45 Healthy Air Fryer Recipes | Cooking Light

Who ever said that chicken wings, doughnuts, and pizza couldn’t be healthy? Here’s how to make the most of your air fryer. 

Sweet potato tots are a great way to sneak veggies into a picky eater’s meal—and this homemade version is more affordable than buying pre-made, frozen sweet potato tots. Cooking them in the air fryer yields a slightly crisp exterior and a soft interior. We suggest you spray the tots with cooking spray helps to help with browning, though they still don’t brown evenly. Be sure to boil the sweet potatoes just enough that they grate and hold together when shaped, but still retain a little texture. If you don’t like ketchup, you could also serve these with ranch dressing.

This air-fryer riff on the Chinese takeout classic saves the day with nearly half the saturated fat of restaurant versions and loads less clean-up than deep frying at home. Air fryer sizes vary (hence the cook time’s wide range); if you have a smaller air fryer, commit to cooking in batches so that there’s plenty of room for the air to circulate and crisp up the chicken.

If you’re craving doughnuts without the guilt, these yeast-risen rings deliver the same sweet, tender, and crackly sugar glazed goodness thanks to your air fryer.

Pro tip: After the doughnuts have risen, use the parchment paper to help gently transfer them into the air fryer. Use two forks to lower them into the glaze for maximum coverage.

Brimming with great, traditional banana flavor, have a slice of this banana bread as an afternoon snack or post-dinner treat with a small smear of butter and/or a side of fruit. We suggest you toast the walnuts before using them in the recipe to deepen their flavor. Take note, though, the top of the bread will get a little darker than if you were to cook a banana bread in the oven due to the heating element being right above the bread.

Avocado fries? Oh yes! This irresistible combination of crunchy and creamy is the ultimate air fryer indulgence. They’re a little heavier in calories than most of our snacks, but they’re so darned good, they’re worth the occasional splurge!

The secret to the perfect air fryer avocado fries is picking out avocados that are just ripe, but with enough firmness to hold their shape during cooking. Paired with this kicky, spicy sauce, these fries are next-level good.

Moist and tender, these meatballs are absolutely jam-packed with flavor—and cooking them in the air fryer might be one of the best recipe applications for this device. The meatballs are great on their own; they would also be totally delicious over pasta, rice, or spiralized zoodles. To prevent the meatballs from getting too over-worked as you form them, use what we call the “claw method”: shape your hand into a claw shape and don’t squeeze too hard when shaping.

These adorable air fryer delights check all the nostalgia boxes, from afternoons spent with your sister’s Easy Bake Oven to Saturday mornings eating piping hot pop tarts fresh from the toaster oven.

Our grown-up air fryer version wraps all that goodness into a healthier package, featuring a quick microwave jam with nice chunks of strawberries. Lemon juice cuts the sweetness of the glaze, and the sprinkles—well, they’re just plain fun.

Comfort food just got quicker and easier courtesy of your air fryer. These crispy “baked” potatoes may seem indulgent, but smart portions of bacon, cheese, and sour cream add big flavor while keeping calories and sat fat in check. The secret is the center-cut bacon—it cooks up nice and crispy, and yields just enough pan drippings to make these potatoes really shine. 

Everything comes together so easily—while the salmon cooks, whip up the quick and tangy fennel slaw. By the time you’re finished, the salmon will be hot and ready to plate up. Try it with the air-fryer broccoli with cheese sauce (pictured).

Traditional meat-filled empanadas can be a double-whammy of fat and calories due to ground beef and a trip to the deep fryer. This air fryer twist on the traditional handheld snack is even healthier thanks to the addition of mushrooms, which lighten the filling while keeping it nice and moist. Pack these air fryer empanadas for a tailgate, or serve them over greens for a hearty supper. 

Perfectly flaky pies from your air fryer? You bet! Store-bought piecrust is a smart shortcut; it bakes up nice and flaky in the air fryer. Naturally, fresh peaches will make the best filling, but you can use thawed frozen peaches if the fresh kind aren’t in season. Don’t toss out the leftover peach juice—simmer it down in a small saucepan until thickened for a fantastic ice cream topper.

Welcome to Calzone Making 101. Don’t worry—you’ll ace this course. Our easy recipe shows you the way to perfectly browned and crunchy calzones in the air fryer. We love using whole-wheat pizza dough for the fiber boost it offers, but regular pizza dough will work just fine. Serve these cheesy guys with a side of marinara for dipping.

Drumettes have more meat than wings—that’s what we use in this tasty recipe for air fryer chicken wings—but either will work. The air fryer basket gets overcrowded easily, so only cook 10 wings at a time, or stir the wings frequently so that they cook evenly. These wings have a sweet and spicy Asian flavor; sprinkle them with some toasted sesame seeds for extra crunch.

No need to track down a food truck to get your Mexican street corn fix—your air fryer turns out a fantastic batch. A quick turn halfway through cooking yields crispy, juicy corn that soaks up the tasty garlic-lime butter like a champ.

Pick out small ears, or trim them slightly so that they fit into the air fryer basket. If you have any leftovers, cut the kernels off the cob and stir into a dip or sprinkle over a salad.

