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This quick and easy air fryer zucchini recipe has been my go-to this summer when I want a quick, healthy side dish without heating up my kitchen. It’s fast, it’s flavorful, and it has an irresistible parmesan coating. Say goodbye to the hassle of traditional frying methods and hello to a healthier alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste!
If you don’t have an air fryer, you don’t have to miss out! Even if you can’t make air fried zucchini, you can make this exact dish in the oven instead, or try stovetop fried zucchini or baked zucchini fries.
Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Zucchini
- Crispy, cheesy on the outside
- Tender on the inside
- Just 5 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper)
- Ready in 15 minutes
- Naturally gluten free, low carb, vegetarian, & just plain healthy
- Super fast snack, appetizer, or side dish
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for air fryer zucchini, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Zucchini – I cut it into 1/2 inch thick slices, but you could cut zucchini sticks if you prefer. For slices, don’t make them too thin, unless you want crispy air fryer zucchini chips instead of tender zucchini! You can also make this air fryer zucchini recipe using yellow summer squash instead.
- Olive Oil – Adds flavor and helps the seasonings stick. Avocado oil, or any neutral cooking oil, would also work.
- Herbs & Spices – Garlic powder, dried oregano (optional, you can omit if you want or use Italian seasoning instead), sea salt, and black pepper.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese – Makes a cheesy, crisp outside! You can swap half of it with breadcrumbs if it fits your lifestyle, or substitute other grated hard cheeses, such as pecorino romano. Semi-soft or semi-hard cheeses, such as mozzarella or cheddar, also taste great on air fried zucchini, but they will turn out more melty rather than crispy.
VARIATION: Add lemon juice!
If you like the flavor, add a few teaspoons of lemon juice at the same time as the olive oil.
How To Cook Zucchini In The Air Fryer
This section shows how to make air fryer zucchini, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Season the zucchini. Preheat your air fryer. Place the zucchini slices in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. Add the garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
- Add the cheese. Top with grated parmesan cheese. Toss to coat again.
- Air fry. Arrange the zucchini slices in the air fryer basket in a single layer. If the coating of parmesan looks sparse, sprinkle a thin layer of additional parmesan on top. Cook until tender and golden brown.
How Long To Cook Zucchini In The Air Fryer?
Air fry zucchini for about 8 minutes, or until tender. Cook time can vary depending on the thickness of the slices.
Tips For The Best Air Fryer Zucchini
- Cut uniform slices. You want the same thickness for all of them, so that they cook at the same rate.
- Dry the zucchini if it’s wet. If you slice the zucchini ahead of time, or if yours has a lot of moisture, pat dry with paper towels before adding the oil.
- Don’t crowd the air fryer. Mine fit in the air fryer in one batch, but smaller air fryers may need multiple batches.
- Avoid flipping the zucchini. The parmesan coating tends to fall off if you flip halfway through cooking, so it’s best to just leave the pieces in one spot the entire time.
- Store: Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat: You can reheat zucchini in the air fryer again (this time at 350 degrees F), or in the oven. I don’t love microwaving zucchini because it gets soggy, but you can if you’re in a hurry.
- Freeze: You can freeze this dish, but it will be more mushy after thawing. If you still want to, freeze in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What To Serve With Air Fried Zucchini
Although air fryer zucchini recipes work well with just about any main, I like to stick to easy options for a quick weeknight dinner. Here are some ideas:
- Chicken – Virtually any chicken recipe can be paired with this zucchini air fryer recipe. A couple of my faves are lemon garlic chicken and crispy baked chicken legs.
- Beef – You can’t go wrong with a juicy sirloin steak or an easy burger recipe. For a fancy, yet quick air fryer meal for a special occasion, try air fryer filet mignon.
- Fish – For a complete air fryer meal, try air fryer cod or air fryer salmon. If you want your side and main dish to be ready at the same time, go for broiled salmon or pan fried tilapia.
- Dipping Sauce – Air fried zucchini even works as an appetizer with homemade marinara sauce, creamy tahini sauce, easy ranch dressing (less conventional, but my personal favorite!), or some spicy mayo.
- Appetizers – Make an appetizer smorgasbord by serving these crispy zucchini rounds with bacon wrapped shrimp, some cold crab dip with crackers, and a plate of buffalo cauliflower.
More Air Fryer Side Dish Recipes
Easy air fryer veggies make an appearance at my house multiple times a week, because they are so fast! Try these easy, flavorful options:
Tools For This Recipe
- Air Fryer – My fave! It has a roomy basket, yet doesn’t take up too much counter space.
Air Fryer Zucchini
Air Fryer Zucchini (Fast & Easy!)
You'll love this crispy, cheesy air fryer zucchini, made with just 5 simple ingredients in 15 minutes. The perfect easy, healthy side dish!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the zucchini slices in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat.
Season with garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese over the zucchini. Toss to coat again.
Arrange the zucchini slices in the air fryer basket in a single layer, working in batches if needed. (Do not crowd the basket. Mine fit in the air fryer in one batch, but smaller air fryers may need multiple batches.) If the coating of parmesan looks sparse, sprinkle a thin layer of additional parmesan on top.
Air fry zucchini for 8 minutes, until tender and golden brown.
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Serving size: 1 cup
Nutritional information does not include optional dried oregano.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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