Don’t have an air fryer yet? This handy kitchen appliance doesn’t take up a ton of space, but it’s highly versatile – and makes some tasty foods. While it’s common to use an air fryer to crisp up freezer foods and create healthier versions of fried dishes, there’s so much more potential to explore.
Give these air fried foods a try and put something different on your menu.
To make the creamy Middle Eastern eggplant dip mutabbal, halve an eggplant, brush with olive oil, and cook at 400°F until browned and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Scoop out the flesh (discard skin) and combine with 2 tablespoons of tahini, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in a blender. Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper and store for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Whole grain pita chips
Air fried whole grain pita chips are the perfect accompaniment for your homemade mutabbal! Cut whole wheat pita breads into 2-inch wedges, toss with olive oil, za’atar, and a pinch of salt. Air fry on 325°F, tossing the chips occasionally with tongs, until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.
Avocado “fries” are like guacamole and chips, but better! Cut slightly under-ripe avocados into 1/2-inch slices, scoop those slices out of the skin and dip them in beaten egg. Roll in finely crushed tortilla chips, mist all over with cooking spray, and air-fry at 350 degrees for 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Dip in hot sauce or Sriracha mayo.
Zucchini parmesan fries
French fries are a popular air fried food, but we’ve got a healthier alternative: Zucchini parmesan fries. Cut a medium zucchini into 1/2-inch sticks and roll in beaten egg. Combine 1/4 cup each almond flour and shredded Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon each Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Coat the zucchini in the almond flour mixture. Mist generously all over with olive oil cooking spray and air fry on 400°F for 10 minutes, flipping fries once. Serve with warm marinara for dipping.
Chicken taquitos are usually pan-fried, but they’re healthier and crispier when cooked in the air fryer! Wrap up a small amount of pulled rotisserie chicken, pepper jack cheese, and a few dashes of hot sauce in corn tortillas, coat with olive oil spray, and air fry at 400° for 15 minutes, flipping once. Serve with mashed avocado or refried beans.
Beet chips are undeniably delicious, but they ring in at about $5 for a small bag, so they’re not for every budget. Make your own beet chips by very thinly slicing raw peeled beets on a mandolin slicer, coating them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Air fry in batches at 320°F, stirring twice, until crispy, 30 minutes. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Cajun “blackened” catfish fingers
Cajun “blackened” catfish fingers are super quick and much less greasy than pan-fried fish. Cut 4 catfish fillets into 2-inch-wide strips and toss in 1/4 cup flour mixed with 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning. Dredge in beaten egg and then roll in 1/2 cup whole wheat panko mixed with 1/4 cup fine cornmeal. Spray with olive oil cooking spray and air fry at 400°F for 10 minutes, flipping with tongs halfway through cooking.
Canned chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) become deliciously crisp in the air fryer and are a cinch to make. Just drain and rinse a 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans and pat dry. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of za’atar seasoning, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Air fry at 375° F, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Looking for even more air fryer inspiration? We’ve got you covered. So many different recipes can be put in your air fryer instead of the oven. Give these a try to start, and put air fried foods on the menu this week: