Air fryer recipes are all the rage for good reason. Air frying creates delicious nutritious low-fat alternatives for all your favorite foods without the need to deep fry. One of my favorite snacks is air fryer zucchini chips! Regardless of whether or not your choose to bread your courgette it's a delicious low fat snack, side dish or appetizer! If you're looking for some squash with some meat, check out this easy one pan squash skillet with sausage!
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The Perfect Snack for Everyone
I'm a huge fan of zucchini. It's a versatile vegetable that rarely gets the credit it deserves. Light in flavor and low in carbs, it's a tasty side dish for everyone. Can't get your kids to eat their veggies? Make them air fryer zucchini fries ! Looking for a veggie side dish to take to game night? Why not make zucchini into chips?
And you don't have to stick with just zucchini. Yellow squash has a lot of similarities in texture and moisture content, so feel free to make air fryer squash fries if that's what you have on hand. No alterations needed! In fact, in all these pictures there is a combination of zucchini and squash!
What's in a Breading?
This recipe focuses on a light breading made with gluten-free flours and minimum oil. No matter your diet, you can make this recipe work for you!
If you're Keto this is the perfect recipe to use with pork rinds! Smash up 4-6 cups in a gallon bag, add the seasonings below. Most flour alternatives (including the ones used here) are fairly high in carbs so pork rinds are a great substitution). Parmesan zucchini fries are a popular keto substitution too, using parmesan cheese instead of flour to coat zucchini pieces for some extra crisp!
You could also sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese over the zucchini chips or fries right after they come out of the air fryer! Dip them in some marinara sauce for a "zucchini parmesan" style appetizer, perfect for Italian night.
If you're not into any style of eating and just want good ol' regular breading, use 1 cup of regular all-purpose flour and ½ cup of panko breadcrumbs. This breadcrumb mixture will be even more crunchy and delicious!
Looking for air fryer zucchini without breading? These are just as good without the flours! Use the seasoning and add a tsp of baking powder for some extra crunch! If you're on a Whole30 Iheartumami has a great Whole30 baking powder substitute that is awesome.
One Veggie, so Many Healthy Snack Ideas
A good alternative to potatoes because of the low carb and low calorie count, zucchini fries are one of the most popular preparations of the light summer vegetable. Cut zucchini into sticks, cook with unrefined flours, use oil and salt sparingly, and you've got a much healthier snack option.
Zucchini chips are another great snack and low carb alternative to fried corn and potato chips. The only thing you'll change in the recipe is how you cut your veggies. For chips, I recommend slicing them ¼ inch thin so they'll get that good crispy coating in the air fryer. If you have a mandolin, this is the perfect opportunity to use it since you can knock out a few zucchini or squash in a few minutes! Not only will you'll be able to cut the zucchini into ultra-thin slices, each slice will be the same thickness meaning more consistency when you cook them.
If you're looking for something a bit fancier, why not go for the elegant fried zucchini ribbons you've seen at your favorite restaurant? The trick here is to use a vegetable peeler, or again a mandolin, to get super thin slices. But instead of cutting round slices from the end, you'll use your peeler to cut long ribbons from stem to end. When it comes time to fry them, no need to lay each ribbon out straight. The curlier, the better for a fun presentation.
Don't forget to try squash in the air fryer too. The flavor is extremely similar and the light yellow color of the skin makes squash harder to identify as a vegetable for your picky eaters.
Tips & Tricks
If you're like me, you love a good short cut and even better if to know why you're doing what you're doing. If I know why, it helps me become a better all-around cook and gives me confidence to be more creative too. This recipe is super simple, but there are a few tricks I use to make sure you get amazing air fryer zucchini chips every time.
Salt your fresh zucchini before you coat it in flour. After you have you have your slices ready to go, set them on a paper towel and salt them thoroughly. Wait about 15-30 minutes and then wipe the moisture off each slice. Doing this helps to remove excess water content so your zucchini fries crisp up in the air fryer instead of becoming soggy. This also helps season from within so each bite will be packed with flavor all the way through.
Use plastic bags to dredge zucchini. The easiest way to get the air fryer fryer zucchini quick is to take use a few plastic bags to dredge the zucchini pieces. It uses less flour overall and keeps my hands from getting too messy.
Start by placing all of the zucchini chips in one bag and then toss with 3 tablespoons of tapioca powder (or arrowroot). Then pour 2 whisked eggs into the bag and toss to coat. In another bag, place all of the flour ingredients and toss. Then all you have to do it take handfuls of eggy zucchini from the first bag and place them into second. Once they're all in the flour bag, close and toss until well coated and all the pieces have separated! So much easier!
