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June 17, 2021

Baked Zucchini Fries

With a crunchy panko crust, these easy baked zucchini fries are a healthy side dish or snack served with a roasted tomato dipping sauce.

With a crunchy panko crust, these easy baked zucchini fries are a healthy side dish or snack served with a roasted tomato dipping sauce.

Baked Zucchini Fries

The standard fried versions of French fries are total restaurant food. This just means that they’re not something you would attempt at home with a big vat of oil.

Of course there are exceptions for those who own an air fryer. That’s not a kitchen gadget I’ve added to my collection of small appliances, but never say never.

To be honest, fries are not something I order when I eat out. I might just take a few off my husband’s plate. Yes, I can be that person—on occasion.

When I make French fries at home, I always bake them.

Baked Zucchini Fries

And do I love oven fries!

It’s amazing what you can do with potatoes, a sheet pan, seasonings and a fraction of the oil required for deep-frying.

But that doesn’t mean you always have to make your fries with potatoes. If you haven’t tried them yet, baked zucchini fries might become your new favorite healthy remake of an unhealthy food.

I coat the outside in a mix of panko, Parmesan and spices, so they will satisfy your cravings for something crunchy.

Zucchini batons

How To Cut Zucchini For Fries

When I am at the grocery or farmer’s market buying zucchini, I look for medium-sized ones that are all about the same diameter.

That makes it easier to cut the zucchini into similar sized batons. You just trim the zucchinis, quarter them lengthwise and slice them into sticks that are 3 inches long.

Keeping them pretty uniform means they will all have the same cooking time. So if all goes as planned, your zucchini fries will be consistently cooked.

Baked Zucchini Fries

Baking Fries

Besides this strategy for cutting the zucchini, how you cook them matters, too. 

I actually take a few cues from my baked chicken tender recipe, which is one of my 7-year-old’s absolute favorites.

For the irresistibly crunchy exterior, I combine panko breadcrumbs with dried oregano, thyme, garlic powder onion powder, salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne.

Once the fries are coated, I bake them on a wire rack that I put in a sheet pan. This allows the heat to circulate around the fries. No soggy bottoms!

Making tomato dipping sauce

Roasted Tomato Dipping Sauce

You can’t make these baked zucchini fries and not have some sort of sauce to go with them.

I’m more of a tomato sauce than ketchup person, so I use my favorite jarred marinated roasted tomatoes to make a super simple sauce.

All I do is puree the tomatoes with garlic, olive oil and a little Parmesan.

It’s so good with the fries!

Baked Zucchini Fries

The Ingredients

This is what you need for the fries:

  • Zucchini: Try to find zucchini that are about the same size, so it makes consistent cutting easier.
  • Panko: These Japanese breadcrumbs have the best crunch. You can also find them gluten-free if you want.
  • Dried seasoning blend: I use a mix of oregano, thyme, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • Parmesan: There is finely grated Parmesan in the panko mixture on the fries and in the tomato sauce.
  • Flour: To absorb some of the moisture, I toss the zucchini in all-purpose flour before dipping them in egg & milk and the panko crumbs.
  • Egg & milk: Whisked together, they act like the “glue” to hold the panko crust on the zucchini.
  • Marinated roasted tomatoes: Head to the olive bar or the Italian food aisle at the grocery for these incredibly flavorful tomatoes.
  • Garlic: I can’t resist adding a little garlic to the dipping sauce.
  • Olive oil: This makes the pureed tomatoes and garlic a more dip-friendly consistency.
  • Non-stick cooking spray: It is important to grease the wire rack with non-stick spray, so the fries easily come off when they are finished baking.
Dipping the zucchini fries into panko

How To Make Baked Zucchini Fries

First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a wire rack with non-stick cooking spray and place it in a sheet pan.

Then combine the panko, Parmesan and seasonings in a large bowl. After that, whisk the egg and milk together in a small bowl.

Next, toss the zucchini in the flour, shaking off the excess.

Make sure to have all your stations ready before your start coating the zucchini. Dunk the batons into the egg and milk, followed by the panko and finally place them on the rack.

Repeat the process and put the zucchini in the oven.

Panko spice mixture

While the fries are baking, use a food processor to whip up the roasted tomato sauce. 

The fries are ready when they are lightly golden. The zucchini will still have a snap to it, which is different than the softer consistency of roasted diced zucchini.

I like to think of them as al dente, which is perfect to take on the tomato dipping sauce.

Try One Of These Other Zucchini Recipes

Best Healthy Zucchini Recipes

Baked Zucchini Corn Fritters

30-Minute Tomato Zucchini Orzo

Grilled Zucchini, Summer Squash & Corn

Zucchini Noodles & Cherry Tomatoes

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Baked Zucchini Fries

Baked Zucchini Fries

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18-20 minutes
  • Total Time: 33-35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 24 1x

With a crunchy panko crust, these easy baked zucchini fries are a healthy side dish or snack served with a roasted tomato dipping sauce.

Ingredients

  • For zucchini fries
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 medium zucchini, trimmed, quartered lengthwise and cut into 3-inch-long batons
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • For tomato dipping sauce
  • 1/2 cup marinated roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place a wire rack in a sheet pan. Grease the rack with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 black pepper.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
  5. Toss the zucchini with the flour shaking off the excess. Dip each zucchini baton into the egg-milk mixture and then into the panko crumbs. Place the zucchini on the wire rack.
  6. Bake the zucchini fries for 18-20 minutes until they are golden on the outside, but are still a bit crisp.
  7. For the tomato dipping sauce, puree the tomatoes, garlic, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and olive oil.

Notes

Depending on the width of your zucchini, if the zucchini batons seem too thick, you can halve them.

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