Did you just get an air fryer and have no idea where to start? Don’t worry; in this article, you will find 20 easy air fryer recipes for beginners.
Whether you’re craving a quick, delicious weekend breakfast or need to get dinner on the table quickly, your air fryer will become your new best friend.
Air fryers have become very popular in recent years, and for a good reason. They cook your food quicker than a regular oven, are easier to clean, and are much healthier than deep frying or pan frying.
In addition, the circulating hot air ensures food is cooked perfectly inside, with just the right crisp on the outside. All in all, it’s a great tool for everyday family cooking.
What Are The Best Things To Cook in an Air Fryer?
When you first get an air fryer, you might start with the basics: frozen snacks like fries and chicken nuggets. But don’t stop there! You will soon find it incredible to cook everything from potatoes and vegetables to meat and fish – and even breakfast!
Most things you would otherwise deep fat fry, pan fry, or oven bake can be cooked in the air fryer instead.
These are some of the best things to use your air fryer for:
- Any fries – be it French fries, curly fries, or sweet potato fries
- Frozen snacks like mozzarella sticks, spring rolls, and chicken nuggets
- Your favorite proteins like steak, salmon, and pork chops – both fresh and frozen
- Veggie sides like brussels sprouts, carrots, and cauliflower
- Reheating food – most dishes will reheat better in an air fryer than with other methods
What Can You NOT Cook in an Air Fryer?
There are a few things you should refrain from trying to cook in your air fryer. These include:
- Water – do not attempt to boil water in your air fryer
- Rice, pasta, and grains can not be boiled in an air fryer
- Leafy greens can get stuck in the heating elements
- Whole roasts – even if they fit, whole roasts are generally better off with other cooking methods
- Cheese without a coating, as the cheese will melt and drip through your basket
- Anything with a wet batter, as the batter will drip, and you won’t get the crispiness you desire. Use a deep-fat fryer instead!
20 Easy Air Fryer Recipes To Get Started
- Air Fryer Baked Potatoes Splash of Taste
Baked potatoes are a delicious side for so many dishes, and with the air fryer, you get just the right balance of crispy skin and soft, fluffy inside. No pre-cooking is needed; just bake them in your air fryer for 35-40 minutes. Top with sour cream and chives, or add bacon for a fully loaded baked potato.
- Air Fryer Bok Choy by Corrie Cooks
When you want to add more vegetables to your diet, the air fryer is a great help. Many vegetables cook really well in the air fryer, and bok choy is no exception. It is a tasty side for mainly Asian dishes, and with this easy recipe, you can have a healthy side on the table in just 10 minutes.
- Air Fryer Cauliflower by Sustainable Cooks
Cooking cauliflower in your air fryer is a great idea and much easier than steaming or roasting. This version is seasoned with garlic for a quick yet flavorful side. Follow the recipe to a T, or use another seasoning of your choice.
- Air Fryer Green Beans by Piping Pot Curry
Green beans are another vegetable that adapts well to the air fryer, and the result is just as good as steamed – maybe better! Either serve them with just a touch of sea salt, add a bit of butter, or go for this recipe with a delicious Chinese-inspired seasoning with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
- Air Fryer Zucchini by Moon and Spoon and Yum
This is a quick and easy side dish loaded with flavor, thanks to the added seasoning. A great, simple vegetable dish to start your air fryer journey with!
- Air Fryer Crispy Avocado by Urban Farmie
Vegetable and tasty snack all in one, that’s crispy avocado. Air fryer fried avocado is a healthier substitute for fries that’s so tasty and perfect for dipping in your favorite sauce. It’s super easy to make in your air fryer and done in about 30 minutes.
- Air Fryer Edamame by My Quiet Kitchen
Edamame is a delicious snackable veggie that almost everyone loves. To add a bit of crispiness and flavor, toss with your favorite seasoning and air fry to perfection. Grab a handful and snack away!
