The Best Air Fryer Side Dishes

The Best Air Fryer Side Dishes - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

It’s no secret that we love to use our air fryer at any opportunity. Why turn on the oven when you can cook things so much faster, and get them much crispier with this handy kitchen gadget?

They’re especially useful when you need a little extra oven space – if you’re roasting some meat or baking a cake, you can pop your side dish in the air fryer. 

From chips to veggies, you might be surprised to find that your air fryer is useful for a wide range of different side dish recipes. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites for you to try…

Air fryer tips & recipes

You can cook basically anything in your air fryer, especially once you know how to convert the cooking time and temperature. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these handy articles for top tips and recipes:

Potato side dishes

From quick midweek meals to your Sunday roast, every dinner is better with a side of spuds. The humble potato can be transformed into chips, fries and roasties – and this is where your air fryer becomes your new best friend. 

Anything that you would traditionally bake in the oven gets so much crispier in an air fryer, getting that deep-fried crunch with far less oil. 

While these Homemade Oven Chips are pretty spectacular roasted in the oven, something special happens when you pop them into that air fryer basket. The air fryer cooks food by powerfully circulating hot air, so each chip becomes golden and crispy on the outside, and oh-so-fluffy on the inside. 

We’d struggle to think of any meal that isn’t made better by a side of chips. Serve them with Lasagne, Mushy Pea Curry, Chicken Kebab…just about anything goes! 

Homemade Oven Chips - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Why stick to plain chips when there are so many different kinds to try? We created this Salt and Pepper Chips recipe for all you lovers of spicy food! If this is your go-to from the takeaway menu, you won’t be disappointed – they taste just like the real thing, only with far fewer calories. 

We’ve included an air fryer method, along with an oven method for this recipe, so there’s no need to work out how to convert it. Just coat your chips in the spice mix and let them cook for 20 minutes before adding in your peppers and chillies. You can make this dish as fiery as you like! 

Salt and Pepper Chips - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

If your weekend isn’t complete without a roast dinner, you need to rope in your air fryer to help you make the best ever roasties. If you follow our recipe for Roast Potatoes, you can use your oven to cook up some pretty good spuds – but if you throw them into the air fryer instead, they’ll be even better!

Remember that food cooks faster in the air fryer than the oven, so check the conversion chart in this article for more tips. 

Serve up your crispy roasties alongside our Roast Beef and Gravy for a special Sunday dinner that will have the whole family clearing their plates. 

Roast Potatoes - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Burger night anyone? Just because you’re cutting down on fast food doesn’t mean you have to miss out on fries. These Sweet Potato Fries work SO well in the air fryer and they go with a huge range of different dishes. 

They’ll cook super fast in the air fryer, so you’ll need to keep an eye on them. You’re looking for them to get all crispy and delicious. The good thing about cooking with an air fryer is that you can open the lid and take a peek inside as often as you need to – it doesn’t slow down the cooking time in the same way as opening the oven door. 

Sweet Potato Fries - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Fakeaway night side dishes

Does anyone else think the side dishes are the best bit about a trip to the takeaway? Whatever cuisine you go for, the crunchy, deep fried sides always look so tempting. If you’re swapping the takeaway for a Fakeaway night, your air fryer can help you recreate all your favourite dishes, without all of the calories. 

Golden and crispy, who can resist a bhaji with their curry? If you’re rustling up an Indian-inspired meal, don’t forget to make a batch of our Onion Bhajis. They work well in the oven, but the air fryer adds that little bit of extra magic.

You’ll need to mind that they don’t start to burn – our conversion table will help you work out how long they’ll need and what temperature to cook them at.  

Onion Bhajis - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Fancy a couple of Sweet Potato Pakoras to go with your fakeaway? This recipe is so simple, with bags of flavour coming from the perfect blend of fragrant spices. You only need some onions and sweet potatoes too, making it just as budget friendly as it is delicious. 

Instead of the high calorie, deep-fried versions, our pakoras are beautifully light, with 50 calories in each serving. This means more room for all your other favourite sides and starters!

Sweet Potato Pakoras - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Even if your meal isn’t Indian inspired, these Spinach and Ricotta Samosas are guaranteed to make it tastier. The spicing is subtle enough to make this recipe a really versatile side dish – creamy ricotta and mild spinach complement a whole host of different flavours. 

Baked in the air fryer, the wafer thin filo pastry will turn golden and crisp. Oof! Can you imagine biting into one of these? At 174 calories each, they’re so much lighter than the samosas you’d usually pick up at your local curry house. 

Spinach and Ricotta Samosas -Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Your air fryer will come in handy on a Chinese-inspired fakeaway night too! If you love prawn toast, we’ve got a cheaper, healthier version for you – Sesame Chicken Toasts. Once you’ve loaded the bread with chicken paste and sesame seeds it’s ready to add into the air fryer. 

These will take no time at all to cook! Give them 8-10 minutes to get golden and crunchy, and then plate them up alongside your favourite Chinese-themed dishes. You’ll want to get stuck in right away!

Sesame Chicken Toasts | Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Vegetable side dishes

You might not think about using your air fryer to cook veggies, but it comes in so handy. If your Beef, Yorkshire Puddings and Stuffing are taking up all the room in the oven, why not throw these Honey Glazed Roast Parsnips into the air fryer basket?

They’ll not only cook more quickly, they’ll get crispier too, with that sweet honey glaze bringing out even more flavour from the parsnips. Trust us, you’ll want these on your roast every Sunday. 

Honey Glazed Roast Parsnips - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Need some healthy greens to go with tonight’s dinner? If you only eat Brussels sprouts at Christmas, you’re seriously missing out! Roasting sprouts is a simple way to ramp up the flavour and save them from being bland and soggy. 

Use the ‘roast’ setting on your air fryer to make these Balsamic Roasted Sprouts and you’ll be in for a treat. They’ll get all glossy from the glaze, with plenty of crispy bits to add some texture. These are such a revelation – spoon a few onto your roast dinner, or try serving with your pie and chips?

Balsamic Roasted Sprouts - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Hear us out on this one…what about swapping your side of fries for these Air Fryer Crispy Green Beans? As well as being 1 of your 5 a day, they’re crunchy AND cheesy – what more do you want from a side dish?

Deliciously salty from the Parmesan, they even look nice on your plate. These go great with burgers or roasts, adding that splash of green to the side of all your favourite dinners. 

This recipe is specifically for making them in the air fryer, although you can also find an oven version here.

Crispy Green Beans - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Making steak or burgers for dinner? If you’re craving classic pub grub, your meal will feel more complete with a side of Onion Rings with Garlic and Chive Dip. We’ve used panko breadcrumbs to keep the recipe nice and light, making a coating that will get super crunchy in the air fryer. 

Paired with the creamy, herby dip, these are pretty hard to beat! They’re delicious as a side dish but they also make a great slimming friendly snack. At just 191 calories per serving, why resist?! 

Onion Rings With Garlic and Chive Dip - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

What are your favourite air fryer side dishes?

Head on over to our Facebook group to let us know! There are almost 1 million members who can’t wait to hear your tips. It’s the best place to be for slimming inspiration and motivation. 

Plus, did you know that you can now share your hints, tips, quotes and photos in our PON Gallery? It’s an all-new space on the website to show off what you’ve been cooking up. Psst…there might even be some SWAG up for grabs for our favourite submissions!

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