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Air Fryer Zucchini and Squash

If you’re a fan of roasted vegetables, you will love easy air fryer zucchini and squash. By preparing summer squash in the air fryer, they come out perfectly roasted – tender and lightly golden. These healthy veggies are a great addition to summer meals, and they are ready in 15 minutes! 

Air fryer zucchini and squash in a serving bowl.

Is Squash Good in the Air Fryer?

I love cooking vegetables in the air fryer, especially squash! Just try our air fryer butternut squash or air fryer acorn squash. The high heat and circulating air help the squash quickly using minimal oil. The result is a perfectly tender interior and a slightly caramelized exterior. Say goodbye to soggy squash because, because nobody wants that!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Zucchini: Choose firm zucchini with vibrant green skin. These versatile vegetables have a mild and slightly sweet flavor. I like to keep the cuts thick, at least ½-inch, so they become tender and not mushy; otherwise, slice the zucchini into quarters, rounds, or cubes, depending on your preference.
  • Yellow Squash: Select vibrant yellow squash, free of blemishes. With their slightly sweeter flavor compared to zucchini, they make an excellent complement to the side dish. Like the zucchini, slice the squash into different shapes for air frying as long as you maintain the same thickness so they cook properly.
  • Spices: Sprinkle air fryer zucchini and squash with salt to remove excess moisture. Most of the salt will soak into the vegetables, then season them with coarse ground black pepper and garlic powder.
  • Avocado Oil: Toss the vegetables in a small amount of oil to encourage a light caramelization on the outside.

Additions and Substitutions

Season zucchini and squash with herbs, spices, and seasonings to enhance their natural flavor. I use salt, pepper, and black pepper, so they easily pair the side with any meal. Other spices to consider are paprika, garam masala, and our Slap Ya Mama Seasoning recipe for a bit of heat!

Dried herbs like basil or thyme are a great addition to the vegetables or even a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. And if you want to take the side up a notch, consider topping the vegetables with bone marrow butterserrano cremaskhug, and chimichurri with cilantro.

How to Make Air Fryer Zucchini and Squash

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Cut the zucchini and squash into ½-inch thick rounds and line them onto a cloth. Sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for 5 minutes.

Salted zucchini and squash laying on a cloth.

Step 2: Pat dry the vegetables with a cloth and cut the rounds into quarters. Add them to a mixing bowl and toss them with avocado oil, pepper, and garlic powder.

Zucchini and squash in a mixing bowl.

Step 3: Preheat the air fryer to 400℉ (204℃). Pour the vegetables into the air fryer basket and spread them into a single layer. Cook for about 6-8 minutes (until tender), shaking the basket halfway through.

zucchini and squash cut and cooking in the air fryer.

How to Prevent the Vegetables from Becoming Soggy

  • Preheat the air fryer so the vegetables begin cooking immediately.
  • Cut the squash the same size to ensure they cook at the same rate. If the squash is cut too thin, it will become mushy. Slightly thicker squash (about ½ of an inch) keeps its shape and becomes tender when roasted in the air fryer.
  • Begin by salting the vegetables and setting them aside. Then, pat them dry with a paper towel or cloth to remove excess moisture.
  • Avoid overcrowding the pan, allowing the zucchini and squash to sear and not steam. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to work in batches. 
  • Use a small amount of oil. One teaspoon is typically enough to coat the veggies and create a light caramelization. Too much oil will cause them to steam instead of roast. 
  • Toss the air fryer halfway through to ensure the vegetables cook evenly.

If you enjoy the side dish, try one of these air fryer recipes!

A scoop of zucchini and squash on a fork.

Serving Suggestions

Prepare roasted or grilled chicken to serve alongside the zucchini and squash. This combination also works well with meats like ribeye steak, bison steak, or grilled picanha. Toss the veggies with your choice of meat or tofu and incorporate them into a grain bowl with quinoa or couscous as a flavorful base, allowing the grains to absorb the flavors of the vegetables. They would be a great addition to my sesame salmon bowl.

For a lighter option, include the cooked squash in a fresh salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Additionally, you can add them to pasta, such as spaghetti or penne. I love it on the TikTok favorite, Gigi Hadid Pasta recipe.

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: Let the zucchini and squash cool. Then, transfer the veggies to an airtight container or bag. Air fryer zucchini and squash will keep in the freezer for 3 months.
  • Thaw: Defrost the vegetables in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat: Warm the leftovers in an air fryer (4-5 minutes) or microwave (1-2 minutes).
  • Repurpose: Add the leftover vegetables to an omelette, frittata, or stir-fry. Another option is to blend them into pasta sauce for a sneaky way to incorporate hidden veggies into your meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between zucchini and summer squash?

People use zucchini and summer squash interchangeably, but zucchini refers to a specific variety of summer squash. Zucchini has a dark green, cylindrical shape and firmer texture, and yellow squash, commonly referred to as summer squash, has a softer texture. Zucchini is mild and slightly sweet, while yellow squash is sweeter.

Should you peel squash or zucchini before cooking them in the air fryer?

There is no need to peel the squash or zucchini before cooking them. The flesh is edible, and it’s also packed with fiber and becomes tender as it cooks, so you won’t even notice it. However, peeling the vegetables beforehand is a matter of preference.

Can you air fry zucchini and squash?

Of course, you can air-fry zucchini and squash! It’s a tasty method for cooking vegetables and helps them achieve a crispy texture without excessive oil.

More Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes:

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Air fryer zucchini and squash in a serving bowl.

Air Fryer Zucchini and Squash

Tressa Jamil
Make tender and lightly golden air fryer zucchini and squash! The versatile side dish cooks to perfection, and they're ready in 15 minutes!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 37 kcal
  • 2 large zucchini, quartered, and ½-inch thick
  • 1 large yellow squash, quartered, and ½-inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, coarse ground
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Cut the zucchini and squash into ½-inch thick rounds and line them onto a cloth. Sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for 5 minutes.
  • Pat dry the vegetables with a cloth and cut the rounds into quarters. Add them to a mixing bowl and toss them with avocado oil, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400℉ (204℃). Pour the vegetables into the air fryer basket and spread them into a single layer. Cook for about 6-8 minutes (until tender), shaking the basket halfway through.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 37 kcal | Carbohydrates: 5 g | Protein: 2 g | Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Sodium: 590 mg | Potassium: 372 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 14 IU | Vitamin C: 46 mg | Calcium: 3 mg | Iron: 3 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating