You’ve just bought your first air fryer or you’ve had one for a while and you have no idea what to make? Don’t worry, this collection of easy air fryer recipes for beginners are perfect for getting started. With main dishes, sides and snacks to breakfasts and sweet treats, there’s something here that the whole family will love! So if you’re looking for some easy recipes to try out with your air fryer, you’re in the right place!
We all want to eat healthier, but sometimes it can be difficult to figure out how. Air fryers are a great way to make healthy cooking easier. They use less oil than traditional cooking methods and still produce tasty meals that will satisfy your cravings!
Plus, they’re easy to clean up after because there’s no need for messy oils or butter. In this article, you will find air fryer recipes for beginners with some tips on how you can get started right away at home!
What Is An Air Fryer?
Before we get started, there’s a good chance you already have an air fryer and that’s why you’re here, but just in case, let’s look at what this fabulous kitchen gadget actually does!
An air fryer is a simple and healthier way to cook your food instead of deep-frying or sauteeing. It cooks your food by circulating hot air around the food when cooking, which can be done without using any oil!
Air fryers are great for making snacks, side dishes, main courses, desserts… you name it! It’s an easy way to cut down your fat intake without sacrificing flavour or taste.
They can also make quicker work of cooking your food which is perfect for busy households who don’t want to spend a long time prepping and cooking each day.
Another bonus is that air fryers don’t take up a lot of space, which is helpful if you have limited bench space or cupboard storage!
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What Are The Best Air Fryers?
There’s a good chance you’ve already got yourself an air fryer, and that’s why you’re here! But just in case you’re checking out first what sort of delicious meals you can make with one before you purchase, there are a few things to consider when buying an air fryer.
Size – The size of your air fryer basket is one of the most important things to consider. If you live alone or with one or two other people, a small air fryer may be all you need. But if you have a larger family or plan to cook larger meals, such as whole chickens, cakes, roast dinners and the like, you will want to choose an air fryer with a larger capacity!
Basket vs Oven – There is also the option of purchasing an air fryer oven or a standard air fryer with a basket. Air fryer ovens are a little more like a toaster oven compared to basket style air fryers and they have extra functionality such as roast, bake etc.
We had a Philips Air Fryer which was great, although it was small so we have since upgraded to a larger option and it has been great!
Here are some great options for air fryers:
How To Air Fry: Air Fryer Tips For Beginners
Air fryers are so easy to use. Just make sure you follow the instructions to get started. Here are a few of our best tips for getting started, so you can uplevel your air frying game:
- Do not overcrowd your air fryer basket. This may mean cooking your food in batches, however, this is better than having your food unevenly cooked.
- Flip foods halfway through the cooking time so that they cook evenly just as you would if you were grilling or frying.
- Air fryers cook food more quickly than an oven or stovetop, so keep a regular eye on the time and temperature to prevent overcooking your food.
- While preheating isn’t necessary when air frying food, it can help cook food more evenly. If your air fryer does not have a pre-heat option, just run it for 2-3 minutes at the temperature you plan to cook with before starting.
- If you’re cooking meat, be mindful of the doneness so that it doesn’t overcook or undercook!
The Best Air Fryer Recipes For Beginners
We’ve put together some easy air fryer recipes for beginners that are perfect first steps in learning how to use what may soon become your favourite kitchen cooking gadget! Some of these are simple air fryer alternatives and a healthier version of your favourite recipe. Get ready to become an air fryer pro in no time!
Air Fryer Appetisers, Sides & Snack Recipes For Beginners
These air fryer appetisers and snack recipe ideas for beginners are sure to be a perfect place to start. I know when I got started, most of my air fryer cooking was heating pre-made frozen food from packets, such as spring rolls and nuggets for the kids, so these homemade air fryer recipes are a much nicer alternative to packet convenience foods!
Crispy Coconut Shrimp – If you love crispy shrimp (or prawns, as we refer to them here in Australia) this recipe is a great option and much easier than you might think!
Onion Rings – Air fryers are great for cooking up crispy onion rings that you would usually find deep frying in a vat of oil. This easy recipe will have you enjoying your favourite takeaway style onion rings at home, with far less oil.
Sweet Potato Fries – Air fryers work great for making crispy sweet potato fries without the need for deep frying. This easy recipe will have you enjoying your favourite sweet potato fries at home, with far less oil than a traditional oven-baked version!
Hard-Boiled Eggs – Air fryers are perfect for cooking eggs. You can soft or hard boil your eggs quickly and easily without having to worry about boiling water or eggs cracking in the pot.