Use Pam's Olive Oil Cooking Spray. This is something I do with just about everything when oil is needed. First, by using a spray you're cutting down on the amount of oil used by at least 75%. Less oil means less fat and fewer calories. I also like Pam's spray better than the pumps and spray bottles you can buy to fill with your own oil. Pam's tried and true aerosol function works way better and never gets clogged.
Make sure flour-coated zucchini is fully coated in oil before frying. Flour that hasn't been coated in oil before frying doesn't fry and get crispy. You end up with bites of hot flour and that just isn't what you want!
Don't Overcrowd the Air Fryer- Air circulation is what cooks your food in the air fryer, so if you have an over crowded pan or things too stacked, the air won't be able to reach and it won't get crispy!
What's Your Favorite Way to Dip?
I love sauce. All sauces. The more sauce, the better in my book, so I love having a variety to switch between. The sky is the limit for how you choose to dress your zucchini fries or squash chips, but below are a few of my favorites.
Pizza sauce - Any day is a good day for pizza, am I right? The brightness of the tomato and savory of Italian seasoning pairs perfectly with fried zucchini. If you're eating keto or Whole30, just make sure you get one without added sugar.
Ketchup - Why mess with a classic? Ketchup is the perfect ally when trying to get your kiddos to eat their veggie fries like they would potato fries. You can keep it simple or spicy it up with a flavored ketchup. Curry ketchup is a family favorite in our house!
Citrus Mayo - Mayo is an awesome choice when you're on keto. By adding a little bit of lime juice or lemon juice, salt, and fresh herbs like cilantro or basil, you've got an extra fresh sauce to dip your fries in.
Spicy Mayo - If spicy is more your style, try mixing regular mayo with your favorite hot sauce. Sriracha is what the sushi joints use, but I'm a fan of Tabasco. I like the vinegary-ness of it against the fried zucchini.
Ranch - As a true Texas girl, I love ranch on just about anything, air fryer zucchini chips included! Try making your own for a truly special dish.
Seasoning over sauce - If you prefer skipping the sauce all together, why not get creative with seasonings? As soon as fries are removed from the air fryer, toss in your favorite seasoning mix. Taco seasoning adds a little heat or if you really want to feel the heat, try cajun seasoning. Italian seasoning and ranch seasoning can be added too to boost flavor before dipping!
Frequently Asked Questions
Ranch, spicy mayo, hot sauce, pizza sauce... is there anything better than a good dip?
Up to you! The peel helps hold the zucchini together while tossing and frying.
Air frying uses less oil than traditional deep frying methods. Rather than letting the chips cook in a thick layer of oil, they get a good spray and that's it!
Yes! After dredging them in the flour, place them on a parchment paper tray and spray with oil to coat. Freeze completely and then place in a gallon size freezer bag until ready. Cook at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 10 minutes flipping halfway through.
I personally can't wait for you to try your hand at these. They're so crunchy and delicious and EASY. Don't be afraid to make them your own with different spices, dips, or vegetables!
Air Fryer Zucchini Chips
- Air Fryer
- 2 gallon sized plastic bags
- 1 bowl
- 6 zucchini or squash
- 3 tbsp tapioca flour
- 2 eggs (whisked in a small bowl)
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup arrowroot flour
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- Olive oil spray
- Cut each zucchini into ¼ inch rounds.
- Lay out on paper towel and sprinkle zucchini with salt. Let sit for 20-30 minutes then wipe off excess water content to dry zucchini.
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- Place zucchini sticks in a plastic bag (Ziploc or a reusable). Toss with 3 tablespoons of tapioca flour.
- Take the beaten eggs and pour into the bag with the zucchini and tapioca flour. Seal the bag and toss to combine thoroughly.
- In a second bag, mix coconut flour, arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, garlic powder, salt and paprika.
- Move the eggy zucchini chips from the first bag to the second bag with the flour. Easiest to take handfuls of zucchini, shake while inside the bag to get rid of excess egg, and then place into second bag. You can do all the zucchini at once.
- Seal bag and toss thoroughly to combine. Ensure that the zucchini chips have separated and are well covered.
- Place zucchini chips in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Spray zucchini liberally with oil to make sure you don't have any dry areas of flour.
- Cook for 7-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. If you have any pieces smaller than the rest, you may want to remove them when flipping the others. Remove when they're golden brown with a crispy crust.
- Cook in batches, wiping out the air fryer in between to prevent clumping and burning of excess breading.
- Serve your perfect air-fried zucchini fries immediately with your favorite dipping sauce!
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag @thatzestlife in your photo! I would love to see what you made!
Oh yum! We loved these, so happy to have an air fryer recipe for them!
These are fantastic. I love dipping them into sweet Thai chili sauce.
These look incredible! And heck yes to serving them up with pizza sauce. Yum!
Isn't the air fryer awesome? These were so crisp and delicious, definitely a hit at our house!
Amazing! My son hates courgettes but happily munched these!!