What Can You Cook in An Air Fryer? Best Food Recipes [EASY]
Air fryers can cook lots of recipes easily but it’s also hard for beginners. You may wonder what can I cook in an air fryer. Today we will show you the answer. You can use an air fryer to cook foods like veggies, salmon, pork chops, steaks, and chicken and also to heat frozen foods. Most meats do not need oil when cooked in an air fryer because they have their own oil already. All you’ve got to do is season them with salt, then add your favorite spices and herbs.
An air fryer works like an oven but its heating element is at the top. It has a large, powerful fan, making it super-efficient in making food crispy faster than an oven. This is because it heats up very quickly and cooks food evenly and quickly. An air fryer uses a little oil, making it a healthier option.
You will know:
- Benefits of cooking with air fryers
- Best 10 air fryer recipes for people who love to cook
- Best 10 Air fryer recipes for beginners
- Best 5 frozen food recipes for air fryer
- Best 5 air fryer recipes for vegetarians
- What you can not cook in an air fryer
- More pro tips and questions when using air fryers
Why use an air fryer?
An air fryer is an incredible tool that you can use to cook almost anything. Some of the reasons you need an air fryer include:
- Healthier cooking: With this tool, you won’t have to use too much oil in your cooking process. This is an excellent way of reducing the amount of oil used in cooking.
- Food with a golden exterior: This tool can help you get crunchy and crisp food with a golden exterior, not a muddy mess.
- Easy to use, safe, and fast: With an air fryer, you can prepare healthy foods in a matter of minutes and pack them for your outing using an air fryer.
- It’s versatile: An air fryer is versatile in the sense that you can use it to cook almost anything: desserts, curries, spaghetti squash, French fries, or veggies.
Best 10 air fryer recipes for people who love to cook
Delicious burgers and patties
Burgers and patties crisp up in a minimal amount of time when cooked. In the process of cooking, they retain their color and flavor. Burgers are packed with iron that helps in supplying oxygen to the body. It is also a rich source of proteins and vitamin B-12, which helps in the production of red blood cells.
Air-fried French fries are delicious, crisp, low in calories, and healthy because they don’t contain much oil. French fries contain balanced quantities of protein, sugars, fiber, carbohydrates, and fat. They can help boost your immune system because they contain vitamin C.
French fries also improve early brain development and help alleviate oxidative stress. A single serving of this delicious treat has about 1.9 grams of protein.
Frozen chicken goujons
Frozen chicken goujons are tender and tasty. Surprisingly, it will take you only about 12 minutes to prepare them in your air fryer. Chicken is an excellent substitute for red meat, meaning it’s a healthy source of protein and a good source of amino acids.
Chicken goujons will help strengthen your muscles and bones. It also helps with heart health and weight management and can boost your mood. Chicken also contains copper, iron, zinc, choline, tryptophan, and vitamin B-12.
Bacon is the best thing to cook in an air fryer. It brown’s into beautiful crisps in a matter of five to eight minutes. Bacon is packed with cholesterol, protein, carbohydrates, sodium, saturated fat, fat, and calories. Bacon has many health benefits.
For example, the saturated fat it contains is good for your health and heart. It’s also great for managing weight because of its high-protein content. The B-vitamins and potassium in bacon support muscle strength, heart health, and bone health, and also regulate blood pressure.
The secret to making your Brussels sprouts tasty is to make them crispy, then top them with Parmesan cheese. These treats are salty, cheesy, crunchy, and amazingly delicious. Brussels sprouts are among the best sources of protein.
They contain vitamins A, B-6, C, and K, and are an excellent source of manganese, potassium, and folate. When you consume Brussels sprouts, your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity will be lowered.
If you really want the best option for deep-fried potatoes, cauliflower tots would be the best bet. Their crumbly texture gives them a feel similar to that of deep-fried potatoes, only that they contain less fat and fewer calories. They are teeming with protein, sugar, fiber, carbs, and saturated fats.
If you want to get a tastier Bloomin’ Onion, you can double coat it with a spicy breading before air-frying to golden perfection. The Air Fryer Blooming Onion is a healthier and easier way to enjoy a restaurant-grade appetizer at home. This treat will definitely pique your interest. Onions contain many minerals, vitamins, and potent plant compounds that help with mouth sores, heart diseases, and headaches.
Air fried fish and chips
If you like eating fish but you don’t like deep frying because of health concerns, air frying would be your best option. Air-fried fish is healthy, crunchy, flaky, and crispy. A serving of fish and chips will provide you with omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, calcium, zinc, iron, and vitamins C, B6, and B12. All these are important for your health.
Bagels are made from yeast, salt, water, and wheat flour. Often, a sweetener is added to give it some pleasant taste. You can use malt syrup, honey, or sugar. Bagels contain sodium, potassium, iron, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Whole grain bagels are high in antioxidants and dietary fiber. They can help fight obesity, cancer, and diabetes.
