Top 10 Things to Cook in an Air Fryer: Exploring Delicious and Healthy Recipes

Welcome to our ultimate guide on the top 10 things to cook in an air fryer! If you’re a culinary enthusiast looking for a convenient and healthier way to prepare your favorite dishes, you’re in the right place. Air fryers have gained immense popularity in recent years due to their ability to fry, roast, bake, and grill using a fraction of the oil required by traditional cooking methods.

In this article, we’ll explore a variety of mouthwatering recipes that can be easily prepared in an air fryer. From crispy fried chicken to perfectly roasted vegetables, you’ll discover a range of dishes that will satisfy your taste buds while keeping your health in check. So, let’s dive right in and uncover the top 10 things you can cook in an air fryer!

1. Crispy Fried Chicken: The Ultimate Comfort Food

Top 10 Things to Cook in an Air Fryer

One of the most beloved dishes to prepare in an air fryer is crispy fried chicken. With an air fryer, you can achieve that delightful golden crunch on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy. Start by marinating your chicken in a flavorful blend of spices and then coat it with a light layer of breadcrumbs. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket and let the magic happen. In just a matter of minutes, you’ll have a plate of crispy fried chicken ready to be devoured!

2. Homemade French Fries: A Healthier Take on a Classic

Homemade French Fries

Who can resist a plate of perfectly cooked French fries? With an air fryer, you can enjoy this classic dish with a healthier twist. Simply cut your potatoes into thin strips, toss them in a little oil, sprinkle with salt and your favorite seasonings, and pop them into the air fryer. In no time, you’ll have a batch of crispy, golden fries that are not only delicious but also lower in fat compared to traditional deep-fried versions.

3. Deliciously Grilled Salmon: A Flavorful and Nutritious Option

Deliciously Grilled Salmon

If you’re a seafood lover, grilling salmon in an air fryer is a game-changer. Air frying salmon fillets helps retain their moisture while imparting a delightful charred flavor. Season your salmon with a marinade of your choice, place it in the air fryer, and let it cook until it reaches the desired doneness. Within minutes, you’ll have a succulent piece of grilled salmon that is both nutritious and packed with flavor.

4. Roasted Vegetables: Vibrant, Nutritious, and Easy

Roasted Vegetables: Vibrant, Nutritious, and Easy

Roasting vegetables in an air fryer brings out their natural sweetness and gives them a delectable crispy texture. Whether you’re roasting carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers, the air fryer ensures even cooking and caramelization. Simply toss your vegetables in olive oil, season with your preferred herbs and spices, and let them roast in the air fryer until they’re tender and slightly charred. These roasted veggies make a fantastic side dish or a colorful addition to salads and grain bowls.

5. Air-Fried Shrimp: A Quick and Flavorful Seafood Delight

Air Fried Shrimp

Cooking shrimp in an air fryer is incredibly quick and convenient. Whether you prefer breaded or marinated shrimp, the air fryer can help you achieve perfectly cooked results in minutes. The hot circulating air ensures a crispy exterior while keeping the shrimp tender and juicy on the inside. Serve them as an appetizer or toss them in a salad for a delightful seafood twist.

6. Baked Sweet Potatoes: A Nutrient-Rich Side Dish

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Baked sweet potatoes are not only delicious but also loaded with nutrients. In an air fryer, you can easily achieve that soft, caramelized texture that makes sweet potatoes so irresistible. Simply scrub the potatoes, pierce them with a fork, and place them in the air fryer basket. In about 30 minutes, you’ll have perfectly baked sweet potatoes ready to be enjoyed as a side dish or as a base for creative toppings like sour cream, chives, or even cinnamon and maple syrup.

7. Crispy Onion Rings: A Tasty and Crowd-Pleasing Appetizer

 Crispy Onion Rings

When it comes to appetizers, crispy onion rings are always a hit. With an air fryer, you can create a healthier version of this classic snack without sacrificing flavor or texture. Dip your onion rings in a seasoned batter or coat them with breadcrumbs before placing them in the air fryer. The result? Crispy, golden rings that are sure to please your taste buds. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce, and watch them disappear within minutes!

8. Delectable Air-Fried Donuts: Indulgence Without the Guilt

Delectable Air-Fried Donuts

Did you know you can make mouthwatering donuts in an air fryer? These delightful treats can be enjoyed without the guilt of deep frying. Prepare a simple dough, shape it into donuts, and place them in the air fryer. Let them cook until they’re golden brown, then dip them in glaze or sprinkle them with powdered sugar for a sweet and satisfying treat. Whether you prefer classic glazed donuts or adventurous flavors like cinnamon sugar or matcha, the air fryer can help you whip up a batch of delicious donuts in no time.

