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Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini (with Oven Option)

Air Fry­er Zuc­chi­ni is the per­fect crispy, crunchy side dish or snack!

Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini on a white plate that is resting on a wooden cutting board with a bowl of Creamy Chipotle Parmesan Aioli, a glass of soda and a blue print fabric napkin
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It’s easy to make and even your pick­i­est “kids” will eat their veg­eta­bles. DELISH!

My Air Fry­er Zuc­chi­ni has that crisp, crunchy tex­ture on the out­side, with a ten­der crisp veg­gie cen­ter. No mushy zuc­chi­ni for me! Zuc­chi­ni in the air fry­er is hot and ten­der, but retains a pleas­ing, firm tex­ture. I’m so hap­py with this air fry­er zuc­chi­ni recipe! And when you dip it in my Chipo­tle Parme­san Aioli? Mind blow­ing! So good!

Getting Better at Air Frying

As I have got­ten more famil­iar with the capa­bil­i­ties of my Bre­ville Joule® Oven Air Fry­er Pro,[affil­i­ate link] I have been exper­i­ment­ing more and more with recipes I can make in an air fry­er. I absolute­ly love how quick­ly food “fries” with a min­i­mum of oil and mess! And, I love that I can cook fam­i­ly-size recipes or small batch­es for just one or two, with the same ease.

Air Fried Zuc­chi­ni is evi­dence that my air fry­er jour­ney is mak­ing scrump­tious and suc­cess­ful progress! These crispy, crunchy air fry­er zuc­chi­ni fries are addic­tive­ly deli­cious. And paired with Chipo­tle Parme­san Aioli (recipe in the recipe card), you sim­ply won’t be able to get enough. So good!

Prep and cook­ing time for this zuc­chi­ni in the air fry­er recipe is around 30 min­utes. For air fry­er zuc­chi­ni, you’ll only need 6 ingre­di­ents and a lit­tle water, plus an oil mis­ter spray can like my Mis­to [affil­i­ate link] or your favorite brand of cook­ing spray from the store.

I’ve dis­cov­ered that whether I’m mak­ing bread­ed zuc­chi­ni chips, fries or chunks, or just toss­ing togeth­er a savory zuc­chi­ni side dish, my air fry­er oven max­i­mizes both fla­vor and tex­ture for a deli­cious veg­etable side!

Ingredients for Air Fryer Zucchini: zucchini (courgettes), Panko bread Crumbs, Chipotle Chili Powder, Egg, Flour, All Purpose Seasoning and Salt

The Ingredients

For the Zucchini:

  • Zuc­chi­ni
  • Unbleached All Pur­pose Flour
  • Home­made All Pur­pose Sea­son­ing (or your favorite store brand)
  • Egg
  • Ital­ian Sea­soned Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Chipo­tle Chili Powder
  • salt and pep­per, to taste
Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini in a white square serving dish next to a smalll bowl of creamy chipotle Parmesan aioli

.….

What are Panko Bread Crumbs?

Panko Bread crumbs are made from a spe­cif­ic type of Japan­ese crust­less bread. Tra­di­tion­al­ly, they are used as a bread­ing for deep-fried foods. But they are per­fect for use in an air fry­er recipe, too!

Recent­ly, the world has dis­cov­ered that these extra sharp, coarse, super-dried bread crumbs cre­ate a glo­ri­ous crunchy coat­ing on baked and air-fried food, too. You can skip the extra oil and still enjoy that deli­cious crunch.

Panko has become so com­mon that you can eas­i­ly find it almost any­where, now. Look for it next to reg­u­lar bread crumbs in your gro­cery store. I almost always buy the Ital­ian sea­soned ones. If you pur­chase plain panko, I would rec­om­mend adding Ital­ian sea­son­ing and a lit­tle salt to your bread­ing mixture.

panko bread crumbs in a gray bowl on a linen tea towel

What If I Substitute Regular Bread Crumbs?

Can you sub­sti­tute reg­u­lar bread crumbs for panko?

You can. I don’t rec­om­mend it, espe­cial­ly in this recipe. You’ll find lots of web­sites that tell you a 1:1 sub­sti­tu­tion is fine.

