Watching what you eat? You don’t have to give up “fried” foods — not if you change the way you fry them, that is. That’s where the air fryer comes to the rescue! It offers a healthy way to make french fries, chicken wings, bacon, chicken nuggets, taquitos, and more! Air frying offers a great alternative to deep-frying that won’t make you feel guilty about eating those “fried food” classics you love most! And to get you started, we’ve found 16 air fryer recipes to inspire you to make lighter versions of your favorite comfort foods.
Best Air Fryer Recipes
How the Air Fryer Works
The Philips Electronics Company originally patented the air fryer back in 2010. An air fryer is very much like a convection oven but cooks your food at very high temperatures while simultaneously circulating dry air around it. This results in crispy deliciousness without all that extra fat!
This handy gadget can make pretty much everything, from appetizers to main dishes—and even desserts! Here are some of our favorites!
1. Healthy Air Fryer Bacon
This hands-off method of making bacon in the air fryer yields strips that are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. You’ll never want to make bacon any other way again! It is so much easier and less messy than the stovetop, microwave, or baking in the oven and best of all, the grease effortlessly falls off into the lower reservoir.
Simply separate the bacon into strips, lay them flat in the air fryer basket without over-crowding, and cook for ten minutes at 400 degrees. You may want to take a peek and cook it longer for more crispiness! Place the cooked pieces on a paper towel to blot and drain off any remaining grease. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside! Perfection!
2. Delicious AND Healthy Air Fryer Taquitos
Watching your weight? These delicious crispy pork taquitos are just 8 Weight Watcher points and so perfect for taco night. The best part about this recipe is that you don’t need to break out the deep-frying oil. Air fryer for the win! You could shallow/deep-fry or bake the tortillas for that crispy crunch you’re looking for, but really, the air-fryer is the answer. Less oil, less mess, more crunch. Everything you could want in a crispy crunchy homemade taquito.
What you need:
- 30 oz. of cooked shredded pork tenderloin (not a fan of Pork? Use the shredded chicken instead!)
- 2 1/2 cups fat-free shredded mozzarella
- 10 small flour tortillas
- 1 lime, juiced
- Cooking spray
- Salsa for dipping (optional)
- Sour Cream (optional)
- OMORC Air Fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees. Sprinkle lime juice over pork and gently mix around. Microwave 5 tortillas at a time with a damp paper towel over it for 10 seconds, to soften. Add 3 oz. of pork (or chicken) and 1/4 cup of cheese to a tortilla. Tightly and gently roll up the tortillas. Line them on a greased foil-lined pan and spray on an even coat of cooking spray. Air fry for 7-10 minutes until tortillas are a golden color, flipping halfway through. Enjoy!
3. Low-Calorie Air Fryer Nuggets
Get the flavor of your favorite Chick-fil-a nuggets anytime you want them. Who would have thought that dill pickle juice would make a great chicken marinade? The pickle juice does a great job at keeping the flavors locked into the meat and keeping it moist as it cooks. These juicy and flavorful perfect-sized nuggets are sure to be a hit with the kids (and the adults too!).
4. Delicious Air-Fried Potatoes
The perfect combination of healthy and potato, these perfectly baked potatoes are crispy, fluffy, and golden! The salted garlic and parsley crust is insanely good and just adds that little something extra! no foil required- just pop them into the basket and cook for 35-40 minutes (depending upon the size of the potato).
Love potatoes? Try out this amazing potato twister recipe!
5. Crispy Cheesy Corn Chips!
Get crispy corn tortilla chips in about three minutes! They don’t require much oil at all, so this is likely a healthier option than the chips you get at your favorite Mexican restaurant. You can use white and yellow corn tortillas and try out the five different flavor options- zesty cheese, salt and vinegar, spicy chipotle, chili lime, and even maple cinnamon.
6. Crunchy Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
Coconut shrimp is a great recipe to try in your air fryer. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, this Coconut Shrimp is as healthy as it gets. And it goes really well with the Spicy Marmalade Dipping Sauce! Perfect as an appetizer, party snack or to add to your dinner salad!
