Once upon a time, eating healthier meant cutting back on hash browns, fried chicken, and doughnuts. And then came the air fryer.
This cooking method swaps the vat of oil for a mechanical fan to keep traditionally deep-fried delicacies low (or even completely free) of grease.
Looks like dreams really do come true for those of us who really (really) like fried food but hold ourselves back because, you know, trans fats/heart disease/etc.
These 25 air fryer recipes show you how to faux-fry your way to healthier eats, from breakfast to dessert.
1. Ham and egg toast cups
File this away for your next brunch at home; with eggs, cheese, and ham cooked right into each toast “cup,” you don’t need to worry about making each component separately.
Plus, they make for seriously cute Instagram posts.
2. Air fryer breakfast frittata
No stovetop cooking necessary for this low carb omelet. From the cheddar to the eggs to the grape tomatoes, everything gets the air fryer treatment for ultimate convenience without skimping on taste.
3. Breakfast style air fryer potatoes
Most home fries are cooked in a deep pool of oil. This recipe uses a few spritzes of oil spray to keep the potatoes much lower in fat than usual, while the air fryer makes sure you’re getting crispy, golden-brown cubes.
4. Vegan breakfast hash browns
Love hash browns but hate all the grease that comes with them? Thanks to the air fryer, these potato-packed fritters need barely two tablespoons of oil so you can have your breakfast spuds and eat them too.
Add some of the optional garlic and onion powder seasoning to make them taste tall the more addictive.
5. Air fryer French toast sticks
This recipe has all the usual ingredients of French toast — eggs, cinnamon, bread — and even the same prep method, but going the air fryer route has its advantages.
Not only is it especially fast, but it also yields particularly crispy results — no soggy pieces of bread here.
6. Beetroot chips
These homemade, irresistible beet chips couldn’t be easier to put together, seasoned with nothing but salt and pepper and air-fried to crispy perfection.
Don’t say we didn’t warn ya about how addictive they are when you find yourself eating them by the bowlful.
7. Air-fried shishito peppers
You’ll often find shishito peppers grilled or fried plain at Japanese restaurants, but air-frying them at home means you get to have a bit more fun with the add-ins.
This recipe tops the perfectly charred peppers with a generous grating of Asiago cheese for a fun fusion of Western and Eastern flavors.
8. Air fryer French fries
If you’ve got an air fryer, there’s no way you aren’t making classic French fries. Leave the funky twists and unconventional flavorings for other recipes.
With just salt, pepper, and garlic powder, this batch is simple, savory, and perfectly crisp, just the way good old-fashioned fries should be.
9. Coconut shrimp with spicy marmalade sauce
Coconut-crusted shrimp is a pretty classic appetizer, but make a few detours off the classic recipe by air-frying the shellfish (zero oil required).
You’ll also be adding a zingy orange-tinged mustard sauce for dipping. If added sugar is a concern, opt for unsweetened coconut and all-fruit marmalade.
10. Air fryer baked sweet potato
When it comes to baking the ideal potato, this recipe is the winner of all cooking methods.
While the oven takes too long, and the speedy microwave produces rubbery results, this air-frying tactic is just right, giving you perfectly tender flesh in a reasonable 30 minutes.
11. Air fryer jalapeño poppers
Who doesn’t love biting into the creamy cheese filling of a jalapeño popper? Now you can get your spicy appetizer fix whenever you want.
This recipe uses gluten-free bread crumbs, dairy-free cream cheese, and the air fryer method. You won’t even know the difference.
12. Air fryer pork taquitos
If you’ve got pre-cooked, shredded pork, turn it into taquitos in less than 10 minutes. Just wrap in corn tortillas with a sprinkle of cheese and let the air fryer do the rest.
13. Healthy fish finger sandwich
A few spritzes of oil spray and 15 minutes in the air fryer are all it takes to get fish fingers that have that appetizing crunch on the outside and soft flakiness on the inside.
