Panko Crusted Zucchini Fries are crispy and seasoned on the outside, tender on the inside, and a great alternative to french fries. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and even your kids will be asking for seconds!
Another day, another zucchini recipe.
I think zucchini is my favorite summer vegetable and even though the groundhog ate my garden, I’m still making loaded zucchini skins, zucchini brownies, zucchini taco boats, and these crispy zucchini fries.
This baked zucchini fries recipe is a healthier alternative to fried zucchini and a delicious way to use up some summer zucchini.
You’ll get a satisfying crunch, tender zucchini, and the added bonus of increasing your family’s veggie intake all without deep-frying!
Why you’ll love these Panko Zucchini Fries
Zucchini Season – You can only make so many loaves of zucchini bread. Switch things up with this savory option and make crispy baked zucchini fries!
Perfect Side Dish – As much as I love simple roasted zucchini, zucchini sticks are a fun low carb alternative to french fries.
Crowd Pleaser – No promises but I think you might impress the whole family with this one, which is always a feat.
Easy recipe – Made with a few ingredients and baked to perfection you can whip up a plate of “fries” in no time!
Tools you’ll need
- Colander – To drain the excess water off the zucchini.
- Baking Sheet – I like to use a lipped baking sheet so nothing slips off the sides.
- Mixing Bowls – Shallow bowls for making your fry assembly line.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Zucchini – Fresh garden zucchini is always great, but picking it up from the market works fine as well.
- Flour – I’ve only tested with all purpose flour.
- Seasonings – Garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and lemon pepper.
- Egg – You’ll make an egg wash to “glue” the coating to the zucchini sticks.
- Milk – I use 2% because that’s what we always have on hand.
- Panko breadcrumbs – I prefer panko to regular breadcrumbs because they are larger and crispier.
How to make Panko Crusted Zucchini Fries
- STEP ONE: Cut your zucchini and place the pieces into a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let them drain. This will help get all of the excess moisture out (and zucchini has a lot of moisture!) to allow for the fries to bake to crispy perfection.
- STEP TWO: Once drained, rinse zucchini with cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat your oven and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and lightly spray with olive oil. Alternatively, you can use a silicone baking mat.
- STEP THREE: In one bowl, combine flour, garlic salt, onion powder and optional red pepper flakes and mix to combine. In a second bowl combine egg and milk and whisk to combine. In a third bowl, combine panko crumbs and seasonings and mix to combine.
- STEP FOUR: Set up your assembly line. First flour, then egg mix, then panko mixture. Dip each piece of zucchini into each mix, one at a time. Making sure to fully coat each piece of zucchini at each stage. I HIGHLY recommend keeping one hand dry, one hand wet. You’ll be happy you did.
- STEP FIVE: Place prepared zucchini pieces onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, making sure they have enough room between them all for even baking.
- STEP SIX: Bake at 425 until starting to brown and then flip each one. Bake until golden brown and crispy.
Let cool before serving and enjoy!
Eat as is or serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I make a simple dipping sauce of Ranch dressing mixed with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.
How long to bake them
All ovens are not created equal so it is important to keep an eye on your zucchini fries to not over bake.
I find that baking for about 10 minutes before flipping for another 10 minutes is ideal to get that golden brown color with a crispy exterior.
What are panko breadcrumbs?
Panko bread crumbs are used predominantly in Japanese cuisine. The process to make Panko bread crumbs and “regular” bread crumbs differ in that Panko crumbs are made from crustless bread.
They are processed into flakes and then dried. They are usually heavier and flakier and absorb less oil and therefore produce a crispier and lighter crunchy exterior.
Should I use the oven or air fryer?
There is no right or wrong here, so whatever you want to use, go right ahead, you will still get the same result! I traditionally always oven baked these zucchini fries, but now that I have an air fryer, I use that on occasion, too.
The oven, as we all know, takes a lot more energy and produces a lot more heat which may not be a good time in the middle of summer.
However, the air fryer is smaller so despite a faster cook time, you may have to work in batches to make sure everything is evenly spread with enough space around each piece of zucchini, which may defeat the point of faster cook time.
So, the choice is yours! Either way you will not be disappointed.
As I said, I like a simple ranch sauce with the addition of Frank’s Red Hot, however the possibilities really are endless! Here are some options:
How to store leftovers
Zucchini fries will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
You will be hard pressed to keep them from getting soggy. They will be ok to eat but you will probably want to reheat them in the oven or air fryer to get back some of the crispiness!
Can I freeze them?
You can freeze oven baked zucchini fries in an airtight container for up to a month, but again, you will need to reheat in the oven before serving to crisp them back up.
Panko Zucchini Fries
Need more ways to cook veggies? Try these:
Originally published February 5, 2013