Air Fryer ‘’fried’’ zucchini, also known as zucchini crisps, chips, or bites, are absolutely delicious. Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini Chips are coated with Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and then fried in the air fryer. So crispy and delicious without all that harmful deep frying.
You won't be able to resist having just one. And when you pair them with the amazing marinara sauce, garlic aioli or other easy dipping sauces, it's a winning combination.
These air fryer zucchini chips have a perfectly crunchy exterior that locks in all the juicy goodness of the zucchini.
While it's best to eat them right away, they still taste delicious and crispy if you reheat them later for one more time in the air fryer. That's why I love the beauty and ease of using an air fryer.
- Zucchini Recipes
- Why It's Yummy
- What Kind of Air Fryer?
- Are Zucchini Chips Healthy?
- Recipe Troubleshoot
- Recommended Equipment
- Serving Suggestions
- Dipping Sauces
- Thinking About Dessert? Try These!
- Freezing And Storing Instructions
- Can You Make Zucchini Chips Ahead of Time?
- Recipe Substitutions and Variations
- More Air Fryer Recipes
During zucchini season, I like to come up with different ways to use them creatively.
Zucchini is such a nutritious ingredient. Among our family's favorites are zucchini fritters and chicken zucchini casserole, but kids absolutely love these cheesy zucchini bites and chicken zucchini patties for dinner.
Why It's Yummy
- Simply great, crispy & flavorful - Zucchini chips in the air fryer with Parmesan and crumbs are irresistibly crispy and packed with savory flavor.
- Easy and quick - Enjoy the goodness of ‘’baked’’ zucchini chips with a twist. Air frying ensures a speedy cooking process, allowing you to enjoy crispy zucchini chips in just minutes.
- Healthier choice. Compared to traditional fried chips, these zucchini chips are a healthier alternative with less oil and calories.
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
Zucchini chips are a healthy choice because they are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber.
- Zucchini - for this recipe, you can use any type of zucchini, but we recommend black beauty, gadzukes, cocozelle, or dunja. Find a dark green zucchini that's firm and doesn't have any cuts. Larger zucchini is better for slicing ¼ inches-thick rounds, as they will shrink while cooking. However, it may vary on the ripeness, as some larger ones can be too seedy and watery, which won't become crisp after air frying.
- Egg wash - the egg helps the crispy coating stick to the zucchini slices.
- Flour - you can use all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend (try my homemade blend for this) to make the coating for the zucchini chips. Or you can also use almond flour like I did in my air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites.
- Salt - for natural flavor, we like sea salt or kosher salt over table salt. For a fun twist use pink Himalayan salt, celery salt, truffle salt or other seasoned salt varieties. Italian seasoning would taste here nice too.
- Panko or regular breadcrumbs - you can use regular crumbs or panko which are perfect for light and airy crispy coating. For gluten free, check the certified GF label on the package.
- Parmesan cheese - the addition of freshly grated Parmesan cheese enhances the flavor of the zucchini chips with its savory and nutty notes. It provides a delightful complement to the other ingredients. And I also recommend grating parmesan cheese from a block as it will blend better in the coating mixture.
- Cooking spray - we use olive oil. Oil is needed for the air fryer basket or tray to prevent the zucchini from sticking. This ensures a crispy and golden-brown exterior. Feel free to use your preferred type of cooking spray oil.
- Seasonings - I like to use Italian herbs (Herbs de Provence) which complement the zucchini flavor very well. Feel free to use other seasoning options or simply use salt + black pepper.
What Kind of Air Fryer?
There are a ton of options out there. I prefer my Cosori 5.8 quart for its decent and large size which makes the cooking effortless and quick. It’s a good size for 2 people’s dinner.
Anything smaller than that will simply not work and you’ll have to cook in multiple batches (of this recipe or any other).
While the batches are cooking you’ll also need to have your oven preheated to keep the food warm.
You don’t necessarily have to go after a specific brand, just check the features and reviews. It's also important to note that every air fryer will cook your food differently, even if the temperatures are exactly the same.
Cut your zucchini into thin rounds, about ¼" thick. Sprinkle a little salt (just a pinch is enough) on the zucchini slices and let them sit for 10 minutes.
I like to use a large baking tray and lay paper towels underneath the zucchini slices.
After 10 minutes, you'll notice some liquid on the zucchini. Just wipe it off with a paper towel.
Note: Salting the zucchini isn't necessary, but it does help the breadcrumbs stick better to the slices by removing excess moisture.
In a bowl, mix together panko, parmesan cheese, Italian herbs, salt, and pepper.
In another bowl, beat an egg with a fork or a small whisk.
Take one zucchini slice at a time, dip it in the beaten egg, and then coat it with the parmesan-panko mixture.
