This air fryer zucchini dish is one of the easiest recipes I know. It only takes 15 minutes to make zucchini that’s tender, juicy, and popping with garlic and parmesan.
15-Minute Air Fryer Zucchini
If you’re in need of an easy side dish, then look no further than this air fryer zucchini recipe. This dish is juicy, packed with flavor, and goes well with almost any entree. And did I mention that it’s super healthy, and only takes 15 minutes to make?
This has become my go-to recipe when I need to get another vegetable on the table. The zucchini is perfectly tender, and a little crunchy on the outside from the breading.
There’s a hint of garlic, a nutty, salty flavor from the parmesan cheese, and a little kick from black pepper. This is a surefire way to make eating your veggies both easy and fun.
Here’s everything you need for this easy air fryer zucchini side dish recipe. Make sure you check out the recipe card at the bottom of the article to see the exact amounts of each ingredient.
- Zucchini – Your zucchini needs to be cut in half lengthwise, and then cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper – Freshly-cracked black pepper will give you the best flavor.
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Parmesan cheese – You’ll get the best results with freshly-grated parmesan cheese, though pre-grated works, too.
What Are Panko Breadcrumbs?
Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese style of breadcrumb. The biggest difference between panko and traditional breadcrumbs is that panko doesn’t use the crust from the bread. It’s also made from a specific kind of light, white bread.
The result is that panko breadcrumbs are much lighter than standard breadcrumbs. They’re able to form a crisper crust, and don’t absorb as much grease during cooking.
How to Make Air Fryer Zucchini
This is a very quick and remarkably easy recipe to make. Here’s how to do it.
- Prep. Preheat your air fryer to 400F.
- Mix the ingredients. Place the zucchini, olive oil, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, panko breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese in a mixing bowl. Toss to combine.
- Cook. Place the zucchini in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 5 minutes. Toss the zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes. The zucchini should be golden brown and crispy.
Tips and Tricks
Here are a few tips to help you make perfect air fryer zucchini.
- Cut the same size. When prepping the zucchini for this recipe, try and cut every piece to a very similar size. If the size of the zucchini slices isn’t consistent, then some pieces will be undercooked and others will be overcooked.
- Don’t crowd the zucchini. In order to get a good crispy coating on the zucchini, it’s important that you don’t crowd them in the air fryer. Make sure that each piece of zucchini has space, so it can get brown and crispy. If you can’t fit all of the zucchini in the air fryer basket without overcrowding, then cook the vegetables in batches.
- Don’t use overly ripe zucchinis. When buying zucchinis for this recipe, make sure you buy ones that aren’t too ripe. They should be quite firm when you purchase them. As the zucchini cooks in the air fryer, it will break down and get softer. A firm zucchini will turn into a tender side dish after it’s been in the air fryer, but a soft zucchini will just turn into mush.
This air fryer zucchini is a fun recipe to play with. Here are a few different things you can do to mix up the recipe.
- Make it spicy. Zucchini goes really well with red pepper flakes. If you’re a fan of spicy foods, add some chili flakes in with the mixture before cooking.
- Make it lemony. I’m a big fan of zucchini and lemon, especially when garlic is also involved. You can easily add lemon to this dish in one of two ways. You can add the zest of a lemon to the mixture before cooking the zucchini, or you can squeeze fresh lemon juice over the veggies after they’re done cooking.
- Add a little vinegar. Another great combination is zucchini and balsamic vinegar. After the zucchini comes out of the air fryer, drizzle a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction over the top. It will instantly make this zucchini recipe a side dish fit for a fancy meal!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
These tender, juicy zucchini bites will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat them for 3 minutes in a 400F air fryer, or for 5 minutes in a 350F oven. You can also reheat the air fryer zucchini in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. However, reheating in the microwave will make the zucchini less crispy.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Sure! You can keep this dish in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in the air fryer or the oven just as you would if the zucchini were coming from the fridge, but add an extra minute or two of cooking time.
More Delicious Zucchini Recipes
I hope you love this 15-minute air fryer zucchini side dish as much as I do. If so, then be sure to check out some of my other favorite zucchini recipes.
- Zucchini pasta sauce
- Roasted zucchini soup
- Asian zucchini noodles
- Zucchini enchiladas
- Zucchini walnut pesto pasta
Air Fryer Zucchini
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
This air fryer zucchini is a healthy and flavorful side dish that only takes 15 minutes to make. The zucchini are juicy and tender, but coated with crispy panko breadcrumbs.
- 2 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 1 inch sections. See photos in post for size reference
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl. Preheat the air fryer, if needed, to 400 degrees.
- Place the zucchini in a single layer in the air fryer basket, you’ll need to cook the zucchini in two separate batches. Cook for 5 minutes, then toss and cook another 5 minutes until the zucchini is brown and crispy on the outside.
- Serve immediately.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 days.
- Category: Side dish
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: healthy air fryer recipes, roasted zucchini, baked zucchini, zucchini side dish