What they don’t men­tion is that reg­u­lar bread crumbs absorb more oil and mois­ture than panko. And, because they are so much small­er than panko, that added mois­ture means they will take longer to crisp up. And some­times, they absorb so much oil or mois­ture they don’t crisp up at all.

And even if your air fried zuc­chi­ni does final­ly get crisp, the tex­ture will nev­er be like the crunchy crisp cre­at­ed by panko bread crumbs. Panko has more sur­face area, than reg­u­lar bread crumbs. More nooks and cran­nys to crisp up. See the image below, to under­stand the coarse, crispy tex­ture panko pro­vides to air fry­er zuc­chi­ni and oth­er “fried” foods. 

Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini on a white plate that is resting on a wooden cutting board with a bowl of Creamy Chipotle Parmesan Aioli, a glass of soda and a blue print fabric napkin
What CAN I sub­sti­tute for panko?

If you’re out of panko and need some­thing ASAP, in my opin­ion, there are bet­ter sub­sti­tutes than reg­u­lar bread crumbs. Try coarse­ly crushed pret­zels, tor­tilla chips, crack­er crumbs, stuff­ing mix or corn chips. As many of those are pre-sea­soned, you will want to adjust your recipe sea­son­ings, accordingly.

Seasoning Variations and Possibilities

If you’re not big on spicy, then you can def­i­nite­ly switch out the chipo­tle in both the zuc­chi­ni bread­ing and in the creamy aioli for dipping. 

I do encour­age you to make a swap, though. Don’t just leave it out. On it’s own, zuc­chi­ni is some­what bland. It needs sea­son­ing. Because it takes on sea­son­ings so well, you can cre­ate a fla­vor pro­file that your fam­i­ly real­ly loves.

Instead of chipo­tle in the air fry­er zuc­chi­ni bread­ing (and/or aioli), try one of these pos­si­bil­i­ties to cre­ate your own fla­vor profile.

Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini in a white square serving dish next to a smalll bowl of creamy chipotle Parmesan aioli

.…

Cutting Air Fryer Zucchini

For a crispy, crunchy air fry­er zuc­chi­ni side or snack, I rec­om­mend cut­ting your zuc­chi­ni into wedges (like a french fry). Those wedges can also be cut into thirds (about 1‑inch chunks). The wedges are scrump­tious zuc­chi­ni fries and the chunks, on the end of a tooth­pick, are per­fect appe­tiz­ers for dipping.

Tech­ni­cal­ly, this recipe DOES also work with zuc­chi­ni chips. How­ev­er, after test­ing zuc­chi­ni chips dif­fer­ent ways, I feel like the zuc­chi­ni gets lost in all the bread­ing, since the zuc­chi­ni chips are cut so thin. If you want tru­ly fan­tas­tic zuc­chi­ni chips, I’ll be shar­ing a dif­fer­ent recipe soon. It has no bread­ing and they’ll be the best zuc­chi­ni chips you’ve ever eaten!

cutting zucchini into wedges

Choose small zuc­chi­ni. They have thin skins and very few or at least very small seeds. I select zuc­chi­nis (cour­gettes) that are 6 to 7 inch­es long and about 2 inch­es in diameter.

Wash and dry the zuc­chi­ni. Cut the zuc­chi­ni in half across the mid­dle. Then cut each half into 4 or 6 wedges, depend­ing on the size of your zucchini.

As I men­tioned pre­vi­ous­ly, for air fry­er zuc­chi­ni appe­tiz­er bites, at this point I would cut each zuc­chi­ni fry into thirds, mak­ing it into three rough­ly 1‑inch chunks. Then, pro­ceed with the bread­ing and air fry­ing pro­ce­dure as out­lined in the air fry­er zuc­chi­ni recipe.

How to Make Air Fryer Zucchini

Set up a lit­tle bread­ing sta­tion, on your counter. You’ll need a flat con­tain­er for the sea­soned flour dredge, one for the beat­en egg and anoth­er for the sea­soned panko bread crumbs.

