If you’re new to the culinary arts of the air fryer, welcome! This household appliance can pretty much cook almost anything without the hassle and eliminates some need for ovens and microwaves. The outcome usually is a well-cooked meal that turns crispy and tasty—not to mention it’s healthier than traditional frying foods, too.
Air fryers have become a hot commodity in the kitchen, with over 25 million of them sold in the US over the last two years. With its skyrocketing popularity, some might even consider it to be the best invention since sliced bread. This household appliance can pretty much cook almost anything without the hassle and eliminates some need for ovens and microwaves. The outcome usually is a well-cooked meal that turns crispy and tasty—not to mention it’s healthier than traditional frying foods.
Once you start using your air fryer more, you’re going to realize how effortless it is to cook nearly all of your meals. But if you don’t know how even to begin, don’t fret! We’ve got you covered with a roundup of 21 easy air fryer recipes for beginners. And if you want to learn more about the power of this culinary must-have, check out 12 Things You Must Know About Air Fryers.
Need a way to get your veggie intake in, but want to find something more creative? Make your own veggie chips! This super simple recipe that only requires slicing up some vegetables and coating them with olive oil and salt. Pop them in the air fryer, let them crisp up, then sprinkle some rank seasoning when it’s done to enhance the flavor.
Get our recipe for Ranch-flavored Veggie Chips in an Air Fryer.
If you like chickpeas, then a DIY falafel is the way to go. Process your chickpeas with flour to ground them up really nicely in order to form your falafel ball. Think about how you use flour for baking dough—it’s the same idea! The use of cumin, lemon juice, paprika, and garlic powder adds nice flavors, good enough to eat the final product plain, on a salad, or with pita bread.
Get our recipe for Air Fryer Falafel.
Air fryers are also good for cooking meat, which is another reason why we love this invention. Seriously, you can cook full pork chops in this thing! It may sound like a daunting task at first, but the instructions make this super easy to follow. The results are the taste of a fried pork chop with all the crispiness from the breadcrumbs but with less of the oil and fat.
Get our recipe for Breaded Air Fryer Pork Chops.
The use of the air fryer is going to take the “hassle” out of the cooking process. They’re super easy to make, with an outcome of light and crispy outside. The slits you put through the potato are the perfect pockets for any sauces or seasonings you want to add to it. Whether you eat them for a snack or make them for your first party, they’re sure to be a hit.
Get our recipe for Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes.
Add a little Caribbean flare to your meals with this coconut shrimp. The use of the shredded fruit with its milk gives you even more tropical flavor. Popping them into the air fryer will ensure you get a golden crust without it flaking off.
Get our recipe for Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp.
Cauliflower is a nutritious and versatile vegetable. So, it makes sense you can easily dress it up and stick it in the air fryer for a perfect bite. The Sriracha-soy sauce mix will have you feeling like you’re eating sweet and sour chicken but without the extra frying and fat. So, you don’t need to feel guilty about eating the whole thing!
Get our recipe for Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Cauliflower Bites.
Who needs an industrial pizza oven when you’ve got an air fryer? This veggie calzone recipe brings the rustic quality of a pizza place and combines it with the ease of cooking in your own home. Loading the dough pocket with veggies and cheese, you won’t even miss ordering Italian takeout.
Get our recipe for Air Fryer Veggie Calzones.
There are tons of ways to make macaroni and cheese, but how many times have you heard of it being done in an air fryer? This one-pot—or dare I say, one-fryer—meal takes about 20 minutes, and you don’t even need to boil the noodles first! When it’s done, you’re going to enjoy a creamy, cheesy mac that you can’t believe was made so quickly and with such ease.
Get the recipe for creamy air fryer mac and cheese from My Forking Life.
Need a quick appetizer or an addition to spaghetti night? Make these meatballs which can be done in a breeze. The addition of white mushrooms blended into the meat makes for a lighter and healthier version. Then throwing them into the air fryer cooks them all nice—a perfect fit if you’re in need of a last-minute recipe!
Get our recipe for Air Fryer Meatballs.
If it’s Taco Tuesday at your house, consider trying this chipotle chickpea version. A vegetarian option that brings some heat, you won’t be able to stop drooling over this explosion of flavor. By putting them in the air fryer, you give the chickpeas a nice crunch that’s matched by the soft tortilla shell and creamy avocado for an ideal balance of textures.
Get our recipe for Air Fryer Chipotle Chickpea Tacos.
