Zucchini is a great and healthy side dish that complements many main dishes perfectly. It can easily become soggy or mushy, however, even when cooked in an air fryer.
In this article, we will give you two recipes for cooking zucchini in an air fryer as well as some general hints and tips.
How To Cook Zucchini In An Air Fryer
There are many different ways that you can cook zucchini in an air fryer (Also check out How To Cook Asparagus In An Air Fryer). We will give you details of two different methods that will give you a delicious zucchini side dish.
Probably the most common way to cook zucchini in an air fryer is to cut it into slices.
You will need to slice the zucchini into relatively thin slices for this recipe but if you do cut them a little thicker, just add a couple of minutes to the cooking time.
Thinly slice two to four medium-sized zucchini. Once they’re sliced, place them in a medium-sized bowl ready for their dressing and seasoning.
You don’t need to use either parchment paper or cooking spray as the olive oil coating on the slices should prevent them from sticking to the basket.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your bowl and toss the slices until they are all lightly coated with the oil.
Season the zucchini slices with half a teaspoon of kosher salt. If you wish, you can also add half a teaspoon of garlic powder and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper.
You can use other seasonings if you prefer, but these are what we recommend.
Once seasoned, place the zucchini slices in your air fryer basket. Make sure that they are a single layer and do not overlap, otherwise, they will cook unevenly.
If you have more slices than your basket can fit, you will need to work in batches.
Using the air fry feature, cook the zucchini slices at 400 degrees for around eight to ten minutes. Halfway through your cooking time, make sure to shake or toss the zucchini slices so they don’t stick together.
When the time is up, you can add additional minutes if needed to get the slices to your preferred level of crispiness and tenderness.
If you prefer thick chunks of zucchini to thin slices, then this second recipe will be better for you.
If your air fryer isn’t large enough to cook all of the zucchini chunks at once, we would recommend preheating your oven and a parchment-lined baking sheet to 200 degrees so you can keep the first batch warm while the later batches are being cooked.
Slice three large zucchini (or six small ones) into quarters vertically and then slice each quarter into half moons that are half an inch thick each.
This should give you around six to seven cups of zucchini chunks.
Preheat your air fryer, with the air frying basket installed, to 400 degrees. Let it preheat for around two to three minutes.
While the air fryer is preheating, you can season your zucchini. Put your zucchini chunks into a medium-sized mixing bowl and toss the chunks with the following ingredients:
- One tablespoon of olive oil
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- Three-quarters of a teaspoon of garlic powder
- Half a teaspoon of dried parsley
- Half a teaspoon of onion powder
- One-quarter of a teaspoon of smoked paprika
If you want to, you can also add a pinch of ground red pepper and a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Make sure that the seasonings combine and coat all of the zucchini chunks.
Put your zucchini chunks into your air fryer. You may not have room for all of your zucchini chunks and if this is the case, you will need to work in batches.
Cook the zucchini for around nine to ten minutes. Make sure you shake or stir the zucchini every three minutes.
If the zucchini isn’t crisp enough for your tastes after the cooking time has elapsed, cook for a little longer.
While later batches are being cooked you can keep the fast batches warm in your preheated oven.
How Do You Prevent Zucchini From Becoming Soggy?
In both of the recipes we just listed, we included instructions to shake the zucchini during the cooking time.
This is the best way to prevent your zucchini from becoming soggy and you mustn’t skip this step.
Shaking your zucchini works because it allows the slices or chunks to shake off excess moisture.
It also ensures that all of the zucchini get an equal chance to share the hot air that moves around the air fryer, instead of some slices being missed or passed over.
You should also make sure that you don’t overload the air fryer basket. It can be tempting to cook all of your zucchini in one batch but this will also prevent all of the zucchini from getting exposed to the hot air.
It will take longer, but don’t overcrowd and overlap your zucchini in the basket and instead work in smaller batches to ensure it doesn’t become soggy.
How To Store And Reheat Zucchini
We would recommend only keeping leftover zucchini for around two to three days. You will need to keep it refrigerated throughout this time.
Although you can freeze zucchini, we would not recommend it as it will make the defrosted zucchini soggy and mushy.
If you must freeze it, make sure it is in an airtight and freezer-safe container and consumed within two months.
To reheat zucchini, you can put them back in an air fryer that has preheated to 400 degrees and cook them for around two to three minutes. You can also microwave the zucchini.
We would recommend blasting the zucchini for thirty seconds at a time until they are all heated through.
If you follow the recipes and hints in this article, you’re sure to get the perfect zucchini every time!