Breading Station set-up for air fryer zucchini fries
  1. Pre­heat your air fry­er to 380° F.
  2. Dredge each zuc­chi­ni fry /wedge or chunk in the sea­soned flour mix­ture. I like to do all of them at once and then move on to the egg and panko.
  3. Dip the four dredged zuc­chi­ni wedges in the beat­en egg, one at at time, and shake off any excess.
  4. Coat each one in the panko bread crumb mix­ture. Place on a bak­ing sheet if your air fry­er is small or in your air fry­er bas­ket if you have an oven air fryer.
  5. When all air fry­er zuc­chi­ni fries are bread­ed, give them a light mist­ing of avo­ca­do oil. I use a Mis­to [affil­i­ate link] spray bot­tle with my own avo­ca­do oil in it. You can use store-bought cook­ing spray, too.
  1. If they’re not already in/on there, place the bread­ed air fry­er zuc­chi­ni in/on your air fry­er bas­ket with enough space around them to allow the air to cir­cu­late. For small air fry­ers you will need to work in batch­es. In my air fry­er oven I was able to get all 27 zuc­chi­ni fries. 
  2. Place the bas­ket into your pre­heat­ed air fry­er and air fry zuc­chi­ni wedges for 10 min­utes. Because of the design of the Bre­ville oven, I did­n’t need to flip or rotate mine. But, check yours at the half way point and see if they need turning.
  3. Remove from the air fry­er, sprin­kle with a lit­tle salt and enjoy with your favorite dip­ping sauce. I’ve includ­ed the recipe for Chipo­tle Parme­san Aioli in the Notes sec­tion of the recipe card.
Air Fried Zucchini Fry with a bite out of it

Keeping Air Fryer Zucchini Hot and Crisp for Serving When Cooking in Batches

If your air fry­er is too small to cook all the air fry­er zuc­chi­ni in one batch, cook each batch and then set it on a wire cool­ing rack on a bak­ing sheet. Keep the already prepped fries hot and crisp in a 200° oven while you fin­ish the oth­er batches.

Alter­na­tive­ly, you can fin­ish all batch­es and then add ALL the zuc­chi­ni fries back to the bas­ket of your air fry­er. Lay them in gen­tly, criss-crossed with lots of spaces and air holes. Reheat the entire batch for 3 min­utes at 380°. This method is more like­ly to cause bread­ing to crum­ble, though. So, I rec­om­mend keep­ing them warm in the oven, if possible.

Air Fryer Zucchini dipped in Chipotle Parmesan Aioli

Can I Make These In the Oven?

I don’t have an air fry­er. Can I make Air Fry­er Zuc­chi­ni in the oven? Yes. You def­i­nite­ly can. Pre­heat your oven to 400° F and arrange a rack at the very cen­ter of the oven.

To make air fried zuc­chi­ni in the oven, place an oven proof baking/cooling rack [affil­i­ate link] on a bak­ing sheet and arrange the bread­ed zuc­chi­ni fries on the rack. If you have a con­vec­tion option on your oven, use it. If you don’t have con­vec­tion, the instruc­tions are still the same. Your oven just won’t cir­cu­late the air like with convection.

Bake the zuc­chi­ni fries at 400° for 8 min­utes. Turn each fry and bake for an addi­tion­al 5 to 10 min­utes, until the bread­ing is crispy and gold­en brown. Bak­ing time will depend on your spe­cif­ic oven.

Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini on a white plate that is resting on a wooden cutting board with a bowl of Creamy Chipotle Parmesan Aioli, a glass of soda and a blue print fabric napkin

Make Some Soon

I’m excit­ed for you to have a chance to make this deli­cious­ly crispy and crunchy air fry­er zuc­chi­ni, soon. I think you and all you serve them to are going to love them.

If you do make air fried zuc­chi­ni, I hope you’ll come back to tell me about it and con­sid­er giv­ing us a 5 star rat­ing in the com­ments. 5 star rat­ings help oth­ers find our recipe when doing a search for air fry­er zuc­chi­ni on Google. Thanks so much! Have a great week­end, my friend!