This is the perfect recipe for feeding your whole family, and the air fryer makes it that much more convenient. Meatloaf could get a bad rap; if not cooked properly, it can dry out, become too dense, or even be too greasy—not exactly the appetizing comfort food you’d want to eat. But using the air fryer allows the grease to drip through the basket, all while giving a nice crisp on the outside and keeping it moist on the inside.
Get the recipe for air fryer meatloaf from Everyday Family Cooking.
A frittata is a creative way to use eggs. Similar to a crustless quiche or omelette, you can fill a frittata with ingredients of your choosing, including cheese, veggies, and meats. For this particular recipe, you’ll be using tomatoes and spinach to go with your egg whites—a light and healthy recipe that can be done in less than 10 minutes thanks to the air fryer.
Get our recipe for Air Fryer Egg White Frittata.
Nachos are probably one of the easiest and most delicious recipes you could make. The only problem most of the time? The cheese can easily burn and stick to the tortilla chips. Well, thanks to the air fryer, that’s not going to happen! Instead, you’re going to get quick and cheese-pull-worthy nachos that you’d think you’d only find at a pub.
Get the recipe for air fryer nachos from The Tortilla Channel.
Italian night at the house has never been easier. Instead of making another pasta, try this chicken parm recipe that cooks the chicken perfectly and adds a nice outer texture. Best of all, you can pull it out of the oven in less than 10 minutes—it’s that simple!
Get the recipe for air fryer chicken parmesan from Air Frying Foodie.
Grilled cheese is one of those comfort foods you can eat at any time. And with bread and cheese as the primary ingredients, how can you not enjoy it? For those who are often concerned about burning their bread after keeping it on a griddle or pan for too long, you’ll love the air fryer version because this appliance minimizes this possibility. So, you can say goodbye to your days of charred grilled cheese and prepare yourself for a crispy, gooey sandwich you’ll want to make over and over again.
Get the recipe for air fryer grilled cheese from Food Lovin’ Family.
When you have a hankering for steak, you’ll likely want to feast on a grilled T-bone or prime rib. While this recipe for steak bites might seem a bit unconventional at first, do not underestimate their ability to leave you pleasantly surprised. The air fryer gives these little bites a tender inside, crispy outside, and is flavored so well it will most likely satisfy that craving you had.
Get the recipe for air fryer steak bites from the Roasted Root.
If you want a Chinese takeout order without the extra calories, look no further than these air fryer cream cheese wontons. A Rangoon-style wonton made via the convenience of the air fryer, this fairly straightforward recipe is sure to become one of your favorite bites. Mix up your ingredients into a bowl, add it to a wonton wrapper, air fry until they’re golden brown, and you’re good to go!
Get the recipe for air fryer cream cheese wontons from the Gunny Sack.
The name says it all; this recipe for 10-minute roasted chicken and vegetables is a super quick and easy way to enjoy a bit of comfort food when limited on time. In the air fryer, the chicken becomes tender, and the well-seasoned vegetables are crisped to perfection. You won’t believe that it only took 10 minutes to create an entire meal packed with protein and nutrients.
Get the recipe for 10-minute roasted chicken and vegetables from Pinch Me Good.
Bagel pizzas bring back an element of childhood that adults didn’t know they needed—that is, until this recipe. Adults and kids alike can enjoy these easy-to-make bagel pizzas. Take a bagel, add some sauce and cheese, pop them in the air fryer, and voila! You’ll have a fun and flavorful pizza in no time.
Get the recipe for air fryer bagel pizzas from a Mind “Full” Mom.
Traditionally, making French toast involves carefully dipping your bread into an egg wash, then proceeding to cook it on a griddle or pan. The tricky part is making sure your toast doesn’t burn or come out too soggy. But when making French toast in an air fryer, you can achieve the right balance of a golden brown exterior with a soft, fluffy inside. Plus, the use of cinnamon and sugar sets you up to eat these sticks for breakfast or dessert.
Get the recipe for air fryer French toast sticks from Food Banjo.
No need to go to a sports bar or search the frozen food aisle when you can make yummy mozzarella sticks at home. This homemade air fryer recipe for mozzarella sticks will give you the kind of cheese pull you can only hope for when biting into one. Also, the use of the air fryer helps to reduce the amount of excess oil, so you’re left with a crispy outside, gooey cheesy interior, and no greasy fingers.
Get the recipe for air fryer mozzarella sticks from Barefoot in the Pines.