Baked Zucchini Fries

Yield: 6 servings
The deliciously crunchy coating on these zucchini spears is baked, not fried and you won’t miss the oil one bit. (Dare I say, you may enjoy these every bit as much as traditional French fries!) A fun way to enjoy this garden favorite, the advance prep option makes this recipe even more appealing.


  • 2-3 zucchini (about 1½ pounds total)*
  • 1 cup seasoned panko crumbs** (may use gluten-free panko)
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup flour (may use an all-purpose GF substitute)
  • 2 large eggs***
  • For serving: marinara sauce, sriracha mayo, ranch dressing or your favorite dipping sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 425℉. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside. (Alternatively, you may line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray. Using a rack provides more crispness, however, as the heat can circulate all around the zucchini.)
  2. Combine the panko and Parmesan in a shallow pie dish. Place the flour in a zip-top bag. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl wide enough to fit the longest spear. Set aside.
  3. Cut off each end of the zucchini, and then slice horizontally once or twice, depending on the length of the zucchini. (This will be the length of your “fries”– I aim for about 3 inches – and find it easier to uniformly slice into spears when not having to control the blade along the entire length of the whole zucchini.) Now slice the cut segments lengthwise into ½-inch strips, and then slice those strips lengthwise into ½-inch spears. However you do it, the goal is fairly uniform spears that are roughly a ½-inch wide and about 3 inches long. Don’t worry about skinny or pointy ends because of the rounded sides; these will get a little extra crispy, which is good!)
  4. Add the zucchini to the bag with the flour and toss zucchini to evenly coat. Working with one spear at a time, shake off any excess flour, and then coat in the beaten egg. Allow any excess egg to drip off, and then roll in the panko mixture to fully coat. (Tip: I use one hand, keeping the other clean. I also find it quicker to drop the egg-coated spear into the panko mixture and then, with my clean hand, use a spoon to help toss the crumb mixture over the spear.)
  5. As you coat the spears, place them on the prepared rack, leaving a bit of space between them. (Tip: Try not to move the spears around once you’ve set them on the rack. The only time I have trouble with sticking is when I start reorganizing, as this seems to wipe away the oil.) Bake for 20-22 minutes or until lightly golden. Add a sprinkle of salt, if desired, and serve as is or with your favorite dipping sauce.


*Small to medium zucchini work well because they don’t have the somewhat spongy, seedy core typical of really big zucchini. That said, any size zucchini may be used. (I’ve tested – those spongy centers work; the finished texture is different but still quite good.) Just don’t start with more than 1½ pounds total, as you’ll have trouble fitting all the spears on one baking rack and may need another egg.

**If you have unseasoned panko, simply season to taste with salt, pepper and dried Italian herbs.

***I’ve tested with whole eggs and the equivalent amount (½ cup) of egg whites and both work well.

Make ahead tip: Once the zucchini spears are coated and lined up on the sprayed rack, you may refrigerate them, uncovered, for several hours. When ready to bake, allow them to sit at room temperature while the oven is preheating.

Helpful hint: I don’t recommend salting the zucchini before dredging in the flour, as this draws out moisture and can make the coating soggy. The only salt I use is what is already in the seasoned panko (or what you add if using unseasoned panko). For saltier “fries,” simply sprinkle with salt to taste when finished baking.

Adapted from:

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