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Restaurant-style fried zucchini is a family favorite! It’s simply addicting, especially dipped in ranch or marinara.

Fried zucchini is our favorite way to enjoy one of our favorite vegetables! We love to serve it with a favorite dipping sauce such as a Marinara Sauce or Homemade Ranch Dressing.

Plate of fried zucchini served with ranch dressing.


A Crispy Appetizer

Fried zucchini happens to be my favorite appetizer in the whole world! It’s a recipe we have at least once a month, for Sunday dinner, and it’s always gone in minutes!

You can serve this in different ways, depending on how you cut the zucchini (discs or sticks). However you make it, it’s always delicious.

We’ve tried several versions over the years, and now have baked zucchini fries and Zucchini Chips. They are also delicious!

How to Make Fried Zucchini

Other than a little time, this fried zucchini recipe doesn’t take much. The steps are simple, as well as the ingredients.

PREP. Heat oil to medium heat.

Slice zucchini into several circles. Add 10-15 slices of zucchini into a bowl of milk to coat.

COAT. From there, add slices to a bowl filled with the flour, coat.

Put slices back into the milk and make sure they get all wet again.

Add slices to a bowl filled with Panko crumbs, coat.

FRY. Fry until golden brown, turning to ensure equal browning on both sides. Repeat the process until all the slices are breaded and fried.

Variations 

If you’re looking to add some variation, try:

  • Adding parmesan cheese, chili flakes, garlic powder, or cayenne pepper to the breadcrumbs before frying.
  • Use a seasoned breadcrumb or Panko mixture. The Italian versions with oregano and basil are some of our favorites!
Air fryer zucchini sticks served with ranch dressing.

Air fry zucchini

A great healthy alternative to traditional pan frying is to use an air fryer.

PREP. Heat your air fryer to 390°F. Prepare your zucchini according to recipe directions.

FRY. Working in batches place a single layer of zucchini rounds, or fries in the air fryer basket. Cook for 5-7 minutes until crispy.

You can also use the Air Fryer Zucchini recipe, or check out our Baked Zucchini Fries.

Three bowls to show the process of dredging to make fried zucchini.

Recipe Tips

Deep fried zucchini is quick and easy, use these tips to ensure they turn out perfectly!

Oil. I use vegetable oil, but canola oil or peanut oil are also great options to make this breaded zucchini. Add 1½-2 inches of oil to the pan, and heat it up to 350°F. If you don’t have a thermometer:

  • Test the oil is ready by inserting the end of a wooden spoon into the oil.
  • It should immediately bubble around the handle.
  • If it doesn’t bubble the oil is too cold.
  • If it bubbles and splatters vigorously, the oil may be too hot.
  • When you think you have the right temperature, fry 1-2 test pieces and adjust. 

Salting the zucchini. Salting the zucchini causes the vegetable to “sweat”, relieving the zucchini from extra moisture. I don’t use this method and haven’t had problems with soggy zucchini. However, you can definitely give it a try:

  • Lay the sliced zucchini out on a paper towel.
  • Sprinkle some sea salt over the slices, and let sit for about 30 minutes.
  • The extra moisture will be released and absorbed by the paper towel.
  • Pat the tops with another paper towel before proceeding with the recipe.
Coated zucchini, ready for frying.

How to Reheat Zucchini 

This recipe for fried zucchini is ideal when eaten right away.

STORE. If you happen to have leftover zucchini bites, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 6-8 weeks.

To reheat. The best way to reheat them is in the oven.

  • Broil them on low for 2-4 minutes.
  • Or place them in a preheated oven at 375°F for 5-7 minutes, until they are heated through.
A plate of golden fried zucchini served with ranch dressing.

Recipe FAQ

Do I need to salt the zucchini to make fried zucchini?

Salt is often added to cut vegetables to help draw out excess moisture and keep the vegetable from getting soggy. I don’t ever salt my zucchini and have not had any problems with mushy zucchini rounds. Should you wish to do so see above for instructions.

Why is my fried zucchini mushy?

When the cooking oil is not hot enough the zucchini can absorb the extra oil and cause it to soften. Be sure that the oil reaches about 350°F. Slicing the zucchini too thinly can also cause it to become mushy.

Can I make the fried zucchini ahead of time?

As with most fried foods, this zucchini is best when served immediately. You can, however, prepare the zucchini the day before: dredge them in flour and panko then place the coated rounds on a plate, cover it with plastic wrap, and store them in the fridge.

For More Zucchini Recipes, Try:

5 from 223 votes

Fried Zucchini Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Restaurant-style fried zucchini is a family favorite! It's simply addicting, especially dipped in ranch or marinara.
Servings: 6
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2-3 cups milk
  • 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs Plain or Italian
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil

Instructions 

  • Heat oil to medium heat.
  • Slice zucchini into several circles. Add 10-15 slices of zucchini into a bowl of milk to coat.
  • From there, add slices to a bowl filled with the flour, coat.
  • Put slices back into the milk and make sure they get all wet again.
  • Add slices to a bowl filled with Panko crumbs, coat.
  • Fry until golden brown, turning to ensure equal browning on both sides. Repeat process until all the slices are breaded and fried.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 367kcal, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 188mg, Potassium: 384mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 262IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 148mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




173 Comments

  1. Too much milk – it overpowers the zucchini flavor. Maybe some folks are into that but I’m going to do a simple dip in water and coating next time I fry up zucchini.

  2. 5 stars
    I love good fried zucchini! This recipe worked great and we even went with the air fryer suggestion to keep things on the healthy side. I had made a small batch to have everyone test, they loved it and wanted more so I kept cooking 😊👍🏼 (also it worked well with both green zucchini and yellow squash.) Thanks!