How do you keep fried zucchini from getting soggy?

Fried zucchini is a delicious appetizer or side dish, with a crunchy, golden exterior surrounding the tender zucchini inside. However, the crispiness of fried zucchini doesn’t last long after frying. Within minutes, the hot fried coating starts to soak up any moisture around it, causing the zucchini to turn unpleasantly soft and soggy. No one wants a plate of limp, soggy zucchini fries! Luckily, there are several tricks you can use to keep your fried zucchini crispy and crunchy for as long as possible after frying.

Why Does Fried Zucchini Get Soggy?

There are two main reasons why fried foods like zucchini tend to get soggy quickly:

Moisture from the Zucchini

Zucchini itself contains a high percentage of water, around 95%. When you bread and fry the zucchini, all that moisture gets trapped inside the crispy outer coating. As the zucchini cools after frying, the water starts to condense and make the coating soft and soggy.

Absorption of External Moisture

The hot, freshly fried coating is very porous and absorbent. If you let the zucchini sit out at room temperature after frying, the crunchy coating will quickly absorb moisture from the surrounding air. It can also soak up any moisture from steam, sauces, or condensation on the serving platter.

Tips to Keep Fried Zucchini Crispy

Follow these tips for fried zucchini that stays crispy and crunchy for longer:

Start with Fresh Zucchini

Choose fresh, firm zucchini that are not dried out or mushy. Older zucchini have higher water content.

Salt the Zucchini

Sprinkling sliced zucchini with salt helps draw out some of the moisture before breading. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, then pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Double Bread the Zucchini

Dredge sliced zucchini in flour first, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs. The extra layer helps seal in moisture and provides an extra crispy coating.

Use Instant ClearJel

Mixing a few teaspoons of instant ClearJel into your breading helps absorb moisture. ClearJel is modified food starch that seals in juices.

Fry at the Right Temperature

Heat oil to 350-375°F. Frying at too low of a heat makes zucchini absorb more oil and turn out soggy.

Don’t Overcrowd the Oil

Fry zucchini in batches without overcrowding for even cooking. Too many pieces lower the oil temp.

Drain Properly on a Wire Rack

Drain fried zucchini on a wire rack over a baking sheet, not paper towels. Allow air circulation so the crust stays crisp.

Blot with Paper Towels

Gently blot fried zucchini with paper towels to soak up any excess grease that could make the coating soggy.

Keep Fried Zucchini Warm in an Oven

After frying, keep zucchini warm and crispy in a 200°F oven on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

Let Excess Moisture Evaporate

Before saucing or stacking fried zucchini, let them rest for 5-10 minutes out of the fryer to allow moisture to evaporate.

Avoid Steamy Environments

Don’t cover fried zucchini or let them sit somewhere steamy. Moisture will make them limp.

Serve with Absorbent Foods

Pair fried zucchini with dinner rolls, fries, or chips that will help absorb excess moisture and grease.

Re-Crisp in Hot Oil or Oven

If zucchini gets soggy, briefly fry again or bake at 425°F for 2-3 minutes to recrisp the crust.

Best Breading for Crispy Fried Zucchini

The coating you bread your zucchini with before frying also affects crispiness. Here are some of the best breading options:

Panko Breadcrumbs

Japanese panko crumbs create an extra crispy crust. The coarse texture leaves air pockets for a lighter, crunchier coating.

Crushed Crackers or Chips

For a flavorful crunch, try crushing items like saltine crackers, tortilla chips, potato chips or pretzels to coat zucchini.


Dusting fried foods in cornstarch results in an ultra crisp and light crust. It also helps absorb moisture.

Instant ClearJel

As mentioned above, a few teaspoons of this modified starch mixed into your breading absorbs moisture for a crisper crust.

Semolina Flour

Semolina flour particles are coarse, which creates a delicate, crunchy texture when fried.

Sparkling Water

The carbonation in sparkling water helps lift batter off the zucchini for a thin, crispy coating.

Frying Oil Matters

Choose the right frying oil for crispy zucchini fries that stay crispy longer:

Peanut Oil

Refined peanut oil is ideal for frying at high heat with little flavor transfer. It helps seal in moisture.

Canola Oil

With its high smoke point and neutral taste, canola oil is another great choice for crispy fried foods.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is lightweight and can withstand the high heat of frying.

Vegetable Shortening

Pure vegetable shortening results in an ultra crispy crust that resists moisture.

Avoid Olive Oil

Olive oil has a low smoke point and can impart strong flavor to fried foods.

Oil Smoke Point
Peanut Oil 450°F
Canola Oil 400°F
Sunflower Oil 440°F
Vegetable Shortening 370°F
Olive Oil 375°F

How to Store Fried Zucchini to Maximize Crispness

Proper storage after frying is also key to keeping zucchini crispy:

Let Cool Completely

Make sure fried zucchini have cooled down to room temperature before storing. Excess warmth creates moisture.

Store in an Airtight Container

Place completely cooled zucchini in an airtight food storage container or zip top bag. Seal tightly.

Add Paper Towels

Put a sheet of paper towel in the bottom of the storage container to absorb any condensation.


Store fried zucchini in the fridge, not at room temperature. Cold temperatures prevent sogginess.

Eat Within 3 Days

For best texture and flavor, consume fried zucchini within 3 days of frying. Reheat in a 400°F oven.

Re-Crisp Before Serving

If zucchini loses its crunch after storage, fry briefly in oil again or bake at 425°F for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Different Ways to Enjoy Crispy Fried Zucchini

Now that you know how to keep fried zucchini crispy, here are some delicious ways to serve this appetizing dish:

Fried Zucchini Fries

Slice zucchini into long sticks, bread, fry, and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauces. Ranch, marinara, or spicy aioli are all tasty choices.

Fried Zucchini Chips

For thin, crispy chips, slice zucchini paper-thin using a mandoline. Fry and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

Fried Zucchini Coins

Cut zucchini into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick rounds. The thick coins stay extra crispy and are perfect for dipping!

Fried Zucchini Parm

Top breaded, fried zucchini slices with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella for a crispy, flavorful parmesan version.

Fried Zucchini Tacos

Wrap crispy fried zucchini strips in soft corn tortillas. Top with Mexican spices, avocado, salsa, and cilantro.

Tasty Dipping Sauces for Fried Zucchini

Every batch of crispy fried zucchini deserves an appetizing dipping sauce. Whip up one of these easy sauces:


Cool, creamy ranch makes the perfect partner for crunchy fried zucchini. Use homemade or store-bought.


For an Italian twist, serve piping hot marinara sauce for dipping fried zucchini.

Honey Mustard

Whisk together honey, mustard, and mayo for a sweet, tangy fried zucchini dip.

Tzatziki Sauce

Cool cucumber yogurt tzatziki sauce balances the hot, crispy zucchini.

Spicy Mayo

Stir sriracha into mayonnaise for a spicy, creamy dipping sauce with a kick.

Chipotle Ranch

Mix ranch with smoky chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a southwestern flavored dip.

Blue Cheese Dip

For a rich, indulgent pairing, serve fried zucchini with thick, creamy blue cheese dip.


Now you’re armed with plenty of tricks to keep fried zucchini nice and crispy, from start to finish. First, remove excess moisture from the zucchini itself. Double bread for a crunchy seal. Fry at the right high heat in oil with a high smoke point. Drain and store properly after cooking. With the right techniques, you’ll be able to enjoy plate after plate of perfect crispy fried zucchini. Dip the hot, golden zucchini into a cool, creamy sauce and enjoy this tasty appetizer!

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