Air frying zucchini and squash is the best diet for keto diet lovers. Air frying is a cooking method that uses hot air to fry food without needing oil. Instead of putting the food in oil, you put it in a basket and put it in the air fryer. Hot air flows around the basket, cooking the food until it is crispy. This way of cooking has become more prevalent in recent years. It makes delicious, crispy food that is healthier than regular fried food.
The purpose of this blog is to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to air-fry zucchini and squash. So, let’s get started!
Benefits of air frying
Air frying zucchini and squash offer a variety of benefits. Air frying is a healthier option compared to traditional frying. It doesn’t need oil, which means fewer calories and less fat. It can be beneficial for those who are trying to maintain a healthy diet.
Additionally, air frying is quick and easy to use. It makes it an excellent option for busy weeknights or when you want a quick snack. With air frying, you can have your favourite foods cooked and ready to eat quickly.
Air frying is a great way to achieve a crispy texture without losing the nutrients of the vegetables. Air frying uses hot air to circulate and cook the food, giving it a crispy and soft texture on the outside. It ensures that the vegetables keep their natural taste and nutritional value.
Choosing the Right Air Fryer
Size matters when it comes to air fryers. Think about how much counter room you have and how many servings you usually make. Smaller air fryers are great for one or two people, while you can use bigger ones for families or parties.
Different air fryers come with varying features. Some have digital displays and cooking presets, while others offer manual controls. Take an air fryer with temperature and time choices that you can change for the most versatility.
Air fryers are available at various price points. To choose a model, set a budget and compare its features and performance.
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
Preparing the Air Frying Zucchini and Squash
To air-fry zucchini and squash, you’ll need fresh zucchini and squash. Take a sharp knife, a cutting board, and your choice of seasonings. Garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper are popular seasonings for this dish.
Kitchen Knife Set
MasterChef Cutting Boards
Cleaning and slicing the vegetables
Start by washing your zucchini and squash under cool running water. Then pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Then, use a sharp knife to slice the vegetables into uniform pieces. It’s essential to ensure the pieces are all similar in size so they cook in the air fryer. A good size to aim for is about ¼-inch thick slices.
T-fal Textiles Kitchen Towel
Adding seasoning to the vegetables
After slicing the vegetables, it’s time to add seasoning. You can use any seasonings you like. At the same time, I use garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. To add seasoning, sprinkle it over the sliced vegetables and toss to coat. You can also add a small amount of oil if desired, but it’s unnecessary for air frying.
Air Frying Zucchini and Squash
Setting up the air fryer
Before air frying, ensure your fryer is clean and set on a flat, stable surface. Also, make sure the air fryer basket is clean and dry.
Preheating the air fryer
Preheating the air fryer is crucial to ensure your zucchini and squash cook and come out crispy. To preheat, set the air fryer to the desired temperature and let it run for 2-3 minutes.
Placing the vegetables in the air fryer
Preheat the air fryer. Now place the sliced zucchini and squash in the air fryer basket. Make sure the pieces are not overlapping to ensure even cooking.
Adjusting the temperature and time settings
Adjusting the temperature and time settings will depend on the type of air fryer you have. It also depends upon the size and thickness of your vegetables. Generally, set the temperature to 375°F and cook for 10-12 minutes. Flip the vegetables halfway through cooking. But you may need to adjust the time and temperature depending on your air fryer and its crispiness.
Checking on the vegetables while they cook
It’s essential to check on the vegetables while they cook to ensure they don’t burn or overcook. Open the air fryer basket using tongs to flip the vegetables halfway through cooking. You can also check for doneness by inserting a fork or toothpick into the vegetables. If it goes through into it, the vegetables are ready. If not, continue cooking for a few more minutes.
Serving Suggestions for Air Frying Zucchini and Squash
Adding toppings or dips
You can enjoy Air-fried zucchini and squash on their own or with various toppings and dips. Grated parmesan cheese, chopped basil or parsley are typical toppings. As for dips, tzatziki, hummus, or garlic aioli make great options.
Pairing with other dishes
Air-fried zucchini and squash make a great addition to any meal. They pair well with grilled chicken or fish, or add them to a salad for extra crunch. You could also serve them as a side dish with a main course like steak or pork chops.
Meal prep ideas
Air-fried zucchini and squash are perfect for meal prep. You can store it in the fridge and reheat it. You can make a big batch at the beginning of the week and use them in various dishes. Try adding them to a quinoa or grain bowl or using them as a base for a vegetable-heavy stir-fry. They also make a great snack on their own or with some hummus or dip.
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 2 medium yellow squash
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Steps for air frying zucchini and squash
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F for 2-3 minutes.
- While the air fryer is preheating, wash the zucchini and squash and slice them into ¼-inch pieces.
