Zucchini Fries are an amazing alternative to potato fries when you want the crispiness and crunch but without the calories and carbs. These Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fries are dusted in flour, dipped in an egg and milk mixture and coated in a combination of Panko bread crumbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Then, they are baked to crispy perfection – that’s right, baked, not fried!
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fries
While the star of the show is fresh zucchini, the breading also shines.
Flour Mixture: For the flour mixture I used all-purpose flour, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Wet Ingredients: I combined an egg and milk to provide the binding of the breading.
Breading Mixture: I used a combination of Panko bread crumbs, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning for the breading.
Other: To prevent the zucchini sticks from sticking, I used olive oil.
Preparing the Zucchini
I started by removing the ends of the zucchini and cutting each one in half. Then, I cut each of the halves into 12 pieces that were roughly 3 ½ to 4-inches long.
A key to the crispiness of these zucchini fries is the removal of as much moisture as possible from the zucchini. One thing that I did to minimize the moisture was to cut away the seeds from the zucchini sticks. The reason is that the seeds contain a lot of the moisture.
Another thing that I did to minimize the moisture was to salt the zucchini sticks. Salt works quite well at drawing out moisture.
Therefore, first, I placed the zucchini sticks skin side down in a single layer on paper towels. Then, I sprinkled the zucchini sticks with some salt and let them sit for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, a lot of the moisture had beaded up on the zucchini sticks. I blotted the zucchini sticks with paper towels to remove this moisture.
Breading the Zucchini Fries
Before breading the zucchini, I placed a cooling rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Then, I brushed the rack with olive oil to minimize sticking. The reason for using the cooling rack was to allow the heat to circulate around the zucchini fries to maximize the crispiness.
For the breading of the zucchini fries, I used both flour seasoned with salt and pepper combined in a Ziploc bag, and Panko bread crumbs combined with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning in a dish.
I started by adding the zucchini sticks to the flour mixture and gave the Ziploc bag a good shake to coat the zucchini.
Then, I dipped the coated zucchini sticks in a mixture of egg and milk and coated them in the Panko/Parmesan cheese mixture. I placed the breaded zucchini in a single layer on the prepared rack.
As a final step, I brushed the zucchini fries with some additional olive oil. Then, I popped the zucchini fries into a preheated 425°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until they were crispy and golden brown.
I served the Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fries with a spicy dipping sauce (I’ll include the recipe below).
The Crispy Parmesan Zucchini fries were crisp and amazing. You should definitely try them. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
Zucchini is low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. In addition, zucchini is rich in antioxidants. Because the zucchini fries are baked rather than fried, they provide a healthier alternative to regular French fries.
The recipe below was made using a conventional oven. However, zucchini fries can definitely be made in an air fryer.
Zucchini fries can be successfully reheated in a 375°F oven for about 10 minutes on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray or lined with nonstick aluminum foil. They can also be reheated in an air fryer at 400°F for about 5 minutes. However, zucchini fries will become mushy if reheated in the microwave.
The secret to crispy zucchini fries is removing as much moisture as possible from the zucchini before they are breaded and cooked.
Regular bread crumbs work fine instead of Panko bread crumbs.
The reason for using a rack when baking the zucchini fries is to allow the hot air to circulate around the zucchini fries. However, you can omit the baking rack, but should turn the zucchini fries half way through the cooking. Be sure to coat the baking sheet well with oil or nonstick spray.
Other Delicious Zucchini Recipes
If you’re a fan of zucchini like I am, you should check out these delicious zucchini recipes.
- Creamy Puréed Zucchini Soup: Creamy Puréed Zucchini Soup is both quick and easy to make, and delicious to serve. This amazing soup is light and filling, and equally good served hot or cold. It’s the perfect dish for a light summer meal, or as a starter for an elegant dinner party.
- Three Cheese Zucchini Tart: Three Cheese Zucchini Tart is easy to make, beautiful to behold, and delicious to taste! It’s made by spreading an awesome cream cheese and Parmesan cheese mixture on a simple no-yeast crust, sprinkling on some Mozzarella cheese, and layering thinly sliced zucchini. Three Cheese Zucchini Tart is perfect for a light dinner, or as an appetizer. It can be eaten hot, warm, or cold, and reheats beautifully.
- Easy Make Ahead Zucchini Gratin: A gratin is a dish topped with a golden browned crust of breadcrumbs and/or melted cheese. In France, gratins are generally made with potatoes. This Easy Make Ahead Zucchini Gratin is an amazing deviation which will have you coming back for more!
- Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bites: Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bites are loaded with grated zucchini, bread crumbs, and cheddar cheese. They’re the perfect appetizer eaten plain or dipped in ketchup or spicy marinara. The mixture can be made ahead of time and baked when you need them. Also, the leftovers, are just as good when they’ve been refrigerated and reheated. Did I mention that they are super easy to make?
- Zoodles: What are Zoodles you ask? Well, they’re an incredibly fresh and heathy alternative to pasta, made with zucchini cut into strands with a spiral slicer. When I brought my spiral slicer home, the Master Taste Tester rolled his eyes, but has come to enjoy its the tasty creations.
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Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fries
- 2 to 3 zucchinis (about 1 ¼ pounds)
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt, divided
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Olive oil for coating the rack and zucchini sticks
- Rinse zucchini well and dry. Remove both ends and into ½-inch by 3 ½ to 4-inch sticks. Cut seeds from each of the sticks (See Tip 1).
- Arrange zucchini sticks in a single layer, skin side down on paper towel lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 ½ teaspoons of Kosher salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, blot zucchini sticks dry with paper towels.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; insert a cooling rack into the baking sheet. Brush the rack with olive oil. Set aside. (See Tip 2)
- Combine flour, remaining 1 ½ teaspoons of Kosher salt and pepper in a Ziploc bag. Set aside.
- Whisk together egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
- Combine Panko bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish. Set aside.
- Working in batches, add zucchini sticks to flour mixture; shake to coat. Dip coated zucchini sticks in egg/milk mixture and coat with Panko/Parmesan cheese mixture. Place in a single layer on prepared cooling rack.
- Brush coated zucchini sticks with olive oil. Bake in preheated 425°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Yield: 4 servings.
- Serve with spicy dipping sauce (See Tip 3).
Chula’s Expert Tips
- The best way to ensure that the zucchini fries are crisp is to remove as much moisture as possible from them. One way to do this is to cut the seeds away. The reason is that the seeds contain a lot of the moisture.
- Rather than brushing the rack with olive oil, you can use a non-stick vegetable spray. It’s important to either brush the rack with oil or spray it to minimize the sticking.
- For the spicy dipping sauce, I combined ½ cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of Chili Sauce, 2 tablespoons of creamy horseradish sauce, ¼ teaspoon of paprika, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ⅛ teaspoon of oregano, ⅛ teaspoon of black pepper and ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.