They make a nice healthy snack, or a great side with a grilled chicken sandwich or burger. Be sure to cut the sweet potato into similiar-sized pieces so they cook evenly. These fries go great with air-fried hot chicken thighs (pictured).

This scrumptious cross between cinnamon rolls and biscuits is easier than either and stars a simple, no-yeast dough that requires no rising and bakes up into tender, fluffy bites in a matter of minutes. It’s like an adult-version easy bake oven!

Is there anything your air fryer can’t do? Soup, probably. It would be terrible at soup. 

But it can rock out these super-crunchy spanakopita bites! These savory Greek phyllo pastries are filled with spinach and salty cheeses with just a little hit of lemon and heat. Classic spanakopita calls for brushing the phyllo with butter; this version calls for olive oil, which adds even more Greek flavor. Filled with nutrient-rich spinach, these crispy treats make an excellent party dish or appetizer.

This spicy air-fried cauliflower bites recipe checks all the boxes, whether you’re having vegetarian friends over to watch the game or you just enjoy recipe mashups starring your favorite flavors. A smidgen of blue cheese adds a lot of flavor to the quick stir-together sauce. (If you’re not a fan of pungent blue cheese, try milder gorgonzola, or even feta.) To make this no-fuss recipe even easier, pick up a package of pre-cut cauliflower florets.

Transport yourself straight to a Caribbean beach by making this air-fried coconut shrimp recipe. Coconut and panko team up to create an amazingly crispy coating for the shrimp; use finely shredded coconut to guarantee better crust adhesion. These beach-dive-inspired crustaceans are even better when dunked into the sweet-and-tangy honey-lime sauce.

Who doesn’t love a corn dog? These whimsical, perfect little bites of smoky hot dog goodness come with a crunchy cornflake coating—thanks to the air fryer—that will make party guests smile. Look for high-quality uncured hot dogs at upscale grocery stores such as Whole Foods. Mustard is best friends with corn dogs, so pick out your favorite to serve with these fun and festive snacks.

Tossed in a tangy dressing rich with the flavors of honey, toasted sesame oil, and soy sauce, these air fryer-crisped cubes of tofu make a hearty supper served over brown rice.

The secret to perfectly crisp tofu is two-fold: First, drain, dry, and press it to remove excess moisture; second, cook it in batches, and turn the cubes during cooking to ensure all sides have a chance to get crunchy.

Specialty root chips can cost $5 to $6 per bag at the grocery store; save big bucks by whipping up a couple batches in your air fryer. The secret to crispy beet chips is to slice the beets super thin; if your knife skills aren’t Top Chef level, use a mandolin to get wafer-thin slices. Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket; air flow is crucial to getting the chips nice and crispy.

On the hunt for a treat that satisfies your sweet tooth without busting your diet? Pack these cinnamon-laced, air-fried apple chips in your lunch bag.

Apples deliver natural sweetness and a handsome amount of fiber, making them a smart choice for any diet, and the air fryer transforms them into something altogether more delicious, thanks to its signature move—adding fat-free crunch. Cutting almond butter with low-fat Greek yogurt adds protein to the dipping sauce, as well as extra creaminess.

Filling but not heavy, air fryer quesadillas make a quick and satisfying weeknight supper. Black beans bring protein and fiber to the party; peppers and zucchini bring color, crunch, and up your daily veggie count. Shop for sprouted tortillas at well-stocked supermarkets; regular whole-wheat tortillas will work in a pinch.

Public Service Announcement: These quesadillas pair perfectly with ice-cold beer; limes optional.

If you’re only using your air fryer to whip up awesome party snacks, you’re missing out. Pull it out in the morning to make these hearty breakfast bombs filled with bacon, egg, and cheese.

Whole-wheat pizza dough encases the savory filling in a nice fiber-packed crust. Substitute regular pizza dough if you can’t track down whole-wheat dough. Like it spicy? Add a dash or two of hot sauce to the filling before baking. In a rush? These palm-sized “bombs” make a great on-the-go breakfast.

Asian dumplings are an amazing appetizer—the perfect combination of crispy and chewy. No surprise here: Your air fryer can rock this recipe like a champ.

Pork and ginger are the star flavors in these savory little bites, along with quick stir-fried bok choy. These easy-to-assemble appetizers make a great family cooking project—just stuff, seal, and air-fry your way to homemade takeout goodness. Look for thin dumpling wrappers at Asian grocery stores; regular egg roll wrappers will work in a pinch.

Up your app game with these addictively crunchy chickpeas. The main ingredient of hummus, creamy chickpeas bake into crisp little nuggets in almost no time. These are a great snack substitute for chips thanks to loads of fiber and a good amount of protein. You can make these ahead; they’ll keep about a week in an airtight container.

Classic pub fare like fish and chips can be a real grease-fest, but not when your air fryer’s invited to the party. Panko-crusted tilapia cooks up golden-brown and crispy in the air fryer, while spiralized potato fries make for an irresistibly tasty (and healthier) spin on the traditional “chip.” Don’t skip the rich and tangy malt vinegar on the side; it brings a lot of flavor without the added calories and fat of tartar sauce.

This content was originally published here.

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