An air fryer is a miracle appliance that you need in your kitchen, especially if you want to serve your family healthy meals. Instead of deep-frying food in an ocean of oil, the air fryer will cook your food to perfection by circulating hot air around it.
This versatile kitchen tool is super easy to use, and you can make everything from appetizers to desserts in it. If you were lucky enough to get one this Christmas, here are 25 popular dishes that you should try. If you didn’t get one but are looking for something to buy with that gift card, you should definitely consider purchasing this time-saving gadget.
1. French Toast Sticks
There is no need to eat soggy French toast when you can make crispy sticks in your air fryer, like Janice at 5 Minutes For Mom. Making French toast this way is as easy as making it on the stove — just be sure to spray down both sides of each stick with cooking spray so that the sticks don’t stick to the basket. And to make sure the sticks don’t dry out, pause the machine in the middle of cooking and spray the sticks again.
2. Hash Browns
Say goodbye to greasy hash browns and hello to a healthier alternative that is just as delicious. Before you make this recipe from Twinkling Tina Cooks, be sure to brush your air fryer basket with oil. Also be sure to flip your hash browns halfway through cooking so that they cook evenly.
With some store-bought biscuit dough, a few minutes of your time, and an air fryer, you can make doughnuts at home. This recipe comes from Hip2Save, and you’ll only need six ingredients. Remember to give your doughnuts plenty of space to cook, and spray your basket with oil before you begin.
4. Toaster Pastries
Customizable recipes are the best, and you can make your toaster pastries with any filling you’d like when you use this recipe from Ginger Casa. You can also customize the shape of your pastries, since you use a cookie cutter to cut the crust.
Appetizers, Sides, And Snacks
5. Mozzarella Sticks
This popular appetizer doesn’t have to be deep-fried and full of carbs for it to be scrumptious. Try this recipe from Glue Sticks & Gumdrops that uses string cheese, Parmesan, eggs, garlic, and Italian seasoning. But instead of cooking the sticks in a pan of hot oil, spray them with oil and put them in your air fryer.
6. Broccoli With Cheese Sauce
If you have a broccoli hater in your life, you can change their mind with this recipe from Sustainable Cooks. You will need to shake your basket after 10 minutes of cooking, and to reach your desired level of crispiness, check the broccoli every three minutes.
7. Fried Pickles
Fried pickles are a popular appetizer in the South and Midwest, and you can make them in less than 10 minutes with this recipe from Danielle at The Creative Bite. You’ll only need a jar of dill pickles, Parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs, dill weed, and eggs, and when you put them in your air fryer, you will have the perfect snack.
8. Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs
This delicious game-day appetizer from Ruchis Kitchen is easy to throw together. Your air fryer will cook your meatballs in just 10 minutes, and that will give you just enough time to make the spicy teriyaki sauce.
9. French Fries
There is no better way to make French fries at home than with an air fryer. This recipe from A Pinch Of Healthy keeps things simple. Just slice up some potatoes, throw them into the fryer basket, and sprinkle them with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then, while they are in the basket, toss them in 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil. You do have to move quickly so that the oil doesn’t run through the basket. You can customize these fries by using any seasonings you would like.
10. Jalapeño Poppers
In just six minutes, your air fryer can cook crispy jalapeño poppers. Try this recipe from Cindy, the Vegetarian Mama, to get crispy peppers with a creamy filling. These are so good and easy to make that you won’t need to order them at a restaurant ever again.
11. Chicken Wings
It’s easy to make chicken wings in your air fryer. Skip the oil, flour, and baking powder, and instead just cook plain wings to crispy perfection in 30 minutes like Julia at Plated Cravings. Halfway through cooking, you will need to use tongs to flip the wings, and when they are done, you can toss them in your favorite barbecue or wing sauce.
This method will give you healthier wings because you aren’t frying them in oil and coating them with flour. But you won’t lose any flavor!
12. Pita Bread Cheese Pizza
Make a cheesy snack in just six short minutes with this pita bread cheese pizza recipe from This Old Gal. You will need a trivet when cooking this pizza so that your sauce and toppings don’t go flying.
Air fryers make the perfect empanadas. With this recipe from Skinny Taste, you can make beef empanadas in half the time it would take you with an oven. Spray the basket generously with cooking spray and remove the empanadas from the basket as soon as they turn golden brown.
14. Toasted Ravioli
If you’ve been to St. Louis, you probably know about toasted ravioli. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try this delicious appetizer and love Italian food, then this recipe from Cadry’s Kitchen should be one of the first things you make with your air fryer.
15. Taco Bell Crunch Wraps
This copycat recipe from By Pink is so similar to the original that you will think you just made a fast-food run. This crunch wrap option is much healthier, but it is just as crunchy. Be sure to spray your wraps with oil and then flip them halfway through cooking.
16. Pork Taquitos
Skip the gas station snacks and make your taquitos at home with this recipe from Just Plum Crazy. Remember to coat the taquitos with cooking oil before you put them in the air fryer, and flip them halfway through cooking so that they cook evenly.
You can make delicious calzones in your air fryer — just don’t overfill them. Dana Vento provides step-by-step instructions on how to crimp and seal your calzones. And since hers contain fewer calories than traditional calzones, you won’t feel guilty about eating more than one.
18. Chicken Parmesan
Believe it or not, chicken Parmesan does not have to be super-fried. With your air fryer and some egg whites, you can enjoy the delicious taste of this dish without the calories. Brandi from Stay Snatched gives detailed instructions for making this meal, and you will be surprised by how simple it is.
19. Fried Breaded Shrimp
If you love fried shrimp but would prefer to skip the grease, make them in your air fryer using this recipe from Stay Snatched. Use big shrimp (fresh or frozen), and when you spray them with cooking oil, don’t put the can too close to the shrimp — your panko breadcrumbs will start to fly.
20. Crispy Chicken Fingers
Everyone loves crispy chicken fingers, but they are not a healthy option when you get them from a fast food restaurant or fry them in oil. Instead, cook them in your air fryer using this recipe from Just Plum Crazy.
21. Pork Ribs
Would you like to enjoy a delicious rack of ribs without going to a restaurant, firing up the grill, or waiting for hours for them to cook in the oven? If so, all you’ll need is this recipe from The Accidental Mom, and in just 30 minutes you will have amazing ribs coated in your preferred sauce.
22. Fish Sandwiches
Make healthy fish fingers that are crunchy on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside in just 15 minutes with this recipe from My Fussy Eater. When you spray just a little bit of oil on the basket, you will be able to easily remove the fish when it is done cooking. Then take the fingers out with tongs, tuck them into a bun, and add whatever toppings you’d like.
23. Air Fryer Apple Pie
There aren’t too many things in life that are better than hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream, and this classic dessert recipe from It’s All About the Yummy is just as good as anything you would bake in your oven. Just remember that with baked goods, you’ll want to preheat your air fryer before cooking. The basket will be hot, so be careful.
24. Molten Lava Cakes
You will need oven-safe ramekins for this recipe from Momma Told Me. But after a few minutes of prep and a few more minutes in the air fryer, you will have rich, decadent chocolate cakes. Just remember to preheat your fryer before loading it.
25. Fried Banana S’mores
You don’t need a campfire to make s’mores — only five ingredients, six minutes, your air fryer, and this recipe from Blue Jean Chef. When you place the bananas in your fryer basket, make sure to rest them against each other so that they stay upright.