Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

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 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 addictive. And the little fry sauce action? Genius.

what you’ll need for the crips 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

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.)

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 seem to brown too quickly while they’re cooking, cover loosely with foil. You can also find seasoned nut-based ‘crumbs’ in most large supermarkets.

Can I make this 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.

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. Its 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.


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!

  • 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
  1. Preheat oven to 450F Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray, or brush it on.

  2. Slice your zucchini into 1/4 inch rounds.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, then flip and bake for about 4-5 minutes more.

  7. Serve hot with the fry sauce for dipping.

to make the fry sauce

  1. Whisk the mayo and ketchup together and add hot sauce to taste.


  1. 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

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.

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

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