What to Make in Your Air Fryer if You’re a Beginner

The words 'What to Make in Your Air Fryer if You're a Beginner' appear on a vibrant green background above the Pinch of Nom logo.

So, you’ve got a shiny-new air fryer, and now you need some beginner-friendly air fryer recipes! Well, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re still getting to grips with the new must-have kitchen gadget, you’re not alone.

Our air fryer has had pride of place in the Pinch of Nom kitchen for a while now, but we were beginners once too! It’s taken us a little bit of time to get used to using an air fryer instead of the oven, and now we can’t live without it. 

Air fryers cook food super-quickly, using far less oil to get crispy-crunchy results. This makes them perfect for slimming-friendly cooking. 

You can find lots of helpful tips and videos on our How to use an Air Fryer page here.

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The best place to find good air fryer recipes for beginners is in our Air Fryer cookbook! It’s out on June 20th and you can pre-order it right now!

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Air-Fried Potatoes

One of the first things you should make in your air fryer is some crispy, golden potatoes! If you’ve watched our air-fried jacket potato video on Facebook or instagram, you’ll know spuds are the perfect place to begin your air-frying journey. 


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Chips should be golden on the outside and oh-so-fluffy in the middle, and your air fryer makes this nice and easy to achieve. Our Homemade Oven Chips recipe works a treat in the oven, but it can also be used for your air fryer. 

Use the conversion chart in this handy article to work out how to adapt the cooking time from the oven timings. Your chips will cook about 20% faster in the air fryer – so dinner is on the table exactly when you need it.

3 portions of Pinch of Nom's Homemade Oven Chips are served in white and red striped paper cones with small dishes of ketchup and mayo to the side for dipping.

One of our favourite-ever side dishes, these Air Fryer Rustic Wedges are so versatile. Chunkier than chips, we’ve given them a good coating of sweet paprika and mixed herbs, to ramp up the flavour. 

Don’t skip the step of leaving them to soak for 30 minutes – drawing out the starch will help them get especially crispy. Serve them with burgers, salad, chilli con carne…they go with everything!

Pinch of Nom's Air Fryer Rustic Potato Wedges served in a restaurant-style basket on colourful baking paper; crispy and golden brown with a pot of ketchup ready for dipping.

We know lots of people get excited to try making roasties in their air fryer! A great recipe for beginners, our Air Fryer Pesto Roast Potatoes have a herby, zesty twist that makes them even more flavourful than the ones you usually enjoy on your Sunday dinner. 

Once your potatoes are prepped and parboiled, they’ll only need a speedy 20 minutes in the air fryer to get a satisfyingly crunchy crust. What could be easier than that?!

A colourful ceramic oven tray is filled with Pinch of Nom's Pesto Roast Potatoes. The golden roasted potatoes are covered in herby green pesto, with a pot of extra pesto nearby, and a spoon ready to serve.

Air-Fried Chicken

We always have a chicken recipe (or two!) on our midweek menu. Cooking chicken in your air fryer isn’t as tricky as you might think, so it’s a great place to start if you’re an air-frying newbie. 

These beginner-friendly Air Fryer Ginger and Orange Chicken Kebabs are on the table in just 25 minutes, and they’ll fill your plate with zingy flavours. We always say it’s best to get these ready the night before, so your chicken has time to soak up all the goodness in the tasty marinade. 

Then, when it’s time to cook, it’s just a case of popping them in the air fryer and letting the magic happen! Your chicken will cook much more quickly than it does in a traditional oven, so it’s well worth checking on it after 10 minutes. You want the juices to be running clear, with no pinkness left in the middle. 

On a kitchen counter a plate of Pinch of Nom's Ginger and Orange Chicken Kebabs are served. Threaded onto wooden skewers are chunks of marinated chicken, cherry tomatoes and red pepper. Thin strips of spring onion have been used as garnish and a salad sits nearby, ready to serve.

It can be tempting to grab some frozen chicken nuggets from the supermarket if you’re only just starting out on your air fryer journey – there’s nothing wrong with this, but we think our Air Fryer Sticky Chicken Nuggets are so much tastier!

Made with fresh chicken breast (and no hidden nasties) they’re surprisingly fuss free. Give them a quick coating of panko breadcrumbs, whack them in the air fryer, then finish them off with our sweet and sticky, slimming-friendly sauce. Easy peasy!

A baking tray is filled with Pinch of Nom's Sticky Chicken Nuggets. The crispy nuggets are coated in a sweet, sticky sauce and served with a dipping pot of ketchup. Wooden forks are laid out on the table and a hand holds one nugget, dipping it into the sauce.

Air fryers really come into their own when you’re craving the deep-fried crunch of fast food. Instead of spending your hard-earned pennies on a takeaway, these Air Fryer Salt and Pepper Chicken Burgers will sort out your cravings, for a fraction of the calories.

