Crispy air fryer zucchini sticks are a quick and healthy appetizer or side dish your family will love! Make these with crispy breadcrumb coating or with no breading! Easy to make in under 15 minutes.
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- Why You Should Make This Recipe
- Ingredients and Substitutions
- Taste and Texture
- How to Make Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- How to Make Air Fryer Zucchini Fries with No Breading (Whole30)
- What to Serve with Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- Expert Tips
- Make-Ahead, Freezer, and Reheating Tips
- Recipe FAQs
- Other Delicious Zucchini Recipes
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fries (Zucchini Sticks)
Why You Should Make This Recipe
- Easy and healthy zucchini recipe to use up extra garden produce.
- Seasonal homemade summer recipe.
- Healthy air fryer appetizer!
- Simple ingredients.
- No oil!
- Make with no breading or crispy breadcrumb breading.
- Use for any fry shape - chips, planks, strips, spears, sticks, or slices!
- Kid-friendly and great for picky eaters to get their veggies.
- Easy to meal prep and make ahead.
- Dairy-free, low-calorie, and can be made gluten-free or keto.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here are the ingredients you need to make this recipe. Reference the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements and the notes below for substitution ideas.
Fresh zucchini, also known as courgette, cut into sticks or fries are the base of these air fryer zucchini sticks.
Mini-sized squash works well because it is already fry size. Use eggplant or another yellow squash type if you prefer.
Ranch seasoning provides a savory taste and flavor.
Salt seasons the air fryer zucchini sticks. It also removes moisture, helping the breadcrumb coating to stick.
Pancake mix works as flour to coat the outside of the veggie, which helps the breading to stick.
Panko breadcrumbs provide a crispy outside coating. Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed.
Low-Carb and Keto-Friendly Modifications
In place of pancake mix, use almond flour or keto pancake mix.
Make keto-fried zucchini using pork rinds or parmesan cheese instead of breadcrumbs for the outside coating.
Taste and Texture
Air fryer zucchini sticks have a crispy texture on the outside and are tender on the inside. They have a slightly sweet and mildly earthy taste.
Air-frying zucchini fries make a tasty crunch. They taste similar to vegetable fries or a lighter version of fried zucchini.
How to Make Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
Below are step-by-step instructions for how to cook this recipe. The recipe card at the bottom shows the exact cooking time and temperatures.
Peel the squash using a vegetable peeler and cut it into ½-inch thick sticks or fries.
Place cut sticks onto a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let zucchini fries rest for 10 minutes to draw out the moisture.
Move to Step 3 while the zucchini sticks are resting.
After 10 minutes, pat out any excess moisture using a paper towel.
Lay out three large, shallow bowls like a pasta bowl.
Place the pancake mix into the first bowl and season with ¼ of the ranch packet.
In another large, shallow bowl, beat an egg.
In a third bowl, place the breadcrumbs and season with ¼ of the ranch packet.
Start by coating the zucchini sticks evenly with the pancake mix. Use a fork to move them around.
Next, move the fries to the egg bowl and use a fork to coat them thoroughly.
Finally, move the zucchini fries to the breadcrumb bowl. Evenly coat the zucchini sticks, then place them into the air fryer basket in a single layer.
Step 7 - How Long to Cook Zucchini Fries in the Air Fryer
Cook air fryer zucchini sticks for 7 minutes at 400F. Serve with marinara sauce, ketchup, aioli, or your favorite dipping sauce.
Make zucchini sticks in the oven by baking them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 25-30 minutes at 425F.
How to Make Air Fryer Zucchini Fries with No Breading (Whole30)
Making this recipe with no breading is super easy! Follow steps one and two above for prepping the air fryer zucchini sticks.
Next, coat the zucchini fries with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning blends such as Italian, taco, ranch, or Cajun.
Follow Step 7 above for air-frying zucchini fries with no breading.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- Savory dipping sauces like marinara sauce, ketchup, tzatziki, bang bang sauce, fry sauce, yum yum sauce, ranch, sriracha sauce, or garlic aioli are delicious to serve with air fryer zucchini sticks.
