This is the BEST Air Fryer Zucchini Fries recipe! Made with parmesan breading and air-fried until tender and crispy, these zucchini fries make a perfect appetizer or side dish.
When zucchini is plentiful, there is nothing better than a slice of Homemade Zucchini Bread or a Chocolate Zucchini Muffin. But if you are craving something savory, crispy zucchini fries always hit the spot.
And this recipe for Air Fryer Zucchini Fries is the absolute best version of zucchini fries for many reasons.
Why You Will Love Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- Better For You. Using the air fryer to make zucchini fries gives you the same "fried" taste without the excessive amount of oil, just as it does in my recipe for Air Fryer French Fries.
- Perfect Breading. Made with a combination of panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, the coating on these zucchini fries is light, crispy, and cheesy. Simply delicious!
- Quick & Easy Recipe. This recipe from start to finish takes under 30 minutes. And because you are using the air fryer, the cooking process is hands-off and requires no need to preheat the oven (or deep fryer!)
- Options for Serving. Crispy Breaded Zucchini Fries make a delicious appetizer or irresistible vegetable side dish! They taste phenomenal on their own, but also are delicious dipped into ranch dressing or spaghetti sauce.
Notes on Ingredients
- Zucchini: I recommend using small or medium zucchini that is bright green, without blemish, and firm. Smaller zucchini has fewer seeds and is overall less bitter than larger zucchini, therefore making it a better option for this recipe.
- Flour: Using flour will help the crispy panko breading stick to the zucchini fries. You can opt to use whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, or a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend.
- Egg: The egg is needed to help the breading adhere to the zucchini.
- Breadcrumbs: For best results, panko breadcrumbs, or Japanese-style breadcrumbs, are best for this zucchini recipe. Panko is lighter than traditional breadcrumbs and will help to form a crispy breading on the fries.
- Parmesan: Adding parmesan cheese to the breading adds an irresistible flavor to these zucchini fries. For the best flavor, use freshly grated parmesan versus parmesan from a canister.
- Seasoning: Garlic powder and a few red pepper flakes go a long way to add flavor to the breading. Feel free to omit the red pepper flakes if you are sensitive to spice.
- Cooking Spray: Instead of using oil to fry these zucchini fries, you only need to lightly spray the fries with cooking spray and still achieve a crispy, golden breading. I recommend using an olive oil spray for the best flavor.
How to Make Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
Step One: Prepare the Zucchini Fries. To make "fries" out of zucchini, cut each zucchini into sticks that are each about ½ inch thick by 4 inches long. After cutting the cutting into sticks, gently pat them dry using a paper towel, as this will help remove excess moisture and help the breading adhere to the zucchini.
Step Two: Prepare Breading Station. There are three main components to the breading. The flour mixture, the egg wash, and the panko parmesan mixture. I find it is best to use shallow dishes for the breading station to make for easy dipping.
Step Three: Bread the Zucchini. This recipe uses a 3-step process for breading the zucchini fries. By dipping each zucchini stick into flour, followed by the egg wash, followed by the panko breading, you will ensure that the breading sticks to the zucchini fries. Once breaded, place the breaded zucchini in an even layer in the basket or tray of the air fryer.
Step Four: Air Fry Zucchini Fries. Air fry the zucchini for 7 minutes, flip, and continue to cook for another 6-7 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and the breading is golden.
Leftover Zucchini Fries
Zucchini Fries are best served immediately after air-frying when they are crisp and warm.
If you have leftover zucchini fries, store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat the zucchini fries in the air fryer at 360 degrees F for 2 minutes per side.
- Dairy-Free Zucchini Fries: Omit the added parmesan cheese and increase the panko to 1 full cup of panko breadcrumbs.
- Gluten-Free Zucchini Fries: To make these fries gluten-free, use an all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free flour and gluten-free panko breadcrumbs.
Yes! Spray a baking rack that fits onto a sheet pan with cooking spray and place the rack onto a sheet pan. Place the breaded zucchini onto the prepared pan and spray the tops with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20-23 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Alternatively, you can place your breaded zucchini onto a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Spray the zucchini with cooking spray and bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Carefully flip the zucchini over, spray with cooking spray again, and return to the oven for another 10-13 minutes.
Absolutely. Use the air fryer setting and set as the recipe directs. Keep in mind that you will need to work in batches, as your Instant Pot will not fit as many fries.
It is best to not overlap the zucchini fries in the air fryer, as that will prevent them from cooking evenly. Therefore, depending on how many zucchini fries you make, you may need to cook them in batches. Keep the first batch in a 200- degrees F oven while the other batch air fries.
More Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes
- Air Fryer Potatoes
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- Air Fryer Squash
- Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan
- Air Fryer French Fries
If you enjoyed these Air Fryer Zucchini Fries, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- 2 small zucchini
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- If needed per your model, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Spray the basket or tray with nonstick spray.
- Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut the zucchini into ½ inch by 4-inch sticks. Gently pat the zucchini sticks with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
- Prepare the breading station by setting up 3 shallow dishes. In the first dish, mix the flour with the salt. In the second dish, whisk the egg with 2 tablespoons of water. In the final dish, combine the panko, Parmesan, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
- Dredge the zucchini sticks in the four, shaking off the excess, then dip them into the egg mixture. Allow the excess egg to drip off and then finally coat the sticks in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.
- Place the breaded zucchini in the greased basket, working in batches if needed to leave space between each fry, and spray the tops of the zucchini fries with cooking spray. Air fry for 7 minutes at 400 degrees F. After 7 minutes, remove the basket or tray from the air fryer and flip the zucchini. Spray again with cooking spray and return to the air fryer. Air fry for an additional 6-7 minutes or until the breading is golden.
- Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.