Carrabba's Zucchini Fritte Recipe | Air Fryer | Healthy

Carrabba's Zucchini Fritte Recipe | Air Fryer | Healthy

Use your abundance of summer's fresh garden or farmers' market zucchini in this Carrabba's Zucchini Fritte recipe. It is a healthy and savory version of one of your favorite restaurant appetizers. Golden strips of zucchini, coated in a blend of panko bread crumbs, Italian seasonings, and Parmesan cheese, offer a flavorful twist and healthy appetizer option.

So why not make this version of Carrabba's Italian Grill Zucchini Frittes at home? It is a delightful snack that is the perfect way to get some extra vegetables into your day!

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Carrabba's Zucchini Frittes with Garlic Aioli dipping sauce and lemon wedges

Why You Will Love this Carrabba's Zucchini Fritte Recipe

This version of Carrabba's restaurant fried zucchini is:

Ingredients in Air Fryer Zucchini Frittes

  • Panko Bread Crumbs: Panko, a Japanese-style breadcrumb, adds a delightful crunch without absorbing too much oil. It's lighter and coarser, offering a satisfying texture to the Zucchini Frites. While not a significant source of nutrients, panko can be part of a balanced, flavorful coating. 
  • Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Onion Powder:These aromatic seasonings bring depth and richness to the dish. Garlic powder is known for its potential immune-boosting properties, while Italian seasoning adds a medley of herbs with potential antioxidant benefits. 
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan contributes a rich flavor, and its salty notes complement the mild sweetness of zucchini. Other cheeses such a pecorino romano can be used.
  • Eggs:Whisked eggs act as the binding agent, ensuring the breadcrumb mixture adheres to the zucchini. 
  • Flour (Almond or White All Purpose Flour):Flour adds an extra layer of coating, aiding in the adherence of the breadcrumb mixture. Almond flour, a gluten-free alternative, contributes healthy fats and a nutty flavor. Regular white flour offers a classic option but is higher in carbohydrates.
  • Zucchini: Zucchini, is a low-calorie vegetable rich in vitamins C and A. It also provides antioxidants, aiding in overall health and potentially supporting skin and vision. Yellow squash can also be substituted.
  • Olive Oil Spray: Used sparingly, olive oil spray helps achieve a crispy texture. Olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
zucchini cut into fries, preparing to make Carrabba's Zucchini Frittes Recipe

Health Benefits of Zucchini

Zucchini is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with. From smoothies, to baking, to delicious appetizers like these Carrabba's Zucchini Fritte's, it is easy to include this versatile vegetable in dishes. 

Some health benefits of fresh zucchinis include:

  1. Rich in Nutrients:
    • Despite being low in calories, zucchini is packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins C and A, potassium, and folate. These nutrients play crucial roles in immune function, vision health, and overall well-being.
  2. High in Antioxidants:
    • Zucchini contains antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are beneficial for eye health. These antioxidants help protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration and other vision-related issues.
  3. Digestive Health:
    • The dietary fiber in zucchini supports digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. It also contributes to a healthy gut microbiome.
  4. Heart Health:
    • The potassium in zucchini plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Adequate potassium intake is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular issues.
  5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
    • Zucchini contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health conditions, and including anti-inflammatory foods in the diet can be beneficial.
  6. Versatile and Low in Carbs:
    • Zucchini is a versatile vegetable that can be used in various recipes. It's also low in carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those following low-carb or keto diets.
  7. Supports Healthy Skin:
    • The vitamins and antioxidants in zucchini contribute to healthy skin. Vitamin C, in particular, plays a role in collagen formation, promoting skin elasticity and reducing signs of aging.

How to Make Carrabba's Zucchini Fritte Recipe

  1. Prepare the Coating Mixture:
    • In a small shallow bowl, mix together panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Add grated Parmesan cheese and stir until well combined.
  2. Set Up the Coating Stations:
    • In three separate bowls, set up your coating stations. One with the seasoned flour, one with the whisked eggs, and one with the breadcrumb mixture.
  3. Prep the Zucchini:
    • Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and then into strips. Further cut the zucchini slices in half to resemble the size of fries.
  4. Coat the Zucchini:
    • Take each of zucchini stick and dip it first into the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring an even coating. Be sure to shake off excess flour. Then dip it into the beaten eggs, covering it completely. Finally, generously cover the zucchini with the panko mixture, pressing it in a bit to ensure it adheres well.
  5. Arrange in the Air Fryer:
    • Preheat the air fryer and spray the basket with olive oil. Lay the breaded zucchini strips in the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they are not touching. You may need to fry them in batches to ensure even cooking.
  6. Air Fry:
    • Fry the zucchini at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes. The exact time may vary due to differences among air fryer models, so monitor closely. Cook until the zucchini is golden brown with a crispy coating.
  7. Serve:
    • Once done, remove the Zucchini Frites from the air fryer and serve your tasty snack hot with your favorite dipping sauce such as garlic aioli sauce or a side of marinara sauce. 


  • Take your time during the breading process to ensure each zucchini strip is thoroughly coated.
  • Be mindful not to overcrowd the air fryer basket, as this can affect the crispiness of the zucchini.

