40 Genius Air-Fryer Recipes, From Homemade Pop Tarts to Toasted Raviolis
For anyone who loves the crispiness of fried food but doesn't care for the greasiness that comes with submerging ingredients in a vat of hot oil, an air fryer is a dream come true. Essentially a supercharged convection oven, an air fryer allows you to enjoy food that tastes almost like it was deep fried, but with little or no oil added to the mix. Instead of leaning on hot oil, an air fryer works by circulating super-hot air around the fryer, resulting in that crispy texture you know and love.
This small kitchen appliance has gotten the attention of plenty of celebs like Hailey Bieber (who has an amazing air-fryer chicken-wing recipe) and novice cooks on TikTok because pretty much anything you put inside will come out tasting amazing. So from the looks of it, air fryers are not going anywhere any time soon.
That said, you might be wondering: what, exactly, can you make in an air fryer? If you're already sold on how amazing an air fryer is and are on the hunt for some delicious air-fryer recipes to whip up with your favorite appliance, then you're in luck. We rounded up 40 air-fryer recipes — including plenty of easy air-fryer recipes for beginners — for your frying and dining pleasure.
— Additional reporting by Lauren Harano and Lauren Mazzo
A bit basic, yes, but the air fryer was made for potatoes — and since it's so easy, this is a great air-fryer recipe for beginners. These air-fryer potatoes are crispy on the outside and perfectly creamy on the inside. Almost any type of potato will work for this recipe if you aren't a fan of baby yellows.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Potatoes
Air-Fryer Salmon Patties
This recipe calls for canned salmon, making it easy to whip up using pantry ingredients when you don't have anything fresh on hand. (That said, you can also use fresh leftover salmon if you happened to make too much the night before, for example.) Eat them with a fork and knife over greens or grains, or serve on a bun to eat as a burger.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Salmon Patties
Air-Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
If you're eating plant-based or want a spotlight-worthy side dish or veggie app, serve up this air-fryer buffalo cauliflower. You get a boost of fiber and antioxidants from the cauliflower, but the flavor of delicious buffalo wings. Eat this dish warm with your favorite creamy dip, and perhaps some carrot and celery sticks on the side.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
To skip the annoying splatter and cleanup that usually comes with cooking bacon, try making this classic breakfast meat in the air fryer instead. The steps couldn't be simpler — making this a perfect air-fryer recipe for beginners — and cooking bacon in the air fryer results in perfectly crispy strips and no annoying hot grease to deal with. If you have a smaller air-fryer model, you can twist your bacon strips to make them fit into your basket.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Bacon
Unlike oven-baked versions which take upwards of 30 minutes, these air-fryer meatballs cook in under 10 minutes — even if they came from the freezer. Make them mini to serve as a party appetizer or larger to serve with pasta. Either way, you can swap the beef for ground turkey if you prefer.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Meatballs
Honey-Balsamic Air-Fryer Chicken Thighs
Prep the marinade for this dish ahead of time so it's ready whenever you want to toss some chicken in the air fryer. Pair the cooked chicken with a green salad and a whole grain (like quinoa or sorghum) for a satisfying and nutritious repast.
Get the recipe: Honey-Balsamic Air-Fryer Chicken Thighs
Blackened Air-Fryer Salmon With Cucumber-Avocado Salsa
Fish that's cooked in the air fryer gets a satisfying crispy coating and a moist and delicious inside. This light dish calls for Persian cucumbers — if you can't find that specific variety of cukes, English work well, too.
Get the recipe: Blackened Air-Fryer Salmon With Cucumber-Avocado Salsa
Honey-Lime Air-Fryer Shrimp
This seasoned air-fryer shrimp is quick to make and can be used in countless ways — try serving with rice and veggies, a salad, or tortillas with fajita fixings. If you don't have honey to make the marinade, maple syrup will work as a substitute.
