Love crispy baked zucchini but loathe turning on your oven in the peak of summer heat? Make this Air Fryer Zucchini instead!

Crispy air fryer zucchini

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Pieces of zucchini tossed in a light Parmesan and panko breadcrumb coating, then air fried until crispy outside and tender inside, air fried zucchini is the lower maintenance cousin of air fryer Zucchini Fries.

When you’re looking to cook vegetables with maximal crunch appeal in a healthy way, the air fryer is the appliance for the job.

One of the reasons I love making zucchini (aside from the obvious—we have a boatload of it), is that it requires very little prep work compared to other vegetables.

For example, to make Roasted Zucchini or Grilled Zucchini, it’s as easy as cutting the zucchini into spears.

To continue the easy zucchini trajectory, rather than make air fryer zucchini chips—which, while yummy, take longer to make zucchini slices and cook in smaller batches—I opted to cut the zucchini into bite-sized pieces instead.

It takes less time to prep the zucchini this way, and you can get away with adding more to the air fryer basket at a time for a faster, low carb side dish.

Result: more crispy zucchini in less time.

I like this math.

Healthy air fryer zucchini with Parmesan

How to Air Fry Zucchini

Zucchini is pretty bland on its own, which makes it versatile.

It also means seasoning is very important.

  • For the breading, I used a combination of onion powder, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
  • Since this recipe is very light and healthy, preparing it as air fryer zucchini Parmesan makes it more satisfying.

Feel free to add cayenne to make it spicy, or swap the Parmesan for nutritional yeast (or omit it) to make air fried zucchini vegan.

Avoid Overcooking

Air fryer zucchini time will vary based on your model. Plan on 7 to 9 minutes at 400 degrees F, and check early to be safe.

Note that the zucchini will still be al dente when it is done. If you continue cooking until the zucchini is completely soft, it will taste soggy.


The Ingredients

  • Zucchini. The green bounty of summer produce becomes addictively crispy and flavorful in the air fryer. It’s healthy, tender, and a crowd-pleaser! Zucchini is packed with vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants (and even a little calcium).
  • Olive Oil. Helps the zucchini crisp and keeps it from burning.
  • Panko. Gives the zucchini a deliciously crisp exterior.
  • Flour. A coating of flour helps the breadcrumbs stick and makes the zucchini taste like it’s fried. You can use white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour.
  • Parmesan. A small handful of Parmesan adds a scrumptious salty cheesiness.

Substitution Tip

To make this recipe vegan, swap the Parmesan for nutritional yeast.

  • Spices. A simple seasoning blend of salt, onion powder, and black pepper are all these zucchini pieces need for flavor.

The Directions

Zucchini being cut on a wooden cutting board
  1. Trim and cut the medium size zucchini, then add it to a mixing bowl.
Cut zucchini in a glass bowl with oil
  1. Toss the zucchini with oil.
Cut zucchini vegetables in a bowl
  1. Stir in the panko bread crumbs, Parmesan, flour, and spices. Toss to coat.
Cut panko vegetables in an air fryer basket
  1. Add half of the zucchini to an air fryer in a single layer.
Crispy cut zucchini vegetables in an air fryer
  1. Air fry zucchini at 400 degrees F for 7 to 9 minutes, shaking the basket occasionally. Remove to a serving plate. Repeat with the remaining zucchini. ENJOY!
Parmesan air fryer zucchini

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate zucchini in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. 
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the air fryer. 
  • To Freeze. I do not recommend freezing zucchini, as it becomes soggy once thawed. If you insist, you can freeze zucchini in an air-tight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 1 day in advance, trim and cut the zucchini as directed. Refrigerate it in an air-tight storage container until you’re ready to finish the recipe.

A bowl of air fryer zucchini

What to Serve with Air Fryer Zucchini

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Air Fryer. Perfect for making this air fryer zucchini recipe!
  • Non-Slip Cutting Board. When chopping vegetables, I prefer to use a sturdy cutting board like this one.
  • Cheese Grater. Because grating your own cheese is worth it.

Extra-Large Air Fryer

This is the air fryer model I own and love! It has an extra-large basket, meaning you can cook more at once.

Crispy air fryer zucchini

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

With this crispy and crunch, if you have some extra zucchini, I’ll take a bunch!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is My Air Fried Zucchini Soggy?

If your air fryer zucchini turns out soggy, it’s likely because it was overcooked or you used too much oil. Make sure to follow the cook times and oil amount listed in the recipe to ensure you end up with crisp-tender zucchini instead of soggy.

What Can I Do with Leftover Zucchini?

Leftover zucchini makes an excellent addition to your favorite pizza (try my Whole Wheat Pizza Dough), pasta (like Adult Mac and Cheese), or this Easy Quiche Recipe.

Can I Make Air Fryer Zucchini Gluten Free?

Yes, you can make this recipe gluten free. Swap the regular flour for a 1:1 gluten free flour and the panko for gluten free panko (like this one).

Crispy air fryer zucchini

Air Fryer Zucchini

4.20 from 5 votes
Crispy air fryer zucchini with a golden Parmesan panko topping is a light, fast, and healthy side and a great way to use up extra zucchini.

Prep: 7 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 15 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 small/medium zucchini about 1 1/4 pounds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese for a vegan version, use nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • If you’d like to keep the zucchini warm between batches, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Trim off the ends of the zucchini and cut into quarters length-wise. Place each quarter against the cutting board, flat side down, then cut crosswise into 3/4-inch thick half-moons so that you have chunks that are about 3/4 inch in size each. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Drizzle the zucchini with the oil. Toss to coat.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the panko, Parmesan, flour, salt, onion powder, and pepper. Sprinkle over the zucchini, then toss to coat the zucchini as evenly as possible.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Place half of the zucchini in the air fryer basket in an even layer (no need to coat it with nonstick cooking spray).
  • Air fry zucchini for 7 to 9 minutes, shaking a few times throughout, until the breadcrumbs are golden and the zucchini is tender but not mushy. Transfer to a serving plate or a parchment-lined baking sheet if keeping warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining zucchini.

Notes

  • Recipe adapted from my Zucchini Fries.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate zucchini in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the air fryer.
  • TO FREEZE: I do not recommend freezing zucchini, as it becomes soggy once thawed. If you insist, you can freeze zucchini in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 99kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgPotassium: 250mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 199IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg

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12 Comments

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  1. This is really good! My air fryer only needed 5 minutes and they got kinda mushy at 7 though. So definitely recommend this recipe, just check frequently while cooking4 stars

  2. This is a question … can you use a silicone baking mat for this recipe? My oven has an air fryer function, and I could cook it all in one batch.

    1. Hi Deborah! I’d refer to the oven owner’s manual for this type of answer. I’m not able to advise on specifics about ovens with air fryer function since I don’t own one myself. Hope you enjoy the zucchini!

  3. This air fryer technique isn’t overly-breaded, allowing you to really taste the zucchini! Delicious and easy!5 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Rebecca. The method has worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too! I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it not turn out for you.