5 Best Air Fryer Recipes for Restaurant-Quality Foods

In recent years, air frying has become one of the most popular and convenient cooking methods. Circulating hot air and producing crispy results, the best air fryers reduce the time it takes to prepare your next big meal.

This device has immense potential, capable of doing so much more than just reheating frozen chicken nuggets. It can fry chicken wings, dehydrate fruit, and even bake cookies. If you use one of best toaster ovens, it can do even more. But if you’re looking for recipe inspiration, look no further. Here are five of the best air fryer recipes, curated from our kitchen time tests.

Each model is unique in capacity, strength, and versatility, so it’s important to experiment with times and temperatures as your air fryer may run hotter than others. However, the following recipes should serve as a general guideline.

The best air fryer recipes

1. Salted Fall Carrots

Salted autumn carrots

(Image credit: Steven Asarch/Tom’s Guide)

What you will need

1 pound carrots

1 tablespoon neutral oil

1 tablespoon of honey

1 sprig of rosemary

2 sprigs of thyme

2 sprigs of sage

Salt and pepper to taste

Flake salt (optional)

2 lime wedges (optional)

1. Peel the carrots and cut into matchsticks, about 3 inches long.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix carrots, oil, honey, herbs, salt and pepper.

3. Preheat the air fryer to 360°F on the “air fry” setting.

4. Add the carrots to the basket and cook for 15 minutesshaking the basket from time to time.

5. Remove the cooked carrots from the basket and put in a serving bowlmaking sure to also remove any tough stems from the herbs.

6. Garnish with additional herbsa pinch of flaked salt and a squeeze of lime juice if desired.

Chef’s Notes: If they’re in season, this dish can be kicked up a notch by using a 50/50 mix of carrots and parsnips.

2. Crispy Chickpeas

Crispy chickpeas

(Image credit: Steven Asarch/Tom’s Guide)

What you will need

1 (15.5 oz) garbanzo beans

1 teaspoon of neutral oil

olive oil spray

A BARBECUE:

1 ½ teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

½ tsp garlic

½ teaspoon celery salt (or kosher salt)

¼ teaspoon chilli powder

Lime pepper:

1 teaspoon chilli powder

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ tsp. real lime (or 1/8 tsp citric acid and 1/8 tsp lime zest)

Garlic Parmesan:

½ cup grated parmesan

3 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

1. Drain, rinse and dry well a whole can of chickpeas.

2. Set the air fryer to 390°F using the “air fry” setting.

3. Mix the chickpeas in the neutral oil and make sure all the grains have been lightly coated.

4. Cook the beans in the air fryer for 18 minutesmaking sure to shake the basket every five minutes or so.

5. While the chickpeas cook, mix the chosen spice mixed.

6. Remove cooked chickpeas and place in a medium bowl.

7. Lightly spray with olive oil and season. The oil will help the seasoning stick to the bean – just be sure not to add too much or the chickpea will lose some of its crispness.

Chef’s notes:

Be sure to eat immediately or store in an open container to prevent the chickpeas from going soft. Tagin can be used in place of Chilli Lime Seasoning above, Lemon Pepper would add a nice citrus kick and even a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning ($12.98, Amazon) could be used for those who love ranch over anything!

3. Brussels sprouts with Asian influences

Brussels sprouts with Asian influences

(Image credit: Steven Asarch/Tom’s Guide)

What you will need

12 ounces Brussels sprouts

½ tablespoon neutral oil

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

½ tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon of honey

1 teaspoon crispy chili oil (or sambal olek)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1. Wash and dry the Brussels sprouts thoroughly before pruning the stems and cutting the shoots in half. Place halves in a medium mixing bowl. Remember that any small leaves that fall tend to burn in an air fryer, so remove them.

2. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, crispy chili oil and garlic powder. Add more chili oil if you like it extra spicy.

