Air Fryer Zucchini Fries are the perfect way to use up Summer zucchini! These fries are ultra crispy on the outside and tender on the inside! This recipe also comes with a sweet and smokey dipping sauce you will devour!
Ingredients for Zucchini Fries
As always, this is a quick overview of the ingredients needed to make super crispy, crunchy zucchini fries! For the printable recipe simply scroll to the bottom of the post. To make these fries you will need:
- Zucchini: look for medium size zucchini, not large. The reason you want to skip the large zucchini is because the seeds are much bigger and your fries will not have the same taste or consistency.
- Buttermilk: buttermilk adds amazing flavor, helps the breading adhere to the zucchini, and keeps the zucchini moist while the outside gets crispy.
- Breadcrumbs: Use Italian breadcrumbs (gluten-free breadcrumbs work too) for this recipe. This is a finer breadcrumb consistency than panko so it ensures it adheres really well and gets nice and crispy.
- Parmesan: use grated (also known as powdered) parmesan instead of shredded.
For Zucchini Dipping Sauce
I’ve included a recipe below for an optional dipping sauce for the fries. This sauce features pantry staples you probably already have on hand like Dijon, mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar and smoked paprika. Simply mix and enjoy! The flavor of this dipping sauce is a little smokey, sweet and it balances the zucchini fries perfectly! It’s also really good on grilled vegetables and chicken!
How to Make Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
In addition to the ingredients listed above you will need a few mixing bowls to bread the zucchini, as well as an air fryer. Remember, depending on your machine you may have to cook these fries in batches. To make the best super crispy Air Fryer Zucchini Fries follow the step-by-step guide below.
Slice the ends off the zucchini and cut it into 3-inch long slices that about 1/2 an inch thick. Remember, it is important to cut the zucchini as uniformly as possible so it all cooks through at the same time.
Pour Buttermilk in Bowl
You will need two shallow bowls to set up the breading station. In the first bowl pour in the buttermilk and stir in the salt and pepper. Set the bowl aside.
Combine Breading Ingredients
In the second bowl combine the breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Remember, you want the powdered style of parmesan not shredded as it will not stick to your fries well.
Bread the Zucchini
In order to bread the zucchini dip each fry into the buttermilk mixture and make sure it is completely coated. Next, dredge the zucchini in the breading mixture and coat it completely. If you want extra crunch to repeat this step to coat the zucchini in a double layer of crumbs.
Spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray and place the zucchini fries in a single layer inside the basket. Depending on how large your air fryer is you may need to do this in batches. Air fry at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the fries are golden brown and crispy. Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
Serve the crispy fries hot from the air fryer with the homemade smokey, sweet dipping sauce! These fries are a great afternoon snack or side dish. Some great dishes that pair well with zucchini fries are:
- Air Fryer Cheeseburger: what is a better combo than burgers and fries?
- Blackened Chicken: this grilled chicken is amazing dipped into the dipping sauce included with the zucchini fry recipe below.
- Crockpot Crack Chicken: this easy slow cooker meal feeds a crowd. This is perfect for salads, wraps, and more.
- Garlic Butter Steak Bites: one pan, super easy and ultra satisfying!
- Cornflake Chicken Tenders: crispy, delicious, and kid-friendly!
- Chicken Shawarma: grilled chicken, lemon dill yogurt, and veggies stuffed in a warm pita!
Unfortunately, zucchini fries do not store well, the moisture from the zucchini will make the breading soggy as it is stored. This is a dish best served fresh. If you absolutely have to store these fries make sure they are completely cooled and place any leftovers in an air-tight container with a paper towel inside to absorb the moisture. When ready to reheat add them to a preheated air fryer at 350 degrees for 2 minutes or until warm.
Tips for the Best Zucchini Fries
- Cut the zucchini into a uniform fry shape so they all cook at the same time.
- Be sure to bread the zucchini completely for the best crunch.
- Use Italian or regular breadcrumbs versus panko. Panko is larger and I don’t think it coats the fries quite as well.
- Don’t skip spraying the fries with oil. You don’t need a lot, but a spritz of oil is how the fries become ultra crispy.
- Buttermilk provides the best flavor, but whole milk or a beaten egg can be used as a substitute if you prefer.
Air Fryer Zucchini FAQ
These fries cook for 10-12 minutes. The cooking time will depend on how thickly you have sliced your fries.
Yes! This recipe works well with yellow squash as well as eggplant.
Zucchini is low in carbs, but the breadcrumbs do contain carbs. To make this lower carb you can use pork rind panko instead of breadcrumbs.
Other Zucchini Recipes
- Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats: amazing stuffed zucchini with cheese, chicken, and sauce!
- Zucchini Fritters: delicious fritters that are a great appetizer or side dish!
- Grilled Zucchini: thinly sliced zucchini stuffed with thick sliced mozzarella, grilled, and then dipped into warm marinara!
- Air Fryer Zucchini with Parmesan: the ultimate quick and easy side.
- Crispy Zucchini Chips: thinly sliced zucchini baked until they are as crispy as potato chips!
- 2 medium zucchini
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Sweet and Smokey Sauce
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Slice your zucchini into 3-inch long slices, about ½ inch thick. Set aside.
- Stir together buttermilk, salt, and black pepper in a bowl and set aside.
- Stir together the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and set aside.
- Dip each zucchini fry into the buttermilk, then the crumb mixture.
- Spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray and place the zucchini fries in a single layer inside the basket. Air fry at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the fries are golden brown and crispy.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
The fries themselves don’t keep well in the fridge, but you can make the dipping sauce up to 3 days ahead of time.
The sauce is tangy, sweet, and a little smoky, perfect for dipping!
If you don’t have buttermilk, use whole milk instead.
Sweet and Smokey Nutrition:
Yield 6, Serving size 2 tablespoons
- 79 calories, total fat: 5.2 g, cholesterol 2.9mg, sodium 304mg, total carb 6g, sugars 5.9g, protein 0.1g
Serving Size:1/4 of recipe (fries only)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 2.6gCholesterol: 5.3mgSodium: 490mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0.7gSugar: 1.6gProtein: 4.4g