Air fryer zucchini is an easy, healthy, and tasty way of preparing this delicious vegetable. The air fryer's hot air and quick cooking time produce a tender-crisp zucchini with minimal use of oil.
This technique is a godsend for health-conscious home cooks looking to put a mouthwatering and wholesome meal on the table within minutes.
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There are many ways of cooking zucchini in the air fryer.
From air fryer zucchini chips to zucchini boats and stuffed zucchini, the air fryer is the perfect substitute for an oven.
Here we'll show you the simplest and quickest recipe for air fryer zucchini.
We cut the zucchini into wedges, season them with spices, and cook them till tender crisp for 7 to 9 minutes, depending on your air fryer model.
The air fryer's hot air and quick cooking time produces zucchini wedges that are tender and crisp without getting soggy as in a traditional oven.
In the variations chapter, we'll provide you with more recipes you can make with zucchini in an air fryer.
Ingredients & Substitutions
We use green zucchini, but you can use any summer squash. Try globe zucchini, yellow crookneck, yellow squash, yellow zucchini, and grey zucchini.
For best results, use the freshest zucchini so that they stay tender-crisp and won't be bitter.
Whether at the grocery store or at the farmer's market, to check for freshness, apply pressure with your fingers close to the tip of the zucchini (opposite the stem). The zucchini should be firm and not yield to pressure.
Avocado oil is another good oil for air frying, but extra virgin olive oil adds more flavor.
We don't recommend cooking spray as it is often made with low-quality oils and additives.
We find it to be more effective than fresh garlic in this recipe. It coats the zucchini evenly, adding a pleasant garlic aroma.
Substitute onion powder for garlic powder.
Paprika adds a touch of color and spice. You can also use smoked paprika or chipotle powder in hot smokey flavors.
Try dry oregano, thyme, mint, basil, or mixed Italian seasoning to add before cooking.
Or use fresh parsley, basil, or mint to sprinkle on top after cooking.
Salt and pepper
We recommend sea salt or kosher salt. Freshly ground black pepper adds fragrance.
How to make air fryer zucchini
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F or 200°C for 3 minutes.
In the meantime, wash and dry the zucchini. Trim the ends, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then chop it into ¼ Inch (0.5 cm) half-discs.
Transfer the zucchini to a bowl. Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and dried herbs.
Toss with a spoon to distribute the seasoning evenly.
Transfer half of the zucchini to the air fryer basket and arrange them mainly on a single layer without too much overlapping (some overlapping is ok).
Air fry at 400°F or 200°C for 7 to 9 minutes, depending on your air-fryer, then proceed with the next batch.
The zucchini are ready when tender-crisp and slightly browned on the outside.
Tip: Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket because the zucchini will become soggy.
Serve as an appetizer, snack, or side dish. You can add some fresh herbs (thyme, mint, basil) and a squeeze of lemon.
Make it a meal
Eat with pita chips or warm pita bread for a delicious and healthy meal.
As a side dish
- With a protein-rich main: such as our BBQ Tofu, marinated tofu, fried tofu, or orange tofu.
- Add to your favorite salad: serve next to a vegan pasta salad, tofu salad, or upgrade a chickpea salad with extra veggies.
- Serve as a side dish for pasta: either pasta aglio e olio, lemon pasta, or any of these vegan pasta recipes.
As a starter
An air fryer allows you to cook most zucchini recipes you would otherwise do in an oven, usually in half the time. For example, try:
Crisp zucchini chips coated in flour and a bread crumbs mixture (or panko bread crumbs) with herbs, garlic, and parmesan cheese.
Check out our fried zucchini recipe.
Our stuffed zucchini with ricotta and sun-dried tomato filling is an excellent recipe to cook in the air fryer at 350°F or 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes.
Check out our stuffed zucchini recipe.
Zucchini boats are filled with a lentil and tomato mixture to is bold, rich, and fulfilling. You can cook them in the air fryer at 350°F or 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes.
Check out our zucchini boats recipe.
Make ahead: air fryer zucchini is not the best recipe to make ahead because the zucchini get softer and sometimes soggy soon after they are cooked.
Refrigerator: keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or microwave.
Freezer: we don't recommend freezing. The zucchini will lose its texture and get soggy.
More air fryer recipes
Air frying is a fantastic way of making easy recipes with less oil. Here are some of our favorites:
More zucchini recipes
If you love zucchini as much as we do, check out these vibrant recipes:
- Sauteed zucchini: a super easy and basic recipe, ready in just 10 mins.
- Zucchini frittata: an egg-free frittata perfect for picnics, brunch, and lunch.
- Zucchini pesto: a healthy condiment with plenty of good fats and vitamins. A great addition to pasta and vegan salads.
- Roasted zucchini easy baked zucchini in 2 ways that you can serve as a flavorful side or appetizer.
- Zucchini risotto: a creamy and indulgent dinner idea perfect for social gatherings.
- Tofu soup: one of our favorite easy dinners as it's ready in just 20 mins.
For many more side dish ideas, check out our sides category page.
Air Fryer Zucchini
- Air fryer
- 3 medium-sized zucchini (about 1½ pound)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 twists black pepper
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F or 200°C for 3 minutes.In the meantime, wash and dry the zucchini. Trim the ends, cut 3 medium-sized zucchini in half lengthwise, then chop it into ¼ Inch (0.5 cm) half-discs.
- Transfer the zucchini to a bowl. Season with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, and 2 twists black pepper.Toss with a spoon to distribute the seasoning evenly.
- Transfer half of the zucchini to the air fryer basket and arrange them mainly on a single layer without too much overlapping (some overlapping is ok).Air fry at 400°F or 200°C for 7 to 9 minutes, depending on your air-fryer, then proceed with the next batch.The zucchinis are ready when tender-crisp and slightly browned on the outside.Tip: Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket.
- Serve as an appetizer, snack, or side dish. You can add some fresh herbs (thyme, mint, basil) and a squeeze of lemon.
- Nico's serving tip: Serve air fryer zucchini on a bed of Romesco sauce, drizzled with tahini sauce, a pinch of smoked paprika, a squeeze of lemon juice, and toasted slivered almonds.Eat with pita chips or warm pita bread for a delicious and healthy meal.