The Recipe

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Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini on a white plate that is resting on a wooden cutting board with a bowl of Creamy Chipotle Parmesan Aioli, a glass of soda and a blue print fabric napkin

Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini with Creamy Chipotle Parmesan Aioli


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 25 min­utes
  • Yield: 4 serv­ings 1x

Description

Air Fry­er Zuc­chi­ni are crispy, crunchy deli­cious­ness and SO easy to make.  Every­one is going to love eat­ing their veg­gies when you use this sim­ple recipe!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 zuc­chi­ni, small (6–7″ long and about 2″ in diameter.)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all pur­pose flour
  • 1 tea­spoon All Pur­pose Seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Table­spoon water
  • 1 1/2 cups Ital­ian sea­soned Panko
  • 1/4 tea­spoon chipo­tle powder
  • Avo­ca­do Oil in a sprayer

Instructions

  1. Pre­heat your air fry­er to 380° F.
  2. Dredge each zuc­chi­ni fry /wedge or chunk in the sea­soned flour mix­ture. I like to do all of them at once and then move on to the egg and panko.
  3. Dip the four dredged zuc­chi­ni wedges in the beat­en egg, one at at time, and shake off any excess.
  4. Coat each one in the panko bread crumb mix­ture. Place on a bak­ing sheet if your air fry­er is small or in your air fry­er bas­ket if you have an oven air fryer.
  5. When all air fry­er zuc­chi­ni fries are bread­ed, give them a light mist­ing of avo­ca­do oil. I use a Mis­to [affil­i­ate link] spray bot­tle with my own avo­ca­do oil in it. You can use store-bought cook­ing spray, too.
  6. If they’re not already in/on there, place the bread­ed air fry­er zuc­chi­ni in/on your air fry­er bas­ket with enough space around them to allow the air to cir­cu­late. For small air fry­ers you will need to work in batch­es. In my air fry­er oven I was able to get all 27 zuc­chi­ni fries.
  7. Place the bas­ket into your pre­heat­ed air fry­er and air fry zuc­chi­ni wedges for 10 min­utes. Because of the design of the Bre­ville oven, I did­n’t need to flip or rotate mine. But, check yours at the half way point and see if they need turning.
  8. Remove from the air fry­er, sprin­kle with a lit­tle salt and enjoy with your favorite dip­ping sauce. I’ve includ­ed the recipe for Chipo­tle Parme­san Aioli in the Notes sec­tion of the recipe card.

Notes

For Creamy Chipotle Parmesan Aioli

Mix all the ingre­di­ents below in a bowl and use for dipping.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Table­spoons grat­ed Parmesan
  • 1 tea­spoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tea­spoon chipo­tle chili powder
  • salt & pep­per, to taste

Keeping Air Fryer Zucchini Hot and Crisp for Serving When Cooking in Batches

If your air fry­er is too small to cook all the air fry­er zuc­chi­ni in one batch, cook each batch and then set it on a wire cool­ing rack on a bak­ing sheet. Keep the already prepped fries hot and crisp in a 200° oven while you fin­ish the oth­er batches.

Alter­na­tive­ly, you can fin­ish all batch­es and then add ALL the zuc­chi­ni fries back to the bas­ket of your air fry­er. Lay them in gen­tly, criss-crossed with lots of spaces and air holes. Reheat the entire batch for 3 min­utes at 380°. This method is more like­ly to cause bread­ing to crum­ble, though. So, I rec­om­mend keep­ing them warm in the oven, if possible.

I don’t have an air fryer. Can I make Air Fryer Zucchini in the oven?

Yes. You def­i­nite­ly can. Pre­heat your oven to 400° F and arrange a rack at the very cen­ter of the oven.

To make air fried zuc­chi­ni in the oven, place an oven proof baking/cooling rack [affil­i­ate link] on a bak­ing sheet and arrange the bread­ed zuc­chi­ni fries on the rack. If you have a con­vec­tion option on your oven, use it. If you don’t have con­vec­tion, the instruc­tions are still the same. Your oven just won’t cir­cu­late the air like with convection.

Bake the zuc­chi­ni fries at 400° for 8 min­utes. Turn each fry and bake for an addi­tion­al 5 to 10 min­utes, until the bread­ing is crispy and gold­en brown. Bak­ing time will depend on your spe­cif­ic oven.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Veg­etable, Snack, Side Dish
  • Method: Air Fry
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

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