Empanadas are small treats that you can fill with anything, from fruit jams to savory meats. When cooked well, they have a flaky outer layer, which makes them nice to chew. The empanadas are packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, protein, carbohydrates, potassium, sodium, cholesterol, and fat.
Top 10 Air fryer recipes for beginners
If you are new to air frying, the below 10 recipes can be your best starting point.
Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts may not be the healthiest breakfast item around, but when air-dried, they are a healthier alternative if you are health conscious. This is because they are low in fat and only a little oil is used when cooking them. For a better experience and a tastier breakfast, you can sprinkle them with a cinnamon and stevia mixture rather than table sugar.
Air-fried Zucchini Fries provide vitamin C, which is known to boost the immune system. It provides 20% (or 12 mg) of DV (daily value) of vitamin C in 3/4 cup. The best way to enjoy zucchini fries is to air fry them; cooking them in an oven makes them a little mushy. These fries are crispy and low in fat.
Eating banana bread is perhaps the best way to get some potassium. Just one banana can give you 8.9% of DV or 422 mg of potassium. Using an air fryer to cook banana bread results in bread that’s soft in the center.
To make your bread healthier, use plain Greek yogurt; not sour cream. You can also use unsweetened peanut butter or walnuts for your heart’s health because they contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Keto Fried Chicken (Low Carb)
Fried chicken is a good recipe for beginners because it’s easy to prepare. All you need to do is coat the drumsticks in eggs and coconut flour, then bread them before cooking in an air fryer. They take only 20 minutes to cook. You’ll get a crispy result.
Chicken mainly provides carbohydrates and protein. This can be used on any chicken parts, whether chicken breasts or chicken wings.
Crispy Kale Chips
If you are a fan of salty snacks, crispy kale chips are for you. They are a better alternative to potato chips because they contain extra nutrients and vitamins such as calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Air drying makes it crispier than in the oven.
Keto Onion Rings
The health benefits of onions need not be overemphasized. Keto onion rings are the best way to create a restaurant experience at home. Onions will help you cut carbohydrates, especially when you use low-carb beading. It also lowers your fat intake, which is good for your heart health.
Air Fryer Turkey
Your air fryer will come in handy for your Thanksgiving meal or any other time you feel like eating turkey. A turkey tastes and has all the benefits of a chicken. It contains tryptophan, vitamin B-12, choline, copper, zinc, and iron, and is an excellent source of amino acids. Turkey is good at strengthening bones and muscles.
Air Fryer Crispy Chickpeas
To prepare a quick afternoon snack, add some seasoning and olive oil to chickpeas, then toss them in your air fryer. It will take only 15 minutes for the chickpeas to cook. They’ll come out crispy and are an excellent source of protein.
Also referred to as the buffalo wing recipe, buffalo cauliflower is a healthy side dish or appetizer. Air frying them makes them tasty and crispy while maintaining the pillowy inside. Buffalo cauliflower has fewer calories and less fat but contains a good amount of saturated fats, protein, carbs, sugar, and fiber.
As a beginner, you’ll find it exciting to cook meatballs in your air fryer. Meatballs are keto-friendly and tasty. They are an excellent addition to zucchini noodles or pasta and are not messy when cooked in an air fryer. To lower the calories in the meatballs, use lean ground chicken or turkey.
best 5 frozen food recipes for air fryer
Brazi Bites Empanadas
Brazi Bites Empanadas are tapioca dough pastries that are savory on the inside and flaky on the outside. They are a tasty change from other similar snacks. Try beans and beef, cheddar and black beans, cheese, and chicken, or chickpea veggies for a tastier treat full of proteins. All the health benefits you expect from proteins are all in these Brazi Bites empanadas.
You might be scared of putting soft pretzels in an air fryer, but you’ll be surprised with the result if you do so. You’ll get a crispier treat than when you use a conventional oven or microwave. Surprisingly, the inside will remain soft and nice. Super Pretzels contain B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine, which help the body convert the food you eat into sugar.
Hot pockets are portable sandwiches that retain their crispness even after you freeze them, then warm them up in an air fryer for a few minutes. Hot pockets are the best snacks if you like spicy foods. They are essentially bread filled with cheese, meat, and sometimes veggies and some sugar.
Hot pockets contain between two and eight grams of sugar. So, you need to pay some attention when you are trying to stay away from added sugars.
Mozzarella sticks are among the best snacks to cook in an air fryer. Mozzarella provides zinc, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, fiber, carbohydrates, fat, protein, and calories. Each 28 g (one ounce) of mozzarella provides approximately one-third of your daily dairy requirement.
These sticks fuel the body and provide the protein needed for cell repair and growth. Protein is also essential for producing enzymes, hormones, and antibodies that boost the immune system.
Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets
Chicken Breast Nuggets are antibiotic-free, air-chilled nuggets that are normally flash-fried before freezing. They perform well in air fryers, with satisfying moist chicken inside. The lightly breaded exterior is crispy, making them taste like restaurant-caliber chicken breast nuggets. They’ll supply your body with the protein it needs for cell growth and repair.
Best 5 air fryer recipes for vegetarians
You’ll love the air-fried tofu because of its rubbery and soft texture. If you want a more crispy result, mix it with potato starch or cornstarch marinade before cooking it in your air fryer. This recipe is vegan, meaning it’s excellent for your health.
Green beans are an easy recipe for vegetarians. You only need fresh garlic, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and olive oil to prepare them. It will only take between seven and nine minutes to cook. You’ll like the aroma coming from this recipe. Green beans have protein and fiber and are the best substitutes for red meat.
Ranch Kale Chips
Kale is among the vegetables that are full of nutrients, which has earned it the name “superfood.” If you want to do it more often, make sure you have an air fryer. Air frying will remove the bitterness and make them easy on your digestive tract. Kale contains minerals and vitamins like vitamin C, which is an immune booster.
Potato chips are the easiest recipe to make. By air-frying them, you’ll get a crispy snack at any time. And you don’t need too many ingredients; just some olive oil, salt, and pepper. You’ll get a perfectly crispy texture without using much oil.
Potato chips are full of carbohydrates, so eating them will provide you with enough energy to last you throughout the day. There are tons of air fryer recipes for baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, e.t.c
Avocado fries are flavorful and packed with nutrients and vitamins. They also contain healthy fats that can help you eliminate the unhealthy oils associated with other foods. It contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which are good for your health. When air fried, they’ll come out healthier and crispier than when cooked using other methods.
What you can not cook in an air fryer?
Some of the foods you shouldn’t cook in an air fryer include:
- Battered foods: Unless re-friended and frozen, buttered foods can cause problems with your air fryer.
- Fresh greens: Fresh greens won’t cook evenly in an air fryer because this tool uses high-speed air, so any food that can’t stay put will burn.
- Whole roasts: whole roasts may not fit into the air fryer’s basket, and even if they do, they won’t cook evenly.
- Cheese: When you place cheese inside a fryer without a good coating, it will melt and form a puddle that messes up the fryer.
- Raw grains: Just like fresh greens, raw grains like pasta and rice can’t be cooked in an air fryer, unless they are first cooked on a stove. An air fryer is used to dry-cook food, so it can’t cook anything that requires being immersed in water when being cooked.
- Hamburgers: air fryers aren’t meant to grill red meat. If you want your meat juicy and red, an air fryer isn’t an option for you.
- Toast: The high-speed air in an air fryer will make your bread move around, and crumbs will be blown all over the basket. The air fryer isn’t a toaster oven.
- Popcorn: The temperature of an air fryer ranges from 350 to 400 F, but popcorn requires a temperature of between 400 and 460 F to pop, making an air fryer not suitable for making popcorn.
how to use an air fryer
An air fryer has a basket where the food to be cooked is placed. To get crispy food, never overcrowd the basket. The food should be in a single layer for it to cook well. If you have a lot to cook, you can do so in batches according to your family size. You can pull the basket out once in a while to check the progress of the food.
Remember that each food requires a different temperature, so you need to experiment to find the right temperature on your air fryer for different foods. As the food cooks, you can flip it over or shake it (for small pieces) to ensure both sides cook well. Also, note that some foods require just a little oil while others don’t require any oil at all when using an air fryer.
Can you put raw meat in an air fryer?
Yes. You can put raw meat directly into an air fryer, but you have to prepare it well and season it before putting it into the air fryer. You also have to monitor it properly as it cooks. The type of meat you can air fry depends on your personal preference. The hot air within the air fryer basket is adequate to cook your meat the way you desire.
How do air fryers work?
An air fryer works like an oven, meaning it can roast and bake food. The only difference is that its heating element is at the top, and it has a large, powerful fan, making it super-efficient in making food crispy faster than an oven. It heats up very quickly and cooks food evenly and quickly.
Are air fryers healthy?
An air fryer is healthy because it reduces the amount of oil used in cooking, making it a better option compared to deep frying. An air fryer also cooks the food properly and evenly, meaning it eliminates all bacteria that could be lurking in your food. This tool is easy to clean, and not exposed to air, so you need not worry about food contamination.
You now have all the reasons to join the air fryer’s club. This countertop workhorse is a game-changer. It will make your life easier because you’ll be able to prepare healthy foods faster. Air fryers are versatile, affordable, and durable. Once you have one, you’ll no longer have to buy snacks from food stores. Also, air fryer recipes are delicious and easy to make, hence saving you time.
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Thanks for reading!
My love for food was influenced by my brother, a chef at a 2-star Michelin restaurant, and we often exchange food knowledge together. It’s been 12 years since I first stepped into the kitchen, and with my vast experience and expertise, I will share many ideas on how to make dishes more delicious!