This crispy and cheesy air fried parmesan zucchini is the perfect easy side dish. It’s healthy, low carb, keto, gluten-free, and made in your air fryer in under 15 minutes. No breadcrumbs are needed!
Crispy and tender air fried zucchini
I love zucchini since it’s a healthy and nutritious vegetable that picky eaters love. Zucchini is super customizable, too, since you can flavor it any way you want. I am a huge fan of these turkey-stuffed zucchini boats, these zucchini fritters, and these keto zucchini turkey meatballs.
This air fryer parmesan garlic zucchini recipe is amazing. It’s loaded with flavor, easy to make in 15 minutes, and air-fried to crispy perfection. The zucchini is lemony, tangy, and so delicious. The primary flavors come from garlic, parmesan, and lemon juice.
This recipe is on repeat at my house. We enjoy it at least three times a week since it’s such an easy and flavorful way to enjoy zucchini. You can’t tell it’s healthy, I promise!
It’s time to say goodbye to bland and boring steamed vegetables! I cannot wait to hear what you think about this recipe. It’s my family’s favorite!
Why you’ll love this air fryer recipe:
- Air fryer zucchini is crispy, tender, and cheesy.
- Perfect for a busy weeknight side dish.
- It’s lemony and garlic parmesan flavored.
- It’s low-carb, keto, and gluten-free.
- Easy to make in under 15 minutes.
- Great for meal prep.
- Kids will love this recipe.
- Easily make this recipe dairy-free and paleo.
- Try these air fryer baby carrots or healthy zucchini fritters next!
This air fryer zucchini recipe calls for five simple, healthy ingredients. You need zucchini, parmesan cheese, seasonings, olive oil, and a lemon. There are no breadcrumbs in this keto and low-carb recipe! Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
- Zucchini: Cut them into mini half-moon crescents or bite-sized pieces about ¾ inch thick. Once air fried, the zucchini is tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
- Olive Oil: You only need a little to coat the zucchini, so the parmesan and seasonings stick. You can also use olive oil or avocado spray.
- Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan is best! Once air-fried, it makes the zucchini cheesy and crispy without adding any breadcrumbs.
- Seasonings: For the best flavor, you need garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. I don’t recommend using freshly minced garlic in this recipe because it can burn in the air fryer.
- Lemon: I love adding a fresh squeeze of lemon juice before serving. It gives the zucchini some acidity and brightness.
Kitchen tools required
Here is a list of kitchen utensils you will need to make air fryer garlic parmesan zucchini.
- Air Fryer
- Parchment Paper
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Tools: 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon, 1/4 cup, and 1/3 cup.
How to make air fried garlic parmesan zucchini
Air fryer parmesan zucchini is very easy to make in four simple steps. Here are super detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference. The full recipe and ingredient measurements are at the bottom of this page in the recipe card.
First, preheat your air fryer to 390°F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine zucchini, olive oil or spray, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Then, mix until the zucchini is fully coated.
Now, carefully line the bottom of your air fryer with parchment paper, so the cheese doesn’t fall off into the basket or get stuck on the grate. This step is super important.
Finally, add seasoned zucchini and air fry at 390°F for 8 – 12 minutes, shaking zucchini every 3 minutes or so. The zucchini should be tender and slightly crisp; the cheese should be golden. Enjoy warm, and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice if desired!
Pro tips for air fryer zucchini
Line your air fryer basket with parchment paper. This is my #1 tip for air fryer zucchini. Make sure to carefully line the bottom of your air fryer with parchment paper so the cheese doesn’t fall off into the basket or get stuck on the grate. Naked zucchini will not be crispy or as flavorful.
Cut the zucchini into even bite-sized pieces. Make sure all your zucchini pieces are the same size, so the cooking time is the same. You don’t want some pieces overcooked and mushy and some raw.
Serve warm within 10 minutes of air frying. Air fried zucchini is best enjoyed warm straight out of the air fryer. It will become less crispy the longer you wait to eat it.
Shake the basket every 3 minutes. Every air fryer is different, so I recommend shaking the zucchini every 3 minutes or so to ensure they are not burning.
Air fryer zucchini flavor variations and substitutions
- Use squash. If you don’t have zucchini, feel free to use yellow summer squash.
- Italian. Remove the onion powder and replace it with 3/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
- Greek. Instead of the onion powder, season your zucchini with ½ teaspoon dried oregano and ¼ teaspoon dried thyme. Keep the garlic powder.
- Garlic Butter. Replace the olive oil with melted butter. Butter has the best taste.
- Mozzarella cheese. Instead of parmesan cheese, use shredded mozzarella. This will be extra cheesy, but not as crispy.
- Spicy. Add 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes to the seasonings.
- Dairy Free. If you are dairy free, remove the parmesan cheese and use 2 to 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast instead.
- Oil-Free. Make this dish oil-free by using avocado or cooking spray instead of olive oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use yellow squash?
Yes, you can use yellow summer squash instead of zucchini in this recipe.
What should I serve with air-fried zucchini?
The sky is the limit! You can serve so many things with air fryer zucchini. I love pairing it with this Feta Stuffed Chicken, this Greek Yogurt Chicken, this Everything Bagel Crusted Salmon, or this Air Fryer Tilapia. Check out all my dinner recipes here!
Why is my air fryer zucchini soggy?
I have tested this recipe dozens of times. Air fryer zucchini will be soggy if you (1) overcook it until it is mushy, (2) cook it at too low of a temperature, or (3) skip out on the olive oil. For extra crispy air-fried zucchini, make sure to follow the instructions in the recipe card below.
Is this recipe keto and low carb?
This air fryer parmesan zucchini is both low-carb and keto. There are no breadcrumbs or panko in this recipe.
Can I make it dairy free?
Easily make this recipe dairy free by omitting the parmesan cheese and substituting it with 2 – 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast or 3 – 4 tablespoons of your favorite shredded dairy-free cheese.
What’s the best dairy-free substitute for parmesan cheese?
Nutritional yeast is the best dairy-free substitute for parmesan cheese.
Can I double the recipe?
You can double this recipe if your air fryer basket is large enough. If not, I recommend cooking in batches. The zucchini will be soggy if it is piled on top of each other and overlapping too much in the air fryer.
Can I make it ahead of time for meal prep?
You can also meal prep air fryer zucchini for a quick lunch or dinner side. It keeps for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
What’s the best temperature to air fry zucchini?
For best results, air fry zucchini at 390°F, so it gets tender and super crispy on the outside. The zucchini will be raw and soggy if the temperature is too low.
How to store and reheat:
Storing: For best results, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheating: Reheat in the microwave for 20 – 30 seconds or until warm. You can also reheat in the air fryer at 350°F; remember to place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the basket.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Air Fryer Green Beans (4 Ways!)
- Air Fryer Baby Carrots
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Wedges
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash (3 Ways!)
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Air Fried Parmesan Zucchini
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into mini half-moon crescents or bite sized pieces (about ¾ inch thick)
- 1 tsp olive oil or olive oil spray
- ¾ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ – ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 – 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, fresh is best
- A squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional), for serving
- Preheat your air fryer to 390°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine zucchini, olive oil or spray, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Mix until zucchini is fully coated.
- IMPORTANT: Carefully line the bottom of your air fryer with parchment paper, so the cheese doesn’t fall off into the basket or get stuck on the grate.
- Add seasoned zucchini and air fry for 8 – 12 minutes, shaking zucchini every 3 minutes or so. The zucchini should be tender and slightly crisp; the cheese should be golden.
- Enjoy warm, and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice if desired!
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