Air fryer

10 Appetising Air Fryer Recipes That Will Make Your Meals Healthier and Your Life Easier

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Updated on June 6, 2024

Reviewed by Ciaran Connolly

Eating healthy has been heavily promoted for many years, especially after the booming spread of fast food chains everywhere. Although fast food has made our meals easier and faster, it does more harm than good. Besides, it makes healthy food that isn’t brimming with fat-dense sauces quite unappetising. 

However, cooking has really come a long way since the air fryer was brought into being. Many kitchen appliances make our lives easier, but none offer the great combo of having healthy meals with great taste cooked in a snap. Air frying is an excellent way to enjoy your favourite food without deep-frying. 

Air-fried foods are much healthier with fewer calories, possibly contributing to weight loss. Besides keeping your meals’ nutritional value intact, an air fryer helps reduce inflammation in the body caused by oily foods. Consequently, you’ll be less at risk for chronic diseases and heart problems. 

Take a look at this delicious list of air fryer recipe ideas you can try out to improve your overall health: 

1. Air Fryer Falafel Salad

Falafel is one of the most popular Middle Eastern delicacies you don’t want to miss. However, falafel is usually deep-fried and left dripping with oils, which can be quite problematic for your stomach. Another way to make your falafel is to toss it in the air fryer and still enjoy its crunchy flavour with a big bowl of green salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 scallions (whites and greens separated)
  • 6 and 1/2 cups of baby kale
  • 2 cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 tsp of grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 English cucumber (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves
  • Greek yoghurt for topping

Instructions:

1- Add 1/2 cup of baby kale along with garlic and scallion whites in a food processor, and pulse until they’re chopped to fine pieces.

2- Add in the chickpeas (make sure they’re chopped) with the flour, cumin, lemon zest, coriander and salt. Pulse all ingredients together until thoroughly combined.

3- Grab a tablespoon and scoop the mixture out, forming small balls. This quantity shall give you 24 balls. 

4- Brush the air fryer basket with oil, then add half the number of falafel balls and heat to 325°F for 15 minutes. Pause the air fryer and add one more tablespoon of oil, then increase the temperature to 400°F until they’re golden fried.

5- Grab a large bowl and toss the lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk together before adding the cucumbers. Let the cucumbers marinate for 5 minutes to seal the flavours.

6- Add the remaining greens with a pinch of salt. 

7- Toss your golden-fried falafel over the salad bowl and serve with Greek yoghurt on top. 

2. Air-Fried Fish and Chips

If you’re wondering what other meals you can make in your air fryer, we got a surprise for you. Your favourite fish and chips can be made into a healthier alternative and enjoyed guiltlessly. The best part is that you can cook both of them together simultaneously, shortening the time taken to cook this meal. 

Ingredients:

  • Cod fillet fish
  • All-purpose flour
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Egg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Potatoes

Instructions:

1- Add the pepper, salt, paprika, and garlic powder to the flour to add flavour.

2- Before seasoning the fish, make sure you pat them dry to absorb any moisture. Dip your fillet one by one into flour, eggs, and then breadcrumbs. Place them aside on a baking sheet.

3- Preheat the air fryer to avoid cooking your food unevenly, then add the fish after spraying both sides with little oil.

3- Let the fish fry until the flesh is flaky, then remove. 

4- Chop a potato or two into finger-like slices. Spray them with oil, then cook them in the air fryer for around 20 minutes. 

5- Season your healthy fries with salt and pepper and serve your succulently healthy fish and chips dish.

3. Italian-Marinated Chicken

Frozen chicken breasts can be deliciously cooked in the air fryer, and the result won’t be that different from the regular grill pan. Moreover, you can season your chicken in whichever way you would like. Italian-marinated chicken is a recipe you don’t want to miss, so put it on top of your list and send your taste buds on a joyful journey.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • For the Italian dressing:
  • 1 ounce of Italian Dressing Mix package
  • 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 3 tsp of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp of minced garlic

Instructions:

1- Start making the Italian dressing by adding all the ingredients to a bowl. Whisk them all thoroughly until they’re finely combined. Store in a container or shaker in the refrigerator until serving.

