child hand grabbing a zucchini tot

air fryer zucchini tots {keto + gluten-free}

Let’s file air fryer zucchini tots under “healthy recipes my kids will actually eat.” And that’s it for this post, friends! That’s the biggest recipe endorsement there is, am I right? No need to say more. 😉

Except that Google kind of likes a little bit more than that. And I actually do have a lot I’d like to tell you about this easy, gluten-free, and keto air fryer recipe. Like, how to make them. 🙂

But before I get to that, here’s what I love about these air fryer zucchini tots:

  • you don’t really need an air fryer- using one will cut the bake time in half, but you can easily bake these in your oven, too!
  • along with zucchini, these healthy little veggie bites are also packed with spinach, onion, and nutritional yeast, and a good amount of protein and fiber from the egg, coconut flour, and (optional) parmesan
  • they’re a great way to get kids (and us big kids, too) to eat more veggies!
  • these zucchini tots are dairy-optional (you can omit the parmesan and add a bit more nutritional yeast), paleo-friendly, grain-free, gluten-free, and keto approved!
air fryer zucchini tots on a plate with ketchup and spoon

keto air fryer recipes FTW!

I recently bought my air fryer to start making some quick and easy keto air fryer recipes. Up until now, I never quite understood the air fryer trend because the main selling point is to air-fry (versus oil fry) and with a keto diet, healthy fat is GOOD. However, now that I have an air fryer, I have been using it for ALL THE THINGS. Here’s why:

  • I’ve found it cuts down cooking time
  • it’s more energy efficient to heat up an air fryer vs. an entire oven
  • the air fryer gives foods that crispy, fried outer layer without having to actually stand there and fry over hot, splashing grease (reason enough right there)

Needless to say, I will be doing lots of air frying this summer and have a whole list of keto air fryer recipes to try out! In the meantime, check out my favorite resource on air frying– Josh at A License to Grill has developed an air fryer calculator plus a helpful cheat sheet that lists air fryer cooking times for all kinds of vegetables.

By the way, this is the air fryer I ended up getting (I ordered it through Costco). I read a number of reviews and ended up choosing this one based on the price and the size of the basket. It’s easy to use and heats up quickly!

let’s make air fryer zucchini tots

These air fryer zucchini tots are an easy keto recipe, simple enough to make with little ones, too!

Here’s what you need:

  • fresh zucchini
  • white or yellow onion
  • spinach
  • garlic granules (or powder)
  • egg
  • coconut flour
  • salt and pepper
  • nutritional yeast
  • parmesan (optional)

Before you do anything… Prep the zucchini! When working with freshly grated zucchini, you’ll want to salt it and let it sit for about 20 minutes. This helps release any liquid in the vegetable. Transfer the grated zucchini to a clean dish towel and squeeze out all of the water before using it. Please don’t skip this step or your zucchini tots won’t have the right consistency.

Once that’s done, you’re just a couple of steps away from enjoying air fryer zucchini tots!

ingredients in a bowl for air fryer zucchini tots
  1. Mix ingredients- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir the mixture until everything is well incorporated. (If you’re skipping the parmesan to make this dairy-free, add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of nutritional yeast.)
  2. Form the zucchini tots- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F. While it’s preheating, use a large spoon or tablespoon and scoop out a portion (about 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons in size), placing the mixture in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze it in the palm of your hand to pack the mixture somewhat tightly into a small roll (similar to a tater tot shape). Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  3. Prep the air fryer basket- Line an air fryer tray (mine has removable trays that sit in the basket) with parchment paper or place the parchment paper directly in the air fryer basket. Place each formed zucchini tot onto the parchment paper, about 1-inch from each other. I cook mine in two batches.
  4. Cook- Place the air fryer basket into the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes. When they’re done, remove them from the air fryer and cook the second batch.

if you don’t have an air fryer…

You can easily bake these in the oven!

Follow steps 1 and 2. When your zucchini tots are ready to bake, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, evenly spread out. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until they’re golden brown.

for the best results

  • I like to rotate the zucchini tots about halfway through the bake time. This isn’t necessary, but I find it helps them brown more evenly.
  • You can store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days. The best way to reheat them is by placing them back in the air fryer. Heat them for about 3-4 minutes at 350°F.
  • Enjoy these with no-sugar-added ketchup, low-carb BBQ sauce, or a low-sugar marinara.
  • Make sure to cut the parchment paper to fit the size of the basket. You don’t want excess paper blowing around inside of the air fryer when they’re cooking.
  • If you don’t have parchment paper, you can place the zucchini tots directly into the basket but I’d recommend brushing or spraying on a thin coat of coconut oil or avocado oil to prevent them from sticking.
dipping air fryer zucchini tot into ketchup

I love easy keto recipes and this one is right up there at the top of my list at the moment! Plus, it’s quick, healthy, and kid-friendly, which is always a winning combination.

If you try out these keto air fryer zucchini tots, let me know! Drop a comment below, rate this recipe, and/or share on Facebook or Instagram and tag me, @stemandspoon! Enjoy!

you might also love…

child hand grabbing a zucchini tot

air fryer zucchini tots {keto + gluten-free}

Yield: 12-14 pieces
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

These keto air fryer zucchini tots are so easy to make, and a delicious way to eat your veggies! Enjoy them as a healthy snack or an easy side! Kid-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-optional, and low-carb.

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups grated zucchini (approx. 1 large zucchini or 1-1/2 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules or powder
  • 1 egg (pasture-raised when possible)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese (or substitute an extra 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast if dairy-free)

Instructions

  1. Grate the zucchini using the large side of a box grater. Once you have 2-1/2 cups worth, sprinkle the teaspoon of salt over the grated zucchini and stir to combine. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes. I usually prep the other ingredients during this time.
  2. After 20 minutes, transfer half of the zucchini to a clean dish towel and gather the ends at the top. Squeeze out all of the water. Place the "dried" zucchini into a large mixing bowl and repeat with the remaining grated zucchini.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with the zucchini. Stir until the mixture is well combined.
  4. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (see notes if using an oven). Use a large spoon or tablespoon and scoop out a portion (about 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons in size), placing the mixture in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze it in the palm of your hand to pack the mixture somewhat tightly into a small roll (similar to a tater tot shape). Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  5. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the air fryer basket. Arrange the zucchini tots into the basket, spaced out about 1 inch apart. You'll likely need to cook these in two batches.
  6. Place the air fryer basket into the air fryer and cook for about 10 minutes at 400°F. I rotate mine about halfway through to get more even browning but that's optional. When they're done, allow them to cool for 2-3 minutes, then transfer them out of the air fryer onto a plate, tent the plate with foil, and bake the second batch.

Notes

Oven-baked zucchini tots:

To bake these in the oven, follow steps 1-4. When your zucchini tots are ready to bake, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, evenly spread out. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until they're golden brown.

Recipe notes:

Make sure to cut the parchment paper to fit inside the basket to avoid having loose parchment paper corners lifting up when the air fryer is on (fire hazard).

If you want to skip using parchment paper, brush or spray on a light coating of coconut or avocado oil onto the air fryer tray before cooking.

Nutritional information is an estimate for 1 piece.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 41Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 194mgCarbohydrates: 3gNet Carbohydrates: 1.5gFiber: 1.5gSugar: 0.7gProtein: 3.1g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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