Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

zucchini Parmesan Crisps with fry sauce in a basket

Zucchini Parmesan crisps are little nuggets of squash dipped in buttermilk and cheesy breadcrumbs, then baked in the oven or an air fryer until they’re crispy on the outside, hot and juicy inside. Don’t forget the classic fry sauce for dipping!

zucchini Parmesan crisps in a basket with fry sauce

zucchini Parmesan crisps with fry sauce are crowd pleasers!

This easy recipe has us wondering why we’d ever deep fry anything when you can dunk it in buttermilk, shower it with yummy crumbs, and bake it to crispy perfection. I hope you came hungry, because these guys are irresistible. And the little fry sauce action? Genius.

crispy zucchini Parmesan crisps

what you’ll need for the crisps and the sauce

  • zucchini ~ I used both regular and golden zucchini.
  • olive oil
  • bread crumbs
  • parmesan cheese ~ all sorts of aged cheese will work here, so have fun.
  • salt and pepper
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • hot sauce
slicing a zucchini

tips and faqs for making baked zucchini crisps

What type of zucchini is best for crisps?

Smaller zucchini has firmer flesh, and smaller seeds. You want perfect pop-in-your-mouth sized slices so a smaller diameter works best. Look for slender, uniform specimens.

Can I use summer squash?

No, summer squash has a different consistency from zucchini, it will be too soft and the shape is not uniform. If you like yellow squash look for golden zucchini (below.)

green and golden zucchini

Can I make this in an air fryer?

Yes, the zucchini rounds are dry once they’re coated with the crumbs so they can be made in the air fryer. The oven will allow you to make larger batches at a time, though.

Do I have to flip them?

I like to flip them because otherwise, one side gets nice and golden and the other is not as much. You don’t absolutely have to flip them, but it helps.

Can I leave out the cheese?

Yes, the seasoned bread crumbs are fine on their own.

What other veggies can I crisp up this way?

You might try sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced cauliflower, green beans, etc.

Can I make these gluten free?

Yes, substitute almond meal for the breadcrumbs and if they seems to brown too quickly while they’re cooking, cover loosely with foil. You can also find seasoned nut based ‘crumbs’ in most large supermarkets.

coating zucchini with buttermilk and breadcrumbs

Can I make these dairy free?

Yes, you might substitute nutritional yeast (a ‘cheesy’ vegan condiment) for the cheese. Use beaten egg in place of the buttermilk. For vegan try flax eggs or canned coconut milk in place of the buttermilk.

Can zucchini crisps be made ahead and reheated?

They’re best when eaten fresh from the oven, but you can make them ahead if necessary and reheat in a low oven, covered loosely with foil, until hot.

dipping a zucchini crisp into sauce

that sauce though!

I live for dipping sauces, and this one is the final piece of the puzzle that makes this appetizer so stinking good. I went with a really basic burger joint classic ~ fry sauce. It’s secret sauce meets thousand island dressing and it’s so yummy.

let’s make it

  1. Get some mayonnaise
  2. and some ketchup
  3. and blend it up until it’s pink through and through.
  4. Give it some personality with a dash of hot sauce, sriracha, or Worcestershire sauce.
dipping zucchini Parmesan crisp in fry sauce

other fried or baked veggies

zucchini Parmesan Crisps with fry sauce in a basket
5 from 19 votes

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Calories 125kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • baking sheet


  • 2-3 medium zucchini (I used one green and one golden) Note: if your zucchini are very small you'll need more.)
  • olive oil (I use an olive oil sprayer which I recently bought and love!)
  • 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned crumbs)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

fry sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • hot sauce or chili sauce to taste


  • Preheat oven to 450F Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray, or brush it on.
  • Slice your zucchini into 1/4 inch rounds.
    sliced zucchini
  • Prepare two bolws for dipping. In one bowl toss the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and a little salt and pepper. In the other bowl, add the buttermilk.
  • Using one hand for wet and one hand for the dry, dip each zucchini into the buttermilk, and then into the breadcrumbs, turning to coat well.
    coating zucchini with buttermilk and breadcrumbs
  • Place the zucchini on your sprayed baking sheet in a single layer. I like to spritz the tops with a light spray of olive oil, but that's optional.
    zucchini crisps ready to bake
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, then flip and bake for about 4-5 minutes more.
    baking zucchini Parmesan crisps
  • Serve hot with the fry sauce for dipping.
    zucchini Parmesan Crisps with fry sauce in a basket

to make the fry sauce

  • Whisk the mayo and ketchup together and add hot sauce to taste.
    homemade fry sauce in a small bowl

Cook’s notes

Feel free to mess with the ratio of mayo to ketchup in your fry sauce. You can jazz it up with added ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, creamed horseradish, pickle juice(!) chipotle powder, paprika, or cayenne.


Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 202IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
e book

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    5 stars
    These are amazing! Great alternative to french fries as a sandwich side.

  • Reply
    July 7, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    Hi…these look great but did I miss something…didn’t see any air fryer instructions?!?

  • Reply
    Jacque Hastert
    July 7, 2021 at 7:47 am

    5 stars
    These zucchini chips look dangerously addicting! I can’t wait to toss these together and throw them in my air fryer for a healthy afternoon snack!

  • Reply
    July 7, 2021 at 7:43 am

    5 stars
    These are a perfect appetizer or snack for my family. I love that you add parmesan to the breadcrumbs. It gives them an added boost of flavor.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 7, 2021 at 10:19 am

      Thanks Michaela, and try other sharp cheeses as well.

  • Reply
    July 7, 2021 at 7:42 am

    5 stars
    These are delish! They were so light and crispy and I loved that the kids ate them, too!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 7, 2021 at 10:19 am

      This is a perfect way to introduce kids to zucchini 🙂

  • Reply
    July 7, 2021 at 7:31 am

    5 stars
    Love how easy this recipe is. It’s perfect for our family!

  • Reply
    July 7, 2021 at 6:29 am

    5 stars
    I had these at a restaurant once and always wanted to know how to make them because they were soooo good! That sauce looks like the same one too, I’m going to try this!!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 7, 2021 at 7:39 am

      Hope you love them as much as we did!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2021 at 8:59 am

    I have a couple of zucchini to use up. Will be trying these tonight for a side dish for dinner.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 6, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      They are such a great use for all that summer zucchini. I hope you love them, Christine!

  • Reply
    Leslie Reyes
    July 6, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Looks great! What are the air fryer time and temp cooking instructions?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 7, 2021 at 5:55 am

      That’s going to depend on your particular air fryer ~ generally the hottest temperature they go to is 400F, and you want to make sure you keep your zucchini in a single layer.

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