Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
These Air Fryer Zucchini Fries are a healthy upgrade to everybody’s favorite side dish. Coated with a cheesy, gluten-free Parmesan Panko breading, they’re golden brown and crisp on the outside and tender in the center. Pair them with all your favorite main courses, or serve them with your favorite dipping sauce as an appetizer or snack that’s guaranteed to satisfy your tastebuds!
Air Fryer Fries – The Zucchini Way
You’ve probably already heard of air fryer fries, but today we’re introducing you to air fryer zucchini fries! A lighter version of everyone’s go-to air fryer recipe, they’re coated with a gluten-free panko and “fried” to perfection. The end result is skinny fries that are so delicious you’d never guess they’re actually good for you. Even better, your little ones won’t even realize they’re eating their vegetables! Especially if you pair them with a side of homemade ranch or ketchup. One bite, and they’ll become your new favorite way to eat your veggies.
Ingredients You Need
We love to make these zucchini fries during the summer months when we have zucchini in abundance, but they’re great all year long! Here’s what you need:
- Zucchini – We recommend using medium zucchini for the best texture and flavor.
- Parmesan or Nutritional Yeast – This adds lots of flavor to the panko breading along with a boost of Calcium and protein. If needed, nutritional yeast can be substituted to keep these zucchini fries dairy-free.
- Flax Meal – Included in the panko breading for extra texture and healthy omega fats.
- Blanched Almond Flour – Unblanched almond flour will not work.
- Gluten-Free Seasoning – Any seasoning you like best will taste great! For instance, we love to use Italian seasoning or taco seasoning. However, no matter what flavors we go for, we also include ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, salt, and pepper as well.
- Egg – This is crucial to help the Parmesan panko breading stick to the zucchini fries.
Health Benefits of Zucchini
Although considered a vegetable (we even referred to it as one), zucchini are scientifically classified as fruit. However, no matter what they are, they’re loaded with vitamins and nutrients! For example, they’re an excellent source of vitamin A, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K. In addition, they contain small amounts of fiber.
As a result, consuming zucchini as part of a well-balanced diet may help:
- Boost Immunity
- Improve Digestion
- Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
- Improve Heart Health
- Strengthen Vision
How to Make Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
One of the best things about air fryer recipes is how easy they are to make, and this air fryer zucchini recipe is no exception!
Follow the steps below, and they’re ready in minutes with minimal prep time.
1. Prepare the Zucchini. Trim the ends of each zucchini, and cut them in half into sticks. Sprinkle salt over them, and sweet them aside to “sweat” and release their excess moisture. Pat the strips down with a paper towel, and set them aside to continue to dry.
Pro-Tip: To remove even more moisture from the zucchini and ensure it gets crisp, place the sliced veggie on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Or, pop them in a preheated air fryer for 2 minutes. Then, proceed with the dredging process as normal.
2. Make a Dredging Station. In a shallow wide bowl, whisk together the Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast), flax meal, almond flour, and seasonings. In a second bowl, whisk the egg until smooth.
3. Bread the Zucchini. Dip the zucchini strips into the whisked egg followed by the flax meal panko mixture.
Pro-Tip: Use one hand for dredging in the wet mix (egg) and the other for coating the fries with the flax mixture. Then, use tongs to place them on a baking sheet or the air fryer. This helps prevent a soggy mess!
4. Air Fry. Arrange the coated zucchini in a single layer in a greased, preheated air fryer basket. Spray the zucchini with olive oil spray or avocado oil spray, and air fry until they’re golden and crispy.
5. Enjoy! Carefully remove the fries with tongs, and continue to cook in batches as needed. Then, dig in while they’re still warm!
No air fryer? No problem! We’ve got you covered with a baked option, too.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Trim and slice the zucchini as instructed above.
3. Dredge them in the breading and egg wash, and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
4. Spray the zucchini fries with oil spray, and bake until they’re golden and crisp, flipping them over roughly halfway through.
Note: Place them under the broiler for the last minute or two for an extra crispy texture. Just be careful not to let them burn!
Tips for Success
Although these air fryer zucchini fries are pretty failproof, we’ve got a few extra tips and tricks to guarantee you have success!
- Slicing the Zucchini. When slicing your zucchini, you want to try to make them all equal-sized, roughly ⅓ inch thick and 3-4 inches long. Also, be sure to avoid the seeds inside the center.
- Avoid Overcrowding. Whether you’re making them in the air fryer or oven, you want to be sure not to overcrowd the zucchini fries. Arrange them in a single layer, leaving a bit of space between each fry to ensure they cook evenly. Work in batches, if needed!
- Adjust the Seasonings. Mix and match any herbs and spices you like best to make the flavor your own. If using a seasoning mix that does not contain salt, add an additional ¼ teaspoon salt, or adjust to taste.
- Make Chips. If your family prefers chips over French fries, slice your zucchini into rounds, and follow the instructions as normal, adjusting the baking time to make air fryer zucchini chips instead!
These air fryer zucchini fries are amazing served as an appetizer or snack on their own or with a dipping sauce. For instance, some of our favorites include chipotle mayo, Ranch dressing, nomato sauce, garlic aioli, marinara sauce, and mustard sauce.
How to Store
These fryer zucchini fries are best served right away while they’re still warm and crisp. However, if on the rare chance you have leftovers, they can be transferred to an airtight storage container and stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To reheat, warm them in the air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes or until they’re warm and crisp again. Be careful not to burn!
Common Questions About Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
The cooking time needed to cook zucchini in the air fryer will vary depending on how big they’re cut, how much you’re air frying, and your air fryer. However, in general, the total time needed for this recipe takes between 7-9 minutes.
Excess moisture is the most common reason why your recipe might turn out soggy. Don’t skip salting the zucchini, and make sure to properly pre-heat your air fryer before you begin!
Yes, zucchini themselves are a low-carb vegetable. However, they do contain a few carbs, and when paired with the other ingredients in this recipe, that number goes up a bit. The full nutritional information can be viewed in the recipe card below. No matter what, zucchini fries have far fewer carbohydrates than standard French fries!
Yes, this recipe is naturally low-carb and can fit into a Keto diet! Of course, consult your doctor with any specific concerns.
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