Vegan Zucchini Fries
Fries are the ultimate finger food and snacks of all time. They are crispy, salty, and super satisfying. Fries are the perfect choice for snacking and an amazing choice as a side dish as well. Many people look for a better healthier option to replace regular French fries. Today, we are going to discuss a perfect vegan and healthier solution for fries. That is the fried zucchini without eggs and milk.
They have all the goodness that you look at in fries. The combination of crispy outside with fluffy and soft inside. The saltiness in the batter goes perfectly with the smooth neutral texture of the zucchini. And it is completely vegan since we are making them without eggs and milk. Yes, you can satisfy your craving without any guilt. All it takes is a few ingredients probably already available in your pantry and some vegan egg.
Are Zucchini fries healthier than regular French fries?
Not necessarily. Potatoes are very healthy and full of vitamins. But, if you're looking for a low-carb option then yes, for the most part they are healthier. Potatoes have a lot more starch and carbohydrates than zucchini fries. Zucchini have no starch with low carbohydrates and more fiber. It is an ideal choice even for anyone on a diet since it has many nutrients and has antioxidants.
Zucchini itself is a very healthy choice for the heart and stomach. It also helps in reducing sugar levels. Making fries out of it is a guilt-free delicious option, and you can make it completely vegan too.
On the other hand, the cooking method also plays a vital role in increasing the nutritional value of the fries. So, it is completely up to you. But one thing is sure, when you’re looking for a French fry substitute fried zucchini vegan fries will still be a tasty healthy option stand in.
Here are the ingredients that you need to make the perfect fried zucchini without eggs and milk, all vegan:
- Zucchini: Zucchini is one of the healthiest vegetables and an ideal choice for fries' base. It is firm and gains that soft texture, just like French fries.
- Oil: Since we are making fried zucchini fries, fat is essential to have.
- JUST egg: JUST egg is a revolutionary product that is a complete vegan substitute for eggs. It is made with plants and has consistency and taste just like an egg. It is perfect for the wet batter.
- Cornmeal: Cornmeal has a grainy texture that is ideal for getting crispy outside of the fries.
- Garlic powder: Garlic powder gives the batter the savory and garlicky zing.
- Onion powder: Onion powder has a sweet and salty flavor. It adds a different dimension of taste to the batter.
- Seasonings: Salt and black pepper are basic ingredients that enhance the flavor profile of the dish.
- Italian seasoning: Italian seasoning gives freshness and aroma to the fries. It complements other spices as well.
Ingredients Substitutes and Variation
Since we are making zucchini fries without eggs and milk, you might think that the options are limited for the batter. Here are few substitutes to ease your worry:
- Substitute for cornmeal: You can easily replace the cornmeal with vegan breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, or even flour. If you have vegan bread, just blend it in the food processor or blender; your crumbs will be ready to use in no time. You can go for gluten-free flour as well.
- Substitute for JUST egg: JUST egg is easily available in many grocery stores, but by any chance you can’t find it; you can use unsweetened plant-based milk as well for the wet batter. Do keep in mind that plant-based milk is a lot thinner than JUST egg, so make sure to coat the zucchini well. You can also use Chickpea liquid from the can, as it has an eggy consistency and will coat the zucchini just as well.
- Oil: Feel free to use any cooking oil. A few of my favorite picks are olive oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil.
- Cayenne pepper or paprika: If you are a fan of a spicy kick, then you can add Cayenne pepper or paprika in the dry batter as well.
How to make Zucchini fries?
Here are a few easy steps to make the fried zucchini without eggs and milk:
Step 1: Wash the zucchini and trim the edges. Then cut them lengthwise, just thicker than French fries and thinner than wedges.
Step 2: In a deep dish or bowl, pour out JUST egg and season with garlic powder, onion powder, Italian herb seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Step 3: In a bowl, mix together cornmeal with the same seasoning used in the wet batter.
Step 4: Dip the zucchini fries in JUST egg mixture and then in the cornmeal. Cover completely and repeat with the rest of the fries.
Step 5: In a frying pan, heat the oil at medium heat.
Step 6: Carefully drop the breaded zucchini fries in the oil and let them fry until golden.
Step 7: Once fried, place the fried zucchini vegan fries on a paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
Step 8: Serve with your favorite dip or sauce.
Ways of cooking Zucchini Fries
You can make zucchini fries in the following ways. It all depends on your personal preference.
