What Can I Cook in an Air Fryer?
Instead of deep frying food in oil to get it crispy and golden brown, air fryers deliver the same results using just – you guessed it – air! This means you can use little or no oil, cut down the calories and still get the results you want.
Whether it’s crunchy chips that are fluffy on the inside or crispy chicken wings, you’ll be impressed at how effective your air fryer is. They heat from the top, with a powerful fan to circulate the hot air so that food cooks super fast, and gets crispy in a flash.
So, what can you cook in an air fryer? We’ve got plenty of recipe ideas for you so get ready for some crunchy, crispy food inspo!
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Should I get an air fryer?
If you haven’t got one just yet, you might be wondering whether it’s worth it. We love cooking with ours!
There are a couple of different types available so it’s worth having a little think about what you’re likely to use your air fryer for, and how much counter space you want to dedicate in your kitchen.
The most budget friendly air fryers are the basket versions like this Tefal Easy Fry. Many models have a range of pre-programmed settings that can do everything from grill to oven cook, so you can roast, fry and even bake in your air fryer.
The basket is easy to remove and clean, so these handy gadgets are low maintenance too. Bonus!
If you’re happy to splurge a bit more, we can’t recommend the Ninja Foodi Electric Multi-Cooker enough. It’s a little bulkier but it’s got nine different functions, including a pressure cooking setting which is so handy. You can find out what you can cook in a pressure cooker here.
What can I cook in an air fryer?
These gadgets are so handy that the better question is what can’t you cook in an air fryer!
From meat to veggies, here are some of our favourite things to pop in your air fryer:
Air Fryer Potatoes
One of the reasons air fryers have grown so much in popularity is because they make THE BEST chips. Forget greasy, deep fried chips or sad, soggy oven chips – your air fryer loves potatoes.
With barely any effort you can turn your spuds into crispy fries or the roasties of your dreams. In fact, why not start by trying our Roast Potatoes recipe in your air fryer? Sometimes the simplest recipes are the most delicious and this is the perfect example. Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside – we want them every day.
Follow steps 1-4 of the recipe to par-boil your potatoes and coat them in a little low calorie cooking spray, then pop them in the air fryer rather than the oven.
Remember, they won’t need as long in the air fryer so take a peek at them after about 20 minutes to see how crispy they’re looking!
Your air fryer will work its magic on any kind of potato, so why not switch it up with these Sweet Potato Fries? The beauty of cooking with sweet potatoes is that they’re so much softer, which means you never need to par-boil them.
Chop these up and throw them into the air fryer and you’ll have perfect fries in no time! Depending on how thinly you cut your potatoes, they can take between 45 and 60 minutes in the oven – and much less time in an air fryer.
Keep a close eye on them as sweet potatoes can catch really quickly. It’s a good idea to give the basket a shake after 10 minutes and check again at 20 minutes – you’ll be surprised how quick these cook!
Rather have some good old fashioned chunky chips? These Homemade Oven Chips might have ‘oven’ in the name, but there’s no reason you can’t cook them in your air fryer! In fact, we’ve already included an air fry method in the recipe, so you can just follow the easy steps and enjoy perfect chips for lunch, dinner or even as a tasty snack.
Air Fryer Chicken
You can cook just about any meat in your air fryer, but we think chicken works particularly well, especially when it has a coating that can get all crispy and golden.
You can throw some frozen chicken nuggets into the air fryer and they’ll come out perfectly – but they’re never the healthiest choice. Our slimming friendly Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Nuggets are a great alternative. You’ll know exactly what’s gone into them, and they’re just 287 calories per serving.
The BBQ sauce is a delicious twist on the traditional flavour and they take just 15 minutes to cook! Who doesn’t love some nuggs?
For a slightly more grown up version, how about these Chicken Kievs? You can follow steps 1-6 of this recipe, but at step 7, place the kievs in the air fryer rather than the oven. They take 30 minutes in the oven so remember to keep a close eye on them in the air fryer, and flip them after 10 minutes.
These will get so crispy, with that delicious garlicky sauce in the middle when you cut into them – a dreamy dinner!
You can even cook some of our favourite Fakeaways in the air fryer, like this KFC Zinger Burger Fakeaway. A slimming friendly KFC? Yep, it’s possible!
The secret is a coating made from crushed up Doritos. This chicken fillet gets so crispy in the air fryer, with succulent chicken inside that rivals the real deal. You can even add some extra spice if you can handle the heat – the beauty of making this at home is you’re in charge!
Flip your KFC chicken after 15 minutes in the air fryer and keep a close eye on it – depending on how big your fillet is, it should take between 25 and 35 minutes to cook through.
Air Fryer Fish
You might not think of cooking fish in your air fryer, but you 100% can! Just like chicken, it works especially well when it has a bread or batter coating so it can get really crisp.
You can’t beat good old Fish Fingers, and our recipe is fresher and lighter than the ones you’ll find in the freezer section at the supermarket.
These take next to no time to cook in an air fryer, and they’ll come out with beautifully flaky fish on the inside and a perfect crunchy coating on the outside. Irresistible!
If you want to skip the breaded coating these Salmon Burgers will make you want fish for dinner every night. Our recipe says to fry them in a pan but they’ll cook really well in the air fryer too.
The outside won’t be crispy but it’ll be golden brown, with the salmon inside staying succulent and flaky. These won’t take long at all in the air fryer – check them after 5 minutes and keep an eye on them until the salmon has turned opaque and is cooked all the way through.
This Herb Crusted Cod is a delicious light dinner that’s packed with protein. Topped with a herby breadcrumb mix, it’s great cooked in the oven, but popping it in the air fryer gets even better results.
The crumb crust will get so crispy, with the soft flakes of white cod staying succulent and juicy. Pop it in the air fryer for 15-20 minutes – it’s cooked when the fish is flaky and the crust is golden brown.
Air Fryer Vegetables
Even the veggies can go in the air fryer. You can use the bake setting to roast root vegetables or a mediterranean mix of peppers, courgettes and tomatoes. Or why not switch it to air fry and create this crunchy Baked Vegetable Tempura with Spicy Dip?
Perfect as a starter or snack, you can use any veg that you have to hand. Coated in light panko breadcrumbs, these get crispy in the oven but even crispier in the air fryer.
Give them 15-20 minutes to get nice and crunchy and then enjoy with the creamy Sriracha dip.
Ever crave some onion rings with your burger but don’t want to blow all your calories for the day in a single meal? Our Onion Rings with Garlic and Chive Dip will hit the spot, for just 191 calories per serving.
They’ll be so much crunchier when cooked in the air fryer, and they’ll be ready in half the time too. Result!
We’ve already covered how amazing air fryer roast potatoes are, so it should be no surprise that Butternut Squash Roasties turn out incredible in the air fryer too.
Whether you’re eating low carb and switching out potatoes for extra veg, or you just love squash, these are a great addition to your plate.
Throw them in the air fryer to get lovely and crispy, and add them to your roast dinner as a garlicky, herby alternative to potatoes.
Other Air Fryer Recipes
There really is no end to what you can cook in your air fryer. Why not try pastries and pasties in there too? These Bacon and cheese turnovers, Corned Beef Pasties or Sausage Rolls will be unbelievably crispy, with no oil required.
What are your favourite things to cook in an air fryer? Head on over to our Facebook Group to share your ideas and find inspiration. There are almost 1 million members already sharing motivation and support for your slimming journey.