Baked Zucchini Fries

4.85 from 71 votes
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Crisp and crunchy baked zucchini fries served with a zesty honey mustard sauce. These oven-baked fries are a nutritious alternative to French fries.

For more hand-held treats, try my baked potato wedges and sweet potato fries.

Baked zucchini fries in a bowl with dipping sauce.

Recipe Science

  • Coating zucchini slices in breadcrumbs and baking them at high temperatures creates a crispy exterior through the Maillard reaction, mimicking the texture of fried foods without the excess oil.
  • Using a binding agent like beaten eggs or a plant-based alternative helps the breadcrumbs adhere to the zucchini, ensuring an even, crunchy coating.
  • Baking the zucchini fries allows moisture to evaporate, concentrating their flavor and preventing them from becoming soggy, resulting in a satisfying, crunchy snack.

Why It Works

When squash is in season, I like to slice them up into spears and transform them into a tasty snack or side dish. Often, baking breaded foods can become soggy and lack crunch-appeal, but this recipe uses the right ingredients to ensure delicious results.

To recreate the satisfying crunch of their deep-fried counterparts, dipping the squash into flour, eggs, and then a breadcrumb coating creates the crust. Baking the zucchini at high temperatures in the oven ensures crisp, golden brown exteriors. Serve with a creamy dipping sauce for the perfect pairing.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Zucchini: Select small to medium-sized zucchini. You’ll need about 3, weighing about 1 pound total. The goal is to yield 36 pieces.
  • Breadcrumbs: For extra crunch, use flaky panko breadcrumbs.
  • Cheese: Shredded or grated parmesan cheese adds a savory flavor to the coating. When it melts, it helps the breadcrumbs adhere and become slightly crisp.
  • Seasoning: Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and dried oregano season the panko and parmesan coating.
  • Flour: Dries the surface of the sliced zucchini, acting as a primer to help the eggs stick.
  • Eggs: Create a sticky coating to help the breadcrumb mixture adhere when dipping.
  • Sauce: A combination of Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, water, and fresh basil.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

It’s easy to customize the flavor of these parmesan zucchini fries! Try these tasty options:

  • Squash: Instead of zucchini, make vegetable fries with other types of summer squash like yellow, crookneck, or Mexican squash.
  • Breadcrumbs: Try making homemade breadcrumbs, otherwise, plain or traditional Italian breadcrumbs can be used, but they will provide a finer coating that is less crunchy. I recommended using grated parmesan instead of shredded if using this type of coating.
  • Seasoning: Add smoked paprika, spicy chipotle or cayenne, cumin, coriander, or Italian seasoning. My Cajun seasoning is a great, savvy, and spicy option!
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs. Substitute the flour with gluten-free flour, arrowroot powder, cassava flour, cornstarch, potato starch, or almond flour.

How to Make Baked Zucchini Fries

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Set the temperature to 425°F (218ºC). The high baking temperature ensures a crispy coating. I bake the sliced zucchini on a greased wire rack for even heat distribution.

Slices of raw zucchini in a metal bowl.

Step 2: Prepare the Zucchini

Cut the zucchini into consistent sized pieces for even cooking, 3 to 4 inches in length and ½ to ¾ inches wide. I prefer to select small to medium-sized zucchini. They have a better texture when some green skin remains on the surface. Baking just the white flesh can yield soft interiors due to the high water content of the squash.

Chef’s Note: Zucchini is a favorite summer squash, known for its tender flesh when cooked and nutritional benefits. Their elongated shape and size are perfect for cutting into fries.

Multiple bowls that make up a breading station.

Step 3: Create a Breading Station

I use the standard breading procedure to achieve the crunchy texture. Set separate bowls with the breadcrumb mixture, flour, and whisked eggs—the breadcrumb mixture combines panko, parmesan cheese, garlic and onion powder, oregano, and salt.

The concentrated flavors in the dried spices and seasonings make each bite pop. The cheese adds a savory taste and browns to a crisp when baked.

Sticks of zucchini on a wire rack coated in breadcrumbs.

Step 4: Bread the Zucchini

Follow these simple steps for coating the zucchini fries for baking:

Flour: Evenly coat the zucchini spears first in flour, shaking off any excess. This helps to absorb moisture from the vegetable as it coats to keep the breading from becoming soggy.

Egg: Dredge the floured zucchini sticks in eggs and turn to coat. This helps the breadcrumbs stick to the fries when dipping. When cooked, the egg proteins solidify like glue, ensuring the coating will adhere.

Breadcrumbs: Completely coat the spears into the panko breadcrumb mixture.

Several baked zucchini fries on a wire rack.

Step 5: Bake the Zucchini Fries

It takes 12 to 15 minutes to bake zucchini fries. I recommend baking the pieces on a wire rack to allow the heat to circulate without flipping. The fries won’t be greasy, so no need to transfer to a paper towel.

Chef’s Tip: If baking directly on a sheet pan, flip halfway through cooking as the pan will quickly brown the side of the fry it’s in contact with.

Person dipping a zucchini fry into honey mustard dipping sauce.

Step 6: Pair with a Dipping Sauce

I like to serve my zucchini fries with a dipping sauce using basic ingredients in my pantry. Whisk together Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, black pepper, and freshly chopped basil.

Other Dipping Sauce Options

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make the zucchini fries in the air fryer?

Coat the air fryer basket with cooking oil or cooking spray. Add the spears in a single layer. If desired, spray zucchini with oil. Air fry at 400°F (204ºC) for 9 minutes, adding more time as needed.

Do you have to peel zucchini to make fries?

No! Do not peel the zucchini. The flesh is very high in moisture. If you remove the skin, it will become very mushy. The skin keeps the vegetable firm and intact as it bakes.

Why are my zucchini fries soggy?

They were not adequately coated with the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs for a thick crust. They may have baked too long, causing the flesh with high moisture content to soften and release too much water.

Do panko breadcrumbs provide extra crunch?

Panko is Japanese-style breadcrumbs made from wheat flour dried into tiny jagged pieces that look like flakes. The irregularly shaped crumbs have a more flat and larger surface area. Panko tends to be crisper compared to traditional Italian-style breadcrumbs, which are more spherical and smaller in size.

Serve This With

If you tried this Baked Zucchini Fries, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Baked Zucchini Fries

Baked zucchini fries appetizer paired with a homemade honey mustard dipping sauce. This recipe makes crispy & crunchy sticks using panko breadcrumbs.
4.85 from 71 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

Baked Zucchini Fries

  • 3 medium zucchini, about 1 pound
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, whisked

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil

Instructions 

  • Heat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the center position. Preheat to 425°F (218ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and place a wire rack on top. Lightly grease the rack with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil. Alternatively, bake directly on the lined pan.
  • Prepare the Zucchini – Cut each zucchini into 12 pieces about 3 to 4 inches long, ½ to ¾-inches wide. There should be about 36 pieces in total.
  • Create a Breading Station – Place the flour in a bowl. Whisk the eggs in another bowl. Lastly, mix panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and dried oregano together in a shallow bowl.
  • Bread the Zucchini – Dip each piece of zucchini as follows: first in the flour and shake off excess, then in the egg, and finally in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing down and coating each side. Place the breaded zucchini on the wire rack once coated. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
  • Bake the Zucchini Fries – Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. If baking directly on the sheet pan, flip halfway through.
  • Make the Dipping Sauce – Combine mustard, mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, water, black pepper, and basil in a small bowl.
  • To Serve – Serve the fries hot with the dipping sauce.

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: 36 zucchini fries
  • Serving Size: 6 fries plus sauce
  • Breadcrumbs: Traditional fine breadcrumbs can be used but won’t be as crunchy.
  • Make it Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs. Substitute flour with gluten-free flour, arrowroot powder, cassava flour, cornstarch, or almond flour.
  • Storing: Cool and refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • Reheating: Place on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake at 375ºF (191ºC) until lightly crispy and warmed through about 5 to 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 6 servings
Calories 31kcal (2%)Carbohydrates 3g (1%)Protein 1g (2%)Fat 1g (2%)Cholesterol 11mg (4%)Sodium 86mg (4%)Potassium 54mg (2%)Vitamin A 60IU (1%)Vitamin C 2.9mg (4%)Calcium 24mg (2%)Iron 0.3mg (2%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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28 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Linda says

    Baked Zucchini fries: divided recipe in half and followed directions to a “T”. Had a problem with the breadcrumb mixture about 1/2 way through coating the fries: the breadcrumb mixture became downright wet (even though I let the extra egg coating drop from the fry before coating in the breadcrumbs. Husband & I both thought the recipe was bland. I was very disappointed. It was a lot of work for the return. I’m sorry because I use Jessica Gavin recipes a lot and generally results are awesome.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Linda, I appreciate your feedback on the baked zucchini fries. I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy this recipe as much as you have others. Just curious if you used the panko bread crumbs?

  2. Linda says

    Thank you for your recipes. I look forward to your emails. I know I will be getting something interesting and delicious.

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