place the spears on a paper towel and let air fry for 15 minutes.
    cutting zucchini for fries

Prep breading station with 3 pans

  • In the flour pan, combine the ½ c all-purpose flour, 2 tsp kosher salt, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, and 1 tsp garlic powder. Whisk until incorporated.
    breading station ingredients
  • In the egg pan, whisk together 2 large eggs and 2 tbsp water until scrambled.
    mixed ingredients in breading station
  • In the panko pan, combine the ¾ c panko, ¾ c grated parmesan, and 1 ½ tsp kosher salt until incorporated.

Breading zucchini strips

  • Take one zucchini strip and gently blot it with a paper towel, removing all the excess water.
  • Place the zucchini into the seasoned all-purpose flour pan and turn until evenly coated. Tap the zucchini to remove excess flour.
    coating zucchini in flour
  • Then, roll the floured zucchini into the egg mixture and coat evenly. Let excess drip off so there's only a thin layer remaining.
    dipping zucchini in egg wash
  • Finally, roll the zucchini in the panko parmesan evenly.
    covering zucchini fry in panko crumbs
  • Place the coated zucchini onto a rack-lined sheet pan and repeat until all the zucchini are coated. Let the breaded zucchini rest on the rack for at least 20 minutes (preferably 30 minutes) before cooking. This allows the breading to thicken and stick to the zucchini better.
    resting breaded zucchini fries

Air frying zucchini fries

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 °F.
    preheating air fryer to 400F
  • Add the zucchini fries to the air fryer in one layer, leaving space in between for air circulation. If you have a basket air fryer, do them in batches so they don’t crowd, AND flip them halfway. If you have a toaster oven air fryer, you don’t need to flip them since there’s better circulation around the food.
    adding zucchini fries to air fryer basket
  • Air fry the zucchini for 10 minutes until they are golden brown.
    air fryer zucchini fries in oven
Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
Amount per Serving
Calories
237.79
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
8.73
g
13
%
Saturated Fat
 
3.95
g
25
%
Trans Fat
 
0.01
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1.1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
2.26
g
Cholesterol
 
109.31
mg
36
%
Sodium
 
2490
mg
108
%
Potassium
 
385.52
mg
11
%
Carbohydrates
 
26.81
g
9
%
Fiber
 
2.4
g
10
%
Sugar
 
3.35
g
4
%
Protein
 
13.22
g
26
%
Vitamin A
 
510.2
IU
10
%
Vitamin C
 
17.58
mg
21
%
Calcium
 
236.41
mg
24
%
Iron
 
2.58
mg
14
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy, vegetables
Did you cook this recipe?Tag @HungryHuy or #hungryhuy–I’d love to see it!

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