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.
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. 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 (Related: Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Kale).
Look what we just ate! Practically just vegetables and nothing else! I thought we had cracked the code for healthy eating!Oh my, how little we knew.
Now y'all know that here on Hey Nutrition Lady we've got a firm policy against food shaming and we don't believe in food guilt. 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?!
What goes into baked zucchini fries?
The ingredients list is short and sweet! Here's what you need:
- Zucchini --> Can't make zucchini fries without zucchini!
- Flour --> For dredging
- An egg --> For dunking
- Panko breadcrumbs --> For a crispy coating
- Some spices --> To spruce things up.
That's it! Super simple!
How do you make baked zucchini fries?
The easiest ways to make thse is to set up a dredging --> dipping --> coating assembly line. It's easier than you think!
Step 1: 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.
Step 2: The zucchini stick goes into the egg bath, were it gets nice and sticky.
Step 3: Now it goes into a waiting bowl of seasoned panko bread crumbs, where it gets tossed and coated.
Step 4: Put the crusted zucchini on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Step 5: Repeat the steps with the remaining zucchini.
Step 6: 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.
Step 7: 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.
Step 8: 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.
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!
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?
You sure can! My friend Sarah has 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.
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.
Other 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
Baked Risotto Balls
Baked Zucchini Fries
- 1 large zucchini sliced into ½ inch rods
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200°C. Place a large cookie sheet into the oven to heat up.
- Slice the zucchini into wedges about ½ inch / 1.5 cm thick.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place the coated zucchini fries on a parchment-lined baking tray while you get the remaining fries ready.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and spread 2 tablespoon 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.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly arrange zucchini fries in a single layer.
- 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.
- The zucchini fries are done when they're golden and crispy on the outside.
- Serve immediately with a dip of your choice.
- 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.
This recipe was originally published September 30, 2011. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on August 31, 2018. Last updated August 14, 2020.
These we're so good! I was surprised at how crunchy they baked up to be with only 2 tablespoons of oil!
alice k mynett
The two of us enjoyed the entire sheet of these by ourselves, in addition to a big green salad. That was our dinner. These little green fries are so delicious! You're right about needing an extra pair of hands for the dipping stations. I only had my own two, so added the help of a pair of tongs. So easy. Can't wait till my next family dinner where these will be the appy. Thanks, Katie - so delicious!
Look delightful! Will definitely be making these this week!
My new go-to food
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!
Is there anything that panko can't improve? I think not.
Zucchini fries are looking amazing. And lovely thing is these are baked not fried.
Yup! And who needs fried fries when they're this delicious and crispy when baked?!
Christine @ Happy Veggie Kitchen
Wow, these look amazing and so crispy! I've never oven baked anything breaded before but this has shown me how well it can turn out! Woo hoo!
Yes! I mean, I love a deep-fried zucchini fry, but these are so good in the oven why would you even bother?!
Sustainable Cooks - Sarah
Zucchini fries are the epitome of summer. I love how crunchy these get thanks to the awesome tip about the hot oil. Thanks so much for sharing!
The hot oil is everything! Makes such a huge difference with these bad boys.
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!!
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!
I was thinking of you when I was trying to get a zucchini muffin recipe in. Will you be grating and freezing any, or have you managed to use it all up?
I will have a good 10-12 cups frozen. It was a good year for giant zucchini!
These really do look good Katie! Once I'm retired I'll go wild with your recipes ... 30 weeks!
Not that you're counting . . .
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.
I will put my thinking cap on. I have brainstormed a savoury high protein muffin, but not high fiber.
Healthy Teen on a Mission
yummm! i love zucchini so i will love these 🙂
They are tasty!