Air fryer squash is so easy and crispy! This recipe cooks up in less than 10 minutes and is crunchy and a delicious side dish. This breaded air fried summer squash is the perfect way to use any zucchini or yellow squash you have.
If you're looking for a way to use up all that fresh yellow squash you have growing in your backyard garden, look no further. You can make this air fryer squash using yellow summer squash or zucchini. Both will cook up wonderfully and get crispy and delicious. Without oil! This no-oil fried squash recipe is a tasty way to eat squash.
Growing up, my mom made fried yellow squash all the time. And we loved it as kids. Secretly, it was probably a way to get her kids to eat veggies for dinner. But it was delicious and our whole family loved it.
Well, now with air fryers, we can make coated crispy squash without any olive oil! This air fryer squash is completely oil-free, and I think that's the best way to make it.
Because the squash just uses a light breading of panko and flour, it's also pretty low carb.
What is summer squash?
Summer squash is a type of squash that has a thin skin that you can eat. Zucchini and yellow squash fall in this family and are the most common types. But there are more varieties!
Many of them can be cooked in similar ways (like yellow zucchini), but some have different flavors.
For this recipe, we used yellow squash for our air fried squash, but you can easily swap out green zucchini or yellow zucchini.
All you need are some simple ingredients to make this crunchy perfect air fryer squash.
- Yellow squash
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
How to make
First, slice the squash into ¼ inch rounds. Sprinkle some salt over the squash to season and toss to combine.
Next, it's time to prepare your dipping station for breading and coating! To one bowl, add your flour, onion powder, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
In another bowl, add your eggs and milk and whisk together to combine.
In your third bowl, add the panko.
Take the sliced summer squash and dip first in the flour mixture, coating both sides of the squash. Then dip in the egg mixture, and finally the panko, trying to get as much panko coating the squash as possible. Repeat for all the squash slices.
Add as a single layer in your air fryer basket.
Cook for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees, until golden brown. Remove from the air fryer basket and enjoy!
Substitutions and customizations
- You can absolutely substitute zucchini for the yellow squash. They should cook up the same.
- If you have breadcrumbs on hand, you can use that instead of panko. Alternately, you can also use smashed cracker crumbs if you like. Just make sure the cracker crumbs are smashed pretty finely, about the same size as breadcrumbs or panko.
- You can also toss the squash with a bit of Italian seasoning before dipping, or add Italian seasoning to your flour mixture. That will give it a unique flavor, but it's a personal preference as to what spices you add, or if you want to stick with the classic recipe.
Do I need to use oil with this recipe?
No! This is an easy recipe for air fryer, oil-free fried squash. While you always could spray the outside of the squash with cooking spray, it is absolutely not necessary.
In my testing, making, and enjoying this recipe, the panko crisps up nicely without the use of any oil.
Can you refrigerate these?
Yes you can! After making the air fryer squash, let cool and then place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To reheat, simply pop into a single layer in your air fryer basket again and heat for 3-4 minutes until the center is hot.
I do not recommend reheating these in the microwave, as they will lose a lot of crispiness.
How to serve the air fryer squash
The panko-breaded squash is delicious served as is. However, you can also serve with this cumin lime ketchup or honey mustard bbq sauce. It makes a great side dish alongside air fryer Greek chicken or air fryer chili lime chicken.
If you like, you can also top with some fresh herbs for a nice pop of color.
Can you make these without an air fryer?
Yes! Growing up that's how my mom used to make fried squash! The air fryer version is just a way not to use so much oil.
To make on the stove, heat canola, vegetable, or other heat-safe oil over medium heat until shimmering, then add the breaded squash in a single layer, flipping once, until golden brown and crispy.
Drain on a paper towel lined plate or on a cooling rack. Repeat with the rest of the squash.
Air Fryer Crispy Squash
- 1 yellow squash
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 egg
- ⅛ cup milk
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Slice the yellow squash into ¼ inch rounds, removing the very top and bottom ends and discarding.
- Place the sliced squash into a bowl and add the salt. Toss to combine.
- Into one bowl, add the flour, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir to combine.
- In another bowl, add the egg and milk. Whisk to combine.
- In a third bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.
- Dip each piece of squash first into the flour mixture, coating completely, then into the egg mixture, and then into the panko. When dipping into the panko, try to get as much panko as you can stuck to the surface of the squash. Repeat with all of the squash.
- Place the squash in a single layer into your air fryer. Cook for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Remove, and then serve immediately. Repeat with the remaining squash.
If nutrition info is shown, values are based on an online calculator and are estimates. Please verify using your own data.