2- Rinse the chicken thighs thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. 

3- Transfer the chicken thighs into a large bowl and pour in the Italian dressing.

4- Cover the bowl tightly and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. 

5- Take out the bowl and shake the chicken thighs for an extra marinade.

6- Preheat the air fryer to 380ºF, then add the chicken thighs. Make sure there’s space between each piece; if not, then cook them in batches.

7- Air fry the chicken with the skin side down for 5 minutes, then flip it over and cook for another 15 minutes. 

4. Chicken Parmesan

Parmesan is one of the healthiest cheeses ever, not to mention its insane tastiness. This cheese also makes up one of the most popular dishes of all time, chicken parmesan. The air fryer gives you the same succulent dish with much fewer calories and higher nutritional value. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 cup of marinara
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella 
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions:

1- Grab the two large chicken breasts and split them widthwise into a butterfly shape to create thinner slices. 

2- Season both sides of each chicken slice with black pepper and salt. 

3- Add salt and pepper to the flour in a shallow bowl to season. In a separate bowl, beat two eggs. And in a third bowl, add the pepper flakes, garlic powder, panko bread crumbs, oregano, and grated Parmesan and combine thoroughly.

4- Drench the chicken in the flour, then dip it into the eggs, and finish with the panko mixture.

5- Now that all the chicken thigh slices are coated, preheat the air fryer to 400°

6- Cook the chicken slices for 10 minutes, and don’t forget to flip them halfway through.

7- Add the marinara and mozzarella and top, then cook again for a few minutes until the cheese melts. 

8- Take the chicken slices out and serve with parsley on top. 

5. Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers

Although the air fryer can offer excellent meals, you can still go for easy and fast snacks. Jalapeño poppers are easy and delicious, coming out of the fryer with an irresistible crisp and fiery flavour to experience. Adding slices of bacon can only make this recipe more fun and much tastier!

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium Jalapeños
  • 4 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 6-12 slices of bacon

Instructions:

1- Cut the jalapeños open lengthwise and remove the seeds by rinsing thoroughly.

2- Cut the cream cheese into small strips and fill the jalapeños with one piece each,

3- Press the jalapeño close, wrap it with a slice of bacon, and then secure it with a toothpick. Repeat with all the remaining jalapeños.

4- Put the bacon-wrapped cheese-filled jalapeños into the air fryer. Cook for 12 minutes at 370ºF until they’re crispy.

5- Place the jalapeños on a paper towel to scrap the extra grease, then enjoy!

6. Scallion Pancake

Pancakes are a delightful delicacy, but Chinese scallion pancakes are a different story. They’re scrumptiously delicious and worth a try. The best part is that the healthy version cooked in an air fryer is as delicious as the traditionally cooked one. They can be a joyful breakfast to start your morning, a succulent snack in the middle of the day, or a light dinner to devour in a hurry!

Ingredients:

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Scallions
  • Olive Oil Spray

Instructions:

1- In a bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, and salt together until they’re combined. Slowly add hot water while stirring the mixture. Then add cold water while stirring the mixture still with a fork.

2- When the mixture starts to thicken, press with your hands until the dough is firmer.

3- Dust flour on the countertop and start kneading the dough until it gets smoother.

4- Cover the dough and set it aside for 30 minutes.

5- Meanwhile, whisk the melted butter, salt, and flour together to make the filling whilst the dough rests.

6- Once the dough is ready, cut it into 6 pieces and roll each into a ball. Work with the dough balls one by one and cover the rest until you’re done.

7- Roll out the dough ball, making a think rectangular shape, then spread one tablespoon of the filling onto the dough.

8- Sprinkle green onions on top and place the dough into the air fryer one by one or as many as the basket can take.

9- Preheat the air fryer to 350° and spray the basket with olive oil.

