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Platter with stacks of fried zucchini slices.
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5 from 1 vote

Fried zucchini

Fried zucchini slices get wonderfully crispy on the outside, thanks to seasoned panko bread crumbs. Cook it either in a pan or the air fryer.
Serve it as an appetizer, snack, or side dish. It's wonderfully decadent, especially dunked in ranch dressing.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Keyword: air fryer, finger food
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 133kcal
Author: Cadry Nelson



  • Remove ends from zucchini. Then cut the remaining zucchini into roughly ¼ inch thick slices.
    Blot the slices dry on a clean kitchen towel. Then set aside.
  • Now it's time to make a breading station.
    In a cereal bowl, use a fork or whisk to combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, pinch of salt, and 6 Tablespoons of water. After the batter is mixed, slowly add 2 more Tablespoons of water, as needed. You want the batter to have the consistency of pancake batter.
  • Then on a dinner plate, combine panko bread crumbs, dried basil, dried oregano, paprika, granulated garlic, and a pinch of salt.
  • One at a time, dip each zucchini slice into the batter and fully coat it. Tap off any excess batter.
    Then dredge it in the panko bread crumb mixture until it's covered on front, back, and sides.
    Continue breading each one until they are finished.
    If you run out of panko breadcrumbs, add more to the plate, along with a pinch of each of the seasonings.
  • TO PAN FRY: Bring a large non-stick skillet to a medium high heat with about a half inch of organic canola oil (or other high heat oil). Drop a breadcrumb into the oil to see if it's hot enough. If bubbles immediately form around it, it's ready to use.
    Put the breaded zucchini slices into the oil. Fry for about 5 minutes, stopping once about halfway through to flip with a spatula. (Be careful not to move them until they brown.)
    (Depending on the size of your zucchini and skillet, you will likely need to work in batches. You don't want to overcrowd the skillet, because the zucchini won't brown as well.)
    Once they are brown all over, move the fried zucchini to a towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Finish with another pinch of salt.
    Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. (Vegan ranch dressing is my favorite!)
  • TO AIR FRY: Put the breaded zucchini slices into air fryer basket. Lightly spritz with oil (optional).
    Air fry at 360 degrees for 8 minutes, stopping once to flip the slices & spray with oil again. Remove from air fryer and serve with dipping sauce.
    (Depending on the size of your zucchini & air fryer basket, you will likely need to cook in batches. The zucchini browns best when not overcrowded in the basket.)


You may have batter left over. However, since zucchini varies in size, it's best to err on the side of having more batter than not enough. (You could use leftover batter for fried artichoke hearts or fried pickles.)
If your zucchini is on the small side, you may want to halve the amount of the breadcrumb mixture, and just add more as needed.
The nutrition information is for the air fried version of the fried zucchini. If you're frying in a pan with more oil, the calorie amount will be higher.
Leftover fried zucchini reheats beautifully in the air fryer. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator. Then air fry to reheat. Air fry at 400 degrees for 6 minutes, stopping once halfway through to flip.


Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 224mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg