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19 Air Fryer Recipes for Beginners

Alright, let’s talk about air fryers. Air fryers are like convection ovens that can crisp your food in a manner of minutes. Even though it has the word fry in its name, air fryers do nothing of the sort. 

In fact, many people prefer using air fryers for traditionally-fried foods such as french fries, fried chicken, and even potato chips. 

Unlike traditional fryers that use searing oil, an air fryer circulates hot air around the food to give it a crunchy outer layer.

There are many quality air fryers on the market such as Chefman or Oster. Best of all, these popular kitchen appliances are available at local retailers.

Whether you’re looking for Chefman air fryer recipes or air fryer recipes for beginners, this article’s got you covered.

Before we get into the most popular recipes, here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about cooking with an air fryer.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Tips for cooking with an air fryer

If you’ve never used an air fryer before, using one for the first time can be a little intimidating. But — it doesn’t have to be.

There are several tips you should keep in mind when using an air fryer.

  1. First and foremost, don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket – i.e. the part of the fryer where the food goes.
  2. Space meat out, and if you’re cooking a large quantity such as french fries, keep in mind that you may have to make several batches. Not leaving enough space in between food can result in uneven texture.
  3. You should also preheat your air fryer before using it. This will cut back on cooking time, which will save you time in the long run. Most air fryers come with a recommended preheating time, but if it doesn’t, preheat it for up to five minutes before tossing your food in.

Air Fryer Recipes FAQs

  • How does an air fryer work?

We sort of covered this earlier, but let’s go a little more in-depth. Your air fryer is broken down into sections. At the top of the air fryer, there’s essentially a heater that flows down into the bottom of the basket (where the food is).

This constant flow of warm air heats the food and gets them crunchy as it would if you were simply dipping them in a vat of oil.

  • What is the most popular food cooked in an air fryer?

Since air fryers provide a healthier alternative to a lot of popular fried foods, the most common meals include chicken wings, french fries, and onion rings. But, you can make whatever you want in an air fryer! Bacon, chickpeas, and even slabs of steak taste great when popped in an air fryer. We’re going to be covering all the easy things to make in an air fryer below, so keep reading!

  • What is the best thing to fry in an air fryer?

Anything that tastes good crispy! Onion rings, shrimp, french fries, chicken tenders, and chicken wings are all fantastic options! You could even air fry some cooked pasta to make your own little appetizer!

  • What should I make first in my air fryer?

If you’re just starting out, we recommend making something easy such as chicken nuggets or something frozen. The simpler the recipe, the better, so you can take some time to get used to your new device.

Air Fryer Recipes for Beginners

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at the best air fryer oven recipes for beginners!

1. Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets With No Breading

Remember how we said that chicken was one of the easiest foods to make in an air fryer? Well, this recipe proves it.

The secret ingredient is garlic powder as it just elevates the flavor of the chicken so it’s a more flavorful bite.

If you don’t have garlic powder, that’s fine. Of course, you could swap it out for actual cloves of garlic. But, we recommend trading in traditional spices for something a bit more interesting, like lemon pepper or hot sauce!

2. Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes take a notoriously long time to cook, am I right? In fact, they can eat up so much time (no pun intended) that it makes me want to avoid them altogether. But with an air fryer, you can incorporate them back into your weekly menu since they won’t take a lot of time.

The secret ingredient may surprise you: it’s avocado oil! This is just a healthier alternative to traditional oils and cooking sprays.

This oil has a naturally nutty flavor, which surprisingly pairs beautifully with a russet potato. If you want to swap out the russet potato, try using a sweet potato instead.

3. The Best Air Fryer Meatballs (Easy Italian Style)

You made the spaghetti. You have the sauce. Now, why not go ahead and use your air fryer to make some meatballs?

The secret ingredient is the blend of ground beef and pork so you’re getting a blend of bold flavors. But, you’re not committed to that.

Use only ground beef or only ground pork, or use a ground turkey, chicken, or tofu.

The best thing about cooking in an air fryer is that you can get as creative as you want – and what better recipe to show off your style than some tasty meatballs to serve with dinner?

