These vegan zucchini fries are baked in the oven and as delicious as they are good for you. With an irresistible crunchy texture, you’ll likely forget you’re eating a vegetable!
When you grocery shopping and know you need some vegetables for the week but don’t really have any specific meal plans or recipes in mind, what do you grab?
For me, it’s zucchini. Always.
It’s just such an easy vegetable to figure out something to do with, you know? It can be thrown into quick pasta dishes, sautéed with carrots and onions for a crowd-pleasing side dish or even stuffed in any which way you can imagine. Like these bruschetta hummus stuffed zucchini or quinoa herb stuffed round zucchini.
Or, in todays case, turned into the most amazing crunchy zucchini fries which are also vegan and gluten-free.
Yep, peep that crispy breaded coating and stare for a second because YES, they’re gluten-free and vegan!
I know. I KNOW!
An easy batter utilizing gluten-free flour and homemade breadcrumb mixture (although you can definitely buy gf breadcrumbs if preferred) is all it takes to turn this popular Italian restaurant appetizer into something quite a bit healthier in this baked and vegan version.
After taking these pictures, I ate half the baking sheet worth of these healthy vegan zucchini fries by myself.
I’ve done the same before with air fryer okra fries and I have zero shame about it.
Ingredients Needed For Oven Baked Crispy Vegan Zucchini Fries
The batter is what gives them that restaurant quality coating and truthfully, their addicting quality!
- zucchini – pat the fries dry after slicing.
- gluten-free flour – any all-purpose blend is fine for this recipe.
- almond milk – use an unsweetened plain version or other similar plant-based milk.
- mustard – this brings a little hint of savory flavor to the batter.
- bread crumbs – buy store-bought breadcrumbs or make your own using gluten-free sliced bread.
- spices – we’ll be using a simple blend of garlic powder, onion powder and Italian seasoning.
- salt & pepper
How to Make Gluten-Free Vegan Zucchini Fries in the Oven
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use the convection setting on your oven if you have it. If not, see below for making this zucchini fry recipe in the air-fryer.
Slice the zucchini into fry-shaped pieces.
Whisk together the ingredients for the batter in a medium bowl.
Combine the breadcrumbs and spices in a shallow dish.
Dip each zucchini fry into the batter, shaking off any excess and then transferring it into the breadcrumb mixture to coat.
Place the zucchini fries on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through. They’ll be golden brown and crispy on the outside when done. These zucchini sticks are just like portobello fries with their battered texture but baked instead of pan-fried.
Serve these for a healthy side dish or snack with your favorite dipping sauce. Marinara is, of course, a classic to pair with zucchini fries but an aioli is equally delicious too!
Can You Make These Zucchini Fries in the Air Fryer?
If you want to make the zucchini fries in the air fryer check out my air fried zucchini chips. Even though these are cut into circle chip shapes, you could change them to look like fries as well.
Or, you can also follow this recipe as written and use the air fryer instead of the oven. You’ll likely have to work in batches due to size constraints of most air-fryers.
Making Vegan Zucchini Fries Without Egg
In today’s time, vegan egg substitutes are plentiful and while you could use them mixed with the almond milk, I really prefer the batter and breadcrumb approach of this recipe instead.
Once you see the texture of these fries when they come out of the oven, you’ll understand why this approach is preferable.
It’s dead-on for the gluten-filled, fried zucchini fries you get in any Italian joint just amazingly a million times healthier!
Zucchini fries are best eaten straight from the oven. Their crispy, crunchy texture is the best part and once you store them they’re bound to lose quite a bit of that.
That said, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place them back in the oven or air fryer for a few minutes until they are crispy again. Using a toaster oven is also a good option for reheating and retaining some crispiness.
While you can microwave them, it’ll turn them into a soggy sad state.
Making Ahead of Time
If you are a meal prepper and want to add these to your weekly rotation, listen up!
You can slice the zucchini fries ahead of time so they are ready to dip in the batter.
Just store them in a container with a paper towel. This helps to soak up the moisture so when you are ready to cook, they will still get crispy versus steamed.
You can also prepare the breadcrumb mixture ahead of time and keep it in a jar.
The batter, however, is best if made at the time of baking.
Are Zucchini Fries Gluten Free?
This recipe is!
Just make sure to use gluten-free breadcrumbs or make your own by toasting gluten-free sliced bread, letting cool and then processing in a food processor until breadcrumb consistency.
YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE VEGETABLE CHIP RECIPES TOO:
- Sea salt and vinegar beet chips
- Wavy cut jicama chips
- Mediterranean eggplant chips
- Tomato chips – made in the microwave!
- Oven baked carrot chips – 2 ways!
Vegan Zucchini Fries
- 1 large zucchini, cut into “fries”
- avocado oil spray
For the batter
- 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
- 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
For the breadcrumb coating
- 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees on the convection setting if your oven has it. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix together the ingredients for the batter in a medium bowl.
- Combine the breadcrumb coating in another shallow bowl.
- Using a fork, dip the zucchini fries into the batter to coat. Shake off any excess batter by tapping the fork with the zucchini against the bowl. Transfer to the dish with the breadcrumbs and roll in the breadcrumb mixture to coat.
- Place the breaded zucchini fry onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
- Lightly spray the tops of the zucchini fries with the avocado or other cooking spray and place in the oven to bake.
- Bake for 20 minutes flipping the zucchini half way through until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy hot out of the oven.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
*This post was originally published September 2011. The recipe, text and photographs were updated in March 2022.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.