Press down on each side to ensure a good coating. Place the coated slices on a baking sheet or large plate.
Repeat this process for all the zucchini slices.
When done, preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick spray and put in as many zucchini slices as you can fit. But don't overcrowd.
You can use air fryer basket liners for easier cleanup.
Spray a light coat of non-stick spray on top of the zucchini slices and cook for 5 minutes.
Then, flip each slice over with kitchen tongs, spray again, and cook for another 5 minutes until the exterior is golden brown and crispy.
Take out the cooked slices from the basket and continue with the remaining batch.
Related: How To Store Zucchini
Are Zucchini Chips Healthy?
Depending on your diet and the ingredients used, zucchini chips are considered a healthier choice. This air-fryer zucchini is made with fresh zucchini, olive oil, crumbs, and parmesan cheese.
You can make your own crumbs for a healthier choice or make it low-carb by omitting the crumbs entirely and using only a small amount of parmesan.
Why my Zucchini Chips are Soggy? Here are some tips on how to prevent this next time:
Excess egg wash - If there's too much egg wash compared to breadcrumbs on each zucchini slice, it can make them soggy. Ensure a balanced coating.
Uneven coating - If the breadcrumbs aren't evenly distributed on the zucchini, some parts may lack coverage and crispiness. Make sure to coat the slices evenly.
Slice thickness - Zucchini slices should be no thicker than ¼ inch. If they're too thick, they may not crisp up properly.
Overcrowding the air fryer - It's important to lay the zucchini chips in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Overcrowding can lead to inadequate airflow and result in sogginess.
- I like to divide the breadcrumbs mixture into two bowls. Towards the end of coating the zucchini, the mixture can get lumpy and it will be hard to work with. This way there's less mess and the last batch of zucchini gets coated nicely as well.
- Make sure to firmly press both sides of the zucchini slices when coating them with the breading mixture to ensure it sticks well.
- While it's not absolutely necessary, preheating your air fryer can speed up the cooking process and ensure even results. Check the instructions provided by your manufacturer to see their recommendations.
- Using a non-stick spray is crucial when air frying, so don't skip it. It prevents the food from sticking to the basket and helps achieve a crispy texture. Feel free to use vegetable oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or any other oil spray of your preference.
- Please note that cooking times and temperatures may vary depending on the equipment used, so you may need to make adjustments accordingly. Once you see the exterior of slices is golden brown and crisp, they are ready.
- You can achieve perfectly sliced zucchini by using a mandoline slicer. Zucchini chips should not be very thin as they will simply burn if using the same instructions for air frying.
- Enjoy the zucchini chips while they are hot for maximum crispiness. Once cooled, I recommend reheating them only once in an air fryer at the same temperature until warmed through. They should still be crispy.
- To prevent soggy chips, thinly slice the zucchini, remove moisture with a paper towel, lightly oil, and always air fry until they are crispy.
- After air frying, place the chips on a cooling rack to maintain their crispness.
- You can also pulse the panko breadcrumbs for better adhesion to the zucchini slices. This is optional though.
- Every air fryer is different. Adjust cooking times based on your air fryer model until the slices turn golden brown and crispy.
- Dot skip the salting of zucchinis. To prevent sogginess, sprinkle salt on the zucchini and let them dry on paper towels before air frying.
- Related: Is Zucchini Healthy?
📋 JULIA'S TIP To ensure your zucchini slices become browned and crispy, it's important not to overcrowd the air fryer. Cook them in batches, giving each slice enough space, so they can cook evenly and achieve that desired crispiness.
These zucchini chips are tasty all by themselves as an appetizer or a snack, but they become even more enjoyable with a delicious dipping sauce or when served with a scrumptious main meal.
They would be a fantastic addition to any of the following recipes:
- Curried Chickpea Burger Recipe With Mushrooms
- Bacon, Egg and Cream Cheese Breakfast Sandwich
- Best Salmon Burger Recipe With Fresh Salmon (No Eggs, No Potato)
- Panko Chicken Sandwich With Mustard Sauce
- Easy Low Carb Keto Lettuce Wraps With Chicken (PF Chang's Copycat Recipe)
- Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Low Carb Lettuce Wraps With Beef
- Chicken Crunchwrap Supreme
When it comes to condiments, these zucchini chips are incredibly versatile!
You can pair them with any sauce you have on hand, like ketchup or ranch.
But if these are not your thing there are plenty of choices to choose from:
- Something Spicy - homemade Buffalo sauce, Sriracha sauce or Sriracha mayo
- Cold Spinach Dip
- Green Goddess Dip
- Taco Dip
- Big Mac Sauce
- Bang Bang Sauce
Thinking About Dessert? Try These!
