Many people assume that adopting a healthier lifestyle means saying goodbye to all your favorite greasy grub. But there is a way to transform those calorie-laden deep-fried foods into healthier options — without losing the flavor and the crunch you crave. How? With one of the most popular kitchen tools: an air fryer.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
“With a regular deep fryer, you’re essentially submerging your food in hot oil,” says Andrea N. Giancoli, Nutrition Manager at Openfit. This process alters the fat content of foods. And because deep frying typically requires you to batter the food in flour, egg, or breadcrumbs first, you’re potentially adding a ton of extra calories there.
Air fryers are different. Instead of dunking your chicken or sweet potato fries in grease, air fryers use a tiny bit of oil and a convection-style cooking process called rapid air technology to heat the food.
“Air fryers disperse the oil in air,” Giancoli explains, which means air frying requires much less oil than deep frying. (One recent study found that fries cooked in an air fryer had a “substantially lower fat content” than those that were deep fried.) The result: food that tastes like it just came from the deep fryer, without all the added calories and fat.
Easy Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Absolutely Love
It might be tempting to just throw a bunch of frozen French fries in your air fryer and call it a day, but there are so many more delectable dishes you can make in the device. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some of the best air fryer recipes for every meal of the day.
Air Fryer Garlic Lime Shrimp Skewers
Air fryers aren’t only for traditional fried foods. Case in point: These citrus-and-garlic shrimp skewers. There’s no batter in sight here — just plenty of taste.
Healthy Vegetable Spring Rolls
Spring rolls served at Chinese restaurants are delicious, but typically deep fried. Make these spring rolls at home in your air fryer instead — they have all the crunch you crave, without the extra grease.
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread in the Air Fryer
We didn’t forget about air fryer dessert recipes! This easy air fryer recipe combines zucchini and chocolate chips for a delicious bread you’ll crave. (Not a fan of zucchini bread? Try chocolate banana bread in the air fryer instead.)
Air Fried Sweet Potato Chips
Craving the crunch that only a potato chip can satisfy? Make your own sweet potato chips with this easy four-ingredient air fryer recipe. Just slice the taters down to chip size and toss with olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. Pro tip: Don’t put too many sweet potato chips in the air fryer at once, or they’ll end up mushy instead of crispy.
Easy Air Fryer Omelet
Air-fried omelets, really? Oh yes. All these easy-to-make omelets need are a couple of large eggs and your choice of filling. Want bell pepper and mushroom? Go for it. Sausage and cheese? Also delicious. It’s pretty much impossible to go wrong with this easy breakfast recipe.
Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings
Is there anything cauliflower can’t do? This time, the cruciferous veggie serves as a healthy party snack with buffalo-style wing batter.
Chicken Parmesan in the Air Fryer
Juicy chicken Parmesan is usually dripping with fat, but this recipe takes some of those extra calories out with a version made specifically for the air fryer. Bonus: You can use the chicken prep method in this recipe to create air fried chicken tenders or chicken sandwiches.