Crispy breaded air fryer zucchini fries are a such a fun way to eat your vegetables, especially with easy-to-make chili ranch dipping sauce.
Why you’ll love it: This is a very yummy way to eat zucchini!
How long it takes: 15 minutes to prep and 6 minutes per batch to cook
Equipment you’ll need: sharp knife, 3 shallow bowls, tongs, air fryer
Is your garden overflowing with zucchini right now? Don’t give them all away! I know that there’s only so much zucchini bread you can eat but wait ’til you try these air fryer zucchini fries!
Anything that’s breaded and deep fried tastes great, right? The problem is, healthy foods that are deep fried become not so healthy anymore. That’s why we love our air fryer. You can have your “deep fried” goodies guilt-free.
So take good-for-you zucchini, slice it into fries, bread it with panko and Parm, and air fry it. The air fryer zucchini fries have a nice crunchy coating but with very little added oil, just a light spritz.
Wowser! You’re going to love these. I’ve included a super easy dipping sauce recipe that tastes great with these fries. Bonus!
About this recipe
Zucchini fries aren’t difficult to make. You’ll need three shallow bowls for the breading process and an air fryer. Silicone tongs are helpful, too. If you haven’t picked up a set of those, you should. They are one of the most helpful little tools in the kitchen. They are heatproof and won’t scratch non-stick surfaces. Save your fingers!
Here’s how to make these veggie fries. I’ll give you a few extra tips here before you started.
Look for the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
What you need
- Zucchini: No surprises there! Choose small sized zucchini, about 4 to 6 ounces each. There’s no need to peel them, just slice them into thin planks or fries.
- All Purpose Flour: Flour seasoned with Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper, is the first step in the breading process.
- Eggs: Beaten eggs help the breading stick.
- Panko, Parmesan Cheese, and Lemon Zest: Combine these three ingredients for the tasty breading.
- Vegetable or Olive Oil Spray: A quick spritz helps the breaded zucchini fries get golden brown.
- Ranch Dressing and Chili Powder: It’s kind of amazing how good this easy dip is. And with only two ingredients! Try homemade ranch dressing or use your favorite store brand.
How to make zucchini fries
Once you’ve rinsed and dried the zucchini squash, cut off the ends. Slice each squash lengthwise in half, then cut into long thin planks or fries. It’s really up to you how thick or thin you want them. Zucchini tends to ooze moisture out of the cut surfaces so pat them dry.
Next, prepare three bowls for the breading process: one bowl for the seasoned flour, one bowl for beaten eggs, and one bowl for the panko breading.
Dredge the zucchini fries in the flour first, coating each piece on all sides.
Next, dip them into the beaten egg. Immediately dip each one into the panko mixture, making sure the panko covers all sides. I do find that the shiny green side doesn’t hold the panko coating as well as the cut sides. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of crispiness!
At this point, you can either start air frying the breaded zucchini fries in batches, or put them all on a baking sheet or tray, and stick them in the freezer or fridge until you’re ready to “fry” them.
Fry those babies! You may give them a light spritz of oil but to be honest, they cook up perfectly fine without it. The fries only take about 6 minutes per batch and there’s no need to flip them or shake them.
Yum! Make sure you make the creamy chili ranch sauce to dip them in. If you’re not a ranch dressing fan, try Fry Sauce (a French fry dipping sauce), homemade tartar sauce (don’t knock it until you try it!), or BBQ sauce.
Potato vs. zucchini squash! While both are nutritious, a potato has a lot more carbs and calories than a zucchini squash. Zucchini, you win this round!
I would follow the instructions that come with your air fryer. My air fryer manual says to preheat for three minutes. Yours may say something different. I find that air fryers heat up really quickly so if you forget to preheat, don’t worry, just add a minute or two to the cooking time.
Hmmm, what can’t you cook with an air fryer may be a better question! We love French fries, French toast sticks, chicken tenders, and chicken nuggets. Salmon in the air fryer is so good, and plain boneless skinless chicken breasts turn out juicy and delicious. And dessert — try hand pies or apple fritters! Check out all of our great air fryer recipes.
Make It Your Own
- Add different seasonings or herbs to the flour or to the panko breading.
- Rather have gluten-free? Air fryer zucchini chips with no breading are gluten-free, vegan, and keto friendly.
- Use the breading mixture for other veggies. Try red pepper strips, they’re pretty amazing.
Bread the zucchini fries and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray. Refrigerate them until you’re ready to fry. They can be frozen, too. Once they are frozen, put them into an airtight container.
Frozen uncooked zucchini fries will keep up to a month in the freezer. There’s no need to thaw them (in fact, we don’t recommend it – they’ll get soggy and lose their breading) but they’ll take a minute or two longer to air fry.
Storage and Reheating Suggestions
If you have leftover air fryer zucchini fries, they can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. The best way to reheat them is to put them back into the air fryer for a few minutes. A toaster oven does a pretty good job of reheating them too.
More zucchini recipes
This nutritious summer squash (or perhaps you call it a courgette?) is low in calories, inexpensive, and so versatile. Try:
- Best Grilled Zucchini – easy technique!
- Zucchini Feta Pancakes topped with sour cream
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Zucchini
- Grilled Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese
- Zucchini Noodle Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dressing
- Zucchini Rice Casserole (Brown Rice!) — this is comfort food at its best!
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
- Zucchini Noodle Mason Jar Salad with Farro and Mozzarella
- Preheat air fryer to 375-380° for 3 minutes. Cut each zucchini in half and then into fries (about ½ inch thick and 3-4 inches long). Pat dry; set aside.
- Whisk eggs in shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, mix together flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a third bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, panko, and lemon zest.
- Coat fries in flour, then dip into egg covering all sides before coating with panko mixture. Press fries into panko mixture to coat well on all sides. If desired, fries can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen.
- Place prepared fries in single layer on air fryer rack, arranging them so they are not touching each other. Spray fries lightly with oil, if desired. Cook 6 minutes, or until fries are golden brown. Remove from air fryer and continue cooking in batches.
- Meanwhile, combine ranch dressing and chili powder in small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Makes about 36 fries, but depends on the size of your zucchini and how large you make the fries.
- Recipe can be easily halved.
- Fries are best served immediately, but can be reheated in the air fryer on a low temperature for 3-5 minutes or in the toaster oven on low temperature (250-350 degrees) until heated through.
- The breading can be used on other veggies. Try red pepper strips, they’re really good!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.