I had grand plans for our zucchini supply this year, but now that we’ve tasted Baked Zucchini Fries, I’m not sure if I’ll ever want to eat zucchini any other way again. With their crispy, Parmesan- and Panko-crusted outsides and tender insides, this recipe is more than a side dish—it’s proof that a stand-alone vegetable can be legitimately delicious in its own right.
One of the absolute best things about ordering any kind of vegetable fries is that it feels like cheating.
You can tell your brain that you are eating something healthy (look mom, zucchini!), but I think we know what’s really going on here.
In a restaurant, deep-fried vegetables of any kind, while ultra tasty, aren’t what my body habitually needs.
Enter, baked zucchini fries.
Whenever I set out to lighten up a traditionally indulgent recipe like fries, first and foremost I prioritize making sure the recipe tastes fantastic. I never want choosing to eat healthy to feel like a sacrifice.
That attitude was the driving force behind the 130+ healthy recipes in my cookbook (so DELISH!!!), and it’s why you can count on these zucchini fries tasting fab.
For me, the biggest qualifier of a great-tasting baked fry is that it needs to be CRISPY. It’s why these classic Baked French Fries have been a hit with readers, and today’s zucchini fries are delightfully crispy too.
So crispy in fact, they can hold up to big-time dipping.
For summer, I am all about a cool, creamy basil yogurt dip. I’ve included the recipe for it below.
These zucchini fries also welcome a hearty dunk in marinara sauce for an Italian spin. I suspect my childhood self would embrace ranch dressing (adult self suggests this Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip).
You also can enjoy them all on their own. A tasty blend of spices mixed in with the Parmesan and Panko coating makes them snack worthy in their own right.
When I’m in a hurry and need a fast recipe to go along with dinner, Roasted Zucchini and Easy Sauteed Zucchini with Parmesan are more than satisfactory. They pair nicely anything and let the main event shine.
But when you want something that makes you ask yourself wow, is this really a vegetable?!, today’s baked zucchini fries are the move.
Tips for Crispy Zucchini Fries
A few key tips will ensure that your baked Parmesan zucchini fries turn out the crispiest in the land. In fact, they are even crispier than some fried zucchini fries that I’ve eaten out at restaurants!
- Coat with Panko AND with Flour. A variety of breadcrumbs popular in Japanese cooking, Panko crumbs are extra large and flaky compared to standard breadcrumbs, meaning that zucchini fries with Panko crisp more substantially. That said, Panko can be hard to adhere to the outside of foods. Coating the zucchini fries with flour in addition to Panko ensures every bit of the surface is covered. It’s the best of both worlds.
- Pat the Zucchini Dry. Zucchini has a lot of natural moisture. Use paper towels to pat the sliced zucchini sticks dry prior to adding the coating to help them crisp.
- Egg White. Beaten egg whites help the Panko and flour coating stick, and because egg whites become crispy when baked, they help the zucchini crisp further. You’ll find this same egg white trick at play in recipes like Honey Almond Flax Healthy Granola and Sweet Spicy Chex Mix.
- Separate the Fries on the Sheet Pan. Ensuring each zucchini stick has some breathing room around it allows the air to circulate and ensures the zucchini fries roast, not steam.
How to Make Zucchini Fries
- Zucchini. Our scrumptious star veggie. The zucchini spears stay wonderfully tender and moist on the inside, while the outsides turn crispy. Plus, zucchini is packed with antioxidants and fiber (can you say second helpings?).
- Panko + Parmesan. Creates the glorious crispy and toasty exterior of these fries.
- Flour. Helps the Panko and Parmesan stick to the zucchini. Both white whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour will work here (I used white whole wheat).
- Spices. A combination of salt, pepper, and onion powder gives these fries an extra kick of flavor.
- Egg Whites. The secret ingredient that makes the coating stick and helps the fries crisp.
- Pat the zucchini spears dry with a towel.
- Mix the Panko, flour, Parmesan, and spices together in a shallow dish. Whisk the egg whites until foamy in a separate bowl.
- Working 5 or so spears at a time, coat the zucchini in the egg whites.
- Dredge the spears in the Panko mixture.
- Arrange the spears in an even layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, making sure they do not touch. Repeat with the remaining zucchini.
- Coat the zucchini with cooking spray, then bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees F. Spray the fries once more. Rotate the pan 180 degrees, and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Prepare the basil dipping sauce (if using). Serve fries immediately, and ENJOY!
How to Store and Reheat Zucchini Fries
- To Store. Place leftover zucchini fries in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- To Reheat. For best results, rewarm the zucchini fries in the oven at 375 degrees F on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray. Do not reheat fries in the microwave—the will be come mushy.
What to Serve with Zucchini Fries
More Healthy Zucchini Recipes
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
: 6 servings (about 48 fries)
These easy Baked Zucchini Fries with Parmesan and Panko are just as crisp as fried fries for a fraction of the calories! A healthy, kid-friendly side dish or appetizer.
FOR THE ZUCCHINI FRIES:
- 3 medium 7-inch zucchini — cut into 1/2 inch x 3 1/2-inch “sticks” (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour — or all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large egg whites
- Nonstick cooking spray — olive oil or canola oil flavored
FOR THE BASIL DIPPING SAUCE:
- 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil — or ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 clove minced garlic — about 1 teaspoon
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 ground black pepper
Make the fries: Position racks in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a large, rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Spread the sliced zucchini onto paper towels or a damp kitchen towel. Lightly pat dry. Let rest on the towels while you prepare the coating.
In wide, shallow dish (a pie dish works well) combine the Panko, flour, Parmesan, salt, onion powder, and pepper. In a separate bowl that is large enough to coat the zucchini, briskly whisk the egg whites until lightly foamy.
Working five or six zucchini fries at a time, place the zucchini in the bowl with the egg whites, tossing to coat them evenly. Shake off any excess egg white, then add them to the bowl with the Panko. Coat them with the Panko, pressing it on lightly so that it adheres. Arrange the zucchini on the baking sheet. Line up the sticks so that they are near each other and all fit, but make sure they do not touch. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
Lightly but thoroughly coat the exposed sides of the zucchini with the cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and lightly coat with baking spray once more. Return to the oven, rotating the pan 180 degrees, then continue baking for 10 additional minutes, until the crumbles are crisp and golden and the insides are tender.
While the zucchini bakes, prepare the dipping sauce. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients: the Greek yogurt, basil, garlic, Worcestershire, salt, and paper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Serve the fries immediately, with the sauce for dipping.
- TO STORE: Place leftover zucchini fries in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- TO REHEAT: For best results, rewarm the zucchini fries in the oven at 375 degrees F on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray. Do not reheat fries in the microwave—the will be come mushy.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: baked zucchini fries, crispy zucchini fries, healthy zucchini recipe, parmesan zucchini fries, zucchini fries panko, zucchini fries with flour
Amount per serving (1 (of 6); about 8 fries without dipping sauce) — Calories: 124, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Potassium: 289mg, Carbohydrates: 12g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 5g, Vitamin A: 232%, Vitamin C: 18%, Calcium: 75%, Iron: 1%
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