4. Air Fryer Potato Wedges (Extra Crispy)

Nothing beats making french fries in an air fryer. Especially when it comes to getting the ultimate crisp!

These potato wedges, though, have a little bit of heat thanks to the paprika, which is this appetizer’s secret ingredient.

The paprika blends well with the garlic and parmesan. But, if you want to really transform this dish from a meal-appetizer to a dessert-appetizer, swap out the russet potatoes for sweet potatoes and sprinkle with a hint of cinnamon. It’ll be a new twist on an old classic.

5. Cinnamon Sugar Air Fryer Donuts

Speaking of desserts, your air fryer will make it incredibly easy to make delicious donuts right from the comfort of your home.

This recipe only requires four ingredients – one of which is the secret ingredient: flaky biscuit dough!

You can buy this from the store or make your own, whichever you prefer.

The flaky dough is key because it gives the donuts that fresh, flaky texture. If you’re in a pinch, you could swap it out for Phyllo dough; it will create a crispier texture that will be great for donuts!

6. Air Fryer Hamburgers

This is such a simple recipe, so the secret ingredient really comes down to the kind of meat you use in your hamburgers.

While this recipe does call for ground chuck because of how fatty it is, you can easily swap it out for any type of meat you prefer.

Ground beef is leaner, but will still taste great. Or, you could use ground turkey or black bean concoctions to create something a bit healthier.

Best of all, there’s no shortage of ways you can be creative. Add your own toppings to make it your own!

7. Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Are you looking for easy air fryer meals? If so, you’ll absolutely love this one for crispy brussel sprouts.

While usually thought of as a side dish, this recipe can transformbrussel sprouts into the main course – and what a main course they are!

The secret ingredient is the brussel sprouts themselves. If you don’t have brussel sprouts on hand, you can substitute them with another leafy green such as asparagus. Sprinkle some oil and parmesan cheese and you’re good to go!

8. Perfect Air Fryer Steak

Believe it or not, you can make delicious steak in an air fryer with little to no work. What makes this recipe stand out from other types of steak recipes is the fact that it’s topped with garlic butter.

As such, the secret ingredient includes various bold herbs such as thyme and rosemary.

The recipe also calls for minced garlic cloves, but if you don’t have any, you can go ahead and swap them out for garlic powder instead.

However you decide to make this dish, it’ll be one your family asks for time and time again.

9. The Best Air Fryer Chicken Breasts Recipe Ever

When it comes to making chicken breasts for dinner, you might not have thought about putting them in your air fryer, but it’s definitely the way to go next time you make a meal.

The secret ingredient is paprika, which provides a little heat and an extra kick.

You don’t have to use paprika, though, if you don’t have it. Substituting it with some red pepper flakes or chili powder are two great alternatives that give the chicken a unique, bold flavor.

10. Air Fryer Toasted Ravioli

This is one of my favorite recipes! If you’re looking for something quick and tasty to make for your next Super Bowl or birthday party, look no further than this recipe for toasted ravioli.

An egg is the secret ingredient as it helps the breadcrumbs stick to the outside of the ravioli. Even though fresh ravioli is preferred, frozen is fine so don’t be afraid to swap it out.

Just make sure you’re letting them thaw before trying to add the egg or breadcrumbs.

11. Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

Are you looking for easy air fryer dinner recipes to make your kids? If so, we highly recommend this one for grilled cheese.

A fun twist on a simple classic, the secret ingredient in this air fryer grilled cheese comes down to the type of cheese you use.

Cheddar or American are the most common, but if you enjoy something a little bolder, swap it out for some pepper jack or horseradish cheese. After all, who says only kids get to enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches?

12. Crispy Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Fries

Looking to make something simple for your next get-together with friends? Give these garlic parmesan fries a go.

First off, the blend of garlic and parmesan tastes great. But, best of all, they don’t take too long to prepare or make.

The secret ingredient is olive oil, which helps give the fries a bit more flavor and makes them crisp a lot faster.