For all baking recipes, hop on to our Desserts collection.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
Zucchini is very moist as it is mainly made from water and is not really storable like regular chips.
I recommend consuming it right away or within 24 hours.
- To Store any leftover air fryer zucchini slices, simply place them in an airtight container. They can be stored in a cool pantry or refrigerator for 1-2 days. These are thicker chips and they won’t last for long and maintain their crispiness.
- To Reheat. Just pop them back in the preheated air fryer at 400 F for a couple of minutes to regain that crispy texture.
- To Freeze. This can be a good option if you want to enjoy them later. For this, follow the recipe as is, but don’t air fry them. Place the breaded chips in one single layer on a baking sheet and flash freeze until they harden. Then transfer to a larger freezer-friendly bag or glass container and freeze for 2-3 months. To reheat, follow my recipe instructions for air frying. You can cook them directly from the freezer but you may need to add extra cooking time.
Can You Make Zucchini Chips Ahead of Time?
For the best experience, enjoy these zucchini chips right after cooking to savor their crispy texture.
However, if they lose their crunch over time, you can easily reheat them to restore their crispiness. Simply place them in your air fryer at 400 F for 2 to 4 minutes before serving.
Recipe Substitutions and Variations
- Gluten free - for perfect crispy exterior I still recommend using some crumbs, if you don't
- For some added heat, sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper or ground chili into the breadcrumbs mix. Or serve them with hot sauce like my buffalo sauce.
- Or use different seasonings like cumin, celery salt or taco seasoning.
- Make the recipe keto-friendly by using pork rinds instead of panko and almond flour instead of flour.
- For a vegan modification, you can opt for vegan Parmesan and replace the egg with a mixture of ¼ cup plant milk and 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed, which acts as a binding agent.
- You can also use nutritional flakes instead of parmesan, they are mostly enjoyed cold but you can cook with them as well. Try my vegan recipe with nutritional yeast flakes, add 2 tablespoons into the breading mix, and use more flakes to sprinkle on top of the chips when serving.
- To switch things up, you can transform the zucchini into sticks instead of slicing them into rounds. It's a fun and tasty way to enjoy zucchini in a different form.
Yes, you can make it without crumbs, but I still recommend using parmesan cheese for a little crunch.
Yellow Squash would work well here as it is similar to zucchini!
You can use breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, Italian breadcrumbs (or any seasoned crumbs), or make your own breadcrumbs from stale bread. Almond flour would work well too, which I used for coating these scrumptious cauliflower bites.
Unless you have a very old zucchini with spots, cuts and wrinkles, no need to peel it, the zucchini skin adds an extra boost of nutrients.
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the leftover zucchini chips in the air fryer and cook for 2-4 minutes or until warm and crispy.
More Air Fryer Recipes
For a full collection hop on to our Air Fryer archives.
Air fryer is my favorite thing lately, from my guest's favorite Air Fryer Nachos, Peanut Butter Cookies to Jalapeno Poppers. Anything can be done in air fryer, plus it reheats beautifully and tastes and looks like from the restaurant!
Air Fryer Breaded Zucchini Chips With Parmesan
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs (regular or gluten free crumbs)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 medium zucchini (sliced in ¼" rounds)
- 1 teaspoon Italian dried herbs (Herbs de Provence)
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- non-stick cooking spray (we use olive oil)
- Cut your zucchini into thin rounds, about ¼" thick. Sprinkle a little salt (just a pinch is enough) on the zucchini slices and let them sit for 10 minutes.
- I like to use a large baking tray and lay paper towels underneath the zucchini slices.
- After 10 minutes, you'll notice some liquid on the zucchini. Just wipe it off with a paper towel.
- Note: Salting the zucchini isn't necessary, but it does help the breadcrumbs stick better to the slices by removing excess moisture.
- In a bowl, mix together panko, parmesan cheese, Italian herbs, salt, and pepper.
- In another bowl, beat an egg with a fork or a small whisk.
- Take one zucchini slice at a time, dip it in the beaten egg, and then coat it with the parmesan-panko mixture.
- Press down on each side to ensure a good coating. Place the coated slices on a baking sheet or large plate.
- Repeat this process for all the zucchini slices.
- When done, preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick spray and put in as many zucchini slices as you can fit. But don't overcrowd.
- You can use air fryer basket liners for easier cleanup.
- Spray a light coat of non-stick spray on top of the zucchini slices and cook for 5 minutes.
- Then, flip each slice over with kitchen tongs, spray again, and cook for another 5 minutes until the exterior is golden brown and crispy.
- Take out the cooked slices from the basket and continue with the remaining batch.
- Serve zucchini chips with marinara sauce or your favorite dipping sauce, and enjoy immediately.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)