Get the recipe: Honey-Lime Air-Fryer Shrimp
Air-Fryer Potato Roses
This beautiful side — fit for dinner or brunch — is surprisingly simple as long as you use small potatoes, making it a great air-fryer recipe for beginners that still looks impressive. A little dried rosemary goes a long way in giving these an herbaceous flavor.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Potato Roses
Air-Fryer Steak With Garlic Butter
Truth: steak can be intimidating to cook. This air-fryer recipe for beginners makes it easier. For a meal that's impressive and easy to prep, try this air-fryer steak with garlic butter. Remember to not crowd your steaks, as they won't cook evenly if they overlap. You can prepare the herb butter up to 24 hours before you plan to use it.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Steak With Garlic Butter
Air-Fryer French Fries
Thanks to this simple air-fryer recipe, you can have french fries at home in a matter of minutes. They're so delicious when it comes to flavor and crispiness, you won't be able to tell the difference between air-fried fries and traditional deep-fried ones. Try sprinkling them with a touch of cayenne pepper if you like heat.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer French Fries
Air-Fryer Baked Potato
A baked potato in the air fryer? Yes, indeed. Just three ingredients and an air fryer are all you need to enjoy a creamy spud in 20 minutes. If you're making more than one potato with this air-fryer recipe, be sure to choose ones that are similar in size so that they cook at the same rate.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Baked Potato
Honey-Lime Air-Fryer Taquitos
These honey-lime taquitos will forever change the way you do dinner. With a crunchy exterior and a juicy chicken interior, every bite of these will make your mouth water. Serve them with shredded cheese, creamy guac, and a dash of lime.
Get the recipe: Honey-Lime Air-Fryer Taquitos
Air-Fryer Nashville-Style Hot Chicken Tenders
If you're craving chicken tenders, this air-fryer recipe will make you drool on the spot. These easy-to-make tenders are perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside and pair well with dips of all kinds. Fair warning: in true Nashville style, these tenders are hot. If you want to dial back the spice, reduce or omit the cayenne in the hot sauce.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Nashville-Style Hot Chicken Tenders
Air-Fryer Blueberry Biscuits
Not a morning person? You will be after you have these fruit-filled air-fryer biscuits for breakfast. Filled with blueberries (fresh or frozen!) and drizzled with a super-sweet glaze, you can make a batch of these air-fryer biscuits and enjoy them with coffee or tea, and even for dessert.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Blueberry Biscuits
Air-Fryer Sweet-Potato Fries With Za'atar and Tahini
These sweet-potato fries — dusted with za'atar spice and dipped in tahini — are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, meaning you'll have restaurant-quality results without the hassle of going out or waiting for takeout. Whip up this air-fryer recipe as a side for a sandwich, burger, or wrap, or when you want a salty snack.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Sweet-Potato Fries With Za'atar and Tahini
Classic Onion Pakoda
An air fryer is a perfect tool for making onion pakoda, a popular Indian street food. Onion pakoda is like an onion fritter made with besan flour and spices — and wow, is it good.
Get the recipe: Classic Onion Pakoda
Air-Fryer Plantain Chips With Creamy Guacamole
Spiced with chili, garlic, and lime, these air-fryer plantain chips have a zesty flavor that tastes great when dunked in creamy guacamole. To make these, you'll want to find green plantains, as they stay crunchy and have more of a savory flavor.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Plantain Chips with Creamy Guacamole
Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts With Honey-Soy Glaze
When cooked properly, Brussels sprouts can be downright addicting. Make them in the air fryer to get crispy edges and warm, chewy insides, then top them off with a homemade honey-soy glaze and sesame seeds.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts With Honey-Soy Glaze
Air-Fryer Fried Chicken
One of the best things to make in an air fryer is chicken, and this recipe proves that to be true. All you have to do to nosh on homemade fried chicken is grab chicken, flour, seasonings, and eggs, and then coat the chicken and put it in the air fryer for 25 minutes.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Fried Chicken
Air-Fryer Lamb Chops
Making lamb chops sounds a bit intimidating for novice cooks, but this air-fryer recipe is super easy — promise. It'll only take you 15 minutes, and the best part is they're marinated in red-wine vinegar and herbs that make them taste absolutely divine.
Get the recipe: Seasoned Air-Fryer Lamb Chops
These five-ingredient air-fryer doughnuts are about to become your go-to dessert. Flaky, puffy, and deliciously sweet, these doughnuts are great dipped in melted butter and dusted in cinnamon and sugar. If you're feeling fancy, you can even add sprinkles or a colored sugar glaze.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Doughnuts
Cilantro-Lime Air-Fryer Chicken Wings
Made with only seven ingredients, these tasty chicken wings get their flavor from a tangy cilantro-lime marinade. And they're a great air-fryer recipe for making ahead: you can marinate them for up to 24 hours in the fridge before cooking.
Get the recipe: Cilantro-Lime Air-Fryer Chicken Wings
Air-Fryer Fish and Chips
Crisp potatoes and juicy fish are perfect for tossing in an air fryer for a quick meal. You can also make this air-fryer recipe gluten-free by substituting the flour for almond flour.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Fish and Chips
Korean Fried Chicken
Use any kind of chicken you like — drumsticks, wings, tenders — to make this air-fryer recipe for Korean fried chicken. "Double frying" makes each bite unbelievably crispy, and a swoon-worthy sauce adds bold flavor.