3. Mix half of the Brussels sprout sauce with neutral oil.

4. Preheat your air fryer on the “air fry” setting at 375°F.

5. Add the sprouts to the basket, making sure to use the included stand, and cook for six minutes. Shake occasionally. Adjust the time by one minute depending on the size of the shoots.

6. When cooked, return the sprouts to the medium bowl and toss with a little of the remaining sauce.

7. Transfer to a serving bowlsprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!

Chef’s Notes: Crispy Chilli Oil is a life-changing condiment and can be found in Asian markets or online. Mr. Bing ($12.99, Amazon) has a great mild option for those who can’t tolerate too much heat without compromising flavor.

4. Chicken wings two ways

Chicken wings two ways

(Image credit: Steven Asarch/Tom’s Guide)

What you will need

1 pound chicken wings

1 tablespoon neutral oil

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Buffalo sauce:

½ cup hot sauce

4 tablespoons of butter

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Lime cilantro:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon of fish sauce

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tablespoon palm sugar or caster sugar

1 clove of garlic

½ fresh Thai green chili (add more or less depending on your preferred spice level)

½ tablespoon cilantro

½ tbsp mint

1. Rinse and dry the wings on a paper towel

2. In a large bowl, combine baking powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the dry wings, stirring to make sure the seasoning covers.

3. Add oil in bowl, stirring again to ensure thorough coverage.

4. Using the “air fry” setting, set your air fryer to 380°F and let it preheat.

5. Add the wings to the air fryer in a single layer and cook for 20 minutes. They will shrink so you won’t need to leave too much space between each wing.

6. Shake the basket approximately every five minutes during cooking and flip the wings halfway through the cycle.

7. To make the buffalo sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, remove from the heat and add the hot sauce and garlic. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

8. To make the cilantro-lime sauce: Combine vegetable oil, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar in a small bowl. Mince the garlic and the Thai chili pepper and add them to the sauce. Roughly chop the cilantro and mint together, set aside for later.

9. After cooking, remove the wings from the fryer and add to a bowl. If using Cilantro Lime sauce, add the sauce to the bowl, stir to completely cover the wingsreturn the wings to the fryer basket and bake another two minutes at 380°F. Remove from basket and garnish with cilantro and mint. If using buffalo sauce, simply toss the wings in the sauce and serve.

Chef’s Notes: Frank’s RedHot ($2.74, Amazon) is the go-to for homemade buffalo sauce, but for something more vinegary, try Crystal’s Louisiana-style sauce ($11.26, Amazon). Some hot sauces will taste better with a few extra tablespoons of butter, so have a spoon or some wings handy to test the sauce until it’s perfect!

5. Molasses Ginger Cookies

Molasses Ginger Cookies

(Image credit: Steven Asarch/Tom’s Guide)

What you will need

¾ cup oil

1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for coating

¼ cup molasses

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon of salt

1. In a large bowl mix the oil, a cup of sugar, the molasses and the egg. Using a hand mixer, beat over medium heat until smooth.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.

3. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients until combined. Do not overmix the batter as this may cause it to fall into the air fryer.

4. Using parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll the dough into a tube shape about 2″ in diameter and place in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

5. On the “air fry” setting, preheat fryer to 350°F. Be sure to preheat your air fryer with an empty basket – parchment paper could be sucked into the fan and heating element, causing a fire hazard.

6. Slice the cooled dough about ¼” thick and roll each piece in a small amount of sugar.

7. Cut a piece of parchment slightly larger than your basket. Place it on the rack of the air fryer and add four to five slices of cookies to the basket, depending on the size of your air fryer, leaving plenty of room for spreading. Cook six minutes.

8. Delete cookies of the air fryer using the piece of parchment paper and let them harden for about five minutes.

Chef’s Notes: Flip your cookies during the last two or three minutes of the baking cycle to make sure the bottoms bake as well as the rest of the cookie. Uncooked dough will keep in the fridge for a week.

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