Air Fryer zucchini is light and tender in the middle with a crisp and flavorful spiced batter/breaded coating. All you need is under 10 minutes of hands-on prep and 12 minutes of cooking time for this dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free (optional) healthy snack, appetizer, or side dish – with the dip of your choice!
Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini Chips
These light and crispy air fryer zucchini chips may be my new obsession! Whether you’re taking advantage of the summer bounty of zucchini/summer squash or enjoying zucchini out of season, this air fryer zucchini recipe is the perfect way to enjoy super crispy zucchini without having to turn on your oven (amazing for warm days and living in the tropics!).
Even better, air-fried zucchini takes half the time needed to roast/bake them. More so, the results are amazingly crispy on the outside with a tender middle. All with just a fraction of the oil required to deep-fry them. All you need is a handful of pantry-friendly ingredients that you can adjust to various dietary requirements (gluten-free, keto, low-carb, whole30) and versatile seasoning options!
My favorite way to enjoy this air fryer zucchini recipe is to use a pakora-style, high-protein chickpea flour (gram flour) batter topped with either panko breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free) or almond/coconut flour. The results taste great, have amazing texture, and make for a healthy, nutrient-dense dish too! In fact, this air-fried squash is packed with plant-based protein, several vitamins and minerals, fiber, and minimal oil and sodium!
- Zucchini: Use zucchini or summer squash. Make sure they’re firm, dark in color, with little to no blemishes.
- Chickpea flour: I like to use chickpea flour (gram flour) as it’s packed with protein/nutrients (and naturally gluten-free). However, regular all-purpose or a GF all-purpose blend should also work.
- Dairy-free milk: Use whichever dairy-free milk you’d like to prepare the batter for this air fryer zucchini recipe.
- Panko breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free) create a light and crispy breading. I used coconut flour and also tried almond flour once (coconut flour was my favorite).
- Tomato sauce: Use low-sodium if preferred.
- Dried herbs/Seasonings: Chili powder (or cayenne pepper – adjust the amount to taste), onion powder, garlic powder, and salt make up the seasoning for these air fryer chips.
- Oil: Just one tablespoon of neutral cooking oil (or melted butter) – olive oil, avocado oil, etc.
- To serve: I enjoy serving these air-fried zucchini chips with homemade vegan ranch dressing or ketchup. However, use the sauce of your choice!
You’ll also need some cooking spray to spray your air fryer basket!
Optional add-ins and recipe variations:
- Other seasonings: There are tons of ways to experiment with seasoning these crispy zucchini chips. You could use a spice blend, garlic and herb seasoning, Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, taco seasoning, or mix and match herbs and spices (like smoked paprika) to discover your new favorite.
- Cheese and herb: season the batter as written above but combine the breadcrumbs with nutritional yeast (or vegan Parmesan cheese) and either Italian seasoning or some dried basil and dried oregano.
- Fresh herbs: Some finely chopped parsley or scallions work well to garnish the crispy zucchini and add extra ‘fresh’ flavor.
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Cook Zucchini in An Air Fryer?
- First, rinse and slice the zucchini into rounds (about 1/4-inch / 0,65 cm thick) and transfer them to a bowl.
You can also cut the zucchini into thin batons/ fries (3-4 inches long and ½ inch thick). That way, they’ll take up less space in the air fryer basket, so you can cook more.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine the chickpea flour, dairy-free milk, tomato sauce, spices, and oil. Then whisk to combine.
- Then pour the batter over the zucchini and toss to coat the pieces with tongs, a spoon, or even your hands.
- Next, prepare a bowl/ plate with the panko mixture (or coconut flour). Dip each round into the mixture until fully coated and transfer to a lightly sprayed (with cooking oil) air fryer basket.
Make sure to spread them evenly, in a single layer, with space in-between. This will ensure they crisp up and don’t become limp and soggy.
- Then, spray the top of the battered zucchini with a thin layer of cooking spray and cook at 370°F/188 °C for 12-13 minutes. For even crispier results, flip them after 8 minutes and spray them with more cooking spray.
