Crispy Parmesan Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

updated Jun 3, 2022
summer
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries Recipe

Bite-size zucchini batons in a crunchy panko and Parmesan coating and air fried until golden and crisp.

Serves4 to 6

Prep30 minutes to 35 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 24 minutes

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Credit: Kelli Foster

It is so easy to find zucchini year-round in the grocery store that serving fresh summer squash might not seem particularly exciting — until you find a way to serve the common courgette in an exciting new way. Enter: the air fryer.

From turning tired tortillas into crispy tortilla chips and serving restaurant-style chicken Parmesan with ease and efficiency, the air fryer continues to ignite culinary inspiration. That’s why there was no question that I’d reach for the air fryer basket as soon as zucchini season started. In this recipe, tender zucchini are cut into batons and coated in garlicky, herby, Parmesan panko coating that turns crisp and brown in the air fryer.

What Are the Main Ingredients for Air Fryer Zucchini Fries?

Air fryer zucchini fries start with zucchini, of course! Since this summer squash is packed with water, make sure to cut them into french fry-sized strips to ensure the interior stays tender while the outside crisps. You’ll also need all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and panko for the breading, plus egg whites to help it all stick together. Garlic powder, dried oregano, and grated Parmesan cheese are our pick for flavoring the fries.

How to Bread Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

Use a standard three-step breading process to turn strips of raw zucchini into crispy, cheesy veggie fries. Work in batches to coat each piece of zucchini evenly and completely. It also helps to designate one hand for tossing the squash in dry ingredients and another for dipping in wet.

  1. Dredge: Mix all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried oregano together. Dust the zucchini in this powdery mix first to give the egg something to adhere to.
  2. Dunk: Whisk egg whites until frothy, then dunk the dusted zucchini until completely coated. Egg whites are composed of water and proteins which will contribute to a crispier coating than a whole egg would.
  3. Crunch: Finish the fries with a mixture of grated Parmesan cheese and crackly panko breadcrumbs.

What Are the Best Dipping Sauces for Air Fryer Zucchini Fries?

Ketchup is my go-to for potato-based fries like pommes frites, but for this summery zucchini snack I opt for herby ranch dressing.

Air Fryer Zucchini Fries Recipe

Bite-size zucchini batons in a crunchy panko and Parmesan coating and air fried until golden and crisp.

Prep time 30 minutes to 35 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 24 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon

    cornstarch

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 3

    large egg whites

  • 4 ounces

    Parmesan cheese (about 1 firmly packed cup freshly grated or 1 1/4 cups store-bought grated)

  • 3/4 cup

    panko breadcrumbs

  • 1 pound

    zucchini (about 2 medium)

  • Cooking spray

  • Homemade or store-bought ranch dressing, for dipping

Instructions

  1. Place 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a gallon zip-top bag and shake to combine.

  2. Place 3 large egg whites in a shallow dish and whisk until frothy. Grate 4 ounces Parmesan cheese on the smallest holes of a box grater (about 1 cup), or measure out 1 1/4 cups store-bought grated. Place in a second shallow bowl, add 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, and stir to combine.

  3. Trim the ends off of 1 pound zucchini. Slice the zucchini in half crosswise. Cut the pieces lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick planks. Working with two stacked planks at a time, cut all the planks lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide sticks.

  4. Heat an air fryer to 400°F. Meanwhile, bread the zucchini sticks in 3 batches: Add 1/3 of the sticks to the flour mixture and toss until evenly coated. Transfer the sticks, a few at a time, to the egg whites and toss to coat. Transfer the sticks to the panko and Parmesan and toss to coat. Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

  5. Arrange a single layer of zucchini fries in the air fryer basket, making sure they are not touching, about 12 at a time depending on the size of the basket. Coat with cooking spray. Air fry until golden-brown and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the air fryer and repeat with the remaining zucchini.

  6. Serve immediately with ranch dressing, or place on a wire rack fitted over a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in a 200°F oven until all the zucchini fries are ready.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Arrange breaded, unbaked fries on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid and then transfer to a gallon zip-top freezer bag. Air fry from frozen at 400°F for 7 to 8 minutes, shaking the basket after 4 minutes.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet in a 400°F oven for 5 minutes.