Creamy and spicy air fryer zucchini skins are bursting with incredibly scrumptious buffalo chicken flavor. Excellent for a quick appetizer or a dinner for two. One of the best low-carb appetizer recipes that will take you only 9 minutes per batch if using an air fryer.
I also provide oven instructions own below.
Everything can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a couple of days before air frying. I like to eat my food fresh and only air fry as much as we would eat per one sitting.
I keep the rest prep refrigerated and cook as needed. A chef's dream come true. Air fryer recipes are the best time savers, plus they are healthy too.
We love buffalo sauce recipes (especially when made with our homemade buffalo sauce) and we have a few favorite ones on our site such as Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip, Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites.
You can make your own sauce milder or spicier as you’d like and use it, well essentially EVERYWHERE.
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 - we cooked a small batch for this recipe and used just 2 zucchini. It’s enough to serve 2 people or divide the servings into 2 cookings. Larger zucchinis are best as they can be loaded with enough filling and won’t break easily. Zucchinis are a great source of minerals, antioxidants, vitamins such as Vitamin A and B6. They are low in calories which makes them a great low-carb snack.
- Buffalo Sauce - our favorite is Franks Red Hot sauce (Buffalo Wings or regular hot sauce) for easier prep or if you have enough time then make my Homemade Buffalo Sauce from scratch in just a few steps. You can also make it milder by adding more melted butter in the process.
- Cheddar cheese - or any other melted cheese such as Gouda, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or a store-bought grated Mexican cheese blend.
- Garlic powder, smoked paprika - a little seasoning goes along the way but you can easily get away with simple salt and black pepper seasoning. For paprika I like to use sweet or smoked.
Prep the zucchini. Trim off the stem ends from the zucchini and cut them in half, lengthwise. Use a small spoon to scoop the flesh and seeds out from the center.
A fruit baller/fruit scoop or a measuring spoon will make things easier, but be careful not to go overboard and leave some space on the sides of the zucchini.
Leave a thinner shell than I did with my Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Chicken recipe. We will not need the zucchini pulp and leave it for another use. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine cream cheese and hot sauce together. Mix it until smooth and creamy.
You can use an electric handheld mixer on a low-speed setting. Add the cooked shredded chicken and set aside.
Spray the zucchini halves on both sides with cooking oil. I like to use avocado oil spray for a neutral flavor. Season with salt and black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Air fry the zucchini halves for 7 minutes and until crispy.
- Related: Is Zucchini Healthy?
Carefully stuff each zucchini with buffalo chicken filling and top with cheddar cheese.
Air fry for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve right away with ranch dressing or blue cheese sauce topped with scallions for garnish. I also like to add some blue cheese crumbles on top as I did for my Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip.
JULIA'S TIP Some older zucchinis may cause a bitter aftertaste (I've been there!). When picking zucchinis, they should be firm and free of nicks and cuts. Choose fresh zucchini whenever possible, it should will bristle with tiny hairs.
- Zucchini Skins In Oven instructions - You can cook these zucchini skins in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes until crispy (although these will not be as crisp as made in an air fryer). Fill in with the chicken stuffing and bake for extra minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Related: How To Store Zucchini
These zucchini skins are great for just dinner for two. It can be served many ways - from a main course, side dish or tasty party snack.
More party appetizers you can serve these zucchinis with: Lime Cilantro Rice, refreshing Pico De Gallo, bursting with a mix of flavors Avocado Corn Salad, salty Parmesan truffle fries, or classic buttery Creamy Mashed Potatoes.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
- Make ahead of instructions. The creamy buffalo chicken stuffing can be made 2-3 days in advance and kept sealed in a food container in the fridge.
- It is best to use fresh zucchini whenever possible.
- Store. Air fryer zucchini will keep in the fridge well for 2-3 days. I recommend reheating these in air fryer just once, they should be still crisp and good to go. But not more than once as they will loose their crisp texture. I'd also add some extra cheese on top before baking.
- Freezing. These zucchini skins can be frozen for up to 2-3 months, however, I don't recommend freezing them at all. The reason is simple, the texture of zucchini will not be the same as when freshly cooked.
- It may become very soft and watery due to its high content of water. Also, the creamy sauce may lose its creaminess.
Yes, you can eat zucchini skins. But it is important to pick the right zucchini without any marks or scratches. Younger zucchinis should not have a bitter aftertaste. Before cooking, wash the zucchini in water with a couple of drops of apple cider vinegar (or special fruit and veggie wash liquid) to remove any chemicals that these are sprayed with (unless going for organic).
There are a few reasons why zucchinis taste bitter. The main reason is environmental, how they are grown, cold or heat, the plant nutrient used and etc. It is best to avoid eating a bitter zucchini due to digestional problems later.
For scooping up the zucchini you'll need to wash, pat dry with a kitchen towel, and cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a small spoon to scoop the flesh and seeds out from the center of each zucchini. A fruit baller/fruit scoop or a measuring spoon will make things easier if you have one. If you need to use the zucchini half later for stuffing and baking, but be careful not to go overboard with scooping out the flesh, there should be some space left on the sides of each zucchini boat.
You can freeze cooked stuffed zucchinis by wrapping them in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2-3 months. To serve, thaw and then bake in the oven until warm or microwave using the correct setting until warm. However, I wouldn't recommend freezing the stuffed zucchini at all as the texture of the zucchini will change and not be as fresh as it would initially.
Easy Appetizer Recipes
Air fryer is my favorite thing lately, from my guest 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 freshly made!
Serve these zucchini skins with other popular party appetizers such as buttery Million Dollar Deviled Eggs, cheesy Zucchini Bites, salty Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries, and spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites.
ALL APPETIZER recipes.
I hope you'll enjoy this air fryer zucchini skins recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations!
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Air Fryer Zucchini Skins With Buffalo Chicken Stuffing
- 1 pound zucchini (about 2 large zucchinis)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil spray (I used avocado oil for neutral flavor)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
Buffalo Chicken Filling
- 8- ounce cooked chicken (shredded or diced, breasts or chicken thighs)
- ⅓ cup cream cheese (softened or plain greek yogurt for 0% fat)
- ¼ cup of my homemade buffalo sauce or Franks hot sauce
- ½ cup sharp cheddar (grated)
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions or chives
- Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing for serving
- Prep the zucchini. Trim off the stem ends from the zucchini and cut them in half, lengthwise. Use a small spoon to scoop the flesh and seeds out from the center. A fruit baller/fruit scoop or a measuring spoon will make things easier, but be careful not to go overboard and leave some space on the sides of the zucchini. Leave a thinner shell, about ¼ inch, we will not need the zucchini pulp and leave it for another use. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine cream cheese and hot sauce. Mix it until smooth and creamy. You can use an electric handheld mixer on a low speed setting. Add the cooked shredded chicken and set aside.
- Spray the zucchini halves on both sides with cooking oil. I like to use avocado oil spray for a neutral flavor. Season with salt and black pepper (optional), garlic powder, and paprika.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Air fry the zucchini halves for 7 minutes and until crispy.
- Carefully stuff each zucchini with buffalo chicken filling, and top with cheddar cheese. Air fry for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve right away with ranch dressing or blue cheese sauce topped with scallions for garnish. I also like to add some bleu cheese crumbles on top as I did for my Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
This recipe has been inspired from here.