Crispy and Easy Air Fryer Zucchini Fries Recipe

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Air Fryer Zucchini Fries have the crunch, the seasonings, and the scrumptiousness of French fries, but I think they taste better!! Enjoy air fried zucchini as a snack or as a fabulous substitute for traditional fries!

titled: Air Fryer Zucchini Fries


 

Are you a home gardener who grows zucchini? If so, then zucchini air fryer recipes are for you!

Because come September, you will probably have a counter full of squash that you need to use or give away to all of your friends and neighbors (and their friends and neighbors).

Some people call them zucchini sticks – I just call them delicious.

Every year I get fresh zucchini from the local Farmer’s market, and I love letting the magic of the air fryer create this great side dish. 

This air fryer zucchini fries recipe is a healthy snack for the whole family and super simple to make.

It can also be served as a delicious appetizer because the crispy coating gives them maximum crunch, which is too good to keep to yourself! 

I swear this recipe makes the best zucchini fries – and using the air fryer is a game changer.

Check out the simple ingredients and steps on the printable recipe card below, and you’ll have the best crispy zucchini fries in no time at all. 

air fryer zucchini fries ingredients in basket

Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

I make zucchini in the air fryer all summer long. They’re such a great substitute for potato French fries

Just as crunchy, just as tasty, but so much better for you. And, honestly, easier to make!

Did you know that summer squash is packed with nutrients? Vitamins A and B6, potassium, and antioxidants, and those nutrients are usually cooked out of zucchini. 

When you’re air frying, though, you get to enjoy the health benefits along with these crisp, salty, saucy fries. And the spicy ketchup dipping sauce is incredible! 

You’re gonna flip for this healthy, easy zucchini fries air fryer recipe. The squash-parmesan combo is ahhh-mazing, I know! 

Definitely try this grilled zucchini parmesan when you get a chance! 

And if you’re a fan of the noodle alternative, then I recommend serving this sausage and zucchini noodles dish as a main course at some point this summer.

bowls with coating mixtures for zucchini fries

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Zucchini – Don’t slice the sticks too thick or too thin. You want to make sure they cook through and that you get a good crust that’ll stick. 

    About 3 inches long and ½ inch thick is just right!
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – These are great because they’re so light and fluffy, and they have an amazing crunch that traditional breadcrumbs don’t have.

    BUT, you can absolutely use Italian breadcrumbs if you like their flavor better (or you just so happen to have some in your pantry). Really, any breadcrumbs will do!
  • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated cheese tastes so much better than the pre-shredded stuff. 

    Plus, it sticks to the air fryer zucchini fries more easily as they brown and bake.
  • Ketchup, Chili Powder, and Hot Sauce – Use all of your go-to brands for this one! 

    Add as much or as little of each as you want  mix it totally to taste. Use more hot sauce for heat or more ketchup for extra sweetness.

How to Tell if Zucchini is Bad

The texture is a dead giveaway. If it’s super soft and squishy to the touch, it’s likely gone bad.

Double-check by slicing the squash and checking out the inside — if it’s past its prime, it will be very spongy and have a sour, unpleasant odor.

tongs holding breaded zucchini

How to Avoid Soggy Zucchini Fries

The most common air fryer mishap is soggy, mushy fries. Luckily, you can easily avoid that by making sure you take a few crucial steps when preparing zucchini air fryer recipes.

  • Properly dehydrate the zucchini. After slicing, press with paper towels until they begin to come back dry. 

    Then, dehydrate some more by sprinkling squash with salt, letting them sit for 15 minutes or so, and pressing them again.
  • Cut into equal-sized pieces. If some of your air fryer zucchini fries are larger than others, they will come out soggy or worse — still raw in the middle!
  • Air fry in small batches. You also want to make sure you don’t overcrowd the basket. Make air fried zucchini in several batches to avoid this. 
breaded zucchini fries on air fryer racks

Storing and Reheating Air Fried Zucchini

  • Fries – You can keep any leftover fries in the fridge for a couple of days. 
  • Dipping Sauce – The leftover spicy ketchup keeps in the refrigerator for up to a month, but it’s so easy to make, that there’s no real reason to make it in bulk. 

    Just give the sauce a good stir before serving.

And reheating? That’s easy! Just throw the zucchini fries in the air fryer for a second round, and they’ll crisp back up in no time. 

Zucchini Fries Air Fryer FAQ

Why is my air fried zucchini soggy?

It’s likely that you did not get all of the moisture out of the squash, or that you cut the sticks too thickly.

It’s also possible that you layered the zucchini in the air fryer basket, preventing it from browning evenly. For the best results, make sure to add them in a single layer to the basket of the air fryer. 

What sauces go well with air fryer zucchini fries? 

I think that the spicy ketchup used in this recipe adds just the right touch of heat and sweetness!