9. Crunchy Kale Chips: A Healthy and Addictive Snack

 Crunchy Kale Chips

If you’re looking for a nutritious and flavorful snack, look no further than kale chips. Making kale chips in an air fryer is a breeze, and they turn out perfectly crispy every time. Simply tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces, toss them in olive oil and your favorite seasonings, and air fry until they’re crisp. These crunchy kale chips are not only packed with vitamins and minerals but also incredibly addictive. It’s the ideal guilt-free snack for those craving a little crunch.

Recommended Air Fryer

1. Instant Omni Plus 19 QT/18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Combo – 10-in-1 Functions, Stainless Steel

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Key Features:

  1. VERSATILE COOKING POWER: Air fry, toast, bake, broil, roast, reheat, dehydrate, proof, slow cook, and warm with the 10-in-1 Instant Omni Plus.
  2. SPACIOUS CAPACITY: Fits a 12″ pizza or 6 slices of bread, perfect for family-sized meals and entertaining guests.
  3. STAINLESS STEEL CONSTRUCTION: Durable and stylish, the stainless steel design enhances your kitchen aesthetics.
  4. USER-FRIENDLY APP: Access the app with over 100 recipes, providing inspiration and guidance for incredible meals.
  5. EASY OPERATION: The intuitive control panel and clear display make it simple to select functions, temperature, and time.
  6. TIME-SAVING SOLUTION: With multiple cooking functions in one appliance, the Instant Omni Plus streamlines your cooking process.
  7. PERFECT RESULTS EVERY TIME: Achieve professional-grade cooking results with precise temperature control and even heat distribution.

2. Ninja FD401 Foodi 12-in-1 Deluxe XL 8 qt. Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer – Versatile Cooking Appliance for Steaming, Slow Cooking, Searing, Sauteing, Dehydrating & More

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Key Features:

  1. VERSATILE COOKING: Seamlessly switch between 12 cooking functions to steam, slow cook, sear, sauté, dehydrate, air fry, and more.
  2. XL CAPACITY: Prepare large meals or batch cook with the spacious 8 qt. capacity.
  3. CRISPER BASKET: Achieve crispy, golden results with the 5 qt. crisper basket, perfect for air frying your favorite foods.
  4. REVERSIBLE RACK: Cook multiple dishes at once using the deluxe reversible rack.
  5. SMART PROGRAMS: Take advantage of the built-in smart programs for quick and precise cooking.
  6. EASY TO USE: The intuitive control panel and digital display make operation effortless.
  7. RECIPE BOOK INCLUDED: Get inspired with the included recipe book, packed with delicious ideas for every occasion.

3. Nuwave Brio 15.5Qt Air Fryer Rotisserie Oven – X-Large Family Size, 1800W Power, 100 Presets, Integrated Smart Thermometer

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Key Features:

  1. POWERFUL PERFORMANCE: With its 1800W power, the Nuwave Brio delivers rapid and even cooking results, saving you time and energy.
  2. VERSATILE COOKING OPTIONS: Enjoy the convenience of four rack positions, allowing you to cook multiple dishes simultaneously and maximize your cooking space.
  3. PRECISE TEMPERATURE CONTROL: The temperature controls range from 50°-425°F, providing the perfect heat for various cooking techniques and recipes.
  4. EASY-TO-USE PRESETS: Benefit from 100 presets for effortless cooking. Simply select your desired setting and let the Nuwave Brio do the rest.
  5. INTEGRATED SMART THERMOMETER: Achieve precise cooking results with the built-in smart thermometer, ensuring your food is cooked to perfection.
  6. CONVENIENT MEMORY FUNCTION: Save your favorite settings with the 50 memory options, allowing you to recreate your favorite recipes with ease.
  7. SPACIOUS FAMILY SIZE: The X-Large 15.5-quart capacity accommodates large portions, making it ideal for family gatherings and special occasions.

4. Nuwave Brio 8-Qt Air Fryer – Powerful 1800W, Easy-to-Read Display, Presets & Smart Thermometer

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Key Features:

  • POWERFUL 1800W MOTOR: Prepare your favorite dishes quickly and efficiently.
  • EASY-TO-READ DISPLAY: Effortlessly monitor and control your cooking process.
  • 100 PRE-PROGRAMMED PRESETS: Enjoy a wide variety of delicious meals at the touch of a button.
  • SMART THERMOMETER TECHNOLOGY: Ensure precise cooking temperatures for restaurant-quality results.
  • LINEAR T TECHNOLOGY: Evenly cook your food from all angles for perfect crunch without excess oil.
  • SPACIOUS 8-QT CAPACITY: Cook large batches of food to feed the whole family or entertain guests.
  • EASY CLEANUP: Non-stick fry basket and removable drawer for hassle-free cleaning.


In conclusion, an air fryer is a versatile kitchen appliance that allows you to prepare a wide array of delicious and healthy dishes. From crispy fried chicken and homemade French fries to grilled salmon and roasted vegetables, the possibilities are endless. Incorporating these top 10 things to cook in an air fryer into your culinary repertoire will not only save you time but also help you make healthier choices without compromising on taste.

