Maybe it’s the cold weather that sparks cravings for warm, hearty eats. Maybe it’s all the tailgating and game-night gatherings. But there’s no denying it: When the dog days of summer give way to chillier fall, foods like wings and fries start looking especially good.
And while there may really be nothing like greasy, old-fashioned onion rings, all that fried food can leave us heading into the holidays with a sluggish, all-around blah feeling.
But what if we told you that there was a way to have your favorite fried foods all season long and still feel pretty amazing at the end of it? Thanks to the air fryer, it’s totally possible to enjoy not only typically fried dishes like crispy potato wedges and falafel, but also a range of other goodies like pizza, tacos, and even dessert! Turn to these 19 air fryer recipes to keep you full, happy, and healthy.
When it’s a little nippy outside, the idea of staying home with a movie and pizza is just *so* much more appealing than going out. Make it even more enjoyable with customizable pita-pizzas, where you can control exactly how much sauce, cheese, and pepperoni you want. No need for a pizza stone or even an oven to make them, either. The air fryer has ’em ready in less than 10 minutes.
With fall comes football season! But instead of being that person who brings veggie sticks to game night, impress your friends and family with spicy, air-fried chicken wings coated in homemade buffalo sauce instead. You’re the only one who has to know they’re healthy.
Take two of fall’s best seasonal ingredients and turn them into cumin- and cilantro-flavored, air-fried patties fit to put on salads, in wraps, or just on a plate all by themselves. The ranch seasoning kicks up the flavors a notch, while pumpkin seeds add crunch and even more fall-inspired flair.
Not in the mood for a cold salad when there’s a chill in the air? Usually, a plate of fried vegetables wouldn’t exactly be an appropriate alternative, but with the air-fryer method ensuring minimal oil, these tempura veggies could be a totally viable salad swap. Lightly coated in Japanese bread crumbs and egg before getting tossed in the air fryer, they’re crunchy, light, full of fiber, and fantastic with your favorite dipping sauce.
While cauliflower is being used year-round for everything from pizza crust to rice these days, let’s not forget that this veggie is at its peak in the fall. Rather than use it as a disguise for carbs, this recipe puts cauliflower clear in the spotlight, dredging it in a smoked paprika, garlic, cheese, and beer batter and air frying until they’re golden brown.
Brussels sprouts are practically synonymous with fall, but no one wants to eat them boiled—yuck! Instead, let the air fryer cook them until they’re charred and crispy, then toss them into tortilla shells with a sweet and tangy balsamic honey sauce. You’ll never call Brussels sprouts boring again.
Need a tailgating snack that satisfies hungry eaters but also meets your criteria for healthy munchies? These onion rings are your answer. Not only do they require zero oil thanks to the air fryer, but by using plant-based milk, nondairy bread crumbs, and no egg, these golden, crispy bites also totally vegan.
Make good use of your air fryer with this recipe, which uses the gadget to both cook the sweet potatoes and to crisp up the assembled taquitos. With black beans and cheese also in the mix, these can totally work as a satisfying plant-based meal.
Fall is a perfect time for warm and filling pasta dishes, but this lasagna recipe gives you the comfort food without the carbs. In the absence of noodles, zucchini slices are layered with sausage, marinara (make sure it’s free of added sugar), and cheese (duh), then baked in the air fryer (yep, it bakes too!) until browned and bubbly.
Kale produces its best leaves when temperatures drop, so it’s the perfect veggie to put in these fall falafels. The gluten-free chickpea patties are air-fried, so they’re lighter than your regular falafel, and perfect for adding extra protein to your meal without also adding a ton of extra oil.
Warm and hearty, these un-fried potato wedges fit the bill for a perfect cold weather snack or side. Made crispy in the air fryer with just one teaspoon of oil, they’re then generously drizzled in a nondairy cashew “cheese” sauce that’s much more heart-healthy than any spray cheese you’ll ever find.
With warm stewed fruit and a buttery streusel-style topping, a crumble is a quintessential fall dessert. And you can totally use your air fryer to make one! This low-sugar recipe makes use of both fresh apples and frozen berries for the base, while a vegan topping made of brown rice flour keeps the dessert gluten-free. It’s a perfect cozy treat for two.
You may know empanadas as fried envelopes filled with meat and cheese, but once you try these sweet and spiced pockets, you may actually prefer the dessert version of the usually savory dish. With no dough to roll out, just a touch of raw honey for sweetness, plenty of fresh apple flavor, and zero oil involved, they’re easy, healthy, and super tasty all at once.
Lightly tossed in coconut oil, dusted with cinnamon and sugar, and air-fried until crispy—this is how sweet potatoes should always be eaten, especially when they’re at their sweetest peak in the fall. We’ve never met a French fry we didn’t like, but we might just love these best.
One of the best things about heading into fall is knowing that the holiday season is just around the corner. Get started early by baking up a batch of these vegan and gluten-free, cranberry-kissed pecan muffins—except instead of an oven, you’re using an air fryer, which slashes the cooking time in half.
If you can’t bake brownies without eating them all in a day (we’ve been there), this recipe may be exactly what you need. Not only does it make a small batch for portion control, but it’s also much healthier, with no eggs, oil, butter, or gluten—so really, you could technically eat the whole thing and still come out feeling pretty good.
With back-to-school season in full swing once fall hits, it’s all about easy breakfasts, ideally to take on the go when running late. Yielding six servings to last all week, this recipe evokes your favorite childhood toaster treat and is way healthier than the packaged kind, thanks to reduced-sugar jam, Greek yogurt, and reduced-fat cream cheese.
The air fryer is basically a contraption that lets you eat fried food without actually having to fry any food. So it’s as if the gadget was tailor-made for this dessert: a glorious fusion of churros and donuts, two typically fried confections, which has all the cinnamon, sugary coating, and flaky dough, but none of the grease.
Coconut and banana sound more like a summer combo but not when the two are served warm and with a hefty pinch of cinnamon. Dipped in eggs and tapioca flour, these fruity bites are a ridiculously simple way to satisfy a sweet tooth while still feeling like you’re indulging in something a lot richer.