Get the recipe: Korean Fried Chicken
Air-Fried Vegetables Snack Platter
One of the most delicious ways to make veggies is by roasting them in the oven, but that can take really long. Instead, toss broccoli, cauliflower, red onions, Brussels sprouts, and radishes in the air fryer to serve as a snack platter or nutritious side dish for any meal. Just add a sauce for dipping or drizzling on top, and your work here is done.
Get the recipe: Air-Fried Vegetables Snack Platter
Easy Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas can be a delicious fiber- and protein-filled snack, but it's not always easy to get them crispy in the oven. Enter: an air fryer. Use this air-fryer recipe to make roasted chickpeas you can nosh on as a snack, toss onto salads, or eat in a hearty grain bowl. You can customize your seasoning to make them spicy, sweet, cheesy, or anything in between.
Get the recipe: Easy Roasted Chickpeas
Air-Fryer Pop Tart
As 2000s fashion comes back into style, channel your childhood nostalgia into a throwback air-fryer recipe — specifically, these homemade pop tarts. Using ready-made pie crust and an air fryer, you can create and customize your homemade pop tarts into whatever flavor was your fave, whether that's strawberry, cinnamon sugar, or s'mores.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Pop Tarts
Air-Fryer Breakfast Potatoes
Save these air-fryer breakfast potatoes for brunch or when you're in the mood for breakfast for dinner. They're fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, pairing exceptionally well with ketchup, eggs, sausage, and cheese.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Breakfast Potatoes
Air-Fryer Grilled Cheese
Say goodbye to burnt edges when you toss your grilled cheese into the air fryer. You'll get gooey cheese, crispy bread, and a perfectly golden-brown color in about 20 minutes and with minimal steps, making this a perfect air-fryer recipe for beginners.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Grilled Cheese
Air-Fryer Onion Rings
You don't have to go out to eat to get good onion rings. This easy air-fryer recipe only takes nine minutes to make, and you'll get crispy-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside onion rings that can be enjoyed with all your favorite dips, like ranch dressing, ketchup, or spicy mayo.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Onion Rings
Air-Fryer Tater Tots
You know you're in for a treat when tater tots are on the table. This easy air-fryer recipe can be made in 15 minutes, meaning you can sink your teeth into crispy, crunchy, and warm tots before you know it. Pair them with the dips of your choice to really make them shine.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Tater Tots
Air-Fryer Caramelized Bananas
If you're just testing out your air fryer or looking for simple air-fryer recipes for beginners, these caramelized bananas are just the thing for you. With three ingredients and just a couple of steps, you'll have a sweet snack or creative dessert ready to eat in less than 10 minutes.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Caramelized Bananas
Air-Fryer Fried Pickles
Don't knock fried pickles until you've tried them. Crispy, crunchy, and perfect for snacking, these fried pickles make a great party app when dipped in anything from blue-cheese dressing to spicy mayo.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Fried Pickles
One writer swears these are the "easiest homemade churros [she's] ever made," and if that doesn't pique your interest, let the words "crunchy," "chewy," and "abuela-approved" do the trick. Just don't forget to dip them in Nutella or chocolate sauce, too.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Churros
Air-Fryer Chick-Fil-A Crispy Chicken Sandwich
With this copycat air-fryer recipe, you can make Chick-Fil-A's crispy chicken sandwich in the comfort of your own home. The secret? Brining the chicken in pickle juice — so next time you finish a jar, be sure to save the juice.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Chick-Fil-A Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Air Fried Toasted Ravioli
Yes, those are toasted ravioli. This 10-minute air fryer recipe for begnners is easy to whip up when you're hungry for an app, or you can make a full meal out of it. Top off these toasted bites with seasonings, marinara, or butter.
Get the recipe: Air Fried Toasted Ravioli
Air-Fryer Beef Empanadas
These air-fryer beef empanadas are easier to make than they sound. Just wrap a puff pastry around seasoned ground beef, and toss them in the air fryer. If you're not a beef fan, feel free to swap for chicken instead.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Beef Empanadas
Air-Fryer Crab Cakes
Made with fresh crab, onions, bread crumbs, and a dash of mayo, these crispy air-fryer crab cakes are an easy appetizer or main dish any night of the week. Top them off with a bit of fresh parsley and some dipping sauce, and you're ready to roll.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Crab Cakes