We’ve kept the recipe nice and easy to follow – just coat your chicken pieces in breadcrumbs, sprinkle on the homemade salt and pepper seasoning, then leave the rest to your new-favourite gadget. They’ll come out of the air fryer golden and crisped to perfection. 

A dinner plate is resting on a chopping board, where two Salt and Pepper Chicken Burgers are being assembled. On toasted burger buns, panko breadcrumb coated chicken fillets are topped with green and red peppers, on a bed of Asian-style slaw.

Air-Fried Sausages

Another midweek staple, one of the first things you might want to try in your air fryer is a sausage! Ideal for beginners, you can air-fry any kind of banger, whether it’s reduced-fat pork, a chicken chipolata or a veggie sausage. Watch our air fryer basics video for more hints on how to cook sausages:


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Once you’ve perfected them, it’s got to be sausages for breakfast! Test out your new air fryer skill by rustling up this Air Fryer Full English. Along with reduced-fat sausages, you’ll cook crispy bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans and even eggs in your air fryer! 

Tin foil is your best friend for this recipe, as it’ll help keep all the different ingredients separate. You might need to experiment with how best to lay things out in your specific air fryer basket, or cook things in separate batches – but there’s always a way to get it perfect.

A breakfast table is set with a cup of tea, pot of ketchup, knife and fork and a plate of Pinch of Nom's Air Fryer Full English. On the white plate are scrambled eggs, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, a sausage and bacon medallions.

There’s no reason you can’t make our ever-popular low-calorie Sausage Rolls in an air fryer. 

This method is for an oven, but our trusty conversion article will help you work out how to adapt the temperature and timings. 

Shh…no one needs to know there’s no actual pastry involved here! We’ve kept things slimming friendly by swapping it for tortilla wraps, and you’ll love the satisfying crunch they give after just a few minutes in the air fryer. 

Sausage Rolls - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

While you’ve got the oven/air fryer conversion chart open on your screen, it’s the perfect time to put our simple Sausage Traybake on your menu. A tasty dish of sausages, potatoes and vegetables all cooked in one pot, it’ll work just as well if you tip everything into your air fryer basket. 

Wait until you taste the flavour of the sticky-sweet honey and mustard drizzle that we’ve tossed with all the ingredients. It perfectly complements the juicy reduced-fat pork sausages, to make sure every bite is irresistible. 

Pinch of Nom's Sausage Traybake is served fresh from the oven in a casserole dish, with a portion plated up to the side.

Air-Fried Veggies

Vegetables are one of the easiest ingredients to cook in your air fryer, which is handy since they’re a healthy addition to any meal! The only thing to remember is that most veg will cook in a matter of minutes (root veggies like carrots and parsnips will take a bit longer), so you’ll want to keep a close eye on them. 

For example, these Air Fryer Green Beans are ready to dish up after just 10 minutes of air-frying. We’ve added flavour and texture by mixing up some breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese to coat our crunchy green beans – and it makes them so moreish! 

Pinch of Nom's Air Fryer Crispy Green Beans are served on a large oval plate, on a vibrant blue tablecloth. The crispy green beans are piled high on the plate, coated in golden cheesy breadcrumbs.

Why serve veggies as a side dish, when they can be the star of the show? The fluffy veggie mixture that makes up the inside of these Air Fryer Veggie Dippers is packed with carrot, red pepper, peas and sweetcorn.  

Once they’re shaped, coated in breadcrumbs and air-fried until golden, you’d never be able to tell how good for you they are! A clever way to sneak more vegetables into your family, they’re even tastier than the vegetarian bites you can get from a certain fast food chain…

Pinch of Nom's Veggie Dippers are plated up on a blue and white gingham table with a side of spicy ketchup, ready for dipping.

It’s time to spice up your cauli! This Air Fryer Cauliflower Hot Wings recipe is hands down the best way to eat your florets. We’ve loaded them up with fiery flavour and a crispy, low-calorie batter, before throwing on some panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch. 

Don’t worry if that sounds like a bit too much heat – we’ve included a cooling dip made from dairy-free yoghurt to balance things out!

Pinch of Nom's Cauliflower Hot Wings are laid out on greaseproof paper. The golden florets are crispy, coated in hot sauce and panko breadcrumbs. They are served with a small pot of dipping sauce, made from plant-based yoghurt and sriracha.

Which beginner-friendly air fryer recipe will you be trying first?

We hope we’ve given you the confidence to try a few new things in your air fryer. Let us know if any of these easy recipes make it onto your menu next week. Our friendly Facebook group would love to hear all about your air-fried creations! It’s also a great place to swap air-frying stories and advice.

We’ll always see your photos if you share them on Instagram – just remember to tag us (@pinchofnom) so that we don’t miss it.

You can also upload any photos you’ve taken of your crispy creations to our PON gallery – you might even win some SWAG.

Once you’ve gotten to grips with your gadget, take a look through these other articles:



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