Quick and Easy Air Fryer Zucchini Side Dish

This air fryer zucchini recipe turns out a perfect side dish that tastes like you spent hours roasting it in the oven. It’s super easy, incredibly fast, and makes for a quick accompaniment to any meal.

Serves: 4 Time: 10 minutes Cookbook: Matt’s Kitchen

Air fryer zucchini on a plate

It’s officially the end of summer, beginning of fall, and our garden is bursting with huge zucchini! As in, we blinked once, turned around twice, and we suddenly had three-pound zucchinis under those massive sun-loving leaves. Zucchini is a solid end-of-summer, early fall veggie, depending on where you live, and we love when our plants get to producing. But when you have three massive zucchini sitting on your countertop, what can you do with them?

Air fry them! We love zucchini in all forms – roasted, stir-fried, pancaked, mixed into bread, you name it. But I think our favorite way to eat it is air fried or roasted. This air fryer recipe gives the zucchini a very similar taste and doneness to roasting recipes. But better. Not only do you save a ton of time by using the air fryer, but it’s far less messy and you get the added blessing of not having to heat the oven (and the house) when it’s blazing hot outside.

This is a pretty standard recipe and one that we’ve picked up along the way in our culinary journey. You can even use this recipe with yellow squash, so feel free to toss some in there if you have it on hand to make a fun, colorful dish. Let’s get cooking!

Jump Ahead:

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Delicious: If you’ve ever enjoyed roasted zucchini, this is going to be very similar. The air fryer tenderizes the zucchini and the natural sugars in each piece start to caramelize during the cooking process. It tastes just like you roasted the zucchini. Air frying is a delicious way to enjoy this healthy vegetable!

Easy: This is about as easy as it gets. Trim, chop, toss, layer, eat! That’s all there is to it. Talk about a great way to cook up all that fresh zucchini!

Healthy: There isn’t much out there that’s healthier than zucchini, olive oil, salt, and pepper. You’ll get all the good nutrients of the zucchini and all the health benefits of olive oil. This little low carb vegetable side dish tastes great and is packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Enjoy with a meal or on its own as a healthy snack. However you eat this deliciousness, it’s a win-win-win.

Ingredients Needed to Make Air Fryer Zucchini

Zucchini, salt, oil, and pepper
  • Zucchini: We love zucchini! It’s incredibly versatile and can be grilled, baked, stir-fried, and even enjoyed raw. Its mild flavor pairs well with other ingredients, making it a veg of choice for many dishes. Medium zucchini are the ideal size for this recipe.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the best choice for cooking. It has the best flavor and enhances any dish you add it to.
  • Salt: Adding salt to your dish will always give it a boost. Sea salt or kosher salt is the best when choosing salt for cooking.
  • Black Pepper: A pinch of pepper goes a long way in this dish and freshly cracked pepper will give you the best flavor.

Equipment Needed In the Kitchen

  • Air fryer: Using an air fryer makes cooking these zucchini bites easy. Any size air fryer works for this recipe. We have the Ninja air fryer and love how well it cooks!
  • Knife: Whip out that chef knife! And remember, sharp knives are always safer than dull ones.
  • Cutting Board or Mats: You’ll be chopping a lot of zucchini. A larger cutting board with a good-sized surface area is perfect. However, you don’t really need a heavy-duty cutting board, here. We have these color-coded cutting mats and love them. They help us keep separate cutting surfaces for veggies/fruit, fish, chicken, and beef. They’re light, durable, and BPA-free.
  • Medium Bowl: You’ll use this to toss your zucchini with olive oil, salt, and pepper. A medium size bowl is just right.

How to Make Air Fryer Zucchini

Air fryer zucchini comes together in a snap! Here’s everything you need to know.

Prep the air fryer and zucchini

First things first: preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.

Then, while the air fryer preheats, you can prep the zucchini. Cut both ends off the zucchini, then cut in half lengthwise. Slice the zucchini into half moons or pieces about ¾ inch thick.

Season the zucchini

Add the zucchini slices to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss it all together until the zucchini is completely coated.

Time to air fry!

Add the zucchini to your air fryer basket and space the pieces out into a single layer.

Set your air fryer to cook for 5 minutes. The zucchini should be fork tender and just starting to turn golden brown when fully cooked. If they need a little more time, cook them for another 2-3 minutes. Smaller zucchini cook a little faster than large zucchini, so depending on the size of your vegetable, you might find that the cook times vary a tad. Cook time can also vary depending on the size of your air fryer.

Pro tip: These taste similar to roasted zucchini. The sugars start to caramelize and they are just like you popped them in the oven to roast – only this take far less time and you don’t have to heat up the oven to do it. And remember, this same recipe also works great for summer squash, so toss them on in and eat them up!

Variations on Air Fryer Zucchini

air fryer zucchini ready to eat

We love healthy recipes and healthy meals that look great and taste amazing. This air-fried zucchini is one of those recipes. We enjoyed playing around with variations for this and hope you add one or two to your next meal plan. Bonus points: Most of these variations make this healthy side dish even healthier thanks to the natural benefits of spices!

Spicy Air Fried Zucchini: To spice up the veggies, add a 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder or red pepper flakes to the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss.

Garlicky Air Fried Zucchini: Add some garlicky deliciousness, add a 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves minced garlic to the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss.

Herbed Air Fried Zucchini: Add a 1/2 teaspoon of fresh or dried rosemary to the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss.

Italian Air Fried Zucchini: Add a 1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning to the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix well.

Cheesy Air Fried Zucchini: This is one of our favorite ways to enjoy this easy recipe. We love adding some freshly grated parmesan cheese to the sliced zucchini as soon as it comes out of the air fryer! A squeeze of lemon juice finishes off this variation. This makes for a fancy yet easy side dish.

Looking for even more veggie dishes? Try these!

Air Fryer Zucchini Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

What can I store leftover zucchini in?

The best way to store your air-fried zucchini is in a glass air-tight container. To reheat, you can microwave or put it in a pan to heat up.

What if I don’t have an air fryer? How long would it take in an oven?

No air fryer? No worries. Zucchini cooks in the oven just as well. Zucchini cooks in the oven just as well. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and put the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use the same cooking time as our easy air fryer zucchini recipe.

What can I serve with air fryer zucchini?

Air-fried zucchini makes a great side for any meal or even a great snack served on its own! We love serving this with Steven Raichlen’s T-Bone Steak and a fresh garden salad.

Do you have any more air fryer recipes?

Keep an eye out for air fryer smashed potatoes and air fryer chicken strips!

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air fryer zucchini ready to eat

Quick and Easy Air Fryer Zucchini Side Dish


This air fryer zucchini recipe turns out a perfect vegetable side dish that tastes like you spent hours roasting it in the oven. It’s super easy, incredibly fast, and makes for a quick accompaniment to any meal.



2 medium to large Zucchini

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon Pepper


  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Everyday Cooking
  • Method: Air Fry
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Zucchini, Air Fryer, Air Fryer Zucchini, Vegetable Side Dishes

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