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Air Fryer Zucchini and Squash

Air fryer zucchini and squash is a quick, easy and super simple side dish that can be made in just 15 minutes. This healthy air fryer squash and zucchini is so versatile and comes out perfect every time!

The zucchini and squash roast up golden brown on the edges and are the perfect side dish to any meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner).

Squash and zucchini in air fryer basket after cooking.

Why you will love this recipe

  • So easy to make – making perfectly cooked zucchini and squash in the air fryer is so easy to do. Cut the squash into about ½ inch rounds. Coat them with oil and spices then cook in the air fryer until golden brown, pausing to shake the air fryer while cooking.
  • Simple, healthy ingredients – you likely have everything you need to make this healthy air fryer squash and zucchini recipe. All you need is summer squash (zucchini, yellow summer squash, crooked neck squash, patty pan squash), olive oil and spices. This is the perfect recipe when your garden is exploding with squash, and you aren’t sure how you are going to use it all up.
  • Versatile – zucchini and squash in the air fryer are the perfect side dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner and would even be great for snacking (just add your favorite dip – like this lemon tahini sauce). You can also change the flavors of the squash by using different herbs/spices.
  • Great way to get in more veggies – air fryer squash go with just about any meal, so they are a great option if you are trying to get in more veggies but aren’t sure how.
Zucchini and squash with ramekins filled with ingredients.
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Ingredients

  • Summer squash – zucchini, yellow summer squash, crooked neck squash, patty pan squash – use your favorite summer squash to make this recipe. I love the combination of zucchini and yellow squash since they are so easy to find, and the color contrast is so pretty.
  • Olive oil – olive oil helps to coat the squash and ensures the salt and spices will stick. It also helps to create that caramelization on the outside of the squash as they roast in the air fryer.
  • Spices: Salt, italian seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (optional) – these spices are something I always have on hand and go well with so many meals. You could also use herbs de Provence in place of the italian seasoning for a fun twist. Check out the other spices blends I would recommend below!

How to make air fryer zucchini and squash

Start by cleaning the squash and making sure the to dry them completely before cutting them.

Cut the squash into about 1/2 inch slices (between ¼ inch and 1/2 inch thickness). You want the squash to be thin enough to cook through in 12- 15 minutes but not so thin that they get watery when cooking.

Zucchini and yellow squash cut into 1/2 inch slices.

Put the squash in a bowl and add the olive oil, salt and spices. Stir well to coat all the squash evenly.

Before and after stirring spices on squash slices.

Add the zucchini and squash to the air fryer basket and cook at 400F for 12-15 minutes (start with 12 minutes then add more time if needed).

Pause the air fryer with 5 minutes left Shake the basket. Pause again with 2.5 minutes left and shake the basket again. If at the end of 12 minutes, the squash doesn’t look done (it’s not getting brown and caramelized all over), add 3 more minutes. Shake one more time with about 1.5 minutes to go.

Before and after cooking air fryer squash and zucchini.

Serve hot, as the squash cools, the texture changes.

Top tips

  • Cut the zucchini and squash to similar thickness to ensure it cooks evenly, between ¼ and ½ inch thick.
  • If the squash is cut too thin, it will be watery when cooked. Slightly thicker squash (about ½ of an inch thick) tends to keep its shape and retain a good texture when roasted in the air fryer.
  • Try not to overcrowd the air fryer too much. You don’t need to create a single layer but the more layers of squash, the longer it will take to cook. If the air fryer basket is very full, you will need to pause and shake the basket more often and cook 2-3 more minutes.
  • Change the flavor by changing out the spices.
  • If you want to double the recipe, be sure to cook the zucchini and summer squash in batches in the air fryer, as overcrowding it too much will cause the squash to just get watery and undercooked.
  • Smaller zucchini and summer squash are harvested before they are fully matured so they tend to be less watery and cook up perfectly.
White bowl filled with roasted. squash and zucchini.

Other spices you can use

  • Taco – replace the italian seasoning with taco seasoning
  • Everything bagel – only use ½ the salt and garlic powder indicated and add 1 tablespoon of everything bagel seasoning
  • Greek – add ½ teaspoon oregano to the recipe
  • Herbs de Provence – use herbs de Provence in place of the italian seasoning
  • Curry – replace italian seasoning with ½ teaspoon curry powder and ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Smoky – remove the italian seasoning and use ½ teaspoon ground cumin and ½ teaspoon smoked paprika to season the zucchini and squash.
  • Lemon thyme – replace the italian seasoning with dried thyme. After cooking, squeeze ½ a lemon over the squash.

How to serve air fryer squash and zucchini

Air fryer basket filled with roasted zucchini and squash.

Common questions

What is the difference between zucchini and summer squash

Zucchini and yellow summer squash are both considered summer squash.

  • Zucchini is green and has a long, tubular shape, it is typically the same thickness from top to bottom.
  • Yellow summer squash is yellow and has a thin neck and a thicker bottom half. There is also yellow crook neck squash which curve like a C-shape instead of being a straight line.