So, dust off your air fryer, gather your ingredients, and get ready to embark on a flavorful journey. Experiment with these recipes and feel free to add your own twists and flavors along the way. Happy cooking!


Q: What’s best cooked in an air fryer?

A: When it comes to the top 10 best things to cook in an air fryer, the possibilities are endless. However, certain foods shine particularly well in this versatile appliance. Crispy fried chicken, homemade French fries, roasted vegetables, grilled salmon, and even delectable donuts are just a few examples of dishes that turn out exceptionally delicious in an air fryer. The hot circulating air ensures a crispy exterior while locking in the juiciness and flavors of the food. So, whether you’re craving a guilty pleasure or a healthy snack, an air fryer can make it happen with ease.

Q: What’s the first thing I should cook in my air fryer?

A: Congratulations on your new air fryer! The first thing you should cook in it depends on your personal preferences, but a popular choice is crispy French fries. They’re quick to prepare, and you’ll be amazed at the golden and crunchy results. Simply cut your potatoes into thin strips, toss them in a little oil and seasonings, and pop them into the air fryer. Another great option for beginners is to try cooking some chicken wings. They cook up beautifully in an air fryer, providing a delightful balance of crispy skin and tender meat. Remember, experimenting with different recipes will help you discover the full potential of your air fryer.

Q: What are common things to make in an air fryer?

A: Air fryers are incredibly versatile appliances, capable of preparing a wide range of dishes. Some common things to make in an air fryer include crispy fried chicken, French fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, roasted vegetables, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even mini pizzas. You can also use your air fryer for reheating leftovers, toasting nuts, or even making homemade granola. The possibilities are limited only by your creativity and taste preferences. With a little experimentation, you’ll find that your air fryer can easily become your go-to kitchen companion.

Q: Do chefs use air fryers?

A: Yes, chefs do use air fryers! While traditional cooking methods will always have their place in professional kitchens, air fryers have gained popularity among chefs for their convenience, efficiency, and versatility. Chefs appreciate the air fryer’s ability to achieve crispy and delicious results with less oil, reducing the overall fat content of dishes. They are often used in restaurants to prepare items like appetizers, sides, and even main courses. Chefs value the consistent and reliable performance of air fryers, making them a valuable tool in the culinary world.

Q: Can I cook frozen food in an air fryer?

A: Yes, you can! Air fryers are excellent for cooking frozen foods like chicken nuggets, fries, and even frozen vegetables. Simply adjust the cooking time and temperature as per the manufacturer’s instructions or the packaging of the frozen food.

Q: Can I use aluminum foil or parchment paper in an air fryer?

A: Yes, you can use aluminum foil or parchment paper in your air fryer. These can help prevent sticking and make cleaning up easier. However, make sure to leave enough space for proper air circulation to ensure even cooking.

Q: How much oil should I use when cooking in an air fryer?

A: One of the advantages of using an air fryer is that it requires significantly less oil compared to traditional frying methods. In most cases, you only need aspray or brush a light coating of oil on the food to achieve the desired crispiness. The amount of oil needed may vary depending on the recipe, but it’s generally recommended to use about 1-2 teaspoons of oil for best results.

Q: Can I cook multiple items at once in an air fryer?

A: Yes, you can cook multiple items at once in an air fryer by using the cooking basket or rack provided. However, it’s important to leave enough space between the items to allow proper air circulation. If you overcrowd the air fryer, the food may not cook evenly, so it’s best to cook in batches if necessary.

Q: How do I clean an air fryer?

A: Cleaning an air fryer is typically straightforward. Most air fryers have removable and dishwasher-safe parts, such as the cooking basket and tray. You can clean these parts with warm soapy water or in the dishwasher. The main unit can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Be sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning guidelines.

Q: Can I use my air fryer to reheat leftovers?

A: Absolutely! An air fryer is an excellent tool for reheating leftovers. It can quickly and evenly reheat foods like pizza, fries, chicken, and more, without the sogginess that often comes with using a microwave. Simply place the leftovers in the air fryer and heat at a moderate temperature until they’re hot and crispy.

Q: Are air fryers energy-efficient?

A: Compared to traditional ovens, air fryers are generally more energy-efficient. They require less time and energy to preheat and cook food due to their compact size and efficient circulation of hot air. However, the energy efficiency may vary depending on the specific model and usage.

Q: Are air-fried foods healthier than deep-fried foods?

A: Air-fried foods are generally considered healthier than deep-fried foods. Air fryers use significantly less oil, resulting in lower fat content and fewer calories. They can produce similar texture and flavor to deep-fried foods while reducing the risks associated with excessive oil consumption. However, it’s still important to choose healthy ingredients and enjoy air-fried foods in moderation.

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