Bonus tip- Make it gluten-free by swapping the all-purpose flour for coconut flour. That also adds an extra subtle coconut flavor so it’s a win/win.
7. Air Fryer Dessert
Did you know you can make a chocolate cake in the air fryer? Okay, so it’s not healthier, but it does keep you from heating up your whole kitchen by using the oven, so that’s definitely a win during the summer months. This cake is so moist and delicious and slides right out of the pan without sticking after baking. Definitely worth a try!
8. Air Fried Pickles
A truly fun, crowd-pleasing appetizer, snack, or side dish, you haven’t lived until you’ve had fried pickles (also known as frickles!). These are made with panko bread crumbs, which are more suited to an air fryer than wet batter.
Crunchy dill pickle slices are coated in a flour & beer mixture and dredged in Panko breadcrumbs. Then they’re air-fried or pan-fried until perfectly crisp. A guaranteed hit at any gathering! They can even be made ahead of time and then just reheated in the air fryer.
9. Air Fried Chickpea Snack
Ranch-style air-fried chickpeas are a healthy snack you can make in just 20 minutes with just six ingredients. They’re delicious on top of salads or your next grain bowl. You can even stuff them into a sandwich or wrap for a little bit of extra protein and crunch. You can store your air fryer Chickpeas in an airtight container in your pantry for two to three days.
10. Cheesy, Garlicky AND Healthy Air Fryer Chips
Oil-free chips mean that you can enjoy your favorite snack without guilt. You’ll love the flavor of this garlic parmesan chip recipe.
Mind-blowingly crunchy and delicious and healthy too!
11. Air Fryer Sushi Rolls
Crunchy sushi rolls will become your new favorite dish. Crunchy, filling, and such fun to make. Again, these are made with panko breadcrumbs to create a crispy exterior.
12. Air Fryer Potato And Onion Cakes
Potato and onion cakes are delicious and so versatile. Add mushrooms, peppers, or your other favorite veggies to spice things up.
- 500g potatoes, cut into chunks
- 50g dairy-free spread
- 50g plain flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 2 shallots or ½ an onion, chopped
- salt and pepper
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Boil the potatoes until they’re done (about 15-20 minutes), drain, and put back in the pan
- Melt the butter in a pan, then add to the potatoes and mash until smooth, then stir in the onions
- Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mashed potato, mix in thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper
- Stir the mixture until it forms a kind of dough and comes away from the sides of the pan
- Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and form it into patties
- Coat in the panko breadcrumbs
- Air fry at 200C for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy
14. Wings- Air Fryer Style!
Whip up a batch of buffalo wings for game night in just 15 minutes! Crispy wings without the fat. Sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
15. Healthier Option French Fries
For a little more than 200 calories, you can even enjoy french fries seasoned with your favorite herbs. Wash and pat dry your potatoes, slice them, toss with oil, salt, pepper, and seasoning of your choice and cook them in the air fryer for about 20 minutes. Easy!
16. Breakfast Skillet
The most important meal of the day just isn’t complete without some hot breakfast potatoes on the side, don’t you agree?
17. Easy And Healthy Pigs In A Blanket
Make pigs in a blanket in the air fryer by eliminating the breading. Instead, the sausages are wrapped in bacon. They make a great snack or appetizer for low carbers!
Useful Tips for Using an Air Fryer
1. Shake it.
Be sure to open the air fryer and shake foods around as they “fry” in the basket—smaller foods like French fries and chips can compress. For best results, rotate them every 5-10 minutes.
2. No overcrowding.
Give foods plenty of space so that the air can circulate effectively; that’s what gives you the best crispy results.
Lightly spray foods with cooking spray or add just a bit of oil to ensure they don’t stick to the basket.
4. Keep it dry.
Pat foods dry before cooking (if they are marinated, for example) to avoid splattering and excess smoke. Similarly, when cooking high-fat foods like chicken wings, make sure to empty the fat from the bottom machine periodically.