Delicious Dipping Sauce Ideas for Zucchini Frittes

Here are some delicious dipping sauce ideas to complement your Carrabba's Zucchini Frite recipe:

  1. Garlic Aioli:
    • Blend 1 cup mayonnaise, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Basil Pesto Mayo:
    • Combine basil pesto with mayonnaise for a herby and flavorful dip.
  3. Spicy Marinara:
    • Add some heat to traditional marinara sauce with red pepper flakes or hot sauce.
  4. Lemon Herb Yogurt Sauce:
    • Mix Greek yogurt with fresh herbs (such as dill and parsley) and a squeeze of lemon.
  5. Sriracha Ranch:
    • Blend ranch dressing with a dash of Sriracha for a spicy kick.
  6. Smoky Chipotle Mayo:
    • Combine mayonnaise with chipotle in adobo sauce for a smoky and spicy dip.
  7. Tzatziki:
    • A refreshing dip made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill
Carrabba's Zucchini Frittes with marinara sauce for dipping

Other Vegetables to Use in this Carrabba's Zucchini Fritte Recipe

 If you're looking to substitute or add variety to the Zucchini Frittes recipe, you can try using the following vegetables:

  1. Eggplant:
    • Offers a mild flavor and a tender texture when sliced into strips.
  2. Yellow Squash:
    • Similar to zucchini but with a slightly different flavor, adding a pop of color.
  3. Carrots:
    • Cut into thin strips or use a vegetable peeler to create carrot ribbons for a sweet and crunchy alternative.
  4. Sweet Potatoes:
    • Slice sweet potatoes into thin strips for a slightly sweet and nutritious twist.
  5. Butternut Squash:
    • Peel and cut into thin, fry-like strips for a sweet and nutty flavor.
  6. Jicama:
    • A crunchy and refreshing option when cut into matchsticks.
  7. Bell Peppers:
    • Cut into strips for a colorful and sweet addition.

Just be mindful of variations in cooking times, as different vegetables may require adjustments. Enjoy your vegetable frites adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions about Carrabba's Zucchini Frittes

Can zucchini frittes be baked instead of air fried?

Baking Zucchini Frites is a viable alternative to air frying. To bake them, follow the same steps as in the air frying instructions, but instead of using an air fryer, place the coated zucchini strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the zucchini is golden brown and crispy. Flip the strips halfway through the baking time for even crispiness. Baking provides another healthy option with less oil while still delivering a deliciously crispy result. 

Are there other flavorings, herbs, or spices that can be used for air fried zucchini?

You have plenty of room to get creative with the seasonings for your Zucchini Frites. Consider options like smoky paprika for depth, cayenne pepper for heat, or a blend of dried herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano) for a Mediterranean touch. Lemon zest can bring a citrusy twist, while a garlic herb blend or a mix of Parmesan and herbs adds savory notes. 

Can you make the Carrabba's zucchini fritte recipe ahead of time?

While Zucchini Frites are best enjoyed fresh for optimal crispiness, If you have leftovers or need to make your appetizer ahead of time, keep the zucchini frittes in an airtight container. Bake them in the oven to warm them up. Baking will help to prevent the zucchini sticks from getting too soggy.

Are there alternatives to the panko breadcrumbs?

There are several alternatives you can consider to replace or modify the panko breadcrumbs in your Carrabba's zucchini fritte recipe:

  • Regular breadcrumbs work well as a straightforward substitute.
  • Italian seasoned breadcrumbs add a burst of flavor.
  • Cornmeal introduces a slightly gritty texture and corn flavor.
  • Almond flour or almond meal provides a nutty twist and is gluten-free.
  • Crushed cornflakes would work well.
  • Rice flour or cornstarch create a lighter, crispier crust (ensure vegetables are well-dried).
  • Parmesan cheese, when grated and mixed with herbs, gives a flavorful and cheesy crust.
  • Ground flaxseeds or chia seeds add a nutritional boost and a hint of nuttiness.

Carrabba's Zucchini Frittes with marinara sauce for dipping

Carrabba's Zucchini Fritte Recipe

Use your abundance of summer’s fresh garden or farmers’ market zucchini in this Carrabba’s Zucchini Fritte recipe. It is a healthy and savory version of one of your favorite restaurant appetizers. Golden strips of zucchini, coated in a blend of panko bread crumbs, Italian seasonings, and Parmesan cheese, offer a flavorful twist and healthy appetizer option.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 Air Fryer


  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 2 t italian seasoning
  • 2 t onion powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • ¼ cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs whisked
  • 3 T flour almond or regular white flour
  • 2-3 medium zucchini cut into strips
  • Olive oil spray


  • Mix breadcrumbs, seasonings and parmesan cheese in a small bowl.
  • Beat eggs and season with salt and pepper in a second small bowl.
  • Season flour generously with salt and pepper in a third small bowl.
  • Cut zucchini into half lengthwise and then into strips. Cut the strips in half so they are the size of fries.
  • Spray air fryer with olive oil spray.
  • Dip each zucchini into flour, then the egg wash, and then generously cover with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing it in a bit. Take your time breading the zucchini to make sure they are covered.
  • Lay the breaded zucchini in the air fryer in a single layer. Make sure they are not touching. You will fry them in batches.
  • Fry for 5-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Be sure to watch your zucchini frittes carefully as all air fryers are different.
  • Serve with dipping sauce of choice.


See the post above for several delicious dipping sauce ideas.
Also see the above post for vegetable variations.
Keyword Air Fryer, zucchini

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