- Serve as a side dish with ribeye steak, quick turkey burgers, Panko chicken, Greek chicken, chicken sausage, or citrus pork tenderloin.
- Add them to an appetizer tray along with buffalo chicken wings, easy pizza rolls, and homemade pretzel bites.
- Be sure to get ALL of the moisture out of the squash before breading or else the breading will not stick.
- Use Ziploc bags instead of bowls for easy cleanup.
- When coating, use a fork to move the sticks around. This will help to keep the breading and batter off of your fingers.
- Cut the fries as evenly as possible. Thinner pieces take less time, while thicker pieces may take longer to cook.
- If you cut thicker pieces, reduce the heat to 390F to not over-crisp the batter.
- Do not overcrowd the basket. This will help the zucchini sticks to crisp and brown evenly.
- Spray the outside of the squash with cooking spray or olive oil spray for added crunch.
- Stir in some Parmesan or make dairy free with some nutritional yeast to give the air fryer zucchini fries a delicious cheesy flavor.
Make-Ahead, Freezer, and Reheating Tips
- Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
- Reheat in the air fryer at 400F for 3 minutes or until heated through and crispy.
- To make ahead, cut the air fryer zucchini fries and place them in a container lined with a paper towel. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before air frying.
- Freeze air fryer zucchini sticks for up to six months in a freezer-safe container.
- Air fry frozen zucchini by adding 1-2 minutes more or until the desired doneness.
Breading will not stick if there is too much moisture in the squash. Do not skip the salting step and use a paper towel to remove excess moisture before breading.
To avoid mushy and soggy fried zucchini, do not skip the salting step.
Make sure there is room between the sticks so the squash is crisping and not steaming.
Also, flip the sticks halfway during cooking and eat them right out of the air fryer for optimal crispness.
Set your air fryer to 400F and cook for 7 minutes or until desired crispiness is reached.
Use a sharp knife or a mandoline to cut zucchini horizontally into chips.
Other Delicious Zucchini Recipes
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Air Fryer Zucchini Fries (Zucchini Sticks)
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini skin. Cut the zucchini into even fry shapes about ¼ inch wide by 4 inches long. Place on a paper towel and sprinkle sea salt on zucchini. Allow zucchini to rest for 10 minutes before blotting excess moisture with a paper towel.4 small zucchini, ½ teaspoon salt
- Spray basket with coconut oil spray and preheat to 400F if required.
- In a large shallow bowl, add the pancake mix. Mix ¼ of the ranch seasoning packet into the pancake mix.½ cup pancake mix, ½ packet ranch dressing mix
- In another shallow bowl, mix ¼ of the seasoning packet into the panko bread crumbs (you are using ½ of the packet total.)½ cup Panko breadcrumbs, ½ packet ranch dressing mix
- Add the egg to a third bowl and beat.1 egg
- Using forks, coat zucchini fries with pancake mix, then egg, then panko bread crumb mix. Repeat process until all zucchini fries are coated.
- Add zucchini to the basket in a single layer and do not crowd them. Air fry for 7 minutes or until desired crispiness. Salt to taste if needed, then serve with ketchup, marinara, ranch dressing, aioli, or your favorite dipping sauce.salt to taste
- Be sure to get ALL of the moisture out of the zucchini prior to breading. Place cut zucchini on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit on the paper towel for 10 minutes to soak up moisture and pat out any extra moisture prior to breading so the coating sticks.
- When coating, use a fork to move zucchini around. This will help to keep the coating off of your fingers and on the squash.
- Cut the zucchini as evenly as possible. Thinner pieces will take less time while thicker pieces may take more time to cook. If you cut thicker pieces, try reducing the heat to 390F so that you do not over crisp the batter.
- Do not overcrowd the zucchini in the basket. This will help the fries to crisp and brown evenly.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Crisp and reheat for 3 minutes.