Baked Zucchini Fries
Baked zucchini fries are coated in a crunchy layer of panko breadrcumbs and cooked until golden brown. This recipe is perfect as an appetizer or a fun vegetable side dish. Serve with marinara sauce or your favorite aioli.
How to make baked zucchini fries
Uniformly cut pieces of zucchini are breaded in rice flour, dipped in whipped egg whites, then breaded in panko breadcrumbs. You can absolutely substitute regular or seasoned breadcrumbs, but it will effect the texture! More on this below.
How to cut zucchini fries
You can cut the zucchini fries however thick you like, but the key is to make sure they’re more or less uniform.
Start by buying zucchini that are roughly the same size and thickness. Next, trim the ends off and cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Lay each half cut side down, then slice into long thin strips. Cut each strip into smaller fries about 3 ½” x ½”.
- 1 ½ – 2 lbs zucchini: it’s important to buy zucchini that are about the same size and thickness — this will lead to more uniform zucchini sticks that cook evenly
- 2 large egg whites: I like to use whisked egg whites to keep the breading extremely light; the frothy quality of whisked egg whites (versus regular whole eggs) creates a lighter texture on the finished product. Learned this one working in restaurants in NYC!
- ½ cup rice flour: regular all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour can be used in place of rice flour; more info on why I choose rice flour below.
- 1 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs: I have made these with both panko and traditional breadcrumbs and there is no comparison. Panko is so much crispier! Either can be used, but I love that crunch!
- 3 Tbsp grated parmesan: zucchini can be bland on its own; I like to add cheese both for flavor and because, hello, CHEESE IS LIFE.
- Kosher salt: season everything!
- Marinara sauce (my favorite brand is Rao’s!): the best sauce for dipping these cuties into!
Why rice flour?
Rice flour doesn’t absorb liquid quite as well as traditional flour or wheat flour, making it a great option as the base layer when breading. The egg sticks to it, but doesn’t absorb! The end result is super light, and when combined with whisked egg whites, it’s a great option for breading. Also, some people like that it is gluten-free.
Temperature to bake fries
High heat is preferable! I like to cook these at 425F.
How long to bake zucchini fries
These baked zucchini fries are perfectly crispy after 20-24 minutes, depending on the thickness of your sticks.
Note, these are cooked on top of a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. I do this to help ensure the zucchini get crispy on all sides without having to turn them mid-cook time!
To freeze, allow cooked, baked zucchini fries to cool completely, then freeze on a wire rack or baking sheet for a few hours until completely solid. Next, transfer them to a freezer-safe airtight storage container. These will last up to 3 months.
To reheat from frozen
You’ll definitely want to reheat these in an oven or toaster oven if you want them to crisp up again! A microwave will turn these to mush. (Trust me on this one!!)
To reheat, no need to thaw! Simply place frozen zucchini fries on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet, spray lightly with cooking spray, then heat in a 425F oven for about 10 minutes, or until crispy.
Are these gluten-free?
No, the recipe as written is not gluten-free, however… you can easily substitute gluten-free panko or breadcrumbs and these will be good to go! Remember, the rice flour used in the breading is naturally gluten-free.
Other vegetables to use
You can of course experiment with other vegetables — summer squash or eggplant are great options that will have similar cook times! Zucchini is available year where I life, so I often reach for that when making veggie fries.
What to serve with zucchini fries?
A big cup of marinara sauce for dipping! Honestly, I could eat these as a meal on their own. If you’re looking for more of a main dish, I love serving these with chicken milanese and a light fennel salad or alongside pasta, risotto, or orzo — this one pan lemon garlic chicken and orzo risotto would be killer with a big side of baked zucchini fries!
If you make these Baked Zucchini Fries, please let me know by leaving a review below!
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Looking for more simple weeknight recipes? Check out the following!
Baked Zucchini Fries
- 1 ½ - 2 lbs medium zucchini cut into sticks about 3" x ½".
- ½ cup rice flour can substitute all-purpose flour
- 3 egg whites or 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs can substitute traditional or gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- Maldon sea salt optional
- Marinara sauce for serving optional (recommended brand: Rao's)
- Preheat oven to 425F. To cut zucchini into sticks, begin by trimming off the ends of each squash. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then place each half cut side down on a cutting board. Make long, thin slices down the length of the zucchini, about ½" thick. Next, cut each stick into fries about 3" long. Size will vary depending on how big the squash is. The important thing is that they're mostly uniform in shape and size.
- Assemble breading station. Place rice flour in a medium bowl. Place beaten egg whites or whole eggs in a small shallow dish. Finally, place panko (or other breadcrumbs) in a medium bowl. Add parmesan and kosher salt to the panko, then mix to combine.
- Begin my dredging the zucchini sticks in rice flour on all sides. Transfer zucchini to egg wash, working in batches so as not to crowd the bowl. Make sure zucchini is evenly coated in egg before transferring to the panko.
- Finally, toss zucchini sticks to ensure panko is on all sides. Place breaded zucchini fries on a wire rack placed on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Continue until all zucchini is breaded.
- When ready to bake, cook zucchini fries for 20-24 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Immediately sprinkle zucchini with a generous pinch of maldon sea salt. Serve immediately with marinara.