Air Fryer Southern Fried Squash

Southern Fried Squash is so delicious but frying it uses a lot of oil. Making it in your air fryer cuts the excess fat but gives it the crispness you want.

Southern Fried Squash is so delicious but frying it uses a lot of oil. Making it in your air fryer cuts the excess fat but gives it the crispness you want. 

Southern Fried Squash is a staple around the dinner table in the south. You might know this vegetable as yellow squash (usually right next to zucchini in the grocery store). Typically, it’s cooked in a pan with oil. The problem that comes in is that squash tends to soak up excess oil, making it a heavy side dish. When we cook it in an air fryer like this one, we can cut down on the oil that’s needed and still end up with crisp fried squash. 

How to Cut Your Squash

Summer squash can be a little more tender than zucchini or other vegetables like eggplant so cutting it a little thicker, approximately 1/2-inch thick, helps ensure the cooked dish is tender but not mushy.

How to Bread Air Fryer Southern Fried Squash

I use a mixture of breadcrumbs and cornmeal  for the breading because adding cornmeal makes it more flavorful and crispy. I use a three-step method for breading the squash. This is the best way to make sure the breading sticks when you cook it. First, you’ll coat each piece in flour, then egg, and finally, the seasoned breadcrumb and cornmeal mixture.
Just before placing each piece of squash on a rack in the air fryer, spray both sides with cooking spray to help it brown even more. Instead of cooking spray you can also use oil in one of these oil sprayers. Using the rack will help it brown and crisp on all sides without the middle of the squash overcooking. If it’s not quite done at the end of 5 minutes, be sure to flip the pieces and cook for just another minute or two.

Tips to Cook Air Fryer Southern Fried Squash

  • Cut the squash into even slices. Using thicker pieces will help make sure the edges stay browned without making the inside too overdone.
  • Use this three-step dry, wet, dry method to keep the breading on during the cooking process.
  • Using a rack in the basket will make sure that each side is evenly browned.
  • Spray the squash with cooking spray to help encourage the browning and crisp edges even more.

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Air Fryer Southern Fried Squash

Southern Fried Squash is so delicious but frying it uses a lot of oil. Making it in your air fryer cuts the excess fat but gives it the crispness you want.
  • Author: Sam Ellis
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup coarse ground cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Cooking spray
  • Parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 360°F.
  2. Mix together plain breadcrumbs, cornmeal, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs in a separate small bowl.
  4. Place flour in another small bowl.
  5. Take squash pieces and dip in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture. Set aside until ready to cook. Once ready to cook, spray each with cooking spray on both sides.
  6. Place squash slices in a single layer on rack and cook for 5 minutes. If still not tender, flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Repeat with remaining squash.
  7. Top with fresh parsley and serve warm.

Air Fryer Southern Fried Squash
Air Fryer Southern Fried Squash

Sam Ellis

Sam blogs at The Culinary Compass where she loves to try new recipes and ingredients from around the world. She thinks trying new dishes and spices is the easiest way to travel! She loves coffee so much that she often goes to bed excited for a fresh cup in the morning.