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Side Dishes / Snacks / Vegetarian

Crispy Air Fryer Parmesan Zucchini Fries

These Parmesan Zucchini Fries are perfectly baked in the air fryer. They have a crispy crust and are tender on the inside. This will be your family’s new favorite healthy side or snack!

zucchini fries on serving plate

My Favorite Baked Zucchini Fries

Since I first got my air fryer, I’ve been using it for everything! I love how crispy it makes everything but with so much less fat and mess than deep frying. Plus, my kids go bananas for anything that’s super crispy. If it looks unhealthy – they love it. But in the air fryer, it’s not – so I win! 

Making veggie fries in your air fryer is a serious #momhack. Get the kids eating veggies, delicious and healthy veggies, at that! These air fryer Parmesan zucchini fries are so good my kids actually beg for them. They’re easy, too, so I don’t mind making them on a busy weeknight. 

What Are Zucchini Fries?

Zucchini fries are little sticks of breaded, fried, crispy, heaven. Basically, you cut your zucchini into sticks the size of traditional french fried potatoes. You then dip them into egg wash and bread crumbs. This outer coating gives them an extra crunch. 

Really, you could do this with lots of veggies. Just choose your favorite. 

air fried zucchini fries on a tray

How to Cut Zucchini into Sticks

Perfectly cutting your zucchini into sticks might be easier than you’re imagining. 

  1. Simply cut your zucchini in half lengthwise. 
  2. Then, cut each half in half again, lengthwise. Now you have 4 long quarters. 
  3. Take each quarter and continue cutting it lengthwise until you have sticks that are the perfect thickness. 
  4. Finally, stack them and slice longways until they are the same thickness on both sides. 

Why Use An Air Fryer for Zucchini Fries?

Seriously, I’m fascinated by air fryers. They’re like these little mini convection ovens that fit on your counter top. They use super hot air and circulate it to give your food a fried crispy texture on the outside without all the added fat and grease of actual deep frying.

Cooking your Zucchini fries in your air fryer is going to make them healthier without sacrificing any crunch at all. And cleaning up is super easy! No grease splatter to deal with at all.  

Ingredients for this Recipe

Your Zucchini fries will have 3 main parts: the zucchini, the egg wash, and the coating. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • zucchini, cut into sticks (see above for tricks on how to cut them)
  • panko crumbs (you can also use all-purpose flour, almond flour, or coconut flour)
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • Italian Seasoning
  • sweet or smoked paprika
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • cooking spray

You’ll notice the breading does not include flour. Skipping the flour keeps these zucchini fries super light but still crunchy!

How to Make Crispy Zucchini Fries

Start by preheating your air fryer to 400˚F. It’s important not to miss this preheat step with an air fryer. Don’t just pop your zucchini in there and then hit start. 

While the air fryer comes up to heat, combine your Panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian Seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium shallow bowl. Whisk it all together to combine. Place your egg in a separate bowl.

Next, dip each zucchini stick in egg and then dip it into the Parmesan mixture. Make sure that all sides are well coated. 

Place your breaded zucchini fries in a single layer inside the air fryer basket. You will have to do this in batches since all the zucchini fries will not fit into the Air Fryer basket at once. Then spray zucchini fries with cooking spray. This will help them to get extra crispy!

Air fryer basket with zucchini fries

Cook each batch of your zucchini fries for 9 to 10 minutes or until they look golden and crispy.

Tips for the Best Zucchini Fries

  • Pat your Zucchini dry! The dryer your zucchini is, the crispier they will bake. Remove as much moisture as you can before coating them. 
  • Flip them halfway through! Even though the air fryer is great at circulating the hot air around your food, giving the basket a quick shake half way through will help them from compressing and make them bake more evenly.
  • Eat them right away! I know this one won’t be hard – they are just so dang good. But, Zucchini is about 95% water, so the longer they sit, the more soggy they will get. Trust me, you don’t want soggy zucchini fries. 

Zucchini Fries Serving Ideas

These zucchini fries are the perfect side dish to have with steak, roasted chicken, or even burgers! For a completely vegetarian meal, serve them with a yummy Impossible Burger!

We also love our zucchini fries as a savory snack or appetizer paired with a flavorful dip. Some of my favorites dipping sauces are Ranch, garlic aioli, homemade marinara, or Parmesan cheese sauce. 

Picture of zucchini fries with dipping sauce

Can Zucchini Fries Be Reheated?

Because zucchini is so full of water, it really is best to serve these treats immediately. They can quickly become soggy and lose their crunch. If you do have some leftovers, I recommend  freezing them. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes, then remove them and place them in a freezer bag. They will stay good for about 3 months.

To reheat, do not thaw them! Place them directly in your air fryer and bake them until they are hot and crispy. 

Crispy zucchini fries with dipping sauce
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Air Fryer Parmesan Zucchini Fries

These Parmesan Zucchini Fries are perfectly baked in the air fryer. They have a crispy crust and are tender on the inside. This will be your family’s new favorite healthy side or snack!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fried zucchini, how to fry zucchini
Servings: 4
Calories: 114kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients

  • 2 Zucchini cut into sticks that are ½-inch wide and 4-inches long
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs  you can also use all-purpose flour, almond flour, or coconut flour
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika sweet or smoked
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 egg large, beaten
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer to 400˚F.
  • Combine Panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian Seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium shallow bowl; whisk to combine.
  • Place egg in a separate bowl.
  • Dip each zucchini stick in egg and then dip into the Parmesan mixture, making sure all sides are well coated. 
  • Place zucchini fries in a single layer inside the air fryer basket. You will have to do this in batches since all the zucchini fries will not fit into the Air Fryer basket at once.
  • Spray zucchini fries with cooking spray.
  • Cook for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
  • Remove from air fryer and serve. 

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 279mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 599IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 1mg

13 Comments

  • Sara Welch
    February 13, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    5 stars
    Such a great afternoon snack, and healthy too! My kids loved these!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      February 14, 2020 at 11:11 am

      Thank you, Sara! I am very happy your kids enjoyed these!! 🙂

      Reply
  • Dorothy Reinhold
    February 14, 2020 at 12:36 am

    I can’t wait to try these! I am loving my air fryer more and more!

    Reply
  • Amanda
    February 14, 2020 at 12:41 am

    5 stars
    I cannot rave about this recipe enough everyone loves it!

    Reply
    • Beti
      February 14, 2020 at 11:09 am

      Thank you SO much, Amanda!! 🙂

      Reply
  • Vikki
    February 14, 2020 at 5:39 am

    5 stars
    Perfectly crispy and tasty

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      February 14, 2020 at 11:09 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed them! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Lynn Tremblay
    February 15, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    Can these also be done in the oven, if so, at what temperature, and for how long, thank you

    Reply
    • Katerina
      February 15, 2020 at 9:40 pm

      Hi! Yep, you can bake them in a 425˚F preheated oven for about 23 to 25 minutes.

      Reply
  • Mary Lowey
    July 24, 2020 at 3:20 am

    Cooking spray, as in Pam, or an olive oil spray ?

    Reply
    • Katerina
      July 24, 2020 at 2:20 pm

      Hi!
      Yes, you can use either one.

      Reply
  • E. Theresa
    July 30, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Did you line the bottom of the tray with parchment paper?

    Reply
    • Katerina
      July 30, 2020 at 10:41 pm

      Hi! Yes, I almost always do, but I use the parchment paper with holes in it because that helps with air flow. These are the ones I get (Affiliate link) –> https://amzn.to/33a4RqH Hope that helps. 😊

      Reply

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