Air Fryer Squash and Zucchini makes the perfect summertime combination. With just a handful of ingredients, this healthy air fryer side dish is ready in less than twenty minutes. Serve on its own or add to pasta!
Nothing tastes quite as good in the summertime as zucchini and yellow squash! And the air fryer is the perfect way to cook it!
I've been air frying zucchini and squash for a few years now and I'm pretty sure I've unlocked the secret to the best way to cook squash and zucchini! In fact, this recipe was inspired by Air Fryer Summer Squash, which is one of the most popular recipes on my sister site, No Sweat Vegan.
Unlike my Air Fryer Broccoli and Carrots recipe, zucchini and squash cook at the same rate and can be added to the air fryer at the same time. Bonus!
Serve this Air Fryer Zucchini and Squash as a stand alone side or pair it with pasta for an easy and healthy dinner.
Here's what you need to make this recipe.
- yellow squash
- olive oil or avocado oil -- You could leave this out or swap for lemon juice if you want to make this oil-free
- granulated garlic -- I don't recommend using fresh garlic in this recipe, as it would likely burn with the high heat.
- dried oregano
- dried basil
- fresh cracked pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
Here are step-by-step instructions with photos.
Preheat the air fryer to 475F or 240C.
Wash and trim the ends off of the squash and zucchini. Cut them into rounds or half moons on the thicker side (go for about ½ to ¾ cm thick).
In a mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, squash, olive oil, and seasonings. Mix until all of the rounds are evenly coated.
Transfer the squash and zucchini to an even layer in the air fryer and cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
About halfway through, stop the cooking and shake the basket. Make sure none of the rounds are sticking together. Since the rounds on the outside tend to cook faster, you can swap them.
They're done when they're nicely browned. Serve and enjoy right away!
Hint: Summer Squash varieties, like Yellow Squash and Zucchini, have a high water content, so they cook a bit differently than other types of veggies. I have tested this recipe at lower heat, and they cook too slowly, don't get browned, and turn to mush. To keep that from happening, I recommend cooking them in a preheated air fryer at a very high heat!
Here are a few variations you might like.
- Just Squash! - If you have a garden full of yellow squash, follow this recipe for air fryer yellow squash.
- Summer Veggies - add tomatoes and onion to the mix with this air fryer Mediterranean Vegetables recipe.
- Breaded - Dip the rounds into breadcrumbs before adding them to the air fryer.
- With a dip! - Squash and zucchini taste great with a dip like vegan tzatziki sauce or this homemade marinara.
For this recipe, you need an air fryer, cutting board, knife, and mixing bowl.
All of my favorite products and kitchen tools can be found in my Amazon shop.
How to serve
Air Fryer Zucchini and Squash makes a perfect side dish. I recommend serving it right away on a plate or platter. (If you put it in a bowl, the squash on the bottom tends to get mushy fast).
Zucchini and Squash pair nicely with light, mediterranean inspired dishes. You could make a meal of small plates alongside these Padron Peppers. Or add the zucchini and squash to a simple pasta dish with Air Fryer Asparagus.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. I don't recommend freezing unless you plan to add the squash and zucchini to a soup or stew (because they would get mushy when they defrost).
Preheating the air fryer to its highest heat setting is what's going to get you a nicely browned dish without the zucchini and squash turning to complete mush.
Absolutely! Because zucchini and squash have such a high water content, the best way to get them nicely browned is to add them to a screaming hot air fryer.
Zucchini (also called courgette) and yellow squash both belong to the summer squash family and have a shorter shelf-life than winter squash. They are in peak season in the summer months, although you can usually get zucchini year round.
Choose the air fryer that best meets your needs. Consider things like price, size, and functionality. I personally love my Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Grill and Air Fryer, because it has a bigger capacity, which better suits my family of four.
For more info, see my post What Air Fryer Should I Buy? or check out Good Housekeeping's review of the Best Air Fryers of 2023.
Looking for more air fryer recipes? Try these:
Air Fryer Zucchini and Squash
- Preheat the air fryer to 475F or 240C.
- Wash and trim the ends off of the squash and zucchini. Cut them into rounds or half moons on the thicker side (go for about ½ to ¾ cm thick).
- In a mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, squash, olive oil, and seasonings. Mix until all of the rounds are evenly coated.
- Transfer the squash and zucchini to the air fryer in an even layer and cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
- About halfway through, stop the cooking and shake the basket. Make sure none of the rounds are sticking together. Since the rounds on the outside tend to cook faster, you can swap them.
- They're done when they're nicely browned. Serve and enjoy right away!
Air Fryer and food safety tips
Here are a few safety tips for cooking with an air fryer.
- Cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always use oven mitts or some protective hand covering when shaking the basket or removing food from the air fryer.
- Hot air comes out the back of the air fryer. Try to keep the back of the air fryer at least a hands length away from the wall, other ingredients, or anything else that could be damaged by heat.