This Air Fryer Zucchini recipe features sliced zucchini breaded in a crispy-crunchy Panko mixture. Every bite comes packed with flavor thanks to fresh Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning!
If you love fried squash, but not so much the saturated fat and those pesky calories that come along with it, this is the recipe for you!
It’s a great recipe to keep on hand year-round, but consider it a must-make in the summertime when zucchini is in season, extra fresh, and ripening in the garden!
Serve Air Fryer Zucchini as a healthy side dish alongside our baked Chicken Marinara, as an appetizer to kick off any summer gathering, or as a snack!
FRIED ZUCCHINI IN THE AIR FRYER
When you want the flavor and texture of fried food, but not the grease — the air fryer is your best friend. It has this uncanny ability to mimic the crunchy, crispy coating we know and love about breaded, fried foods without having to submerge the foods in oil. Yes, please.
This is because within the countertop appliance lies a convection oven-type fan. The purpose of this fan is to quickly circulate air all around the basket of the air fryer.
The combination of the perforated air fryer basket and the circulating air makes it possible for every nook and cranny of batters and breading’s to come in contact with the heat.
Moral of the story? If you want fried zucchini without having to fry zucchini, you need the air fryer.
WHICH ZUCCHINI DO I BUY FOR THIS RECIPE?
This recipe will work for both yellow summer squash and zucchini, but if you’re wanting to mimic the look and flavor of restaurant-style fried zucchini, go for the green!
However, if you’re not super familiar with this veggie, you should know — there’s more than one type of green summer squash with a skinny oblong look to it.
Avoid Tatuma squash (also known as Calabacita squash) in the produce aisle. This variety is a lighter green and a bit more spherical than your standard zucchini.
HOW TO PICK PERFECT ZUCCHINI
Great Air Fryer Zucchini starts with great zucchini!
If you’re looking to pick out the creme de la creme in the produce aisle, find smooth-skinned zucchini, free of any nicks. It should feel heavy for its size, and you’ll want to stick with ones between 6-8″ in length.
HOW TO CUT ZUCCHINI FOR FRIED ZUCCHINI CHIPS
Cutting the zucchini into chip shapes is beyond easy, but there’s one thing you’ll want to keep in mind as your slicing away: size matters.
Do your best to keep that slicing consistent. You should be aiming for generous 1/4″ slices. The reason it is so important to keep it consistent is that the thickness of your zucchini affects the cook time.
You need it to be thick enough so that the zucchini interior itself does not turn to mush as the outside breading is still crisping and browning.
Keep in mind, zucchini cooks fairly quickly so it’s better to slice it thicker than thinner.
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER ZUCCHINI
This Air Fryer Zucchini Recipe results in perfectly crispy, golden brown zucchini chips and it comes together in just a few simple steps. Here’s how you make it:
Preheat the Air Fryer | Preheating the air fryer really matters. In fact, it’s just as important as preheating your oven. The good news? It takes way less time. The air fryer should be preheated to 400°F and ready to go between the 5 to 10-minute mark!
Slice | While you’re air fryer is preheating, go ahead and slice your zucchini. To make sure your zucchini cooks evenly, be sure to cut it into uniform slices the best you can. You’re shooting for generous 1/4″ slices.
Ready the Breading Station | Get organized and make an assembly line! Ready your breading station ready by having three rimmed trays or pie dishes ready to go.
- In the first tray, whisk together flour, salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper.
- In the second tray, whisk together eggs and water.
- And, in the last tray, combine panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and a little more salt!
Dip | Now comes the time to turn that Air Fryer Zucchini into crunchy little zucchini chips! First, dredge it in the flour. Then, knock off the excess and dip it in the egg. Fully coat it, allow any extra egg to fall back into the tray, and coat it thoroughly in the panko-Parmesan mix.
Spray | It is the oil that enables the exterior to brown and crisp, giving it that fried-like, crunchy texture. For this reason, you want to be sure your Air Fryer Zucchini has a nice, even misting of oil on the coating!
It’s best if you use an aerosol can of oil for full coverage. I like to have a rimmed sheet pan ready for spreading out the zucchini chips and misting them with oil.
Air Fry | Cook the zucchini in a single layer without overcrowding the basket. You want air to be able to circulate around the breading. If hot air can’t touch it, then it can’t brown or reach its crispy air fryer potential! Cook each batch of Air Fryer Zucchini Chips for 6 to 7 minutes.
TIP FOR EXTRA CRISPY AIR FRYER ZUCCHINI
If you want your Air Fryer zucchini to stay crisp on both sides, use a cooling rack to house the cooked zucchini hot out of the air fryer!
The allowance of airflow beneath the rack will prevent heat from getting trapped underneath the zucchini, condensation from forming, and your breading from getting soggy.
6 MORE AIR FRYER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Air Fryer Burgers | If you want all the flavor of a perfectly cooked, grilled burger without having to go outside, this is the recipe for you!
- Air Fryer Chicken Legs | Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside — this is every kid’s dream dinner!
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries | This is a healthier way to enjoy a sweet and savory fried food favorite!
- Air Fryer Onion Rings | With a simple seasoned-flour coating and a few shakes of the air fryer basket, you can have perfect onion rings without heating up a pot of oil!
- Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks | This one is for the cheese lovers! Stretchy mozzarella is hiding inside a crispy, crunchy panko-breadcrumb coating!
- Air Fryer Pickles | The ultimate comfort food appetizer gets a healthy makeover and you won’t miss a thing!
This healthy Air Fryer Zucchini recipe features sliced zucchini chips breaded in a crispy-crunchy Panko mixture, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning! Serve as a healthy side dish, as an appetizer to kick off any summer gathering, or as a snack.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, separated
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
- 2 zucchini washed, dried, and cut into a 1/4" slice
- nonstick cooking spray (Avocado, canola, or vegetable oil preferably in an aerosol can), about 2 tablespoons
Have ready three shallow bowls or trays for a dredging station. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for 10 minutes.
In the first tray, whisk together the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper. In the second tray, whisk together the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. In the third tray, mix together the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Fully coat each zucchini slice in the seasoned flour and shake off the excess. Submerge in the egg mixture, allow excess to drip off, and then transfer to the tray of panko. Coat thoroughly with the panko, applying gentle pressure as needed to ensure the coating adheres. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
Once you have all of the zucchini slices coated, transfer them to a large, rimmed baking sheet and mist the tops and sides with the nonstick cooking spray. Flip each zucchini, and mist the other side.
Add a single layer of zucchini to the basket of the air fryer and cook at 400°F for 6-7 minutes. Remove the zucchini chips, and repeat with the remaining zucchini.