Once ready, serve the air-fried zucchini chips with ranch dressing and/or ketchup, and enjoy!
How to Serve
There are several ways you can enjoy this air fryer zucchini – whether as an appetizer, snack, or side.
- With a dipping sauce – like tzatziki, warm marinara, avocado dip, ketchup, etc.
- As part of a party spread with other appetizers – like wedges, air fryer buffalo cauliflower, and chips and dips (like hummus, French onion dip, etc.)
- As a BBQ side for vegan steak, burgers, and hotdogs
- Or add to salad and grain bowls
Let me know in the comments how you best enjoy this air-fried zucchini!
How to Make Ahead and Store
Store: These crispy zucchini chips are best eaten immediately (at their crispiest). However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days. They will need to be reheated to crisp up again.
However, I don’t recommend freezing them – as the zucchini will become mushy upon thawing.
Reheat: Place the zucchini chips back in the air fryer (or oven) and heat for several minutes (usually 2-4) until warmed through and crispy. The time will vary based on the portion you’re reheating. Avoid the microwave – they’ll just become limp and soggy.
Can I bake the zucchini chips?
Sure – you can bake the zucchini in the oven at 425°F (220°C) for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway.
Can I omit the batter layer?
I haven’t tried. However, you should be able to make simple breaded zucchini by using dairy-free milk in place of the batter as an ‘egg wash’ alternative, then coat it in the seasoned panko/coconut flour mixture. The air fryer time may vary slightly.
Could you air fry yellow squash instead of zucchini?
Absolutely – the method and times will be identical for air fryer squash.
How long to cook zucchini in air fryer?
This depends on the thickness of your zucchini slices. For ¼-inch coins, this took just 12-13 minutes at 370F/188C. For air-fried zucchini sticks (zucchini fries) around ½-inch thick, it will take a similar amount of time, or slightly longer. Lastly, for small zucchini halved lengthwise and air fried, it can take 13-17 minutes. The time is variable as the results will differ between different air fryers.
Recipe Notes and FAQs
- Slice even pieces of zucchini: That way, they’ll cook evenly too. If you aren’t sure about your knife skills, you could use a mandoline for perfectly even-thickness pieces.
- Preheat your air fryer if required: Not all models require this step. However, if yours does, then make sure to do so.
- Adjust the herbs/seasonings: There are tons of ways you can play around with the seasonings for these zucchini fries, so have fun and experiment.
- Cook in batches if needed: Air fryers need to circulate air around the food to work best. You should place veggies in a single layer, with some space in-between. If you need to cook multiple batches, you can always place them back in the air fryer for a minute or two at the end to reheat before serving.
- If using an oven air fryer: The time will vary as the ‘space’ is larger, so they’ll take longer to cook.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- Air Fryer Falafel
- Vegan Empanadas
- Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas
- Hasselback Potatoes
If you try this air fryer zucchini chips recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan #elavegan – I love seeing them.
Air Fryer Zucchini Chips
- Cooking oil spray
- Vegan Ranch Dressing to dip
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.Slice the zucchini into rounds (about 1/4 inch / 0,65 cm thick) and transfer them to a bowl.
- Add chickpea flour to a medium-sized bowl along with the dairy-free milk, tomato sauce, spices, and oil. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the batter over the zucchini rounds and toss thoroughly to combine, using tongs, a spoon, or even your fingers.
- To a medium-sized bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs or coconut flour. Dip each zucchini round into the breadcrumbs (or coconut flour) until fully coated.
- Spray the bottom of your air fryer with a little oil and add the breaded zucchini. Spread them evenly in a single layer and spray the top with cooking oil.
- Cook at 370°F (188 °C) for 12-13 minutes. You can flip them after 8 minutes and spray them with more cooking spray for crispier results.
- Serve with ranch dressing and/or ketchup and enjoy!
- Flour for the batter: I like using chickpea flour, but regular all-purpose flour will work too.
- Cooking method: You could also bake the zucchini in the oven, at 425°F (220°C) but the cooking time will increase to about 25 minutes (I recommend flipping halfway through).
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically