Air fryer zucchini chips are an ideal way to utilize some of that bumper crop of summertime’s favorite squash.
Whether you’re an avid gardener with the mother lode of zucchini or your neighbors are gifting it to you, this is a crispy treat that you need not feel guilty eating.
Don’t confuse these air fryer zucchini chips with its fat-laden cousins from the deep fryer. Air frying gives the chips a wonderful crunch without a greasy texture.
In fact, because of the air fryer, the zucchini chips are light and addictive. When I made these today, I also whipped up a light Creamy Italian dip that was an ideal partner to the chips.
7 Healthy Reasons to Eat Zucchini
So if you’ve ever wondered why the humble zucchini is such a well-loved fruit, look to its many health benefits for your answer.
1 – Anti Aging
Zucchini is rich with both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. These help to reduce your body’s exposure to damaging free radicals. Free radicals trigger inflammation in your skin and body and can cause your skin to age prematurely.
2 – Promotes eye health
Among the previously mention antioxidants, zucchini contains the following:
- Vitamin C
Each of these aids in preserving eye health and reduces your chances of cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.
3 – Increases thyroid function
The peels of zucchini contain high levels of Vitamin C and polyphenols that increase thyroid function.
A study conducted by Devi University in India proves that zucchini skins improved the thyroid function of laboratory rats. As a result, the rats enjoyed a boost in metabolism.
4 – Boosts mental alertness
Zucchini is full of riboflavin, folate, and B6–all B vitamins. The B vitamins are “brain foods” that help the brain process thoughts and send messages out to the entire body.
Vitamin B6, especially, is known to boost mental alertness.
5 – Aids digestion
Zucchini contains everything you need for good digestive function:
- High water content
So make this squash a regular part of your diet, and you’ll decrease your odds of developing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, ulcers, and some colon cancers.
6 – Stabilizes insulin and blood sugar levels
Remember that study that proved zucchini is wonderful for your thyroid? It also shows that the fruit regulates your insulin levels.
In addition, the super amounts of fiber help you to feel full faster–and stay satiated longer. In turn, you’ll reduce cravings for empty calories that drive up your blood sugar level.
7 – Supports weight loss
If you’ve ever dieted, you’ve been told to increase your water and fiber and decrease your carbs.
Because zucchini is naturally high in fiber and water, it satisfies your hunger. Of course, this full feeling enables you to push away the harmful carbs without regret.
So you can see that not only is zucchini flavorful, but it’s also useful for your health. And that’s why so many people adore this squash.
Air Fryer Zucchini Chips
Fortunately, zucchini is easy to cook. These air fryer zucchini chips are no exception!
The use of the air fryer ensures cooking in just a few short minutes. The fryer operates by circulating heated air throughout a small chamber, cooking food evenly.
Prepping the Air Fryer Zucchini Chips With a Mandoline Slicer
To prep the air fryer zucchini chips, I used a mandoline slicer. Because I wanted thin and crispy chips, I used the thinnest setting.
If you prefer yours to have a crispy outside and a “meaty” center, use a thicker slice.
Using the mandoline makes cutting fun and easy and ensures that you make precise slices that look pretty and cook consistently.
When working with a mandoline, keep the guard in place. While it’s tempting to skip assembling that piece, it’s there for a reason.
Mandolines have razor-sharp blades, so BEWARE AND BE CAREFUL. They’re favored by chefs in professional kitchens because they’re fast and efficient and glide through zucchini as easily as a hot knife cuts through butter.
Here’s the Mandoline That I Use
To mix the breading, I mixed 1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs and 1/2 cup of white flour in one bowl.
While it’s traditional to use three bowls—egg, flour, bread crumbs–I wanted to simplify this. To keep the carbs to a minimum, I did not want to dredge it twice.
Gluten Free Air Fryer Zucchini Chips
What Didn’t Work
I tried two additional variations to make a gluten-free version of air fryer zucchini chips. Each was, well, I’ll say it–an epic fail.
For my first attempt at gluten-free flour, I substituted white flour for coconut flour. The coconut flour did not stick to the zucchini well. And it burnt to a blackened crisp.
Therefore, I tried making a plain zucchini chip with sea salt and basil from my garden. It came out dehydrated and more than a little bit burned. And the burnt basil smell was awful.
Gluten Free Zucchini Chips that Worked
Whenever substituting gluten products for gluten free, always start by replacing the regular flour for the next closest gluten free alternative. When it comes to white or whole wheat flour, for instance, King Arthur GF flours are some of the closest in consistency and results, and our favorite is Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour.
Enjoy a light, crispy, and guilt-free treat with these air fryer zucchini chips.
- 1 small zucchini
- 1/4 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup of flour
- seasoning blend of your choice
- 1 egg + 2 tsp water, beaten
- Olive oil pump spray (not aerosol!)
- Use a mandoline slicer or knife to cut the zucchini into thin "chips."
- Prepare two small bowls for dredging the zucchini. One bowl will hold the beaten egg and one for the bread crumb, seasoning, and flour mixture.
- Dip each zucchini round into the egg mixture and then dredge it in the flour and bread crumb bowl. Shake off excess and lie them in a single layer in your air fryer tray.
- Air fry at 375 for 10 minutes. Check about halfway through the cycle as cooking time may vary based on the moisture content of your zucchini.
While the zucchini chips are in the air fryer toasting, make your creamy Italian dip.
Amount Per Serving Calories 448Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 186mgSodium 859mgCarbohydrates 50gFiber 4gSugar 5gProtein 16g
Embrace the Bounty of the Zucchini
If your garden is overrunning with zucchini, embrace it! This fruit is best enjoyed fresh from the vine. It’s one of the ways you can literally enjoy the fruit of your labor.
Creamy Italian Dip
Now if you're Keto or otherwise not concerned about fat content, then you can substitute low and no fat for full fat ingredients.
- 1 packet of dry Italian dressing mix
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Add Italian seasoning and dressing to small mixing bowl and let sit for a few minutes.
- Whisk in the yogurt.
- Serve and enjoy!
This makes just over one cup of dip. You can store any leftover in a mason jar, dressing jar or other container and use it for salad dressing and veggie dip.
Or you can turn your mason jars into a handy dressing bottle with this flip cap with handle.
Serving Size2 tbl
Amount Per Serving Calories 269Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 19mgSodium 353mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 0gSugar 9gProtein 24g