Baked Zucchini Fries

These Oven Baked Zucchini Fries are a healthy alternative to deep fried, and they’re super easy to make! Nice and crispy on the outside thanks to panko breadcrumbs, these are a tasty, crunchy treat. 

A tray of baked zucchini fries with a pot of dip and a squeezed lime

Zucchini fries always remind me of the first time I realized I didn’t understand nutrition.

I must have been about 14 years old, maybe less, and had been out for lunch with a friend. This was a new thing, being old enough to dine out with a friend without parental supervision. It seemed so sophisticated (and wild! and crazy!) taking lunch at the neighbourhood White Spot.

I remember coming home and announcing, with pride, that we’d shared a healthy lunch, my friend and I, of zucchini fries (dipped in ranch dressing, of course) and a Caesar salad. Look what we just ate! Practically just vegetables and nothing else!

Oh my, how little we knew. I was heartbroken when my parents informed me I may as well have had an ice cream sundae for lunch with all the fat I’d just consumed. I thought we had cracked the code for healthy eating!

Now y’all know that here on Hey Nutrition Lady we’ve got a firm policy against fat shaming, both when it comes to beautiful human bodies and tasty delicious food. We don’t believe in good foods or bad foods or clean foods or whatever the kids are calling it these days, and we don’t demonize particular ingredients.

Having said that, when you can make beautiful crunchy oven-baked zucchini fries that are every bit as delicious as those made in the deep fryer, why would you not?!

egg, spices, flour, oil, panko, and zucchini on a grey background

What goes into baked zucchini fries?

  • You’re going to need some zucchini, my friends.
  • Flour for dredging
  • An egg for dunking
  • Panko breadcrumbs for coating
  • Some spices to spruce things up.

That’s it! Super simple!

baked zucchini fries assembly process

How do you make baked zucchini fries?

Ok, don’t let this part freak you out, but you’re going to need to set up a dredging –> dipping –> coating assembly line. It’s easier than you think!

First, you dredge the zucchini in a bit of seasoned flour. This makes the surface nice and dry so that the egg has something to stick to.

Then, the zucchini stick goes into the egg bath, were it gets nice and sticky.

Lastly, it goes into a waiting bowl of seasoned panko bread crumbs, where it gets tossed and coated.

Line up those suckers on a baking sheet, and repeat the steps with the remaining zucchini.

Then, you’re going to put a large baking sheet into the oven to get screaming hot. A few minutes before you’re ready to bake the zucchini fries, you’ll liberally coat the pan with oil. Remember, these are baked and not deep fried, so when I say liberal I freaking mean it.

Once the oil is nice and hot you’ll pull the tray out of the oven (please use oven mitts) and quickly arrange the coated zucchini in single layers. There are no process shots of this step because a tray of super hot oil + me and my camera trying to get pictures of that would be a hot mess, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

Since the tray and the oil are both nice and hot, the zucchini fries should start to sizzle as soon as they hit the tray. Put the tray back into the oven and bake those fries for around 10 minutes. Then, give ’em a flip and bake for another 10.

That’s it! Hot, crispy oven-baked zucchini fries are now yours to feast on and enjoy.

A parchment linked baking sheet of baked zucchini fries

Pro tips / recipe notes:

  • The dredging –> dunking –> coating process will be a lot less messy if you make sure to use one hand for all of the dry steps (dredging and coating) and the other hand for the wet step (dunking).
  • Recruit a friend / kid / helper and create a zucchini fry assembly line to make this faster / easier! But even if you go at it solo, I promise it’ll only take 10-ish minutes to get through the whole batch.
  • What kind of oil do you recommend for this recipe? Confession: I use olive oil for pretty much everything. Yes, it goes above its smoke point in this recipe. No, that doesn’t freak me out. But you could certainly replace it with a neutral flavoured oil with a high smoke point such as canola or peanut oil.
  • Can this recipe be made vegan? Probably, but I’ve never tried without the egg. The nice ladies at Veganosity have a recipe for vegan baked zucchini fries that you could try out if you wanted.
  • Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Again, this is not something that I’ve tried, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free blend, and there are certainly gluten-free breadcrumbs on the market.
  • I can’t find panko bread crumbs! Bummer, dude. Check the Asian section of your grocery store, or a specialty Asian market for panko. And if you can’t find them, regular bread crumbs will also work. I’ve also been known to mix half regular bread crumbs with half crushed potato chips for a panko-like effect.
  • Can I make this recipe in an Air Fryer? I don’t have an Air Fryer, but my friend Sarah does and she’s got a killer recipe for Zucchini Chips in the Air Fryer.
  • Can I make this recipe in advance? You can get the fries coated and ready to bake in advance, but once they’re cooked you’re going to want to eat them pretty much immediately so they don’t get sad and soggy. Nobody wants sad and soggy zucchini fries.

a hand dipping baked zucchini fries into dip

Hey Nutrition Lady, what’s the deal with Zucchini?