10- Place the pancake into the basket and let it cook for 10 minutes, flipping halftime through. 

11. Once the pancake is slightly golden and crispy, it’s ready to serve alongside your favourite dipping sauce.

7. Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potatoes are, well, more endearing than regular fries. And cooking it in an air fryer gives you a much healthier alternative that you can indulge in more excessively, given the fewer calories. Moreover, this dish takes no more than 15 minutes to be ready, saving everyone’s time while keeping your appetisers interesting.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tsp of olive
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp of paprika
  • 1/8 tsp of black pepper

Instructions:

1- Preheat the air fryer while peeling the sweet potatoes, setting it to 380°F.

2- Slice the sweet potatoes into thick sticks.

3- Season the sweet potatoes by tossing them in a bowl with all of the other ingredients and mix.

4- Toss the sweet potato sticks in the air fryer and let them cook for 10-12 minutes or until crispy.

5- Serve with a dipping sauce you love and enjoy!

8. Sausage Rolls

Nothing is tastier or quicker than a dish of air-fried sausage roll dipped into a savoury condiment with a flaky texture that melts in the mouth. Sausage rolls can be healthier if you opt for the air fryer version and indulge in more than a few rolls. Though they resemble the baked version pretty much, they still save you more time and don’t lose their crispness. 

Ingredients:

  • Puff pastry
  • Sausages
  • Eggs

Instructions:

1- Toss the sausages in a bowl and crush them with a fork to break them into smaller pieces.

2- Take out the puff pastry and split it in half lengthwise. 

3- Spread the meat over the two halves of the pastry. Then fold the pastry over to cover the meat.

4- Press down on both pastry lines gently, then ridge the edges with a fork.

5- Brush the outside of the pastry rolls with a beaten egg, then cut each roll into four pieces.

6- Preheat the air fryer to 200°C for 12 minutes, then serve and enjoy!

9. Fried Pickles

Deep frying pickles make them quite oily and greasy, besides being laden with a heavy fat content. Pickles in the air fryer are a time-saver that will give you a crunchy meal to munch on, fewer calories, and save you the trouble of cleanup.

Ingredients:

  • Pickles
  • Egg
  • All-purpose flour
  • Panko bread crumbs 
  • Garlic 
  • Salt 
  • Black pepper 
  • Smoked paprika

Instructions:

1- Dry out the pickle chips on a paper towel, absorbing all the moisture. It’s essential to soak up any extra juices so the coating sticks.

2- Season the flour with garlic, black pepper, smoked paprika, and salt. Grab two more bowls for the beaten egg and the panko breadcrumbs separately.

3- Dredge the pickles in all three bowls, starting with the flour mixture, the beaten egg, and then the panko breadcrumbs.

4- Spray with cooking oil and place the pickles into the air fryer’s basket without overlapping.

5- Cook at 385°F for 5 minutes or until golden, then serve with any dipping sauce you choose.

10. Mozzarella Sticks

Who knew that mozzarella sticks could be healthier? These savoury appetisers are pretty challenging to resist, especially with the melting mozzarella stretching out in a mouthwatering scene. 

Ingredients:

  • Full-fat mozzarella sticks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs

Instructions:

1- Mix the salt, Italian seasoning, and breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg thoroughly.

2- Dip the mozzarella sticks into the egg, then dredge it into the breadcrumbs until it’s fully coated.

3- Leave the mozzarella sticks in the freezer for an hour.

4- Take them out and add a layer of coating and then freeze again for half an hour, or an hour maximum.

5- Spray the air fryer basket with either cooking or olive oil, then place the sticks in the basket as much as the space permits. 

6- Cook for around 6-8 minutes until the outsides are golden, and the insides are pretty cheesy. 

7- Serve alongside marinara sauce for an ultimate culinary experience. 

The air fryer is a real lifesaver. Not only will it save the time you spend in the kitchen, but it will also offer healthier alternatives that allow you to enjoy life even better. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or stay healthy, an air fryer should be your superhero! 

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