- Air Fryer Falafel by Hey Nutrition Lady
Making falafel from scratch might seem daunting, but this recipe will change your mind. Start with dried chickpeas that soak overnight, and then the actual cooking is quick. Of course, the air fryer helps make the cooking process as effortless as possible.
- Air Fryer Tempeh by My Quiet Kitchen
Tempeh is another great vegan protein that cooks well in the air fryer. The marinade makes a real difference and is loaded with spicy flavors from sriracha sauce, garlic powder, liquid smoke, and more.
- Air Fryer Tofu by Sustainable Cooks
Cooking tofu well can be tricky – so enlist your air fryer to help! This recipe makes perfectly crispy tofu deliciously seasoned with sesame oil and soy sauce. Serve with a couple of sides, or use in tacos for a fun, Asian, and vegan twist on the classic.
- Air Fryer Steak by always use butter
Next time you’re craving a nice rib-eye steak, try cooking it in the air fryer. It comes out juicy, tender, and perfectly cooked, ready to serve with all your favorite steak sides. This is easier than cooking it any other way – with an amazing result!
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast by This Mom is on Fire
The dinner staple of chicken breasts is excellent to cook in your air fryer. This recipe has a flavorful seasoning and gives you perfectly cooked chicken in no time without any mess! If you’re using frozen chicken, just air fry a few minutes to thaw on the outside before adding the seasoning.
- Air Fryer Turkey Burgers by always use butter
Make juicy turkey burgers for dinner – the whole family will love them! No chopping is required – just a squeeze of lemon juice for extra juiciness. Serve them in hamburger buns or with a side of potatoes or veggies; either way, you will find yourself making these over and over again.
- Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin by Upstate Ramblings
Pork tenderloin cooks perfectly and evenly in the air fryer for a tasty dinner any night of the week. This version is seasoned with a homemade spice rub, but you can use any condiment you prefer. All done in under 30 minutes.
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings by Seasonal Cravings
If you’re a buffalo wing fan, this is a recipe you will be making over and over again. They come out perfectly cooked in 20-25 minutes, and you can season them with buffalo sauce or another wing sauce of your choice.
- Air Fryer Bacon by always use butter
Bacon is one of the best things you can fry in your air fryer. If you’ve ever made it on a wire rack in your oven, the air fryer version is similar – just even better and quicker. Super crispy bacon with less fat, all done in 10 minutes. (Who can say no to that?!) You can even use frozen bacon – just add another minute to the cooking time.
- Air Fryer Salmon by Low Carb Africa
Salmon is an excellent protein for weeknight dinners, but cooking it just right can be difficult. Your air fryer will help you by cooking it simultaneously on all sides, so it cooks quicker and more evenly than with other cooking methods. Want to use frozen salmon? Just air fry for five minutes to thaw a bit before adding the seasoning, and then add a few minutes to the total cook time.
- Air Fryer Arancini by Hey Nutrition Lady
If you’re lucky enough to have leftover risotto, you must try this recipe. These risotto balls are not as greasy as the deep-fat fried version but just as crispy and delicious. They are perfect as an appetizer or as part of a tapas platter.
- Air Fryer French Toast by Urban Farmie
Even classic French toast can be made simpler with your air fryer; as a bonus, you get a nice crisp all around. This version makes it so easy you’ll even be making it on those hectic mornings! Serve with berries and maple syrup for the most indulgent experience.
- Air Fryer Frozen Waffles by Corrie Cooks
Frozen Waffles are a great quick and easy breakfast for busy mornings, and your air fryer makes it even easier. In just seven minutes, you have a delicious morning treat!
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Emmeline Kemperyd is the owner, recipe creator, food photographer, and food writer behind alwaysusebutter.com, a website that provides quick and easy recipes for busy people. She has extensive experience creating recipes that taste good while being quick, easy, and approachable. Her recipes have been featured in various publications, including Well + Good, The Guardian, Forbes, SheKnows, and Vulture.