Tuck them inside a bun slathered with a Greek yogurt based pea purée for a fish sandwich that rivals anything your corner bar or fast-food joint is serving.
14. Copycat Taco Bell crunch wraps
There’s an indescribable satisfaction about recreating fast-food favorites at home in a healthier way, and this copycat Taco Bell crunch wrap recipe doesn’t disappoint.
With seasoned beef, cheese, sour cream, and tomatoes all enveloped inside a flour tortilla and air-fried until, well, crunchy, it tastes almost freakishly similar to the original.
15. Air fryer sriracha honey chicken wings
Rather than the usual buffalo sauce, give your (air) fried chicken an Asian-inspired spin with a sweet and savory honey, soy, and sriracha coating. You won’t find this on a KFC menu, but it’s still finger-lickin’ good.
16. Air fryer orange tofu
Air-frying tofu and then coating it in a thick orange sauce proves you don’t need glugs of oil to make Chinese food taste good. It’s not great news for your local takeout joint, but you and your wallet will sure be happy.
17. Air fryer panko breaded chicken Parmesan with marinara sauce
Any dish that involves chicken, bread crumbs, and the word “Parmesan” is likely to be super tasty — and super fried and super heavy.
This recipe keeps the tasty element but does away with the fried and heavy parts by using an egg white dredging and the air fryer cooking technique.
18. Sweet and sour pork
The sweetness of the pork in this recipe comes from fresh pineapple, while the sour component is thanks to the tangy combo of tomato, Worcestershire, and oyster sauce.
The grease-free factor comes courtesy of the air fryer, of course.
19. Air fryer Cajun salmon
The key to tender, flaky air-fried Cajun salmon instead of a rubbery brick? Make sure you aren’t leaving it in the fryer for too long.
That’s right — the shorter cooking time doesn’t just add to the convenience factor of this dish, it’s actually essential for taste purposes.
20. Vegan air fryer blueberry apple crumble
The fruit underneath is great, but everyone knows that the buttery crisp is really what makes or breaks a crumble.
With the air fryer doing the cooking, there’s no risk of a temperamental oven over- or under-baking anything. This gluten-free recipe gives you a syrupy fruit bottom and melt-in-your-mouth browned topping each time.
21. Air baked molten lava cakes
You don’t need to be a veteran baker to master lava cake when it’s made in an air fryer. With this recipe, all you have to know is that you’re only five ingredients and 10 minutes away from molten chocolate bliss.
22. Fried banana s’mores
S’mores aren’t just for eating around fire pits anymore. Although uniquely packaged inside banana peels instead of graham crackers, these retro treats will take you right back to your summer camp days.
They’re packed with chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers, and even some peanut butter chips for good measure. Save room for seconds.
23. Air fryer apple cinnamon dessert empanadas
Empanadas are usually made with savory stuffings, but we can’t see anyone complaining about the sweet, spiced fruit filling inside these crunchy parcels.
With the stewed cinnamon and apples plus the crisp pastry-like exteriors, they’re basically low-maintenance, individual apple pies.
24. Doughnut holes
Cakey oven-baked doughnuts just not cutting it? These air fryer Munchkin look-alikes might have the crispy texture you’re looking for.
As a bonus, these are also vegan and low in sugar, thanks to nondairy yogurt, coconut sugar, and egg replacer.
25. Eggless chocolate chip muffins
It may seem counterintuitive to whip out the air fryer rather than use an oven when you’re in a baking mood, but you’ll be a believer once you dig into these chocolaty muffins.
How could you not be? They’re soft, lightly sweet, and only take 8 minutes in the fryer to “bake.”
While buying yet another gadget for your kitchen might sound like a bit much, this one saves time and makes for easier cleanup. What’s not to love?
Plus, if it’s something that can make everything from breakfast potatoes to savory burgers to blueberry crumble, we’re thinking this is one hot trend to look into.