Asking people if they’ve ever used an air fryer nowadays will usually garner looks of astonishment and questions about what you’ve been living under for the past few years. Once you give in to the trend and start cooking up food that was once reserved for the deep fryer, you might wonder why you were so late to the air-frying game. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, the past few years have generated a mass of tips you need when cooking with an air fryer and recipes that bring success when using the popular kitchen appliance.
The pandemic kicked off a trend of eating at home (like there was another option), putting our best recipes and favorite cooking tools to the test. According to The NPD Group, air fryer sales skyrocketed during the first two years of the pandemic, jumping up by 76% when compared to the number of units sold during 2018 and 2019. It’s easy to understand why: The air fryer (or the convection oven) crisps up our favorite fare just like a deep fryer would — but without the mess that comes with a vat of oil.
This culinary gadget opens the door to so many different meal options beyond french fries and chicken strips, including everything from pork chops to baked potatoes. Get ready to impress guests when you bust out any of these delicious and easy Tasting Table air fryer recipes.
1. Easy Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
Shrimp are surprisingly easy to overdo, and we’ve all experienced the disappointment evoked by a rubbery bite of fried crustacean. Enter the air fryer to achieve perfectly tender shrimp encrusted in flavorful coconut breading with a cravable crunch.
To start, hefty, tail-on shrimp are marinated in rich coconut milk that’s lightened with lime zest before getting coated in a seasoned coconut-breadcrumb mixture. Four quick minutes in the air fryer yield juicy seafood bites that are full of flavor and texture. Balanced by the cool yet spicy flavors of a yogurt dipping sauce that contains cucumber and serrano chile, these delicious and easy coconut shrimp double as an ideal appetizer or main entrée.
2. Crispy Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
Let’s take a moment to thank the air fryer for making it easier and healthier to increase our fry intake. Sweet potatoes are nutrient-rich tubers that crisp up into savory fries with a hint of sweetness that keeps diners coming back for more.
The root vegetables are peeled, cut, and tossed in olive oil and paprika-garlic seasoning before being air-fried in batches to ensure ultimate crispiness. A great appetizer or side dish, these flavorful fries get an extra kick when dipped in pungent garlic sauce or classic ketchup — condiments that complement the natural sweetness of the tuber.
3. Air Fryer Roast Beef
Being short on time doesn’t mean you need to relinquish lofty dinner goals, thanks to the air fryer and this succulent roast beef recipe. If you have half an hour, you can enjoy a thick slice of tender meat that will taste like you’ve been prepping all day.
A savory blend of seasonings brings out the umami essence of the beef, which pairs well with traditional steakhouse veggies or a light side salad. This version of roast beef cuts down on cooking time without sacrificing flavor.
4. Air Fryer Samosa
If you’re interested in a satisfying dish that is full of savory flavors, this recipe really hits the spot. Traditional samosa ingredients like potatoes, peas, and carrots come together with bold Indian spices to create a delicious and satisfying filling with a classic taste.
Subbing homemade dough with frozen puff pastry makes it easy to achieve a rich, delicate exterior that cooks to an ideal golden-brown color in the air fryer without the mess of deep frying.
5. Simple Home Fries
If your entire reason for buying an air fryer was to cook potatoes perfectly, you’re likely happy with your purchase. You can count on spuds coming out of this kitchen appliance to be a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, and these humble home fries don’t disappoint.
Cubed Russets get tossed in olive oil and seasoned salt before being air-fried in batches for even cooking. After 15 minutes, you’ll be enjoying golden-brown home fries with crisp exteriors and soft centers that make a great side for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
6. Air Fryer BBQ Ribs
We’ve all experienced the hangry feelings that arise while waiting hours for tender BBQ ribs to cook, but thanks to air fryers, those cravings can be satisfied quickly.
Paprika- and garlic-seasoned pork ribs hit the air fryer for a quick cook before being coated in the barbecue sauce of your choice and returned to the fryer for five minutes to finish. The result is a flavorful rib with glazed meat that is somehow fall-off-the-bone tender in 20 minutes, thanks to the magic of convection cooking. Formerly reserved for a special occasion, BBQ ribs can now be enjoyed any time.
7. Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes
Forget waiting for your sweet potato to cook in the oven or having it turn gummy in the microwave — upgrade to an air fryer that will have you enjoying your tubers in just under an hour. Speeding up cooking time with an air fryer doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality, and these sweet potatoes prove that with their crispy skin and perfectly tender center.
Once cooked, you can fully load these flavorful root veggies with the toppings of your choice to make a hearty and healthy meal or a tasty side dish.
8. Easy Pork Chop
Make an easy meal on the fly with tender pork chops that go from air fryer to fork in less than 20 minutes. The meat is seasoned with a simple blend of salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder that enhances the rich, savory flavors of a bone-in chop.
Pork is a protein that can be so succulent and juicy when cooked just right, but it is easy to overdo, resulting in a disappointingly dry bite. These air fryer chops taste like you’ve been roasting them low and slow all day, making dry pork a thing of the past.
9. Air Fryer Spicy Shrimp
Air fryers can prepare a multitude of dishes but are often sought after for the magic they can make with breaded foods.
Coating frozen cooked shrimp in egg and Cajun-spiced breadcrumbs before popping them in the air fryer means you don’t have to worry about undercooked shrimp and can focus on the delectable crunch that brings diners to the table. A sour cream dipping sauce featuring a hint of cilantro and a zesty kick of lime juice pairs perfectly with these spicy shrimp for an appetizer or meal that’s full of texture and flavor.
10. Air Fryer Pork Chops
Pork is a protein that begs for a flavorful marinade, as it soaks up the essences of other ingredients and benefits from a moist cooking method. An umami-forward marinade of maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and rosemary infuses the chops with tangy, savory notes that perfectly complement the tender white meat.
Nothing goes to waste when you reduce the marinade into a sauce while the chops cook quickly in the air fryer. Pour the finished sauce over the pork before serving lucky guests who never need to know how easy it was to whip up a gourmet meal.
11. Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers
The air fryer is your new BFF when it comes to cooking up appetizers that formerly required a visit to a restaurant. These jalapeño poppers are loaded with flavor and texture, minus the hassle and mess of busting out the deep fryer.
Jalapeño halves are stuffed with rich chive cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and scallions before being topped with buttery panko breadcrumbs and popped into the air fryer. In 20 minutes, you’ll be enjoying crunchy and spicy flavor boats that pair well with a classic creamy ranch or blue cheese dipping sauce.
12. Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
A mouthwatering dish that is good for you, tastes amazing, and hits the plate in under 30 minutes is a kitchen trifecta. Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients, fiber, and a savory-sweet flavor that appeals to even the pickiest eaters.
Chopped tubers get generously coated in a honey-cinnamon sauce balanced by a refreshing pop of lemon juice before hitting the air fryer for a quick 20-minute roast. The result is a stunning bowl of gem-like sweet potato bites lacquered with a sticky sweet glaze that will keep diners coming back for seconds.
13. Easy Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
It seems that air fryers are capable of doing anything — and improving upon classic dishes is no exception. These three-cheese sandwiches on mayo-slathered sourdough cook up perfectly crispy on the outside with an ooey-gooey interior, as they should be.
Mozzarella, Parmesan, and cheddar cheese come together to create rich and creamy melted goodness between slices of tangy rustic sourdough bread for a grilled cheese with all the texture and flavor that fans of the comfort food deserve. Serve it with your favorite side or just enjoy the toasty goodness of a perfectly air-fried sandwich on its own.
14. Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken Breast
From frozen apps to fancy fare, the wonders of what the air fryer can cook are seemingly endless. This recipe for stuffed chicken breast was developed with the handy appliance in mind and promises delicious air-fried success.
A lean chicken breast is elevated through a stuffing of rich mozzarella, Parmesan, and cream cheese combined with earthy spinach and tangy sun-dried tomatoes. In under a half hour, you’ll be slicing through golden-brown chicken filled with bold flavor that tastes like it took all day to prepare.