Though the traditional recipe calls for russet potatoes, you could easily swap them out for sweet potato fries if you want something a *bit* healthier.

13. Crispy Air Fryer Onion Rings Recipe

Mmmm! Sorry, that’s just the first thing to come to mind when someone says the word “onion rings” to me. Anyone else?

The secret ingredient is believe it or not – paprika. While it’s not a traditional spice you’d think of incorporating, this gives the onion rings a bit of a zesty kick to them.

The recipe also calls for milk in the batter, but feel free to swap it out for some half and half or a non-dairy alternative if necessary.

14. Homemade Air Fryer Cheese Curds

The jury may still be out on cheese curds, because, well, the name doesn’t sound all too appetizing, does it?

Despite its name, it’s actually a great snack you’ll want to munch on.

The secret ingredient is garlic powder, which just brings out the natural cheesy flavors. But, if you don’t have garlic powder, you can swap it out for garlic juice or shallots.

Dip these in some cold ranch dressing and you’ll have an instant party classic your guests will request time and time again.

15. Air Fryer Cinnamon Baked Apples

Making a dessert in an air fryer is a great way to update your current way of making certain food items.

If you’re looking for a warm, tasty treat to serve this upcoming Halloween, we recommend this recipe for baked apples

The secret ingredient is actually maple syrup since it helps bring out the apple’s natural sweetness.

If you don’t have apples, you could easily swap this basic recipe for pears, instead, as they have a similar flavor and texture. Plus, they also taste really good when topped with cinnamon!

16. Air Fryer Meatloaf

Nothing screams Sunday dinner quite like a tasty meatloaf. But why not try making it in an air fryer?

The secret ingredient is stuffing, as it gets rolled into the meat mix and gives the loaf a lot of extra texture and flavor.

While you can certainly use ground beef, you’re not limited to that as your only option. Replace it with ground turkey or ground chuck for a different flavor to keep it interesting.

This is one recipe that will be sure to bring the family home every weekend!

17. Air Fryer Shrimp Taco Recipe

This is the first seafood entry on this list, but how’s that old saying go? You save the best for last? If so, this recipe proves it!

The secret ingredient is Cojita cheese, which has a saltier taste to it than other cheeses. Depending on how long it’s been aged for, the consistency of this cheese will either be soft or hard, so you have a lot of versatility when purchasing it.

If you don’t have shrimp or don’t like seafood, you can, of course, swap it out for traditional taco ingredients such as ground chicken, turkey, tofu, or beef.

18. Air Fryer Pigs in a Blanket

Now we’re talking! This is one of those signature appetizers everyone looks for at a party.

I want to say that the mini sausages are the secret ingredient, but the truth is that you can’t make this dish without parchment paper. Parchment paper helps prevent them from burning, so you get a tasty dog every time!

If you don’t have crescent rolls, you can swap them out for regular biscuit dough or phyllo dough. Serve with some chilled mustard or cheese and you’re golden!

19. Easy Hard Boiled Eggs in Air Fryer

Do you dye eggs every Easter? If so, you know just how time-consuming it can be to hard boil an egg. An air fryer cuts down on time dramatically.

There really is no secret ingredient when making these in an air fryer. But, if you’re putting them in water, the secret ingredient is baking soda, as this will make them easier to peel once they’re done cooking.

If you don’t have eggs to hard boil, you could always use tofu instead.

Air Fryer Recipes for Beginners

Air Fryer Recipes for Beginners

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

If you’re looking for the best air fryer oven recipes, look no further than this one for crispy, easy-to-make potato wedges.


  • 2/3 medium Russet potatoes
  • 1 ½ tbsps olive oil
  • ½ tsp parsley flakes
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper


    1. Set your air fryer to 400 degrees F.
    2. Put your potato wedges in a large bowl and mix salt, pepper, olive oil, parsley, paprika, and chili flakes together.
    3. Place 8 potato wedges in the air fryer’s basket and cook for approximately 10 minutes, then flip over and cook for another five.
    4. Repeat the process until your entire batch has been cooked.

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