So much good stuff, my friends!

Zucchini is a starchy summer squash that not only provides a good amount of dietary fiber (2.5 grams per cup), but it also provides polysaccharide fibers like pectin that have special benefits for blood sugar regulation.

Not only that, but zucchini is a great source of antioxidant nutrients, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Since the skin of this food is particularly antioxidant-rich, it’s worth leaving it on when you cook with zucchini.

Zucchini is also a very good source of vitamin C, magnesium, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin K. Additionally, it has a notable amount of vitamin B1, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and iron.

a tray of baked zucchini fries on a grey background with a green and white tea towel in the background

Other fun zucchini recipes you might enjoy:

Kamut and Zucchini Fritters
Warm Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes and Halloumi
Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread with Quinoa
Chocolate and Olive Oil Zucchini Cupcakes

Did you make this recipe? Please rate and review below! Tag your Instagram photos with #heynutritionlady and mention @heynutritionlady so we can see and share our favourites!

A parchment linked baking sheet of baked zucchini fries
5 from 3 votes
Print

Baked Zucchini Fries

These Oven Baked Zucchini Fries are a healthy alternative to deep fried, and they're super easy to make! Nice and crispy on the outside thanks to panko breadcrumbs, these are a tasty, crunchy treat. 

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword Panko, zucchini
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 219 kcal
Author Katie Trant

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini sliced into 1/2 inch rods
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200°C. Place a large cookie sheet into the oven to heat up.

  2. Slice the zucchini into wedges about 1/2 inch / 1.5 cm thick. 

  3. Place the flour into a shallow bowl. Whisk the egg and milk together in another shallow bowl. In a third bowl mix together bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne.

  4. Start your assembly line. First dredge the zucchini wedges in the flour, then dunk into the egg mixture, and lastly place into the bread crumbs, tossing to coat. 

  5. Place the coated zucchini fries on a parchment-lined baking tray while you get the remaining fries ready. 

  6. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and spread 2 Tbsp of oil over the surface, or more as needed to ensure the surface is liberally coated in oil. Put the tray back into the oven for a couple of minutes to heat the oil. 

  7. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly arrange zucchini fries in a single layer. 

  8. Set the tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the tray from the oven, turn fries over, and return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes. 

  9. The zucchini fries are done when they're golden and crispy on the outside. 

  10. Serve immediately with a dip of your choice. 

Recipe Notes

  • Nutrition values are an estimate only! 
  • The dredging --> dunking --> coating process will be a lot less messy if you make sure to use one hand for all of the dry steps (dredging and coating) and the other hand for the wet step (dunking).
  • Recruit a friend / kid / helper and create a zucchini fry assembly line to make this faster / easier! But even if you go at it solo, I promise it'll only take 10-ish minutes to get through the whole batch.
  • What kind of oil do you recommend for this recipe? Confession: I use olive oil for pretty much everything. Yes, it goes above its smoke point in this recipe. No, that doesn't freak me out. But you could certainly replace it with a neutral flavoured oil with a high smoke point such as canola or peanut oil.
  • Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Again, this is not something that I've tried, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free blend, and there are certainly gluten-free breadcrumbs on the market.
  • I can't find panko bread crumbs! Bummer, dude. Check the Asian section of your grocery store, or a specialty Asian market for panko. And if you can't find them, regular bread crumbs will also work. I've also been known to mix half regular bread crumbs with half crushed potato chips for a panko-like effect.
  • Can I make this recipe in advance? You can get the fries coated and ready to bake in advance, but once they're cooked you're going to want to eat them pretty much immediately so they don't get sad and soggy. Nobody wants sad and soggy zucchini fries. 
Nutrition Facts
Baked Zucchini Fries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 219 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 431mg 18%
Potassium 294mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 17.5%
Calcium 6.5%
Iron 10.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This recipe was originally published September 30, 2011. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on August 31, 2018.

 

These Oven Baked Zucchini Fries are a healthy alternative to deep fried, and they're super easy to make! Nice and crispy on the outside thanks to panko breadcrumbs, these are a tasty, crunchy treat. #zucchinifries #zucchini #fries #baked #easy #healthy #crunchy #panko #recipe


 

Comments

  1. Sounds delicious.
    Cobb salad for dinner here tonight with perfect hard boiled egg and thin slices of leftover steak. The dates and blue cheese in small amounts really made it.
    Could you do a savoury low fat high fiber muffin? I’m craving that for my lunches.

  2. Awesome. Just pulled my last 2 zuchinnis out of the garden the other day. Admittedly most will go into making your chocolate quinoa zuchinni loaf, but one will be for these. Yum!

  3. These sound much more delicious than the sauteed zucchini and onions I was going to make … again … with the last of the summer squash in my fridge. Hmm … so tempting!!

  4. These were amazing! The perfect thing to do with the giant homegrown zucchini gifted to us by a friend. Can’t believe how crispy they got in the oven! Panko rules. And hot oil! Thanks Trant!

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