Air Fryer Squash and Zucchini is the simplest side dish made with fresh yellow squash and deep green zucchini. Add a sprinkling of herbs and a little garlic to this easy squash recipe for a healthy and tasty summer dish.
Air fried squash is a fresh, summery side dish and a great way to use up all of that garden grown zucchini. I love serving this easy squash recipe with Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken or Spicy Grilled Shrimp. Serve it up with this favorite side for an amazing dinner.
Air Fryer Squash
One of the absolute best things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. There are so many options to choose from and so many recipes to make!
I really love adding veggies at meal time to make a complete meal for my family. Sometimes we eat a bunch of different types of vegetables and fruits for dinner. This simple squash recipe makes a great side dish that is healthy and tasty. And using the air fryer to make this recipe is a game changer. The squash is done in half the time it would have taken to make it in the oven.
I typically don’t use oil when I cook in the air fryer, but I wanted to make sure the squash got a nice golden brown, so I used a little bit this time. Keep in mind that even though it’s cooked with a little oil, the squash doesn’t get crispy. You can try cutting thicker slices and air frying for less time to get more of a crunch.
What is Summer Squash?
Summer squash is squash that is grown during the warmer months of the year. It is normally planted in May or June, after the last cold snap of spring. It is then harvested towards the end of summer. Some common types of summer squash besides zucchini and yellow squash are crookneck, pattypan, and chayote. Most of these can swapped out with one another in the recipe you are making.
Is Zucchini a Squash?
There isn’t a difference between squash and zucchini, they are one and the same. Zucchini is actually a type of squash that is green in color. Now, there is a difference between yellow squash and zucchini. They both have similar taste profiles, but look very different.
A yellow squash is obviously yellow, it also is thinner on one side and bigger on the other. It has more of a gourd shape. The zucchini is a deep, beautiful green with slight, light green or yellow lines all over it. It is pretty much the same size all the way down.
Is Zucchini Good for You?
On top of it being low in carbohydrates and in calories, zucchini is packed with vitamins and minerals (especially in the skin). A zucchini is high in fiber, great for the GI tract. It also contains vitamin A, which is good for the eyes and vitamin B6 which may prevent against diabetes.
Is Zucchini Keto?
If you are on the ketosis diet (basically you can’t eat a lot of carbs), you may be wondering if zucchini is keto friendly. Zucchini actually can be eaten if you are on the ketosis diet. One whole medium sized zucchini only has 3 grams of net carbs.
Is Yellow Squash Keto?
Yellow squash is a lot like zucchini in that it also is one of the best veggies you can eat on a keto diet. It is pretty low-carb, which means you can eat a pretty good amount of it when on the ketosis diet.
Should you Peel Squash?
There is no need to peel the outside of summer squash. The skin contains a lot of the vitamins and minerals that would be lost if it was discarded. It also cooks up super tender, so it is very easy to eat. You should definitely leave the skin on when cooking with zucchini and yellow squash.
Air Fryer Squash Ingredients
- Yellow Squash: Get fresh, yellow squash that doesn’t have any gashes or mushy spots on the skin.
- Zucchini: Buy healthy looking zucchini, that has good color and no gross spots on the outside.
- Olive Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil will work. You only need a little bit.
- Garlic Powder
- Basil: You can use dried basil.
- Rosemary: I sometimes like to use fresh finely chopped rosemary, but if I don’t have that on hand I will use finely chopped dried rosemary instead.
- Parsley: Dried parsley will work well.
- Salt: I like to use kosher or sea salt.
- Pepper: Freshly ground will taste the best.
How to Cook Squash in Air Fryer
Your air fryer zucchini and squash will be ready in no time at all thanks to the air fryer. For more thorough directions and ingredient amounts, check out the recipe card below.
- Prep the squash. Wash the yellow squash and zucchini really well.
- Slice squash. Cut off each end and discard. Slice the squash into slices that are a little bigger than 1/4.”
- Coat squash with olive oil. Put squash in a small bowl and pour in olive oil. Try to evenly coat the squash, you can use your hands or a pastry brush to spread on the oil.
- Add herbs. Sprinkle with half the herbs and combine. Sprinkle on other half of the herbs and mix well.
- Preheat air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Add in squash. Add zucchini and squash into air fryer basket (air fryer is hot so be careful). Then using a fork, arrange the squash so that it isn’t completely overlapping anywhere. Some overlap is fine.
- Air fry squash. Set cook time squash for 6-8 minutes (shorter time for crisper squash, cook longer for softer squash). Halfway through cooking time, vigorously shake the basket so that the squash gets moved around and flipped (may have to set a timer). Continue cooking.
Air Fryer Squash Tips
- Spread out squash. Stagger the squash when you place it into the air fryer. This will help ensure that it cooks evenly.
- A little oil. You only need a little bit of olive oil to help brown the zucchini and squash.
- Toss halfway. Make sure to toss the squash halfway through cooking to ensure it is all cooking evenly.
- Add parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese a few minutes before the timer is about to go off, after you have already shaken the basket.
- Cook in batches for more. You can easily double the recipe by cooking in batches. You don’t want to overcrowd the air fryer because it will not cook the zucchini and yellow squash equally.
- Add rosemary. Sprinkle on 1/2 teaspoon of dried chopped rosemary.
- Serve with sauce. Add this sauce on top for more flavorful squash.
- Add to recipes. Use this squash for other recipes. Like add it into your pasta sauce , put into a mug omelet or quiche, quesadillas, or on pizza.
- Serving size. This recipe makes about four 1/2 cup servings.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is zucchini a summer squash? Yes, zucchini is a summer squash. It is normally planted in May or June and harvested in August.
- Is zucchini and squash the same thing? Yes, zucchini is a type of squash. As yellow squash is also a type of squash.
- Is squash a nightshade? Nope, squash is not a nightshade. Some typical nightshades include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tobacco.
- Is zucchini a fruit or vegetable? Although we typically think of squash as a vegetable because it is more savory than sweet, zucchini and yellow squash are actually categorized as a fruit.
- Is yellow squash good for you? Yes, yellow squash is full of vitamin A, B, and C. And minerals like magnesium, folate, and iron. It is also low in calories and carbs.
- Does this squash get crispy? No, this squash does not get crispy in the air fryer. You can try to get more crunch by cutting thicker slices and air frying them for less time. Experiment to see what works best for your air fryer.
How to Store Squash
- How to Refrigerate Squash: Let the squash cool and put in a glass container or BPA-free airtight plastic container or zipper bag. It should last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
- How to Freeze Squash: Let the squash cool off completely before putting into an airtight glass, BPA-free freezer-safe bag or freezer-safe plastic container. Make sure to label with the recipe name and date. The should last about 3 months in the freezer.
- How to Reheat Squash: Reheat cold zucchini and squash in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until desired warmth is reached.
Try these air fryer recipes!
- Air Fryer Turkey Bacon
- Air Fryer Potato Skins
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- Air Fryer Frozen Breaded Shrimp
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Air Fryer Squash and Zucchini
- 1 large yellow squash
- 1 large zucchini
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary finely chopped, 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Wash the yellow squash and zucchini really well.
- Cut off each squash end and discard. Slice the squash into slices that are a little bigger than 1/4." For crunchier squash cut into 1/2" slices (may need a little more cook time).
- Put squash in a small bowl and pour in olive oil. Try to evenly coat the squash, you can use your hands or a pastry brush to spread on the oil.
- Sprinkle with half the herbs and combine. Sprinkle on other half of the herbs and mix well.
- Add zucchini and squash into the air fryer basket (air fryer will be hot so be careful). Then using a fork, arrange the squash so that it isn't completely overlapping anywhere. Some overlap is fine.
- Set cook time to 8 minutes (6 minutes for a little more firm squash). Halfway through cooking time, vigorously shake the basket so that the squash gets moved around and flipped (may have to set a timer). Continue cooking for the rest of the time. If you want the squash softer cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- For crunchier squash, only cook for 6-7 minutes (still shake basket half way through). Or cut squash into 1/2″ slices but may need a little longer cook time than 8 minutes.
- Make sure to toss the squash halfway through cooking to ensure it is all cooking evenly.
- Add chopped dried rosemary or parmesan cheese.
- Zucchini and yellow squash will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- This air fried zucchini and squash recipe makes four 1/2 cup servings.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out!