What is the difference between summer squash and winter squash

Summer squash like the name implies, grow in the summer. These squashes include zucchini, yellow summer squash, crooked neck squash and patty pan squash. These squashes are typically yellow or green and have thin, edible skin and are high in water.

Winter squash are squash that grow in the fall and early winter. Typically these squash are higher in starch and have a tougher skin (sometimes it’s edible, sometimes it’s not). These squash include butternut squash, acorn squash, kabocha squash, delicata squash or spaghetti squash. You can make these squash in the air fryer as well but with different instructions. Check out these simple winter squash air fryer recipes:

When are zucchini (courgettes) and summer squash in season?

You can find them both in the grocery store year-round but summer squash is in season and in most farmers markets during the late summer and early fall months – June – August/September.

Do you have to peel summer squash before cooking it?

No, summer squash (zucchini, yellow summer squash, crooked neck squash) all have very thin skin which is edible. You can even eat these squash raw. Be sure to wash the outside of the squash before cutting though.

How many cups of zucchini and summer squash do 3 medium squash equal/

3 medium squash equal about 3 – 3.5 cups, tightly packed.

Air fryer squash on a fork.

Does the squash get crispy in the air fryer?

While the zucchini and summer squash do get caramelized on the outside, they do not get crispy. A crispy coating would be achieved if you dredged the zucchini and squash in a batter before cooking, but otherwise they will be mostly soft but incredibly flavorful.

Can you freeze cooked summer squash?

Technically you can freeze cooked squash, however the texture will change when reheating. It would be best to use defrosted frozen zucchini and yellow squash in soups or dishes like frittatas if you plan on freezing the leftovers.

What are more recipes that I can make with zucchini and squash?

Air Fryer Roasted Zucchini

Vegan Squash Casserole

Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini

Greek Vegetables

Mexican Vegetables

Storing leftovers

Fridge: Store leftover zucchini and squash in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How to reheat:

  • In the microwave (1-1:30)
  • On the stove (medium low heat for 5-6 minutes)
  • In the air fryer 360F for 4-5 minutes.

Freezer: You can freeze cooked zucchini or squash for up to 3 months, but you will likely need to use it in soups or frittatas, as it will get mushy when defrosting.

Substitutions

  • Zucchini/yellow summer squash – you can make this recipe with all zucchini, all yellow squash, crooked neck squash or even patty pan squash.
  • Olive oil – olive oil helps the spices stick to the squash and also helps create that golden brown caramelization on the squash as it roasts in the air fryer. You could also use avocado oil, melted coconut oil, melted ghee or butter.
  • Spices – See the list of alterative spice combinations above. If you don’t have garlic powder, you can use onion powder or simply omit it. If you cannot have salt, use your favorite salt-free seasoning mix.
Yellow squash and zucchini slices in air fryer basket.

If you love this recipe, you should try these air fryer recipes

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Air fryer zucchini and squash in white bowl.

Air Fryer Zucchini and Squash

Air fryer zucchini and squash is easy to make, simple and the perfect side dish. This healthy air fryer squash is low carb, vegan, Whole30 and gluten free. Ready in just 15 minutes.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer squash, air fryer squash and zucchini, air fryer zucchini and squash
Prep Time: 1 min
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 13 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Slice the zucchini and squash in 1/2 inch slices.
  • Add the squash to a bowl, then add olive oil and spices to the bowl. Stir well.
  • Add zucchini and squash to the air fryer basket. Cook at 400F for 12 minutes.
  • With 5 minutes left, pause and shake the air fryer basket. Pause it again with 2.5 minutes left.
  • After 12 minutes, if the squash isn't golden and caramelized, add 3 more minutes to the air fryer, shaking again one more time.

Notes

Top tips
  • Cut the zucchini and squash to similar thickness to ensure it cooks evenly, between ¼ and ½ inch thick.
  • If the squash is cut too thin, it will be watery when cooked. Slightly thicker squash (about ½ of an inch thick) tends to keep its shape and retain a good texture when roasted in the air fryer.
  • Try not to overcrowd the air fryer too much. You don’t need to create a single layer but the more layers of squash, the longer it will take to cook. If the air fryer basket is very full, you will need to pause and shake the basket more often and cook 2-3 more minutes.
  • Change the flavor by changing out the spices.
  • If you want to double the recipe, be sure to cook the zucchini and summer squash in batches in the air fryer, as overcrowding it too much will cause the squash to just get watery and undercooked.
  • Smaller zucchini and summer squash are harvested before they are fully matured so they tend to be less watery and cook up perfectly.
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store leftover zucchini and squash in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave (1-1:30), on the stove (medium low heat for 5-6 minutes) or in the air fryer 360F for 4-5 minutes.
  • Freezer: You can freeze cooked zucchini or squash for up to 3 months, but you will likely need to use it in soups or frittatas, as it will get mushy when defrosting.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
42
Fat
 
2
g
Carbohydrates
 
5
g
Fiber
 
2
g
Sugar
 
4
g
Protein
 
2
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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