Baked zucchini fries are a crispy crunchy appetizer that pairs nicely with a zesty honey mustard sauce. This recipe uses a traditional breading technique with flour, egg, and breadcrumb mixture.
Baked zucchini fries are a nutritious alternative to deep-fried appetizers. When squash is in season, I like to slice them up into spears and transform them into a tasty snack. Often times baking breaded items become soggy and lack crunch-appeal. Not to fret, this recipe uses just 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 a crispy crust. Baking the zucchini at high temperatures in the oven ensures golden brown exteriors.
How do you cut zucchini for making fries?
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. I prefer to select small to medium-sized zucchini. They have a better texture when there is some green skin left on the surface. Baking just the white flesh can yield soft interiors due to the high water content of the squash. Cut them into consistently sized pieces for even cooking, 3 to 4 inches in length, 1/2 to 3/4-inches wide.
How do you make crispy zucchini fries?
- 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: Dip the floured zucchini in eggs and turn to coat. This helps the breadcrumbs stick to the fries when dipping. The egg proteins solidify like glue when cooked ensuring the coating will adhere.
- Breadcrumbs: Completely coat the spears into the panko breadcrumb mixture.
How long do you bake them?
It takes about 12 to 15 minutes to bake zucchini fries for this recipe. I recommend baking on top of a wire rack. This allows even heat circulation around the entire fry, which means no need for flipping. If directly on a sheet pan, flip halfway through cooking. The pan retains heat much better than air, so it will brown the side of the fry that it’s in contact with quicker.
Zucchini is bland in taste, which means that there’s plenty of room to add in more flavor. The coating is a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic and onion powder, oregano, and salt. The concentrated flavors in the dried spices and seasonings really make each bite pop. The cheese also adds a savory taste, browns when baked, and gets lightly crisp.
Goes perfect with a dipping sauce
I like to make a quick homemade dipping sauce for these fries using simple ingredients I have in my pantry. Whisk together Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, black pepper, and freshly chopped basil. The zesty sauce is a nice pairing with the vegetable fries.
Other sauce options
More appetizer recipes
Use panko breadcrumbs for 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 more flat and larger surface area. Panko tends to be more crispy compared to the traditional Italian style breadcrumbs which are more spherical and smaller in size.
Baked Zucchini Fries
- 3 medium (454 g) zucchini, (1 pound, 454g)
- 1 cup (72 g) panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup (40 g) parmesan cheese, thinly shredded
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup (72 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) honey
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) water
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoons chopped basil
- 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 apply nonstick cooking spray or grease with vegetable oil to the rack.
- Cut each zucchini into 12 pieces, 3 to 4-inches long, ½ to ¾-inches wide. There should be about 36 pieces total.
- Mix panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and dried oregano together in a shallow bowl. Set aside for the breading station.
- Create a breading station: 1 bowl containing flour, 1 bowl containing whisked eggs, and 1 bowl containing breadcrumb mixture.
- Dip each piece of zucchini as follows; first in the flour and shake off excess, then in the egg, and finally in the bread crumb mixture pressing down and coating each side.
- Place breaded zucchini on the wire rack once coated. Repeat with the remaining zucchini pieces.
- Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. You do not need to flip them unless you're baking directly on the sheet tray, turn halfway through baking.
- Combine mustard, mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, water, black pepper, and basil in a small bowl.
- Serve immediately with the mustard basil dipping sauce.