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Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini

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. You’ll also love them dipped in this luscious Sriracha Aioli.
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


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

  • 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

More Delicious Vegetable Recipes

glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

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