Learn how to make thin, crispy zucchini chips (slices or rounds) in the air fryer in 25 minutes! This healthy air fryer snack idea satisfies the need for salty crunch but with added nutrition. Recipe is made without breading.
Air fryers are all the rage these days! And it’s easy to see why – they give your food a delectable crunch without all that excess fat that can weigh you down. It’s also much safer to “fry with air” than to watch a hot pot of oil.
Even picky eaters will enjoy this air fried zucchini because you have many options for flavor exploration. Leave your air fryer zucchini simple with salt and lemon juice, or zhuzh it up with whatever spices you’re in the mood for!
We’re making these air fryer zucchini chips with no breading for a few reasons. It saves time (because breading is a process), makes them gluten-free (perfect for all eaters), and reduces the calorie count (make these a healthy air fryer snack)! Let’s cook.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Zucchini Chips
As far as zucchini recipes go, this one is stupid simple. With the exception of the zucchini, you probably have everything else in the pantry already!
- Zucchini: This veggie has some great fiber and the mild taste is easy on picky eaters.
- Salt: Salt is two-fold here. It draws the excess water out of the zucchini (this is how you get crispy zucchini in the air fryer) as well as enhances flavor.
- Olive Oil: Everyone has this on hand. It works at most temperatures and doesn’t have a strong flavor! (Note that while air frying is a great low fat way of cooking, adding a little oil is still important for adding crispiness!)
- Lemon Juice: Pucker up! This finishing touch is not to be skipped, countering any bitterness that may be in your zucchini.
When life gives you lemons…
I always recommend using fresh lemon juice. There’s just something about that bright flavor! But it’s totally ok to keep a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge for recipes like these.
How to make Air Fried Zucchini
Three simple steps are all it takes to enjoy these crispy, crunchy zucchini chips. You might not be used to salting raw vegetables, but it’s necessary so that your zucchini is “fried”, not steamed.
Step 1: Dry
The secret to getting anything crispy in the air fryer is to dry it out first (looking at you, crispy air fried chickpeas). If you’ve never used this technique you might be scratching your head. But putting salt on your zucchini will help draw out water, which you press out with the paper towel. Go science!
This tool makes quick and even slicing a breeze!
Step 2: Toss
In a large bowl, toss the zucchini chips with salt and oil. While you can technically air fry without any oil, we like to add a splash of it to help make this air fried zucchini ultra crispy and golden brown!
Step 3: Cook
It’s fine if your zucchini is overlapping some in the air fryer basket. Just don’t pack it down! Your zucchini is done when it’s beginning to brown and is fork-tender. That’s it!
Step 4: Serve
In a serving bowl, add a sprinkle of lemon juice and then serve warm.
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
Did you know you don’t have to just slice your zucchini into rounds? Especially if your zucchini is on the thicker side (monster garden zucchini in fall, anyone?) go ahead and dice it in cubes or in long “fries” to change up this air fryer zucchini!
Recipe tips & Variations
Different Squash: Feel free to substitute yellow squash (or any type of summer squash) for the zucchini. Just make sure they aren’t too thick as they can have fairly large seeds once they grow larger. Feeling adventurous? Try carrot fries in the air fryer!
Different Oil: Try avocado oil vs the olive oil if you have that on hand. With a slightly different flavor profile than olive oil, you might stumble on a new favorite!
Sauce It Like It’s Hot: Enjoy even more of this French Onion Dip – there’s no guilt when you’re using these air fryer zucchini chips as a dip vehicle. I also recommend ketchup, ranch, or buffalo sauce.
Spice It Up: Looking for more flavor? Don’t stop with just salt. Ranch dressing powder would be divine, or what about tossing the zucchini chips in taco seasoning and using them as the base of nachos? My savory Popcorn Seasoning ideas would be great starting points.
Store: Zucchini chips will store for a few days in the fridge in an air-tight container. They will lose their crisp but are still tasty in a salad! You can also give them a quick refresh in the air fryer to bring life back into them.
What to Munch With Air Fried Zucchini
When the craving for a “burger and fries” hits, these air fryer zucchini chips are the perfect side dish. Honestly, they are also a great way to sneak some veggies in at any time. Done in under 30 minutes, they make the perfect snack, too.
- Portobello Mushroom Burgers are hearty and meaty next to a green salad and these chips. You can definitely try out so many different kinds of dips on your plate here.
- Some people like to mix veggies in their mac, but I’d rather have these as a crisp contrast to some White Cheddar Truffle Mac and Cheese.
- And really, get your max veggie consumption in by having a pile of these next to a Grilled Broccoli Salad or try Mediterranean Quinoa Salad!
- 5 cups sliced zucchini about 5 small or 2 large zucchini
- ½ tsp salt divided
- 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
- 1 tsp lemon juice 5 mL
- Dry: Slice zucchini into ¼ inch thick rounds*. Lay out onto a clean towel or paper towel, then sprinkle with half of the salt. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel.
- Toss: Toss zucchini together with remaining salt and olive oil. Transfer to your air fryer basket or baking sheet.
- Cook: Air fry the zucchini at 400°F (204°C) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and golden brown at the edges.
- Serve: When finished, drizzle with lemon juice and serve hot.