- Deep frying: Deep frying is the ultimate way of frying the fries. It gives the zucchini fries the crispy texture that you crave for. Even though it is the most traditional way of cooking, but it uses so much oil. Thus, maybe not the best option to keep vegan breaded zucchini healthy.
- Baking: Baking fries are super easy and use less oil too. It is one of the healthiest options of cooking the fries. You can either cook them on the baking tray or baking rack for extra crispiness without too much oil. We recommend baking with them at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. If you are baking on a tray with parchment, then do flip the fries halfway through.
- Air frying: Air fryers are revolutionary. They are the easiest option compared to frying and oven since it requires such especial trays and little to no oil. Just pop the fries on the air fryer rack placed in the basket and let them air fry at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Do flip them halfway through, and do not crowd the fries. It may be time-consuming when you are making a larger batch.
Pro Tips for making perfect Zucchini Fries
- Preheat: Whether you are frying the fries, baking, or air frying. Always preheat. For frying, heat the oil at medium temperature, then drop the fries in gently. For baking and air frying, preheat them in advance.
- Do not crowd: Mostly, people say their fries get soggy easily. It is because they did not get enough space for frying or baking. Always start with a small batch to make them crispy and delicious without getting soggy.
- Kitchen towel or rack: Kitchen towel is ideal for getting rid of excessive oil from the fried zucchini fries. You can also place them on a rack for air circulation so that the fries remain crispy longer.
How to store zucchini fries?
Zucchini fries are not just easy to make, but you can easily store them in advance for snacking, or you can store them as leftovers too. You can keep the leftover fries in an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator for two to three days. You can reheat them by baking them at 400 degrees for 5 minutes to get them crispy again.
You can also store the uncooked vegan breaded zucchini fries for a snack craving in your freezer. Once you have breaded the fries, place them on a baking tray and cover them with plastic wrap. Flash freeze them for a minimum of 3 hours. Once done, place them in an airtight container or zip-lock plastic bag and freeze. Whenever you want to eat them, just thaw on the kitchen counter for 15 minutes and deep fry on medium heat or you can bake them or air fry them at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes as well without defrosting.
What to serve with zucchini fries?
Zucchini fries are a perfect choice for snacking any time of the day. It can also be a great slide dish with sandwiches and burgers, but there is always room for more pairings. Here are a few of my favorite pairing you should definitely try:
- Ketchup: Ketchup is one of the most basic sauce you can pair your fries with. It is sweet and rich with tomato flavor that compliments the fries.
- Salsa: The delicious salty zucchini fries go too well with spicy salsa. It is a perfect balance of oil from the fries to the tangy flavor of the salsa.
- Vegan cheesy dip: The cheesy vegan dip or the cashew cheese is amazing with these fries. It is a super creamy, rich, and guilt-free dip for these vegan breaded zucchini crispy fries.
- Vegan ranch dressing: Ranch dressing has different kinds of freshness and zing to it. It goes perfectly with the saltiness of the zucchini fries.
- Vegan Sour cream and dill dip: It has the same flavor as ranch, but it is very light on the palate and easy to make with the fries.
- Vegan BBQ sauce: Yes, this may seem out of the box, but once you try dipping the fries in BBQ sauce and eating it, you will love it.
- Vegan Marinara sauce: This is a sauce that I never thought to pair zucchini fries with but it’s amazing with the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. Not sure why it took me so long to try it. But, If you’re not already dipping your zucchini fries in some marinara then add this to your list immediately, you will love it.
Vegan Zucchini Fries
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1 container of JUST Egg *check for substitutions below
- 2 cup corn meal
- 6 tsp garlic powder
- 6 tsp onion powder
- 4 tsp Italian seasoning
- salt & black pepper to taste
- oil for frying
- Trim ends off zucchini, wash and cut into the same side wedges, leaving the skin on.
- In one container, add JUST egg with 3 tsp of garlic powder, 3 tsp of onion powder, 2 tsp of Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper to taste.
- Combine corn meal with 3 tsp of garlic powder, 3 tsp of onion powder, 2 tsp of Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper to taste in a separate dish.
- Pour oil into a pan to ½” deep and heat over medium to high heat.
- Dredge zucchini in JUST egg and dip in cornmeal. Repeat with remaining slices.
- Add zucchini to the pan, a few at a time (don't overcrowd) cooking 2-3 minutes per side.
- Drain on paper towels. Season as desired.
Substitutions for JUST egg – unsweetened plant-based milk Substitutions for frying – Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.