- Combine the sliced zucchini and squash in a mixing bowl. Add garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Toss to coat.
- Preheat the air fryer. Place the seasoned zucchini and squash in the basket so they don’t overlap.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping the vegetables halfway through cooking.
- Once the vegetables are ready, remove them from the air fryer and serve them immediately.
Serving suggestions for the air frying zucchini and squash recipe
Air-fried zucchini and squash are versatile so you can enjoy them in many ways. Here are some serving suggestions for the recipe:
- As a side dish with grilled chicken or fish.
- In a grain or quinoa bowl with other roasted veggies and the protein of your choice.
- As a snack with some hummus or other dip.
You can change the taste of your air-fried zucchini and squash with different spices. Try garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, or cinnamon for a unique twist.
Sauces and Dips
Enhance your air-fried zucchini and squash with your favourite sauces and dips. Consider marinara sauce, ranch dressing, or a spicy aioli for a flavour-packed experience.
- You can use all zucchini or all yellow squash in this dish.
- Use veggie broth, soy sauce, or tamari instead of oil. Using soy sauce or tamari, cut back on or drop the salt.
- Switch up the seasonings! Use garlic, salt, and pepper for this dish. But you can be as artistic as you want about herbs and spices. This meal tastes fantastic with a teaspoon of dried basil, dill, oregano, and Italian spice. Or, if you like a little heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes right before serving.
- Add some fresh herbs on top. I recommend parsley, basil, cilantro, or dill.
- You need only a tiny amount of olive oil. I use 1 tsp. It helps get the colour of a golden brown. Or, instead of oil, you could use veggie stock, soy sauce, or tamari.
- Make sure to stir the squash around halfway through cooking. It will ensure that all vegetables cook at the same rate.
- You must make this recipe in two batches if you have a small air fryer. So, the basket doesn’t get too full, and all the pieces are brown.
- Use high heat for cooking the squash. Since summer squash contains a lot of water, cook it at a high temperature. So, it will get a golden-brown colour without becoming mushy.
- Cut the squash into thick pieces. It will help it stay in the same shape as it cooks.
- Serve the squash all at once. It will keep the squash on the bottom from getting mushy from the heat of the squash on top.
Air frying zucchini and squash is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy these vegetables. Using an air fryer helps keep the vegetables’ nutrients and natural flavours. It also reduces the amount of oil needed for cooking. Air frying is quick and easy, making it a convenient option for busy weeknights.
Air-frying zucchini and squash is a great way to add more vegetables. While also enjoying a tasty and satisfying meal. This dish can be a delicious addition to any meal with the correct seasoning and cooking time. It is also a healthy option.
If you have yet to try air-frying zucchini and squash, try it! Try several seasoning combinations and serving suggestions to find your favourite.
Q1: What is air frying, and how does it work?
A: Air frying is a cooking technique that uses hot air to cook food, like a convection oven. An air fryer is a small kitchen appliance that uses this technology to circulate hot air around the food. In this way, it creates a crispy, fried texture without needing a lot of oil. The air fryer works by heating the cooking chamber and circulating the air around the food using a fan. It allows the food to cook and creates a crispy exterior.
Q2: What are the benefits of this recipe?
A: It is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy these vegetables. Because the air fryer uses hot air to cook the food, it requires much less oil. It means the zucchini and squash keep more natural nutrients and flavours. Air frying is fast, easy, and clean, making it a great weeknight alternative.
Q3: How should I prepare the zucchini and squash for air frying?
A: To prepare the zucchini and squash for air frying:
- Wash and slice them into ¼-inch pieces.
- Season them with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Toss the vegetables in the seasoning to coat them, then place them in the air fryer basket.
Q4: What temperature and time settings should I use for it?
A: Temperature and time depend on your air fryer and vegetable size. As a general rule, you should heat your air fryer to 375°F. And cook the veggies for 10 to 12 minutes. Then flip them halfway through. It’s vital to check on the vegetables while they cook. And adjust the temperature and time to get the right texture.
Q5: What are some serving suggestions for air-fried zucchini and squash?
A: You can enjoy air-fried zucchini and squash in many ways. You can serve them as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish or add them to a salad for some extra crunch. They also make a great snack on their own or with some hummus or dip. There are other serving suggestions for air-fried zucchini and squash. You can add them to a grain or quinoa bowl. You can also include other roasted vegetables and a protein of your choice. Another option is to top them with grated parmesan cheese. Some other options are fresh herbs or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. It will give them an extra burst of flavour.
Q6: Can I air-fry other vegetables besides zucchini and squash?
A: Yes, you can air fry various vegetables besides zucchini and squash. Some other popular options include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes. The key to air-frying vegetables is to cut them into even-sized pieces. So, they cook and adjust the seasoning and cooking time based on the specific vegetable.