But, if you want other options, I recommend trying any of my homemade dipping sauces:

Honey Mustard
Chipotle Lime Mayo
Pesto Mayo
Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce

You can also dip this air fryer zucchini recipe into ranch dressing, garlic aioli, marinara sauce, or anything else that you want to pair with the crispy texture. 

Can I make zucchini fries in the oven instead? 

Yes! Use my baked zucchini chips recipe as your guide for cooking time and temp. 
Slice into spears instead, or make rounds as directed. Just keep in mind that they won’t come out quite as crispy.

What other seasonings can I add to these amazing zucchini fries?

The sky is the limit on how you can season this perfect side dish. Adding garlic powder is a great option, or you can add Italian seasoning as well. Don’t forget that a pinch of salt is great for flavor! Cayenne pepper is perfect for adding a kick of heat, too. There are so many different ways that you can add flavor to these golden brown zucchini sticks.  

zucchini fry on fork dipped in sauce

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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bowl of air fried zucchini fries

Other Easy Air Fryer Recipes

bowl of air fryer zucchini fries

Crispy and Easy Air Fryer Zucchini Fries Recipe

Donna Elick
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries are tender in the center with a crispy coating. This air fried zucchini recipe is quick and easy to make too!
4.67 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Method Air Fryer
Servings 2 – 4

Ingredients
 

Zucchini Fries

  • 4 medium zucchini, cut into sticks, 3” x ½”
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dried parsley, for garnish (optional)

Spicy Ketchup

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Instructions
 

Zucchini Fries

  • Using three small bowls, prepare a breading station for the zucchini. One bowl for flour, second bowl for egg, and in the third bowl, mix together the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  • Meanwhile, working in batches, coat the zucchini pieces, in this order: Dredge through flour, then egg (shake off excess), then the panko mixture. Lay fries flat on a plate, repeating until they are all coated.
  • Arrange zucchini fries in a single layer on the air fryer trays or in the basket (depending on the type of air fryer being used). Don’t overlap them. *If using a basket air fryer, you may need to fry in batches.
  • Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Garnish with dried parsley, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Spicy Ketchup

  • Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl. Stir or whisk well to combine.

Donna’s Notes

You can use your air fryer to reheat the zucchini fries and they will be crispy again.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 734cal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 278mg | Sodium: 1718mg | Sugar: 26g | Fiber: 8g | Calcium: 533mg | Iron: 8mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): air fryer zucchini fries in white bowl

Originally Published July 2022, updated and republished July 2024

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20 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am sooo excited to make these!! I know they’re going to be a huge hit with my grandchildren!! I love all of your recipes. Thanks for sharing this. I’m wondering which air fryer you use. Thanks!

    1. We’re sorry about this error, Debi! The air fryer temp should be 400°F. to make zucchini fries. The recipe card has been updated.

      TSRI Team member,
      Becca

    1. Sue, the air fryer temp for this recipe is 400°F. The recipe card has been updated with the temperature. 🙂

      TSRI Team member,
      Becca

    1. Patti, the recipe card has been updated with the temperature of 400°F. 🙂

      TSRI Team member,
      Becca

  2. 5 stars
    Seems like this will taste great. But 1 serving sure has lots of carbs, calories and sodium. Didn’t think panko was that bad.

    1. Hi Hubie,
      You can use crushed pork rinds as a low carb replacement for bread crumbs, hope this helps.
      TSRI Team Member,
      Holli

    1. Hi Myra,
      You can use crushed pork rinds as a low carb replacement for bread crumbs. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!
      TSRI Team Member,
      Holli

  3. Very unhappy with calorie and carb count. Will try with pork rinds. Panko does make a pork rind “bread crumb” IF you are lucky enough to be able to find it. Amazon too sells crushed pork rinds that are 0 carbs but spendy.

    1. Hi MareMare,

      You could also buy a bag of pork and crush them yourself in a food processor or blender. Hope this helps!

      TSRI Team member,
      Becca

    1. Hi Ali,

      I haven’t tested this recipe in a convection oven. However, air fryers are essentially very small convection ovens, so you could certainly try it! Please come back and let us know how it works for you.

      TSRI Team member,
      Becca

  4. 4 stars
    If you use panko, be warned that it’s crunchiness will be weaponized; and you will shred the roof of your mouth eating these. Other than that, it was a nice recipe.

    1. I hope your mouth healed quickly, Ann! I really like super crunchy fries, so panko crumbs are my favorite. You might want to make the recipe with regular bread crumbs, or even crush pork rinds and see if you can tolerate the crispiness a little better. 🙂

      TSRI Team member,
      Becca

  5. Love zucchini fries. Have made these in my oven but now that I have an air fryer I will be making them in my fryer.
    Noticed you have boxed grater listed under equipment used…………but where does that come in at on the recipe?

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