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.

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Using an air fryer mimics deep-fried breaded zucchini but without all the hassle and extra calories.

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
Servings: 6

Air fryer zucchini fries on parchment with a light red dipping sauce.
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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!

Take that extra 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 chili ranch dipping sauce recipe that tastes great with these fries. Bonus!

By the way, that dipping sauce is wonderful with breaded air fryer eggplant and spinach balls, too. Be sure to try my air fryer method for spinach balls. It’s a real time-saver.

air fryer product image

Need an air fryer?

We love this air fryer! We’ve tried a few and this is a winner. It has a large basket and is easy to clean. Be sure to look at my complete list of air fryer recipes.

About Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

Better for you than deep fried. 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 and hassle-free.

They aren’t difficult to make. This recipe is really quite easy. 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!

I’ll get you started on your veggie fries here and give you a few extra tip. Look for the printable recipe card at the end of this post which has measurements, full instructions, and nutrition information.

Ingredient Notes

  • Zucchini: 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.
Overhead view of zucchini, breading ingredients, and a lemon half.

How to make zucchini fries

Prep the zucchini. Once you’ve rinsed and dried the zucchini squash, cut off the ends. You don’t need to peel them. 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 with paper towels or a clean dish towel.

Prep the breading. 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.

Three bowls showing breading steps and ingredients.

Bread the zucchini. The photos below depict the breading process. 1) Dredge the zucchini fries in the flour, coating each piece on all sides. 2) Dip them into the beaten egg. 3) 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!

Breading steps for zucchini fries.

Make ahead tip. At this point, you can immediately start air frying the breaded zucchini fries in batches, or you can put them all on a baking sheet or tray, and stick them in the freezer or fridge until you’re ready to “fry” them.

Breaded uncooked zucchini fries in an air fryer basket.

Air fry. 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.

Cooked zucchini fries in an air fryer basket.

Serve. 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.

Zucchini fry being dipped into chili ranch.

Make It Your Own

  • Change the seasoning. Add different seasonings or herbs to the flour or to the panko breading.
  • Try different vegetables. Use the breading mixture for other veggies. Try red pepper strips, they’re pretty amazing.
  • Glluten-free. Although they’re not exactly the same, air fryer zucchini chips with no breading are gluten-free, vegan, and keto friendly.

Make-Ahead Ideas

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 & Reheating Tips

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.

Large basket of breaded zucchini fries.

This nutritious summer squash (or perhaps you call it a courgette?) is low in calories, inexpensive, and so versatile.

More Zucchini Recipes

Recipe

Air Fryer Zucchini Fries Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 21 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
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.
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Ingredients 

Zucchini fries

Dipping sauce (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat air fryer to 380° for 3 minutes. Cut each zucchini in half and then into fries (about ½ inch thick and 3 to 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, breaded 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 the remaining zucchini fries in batches.
  • Meanwhile, combine ranch dressing and chili powder in small bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Yield: Makes about 36 fries but yield does depend on the size of your zucchini and how large you make the fries.Recipe can be easily halved, if desired.
  • Reheating: Fries are best served immediately but can be reheated in the air fryer on a low temperature for 3 to 5 minutes or in the toaster oven on low temperature (250 to 350°F until heated through.
  • Try other vegetables. The breading can be used on other veggies. Try red pepper strips, they’re really good!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 6fries, Calories: 256kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 650mg, Potassium: 429mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 520IU, Vitamin C: 25mg, Calcium: 150mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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