French Fries – Air fried French fries have a crispy outside and fluffy on the inside. If you’re looking for easy recipes to start you off, this is always a good starting point.
Baked Sweet Potato – Air fried baked sweet potatoes have a crispy outside and fluffy on the inside. Load them up with your favourite toppings. Cheese, bacon, shallots, sour cream. Yum!
Pizza Rolls – Instead of a sausage roll, add your favourite pizza toppings to these puff pastry rolls and cook in the air fryer for a quick snack or light meal that is ready quickly. We also add these into lunch boxes for the kids.
Mozarella Sticks – Air fryers are perfect for cooking cheese and you can use it to make mozzarella sticks that your whole family will love!
Salt & Pepper Calamari – There is a reason this is my most popular recipe year after year! This air fryer calamari is so easy to make with crispy crumb and seasoning. You will want to make this one often!
Parmesan Garlic Zucchini Fries – These zucchini fries are a healthier alternative to other deep-fried options and they taste just as good! Add your favourite seasonings to them for a personalised twist.
Egg Roll – These crispy Air Fryer Egg Rolls are not only a delicious appetiser or snack, but also easy to make! Baked rather than fried, this dish cooks in just 9 minutes.
Air Fryer Asparagus – Air frying asparagus is the perfect way to have your favourite vegetable without all of that olive oil.
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts – Air frying Brussel sprouts is a great way to make sure they are cooked fully while still preserving their flavour.
Pizza Pockets – These tasty pizza bites are the perfect appetiser and easy to make using refrigerated pizza dough.
Air Fryer Carrot Fries – These healthy carrot fries are a kid-friendly side dish or appetiser with sweet seasoned carrots.
Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes – Hasselback potatoes are a perfect air fryer recipe for beginners because they’re so easy to make. Easily make crispy potatoes without baking in the oven.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Enjoy your favourite grilled cheese sandwich, just the way you like it!
Honey Chipotle Bacon Wrapped Tater Tot Bombs – The flavours of these bacon and honey chipotle wrapped Tater Tots are both savoury and sweet and super easy to make.
Air Fryer Main Dishes For Beginners
These easy air fryer meals are a great way to feed your family and save time with new recipes you can work into your weekly meal plan. Uplevel your air fryer game by cooking healthier versions of your favourite main dishes.
Vietnamese Sweet Chicken Wings – Air fryer sweet chicken wings are a delicious twist on the popular Vietnamese dish. This is easily one of my favourite air fryer recipes and my go-to chicken wing recipe. So sweet and sticky and deliciously easy!
Greek Whole Chicken – Air fryer whole chicken is the easiest way to make a large roast that will feed your family for days. You will need a larger air fryer to fit a whole chicken so make sure yours is big enough to fit before you get started.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – Air fryer chicken thighs are a great way to cook up some easy protein, with less fuss. Crispy skin chicken thighs with the bone in and dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. Yum!
Air Fryer Catfish – Air frying fish fillets is a great option for an easy weeknight dinner, paired with a side salad, rice or fries. This recipe includes a gluten-free crispy batter for the perfect finish.
Air Fryer Salmon (Fresh or Frozen) – This air fryer salmon is flaky and tender and just a little crispy on the edges, similar to pan searing. You can cook fresh or frozen salmon in an Air Fryer and this recipe will show you how to do both.
Air Fryer Pork Chops – These crispy breaded pork chops are tender on the inside and ready in around 20 minutes, served alongside your favourite dinner side dishes.
Pork Tenderloin – Air fryer pork tenderloin is a tasty dinner that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. This two ingredient recipe is as simple to make for a busy weeknight meal!
Air Fryer Ribs – Ribs in the air fryer are easy to make and the perfect way to get a quick weeknight dinner on the table. These juicy BBQ ribs are tender and ready in around half an hour.
Air Fryer Pizza – You can’t get much easier than pre-made pizza dough and your favourite toppings for a quick homemade pizza that is better than takeaway!
Air Fryer Quesadillas – These copycat Taco Bell chicken quesadillas are going to be your new favourite way to make quesadillas!
Hot Dogs – Air frying is a quick and easy way to make hot dogs. Cook, pop them on your hot dog rolls and add your favourite condiments.
Chicken Tenders – These crispy chicken tenders are amazing served with the creamy honey mustard sauce! This dish will fit into your 21 Day Fix, Weight Watchers meal plan as well. Plus it’s kid-friendly which means you won’t have to worry when cooking for little ones.
Breakfast Air Fryer Recipes for Beginners
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and what better way to start your day off with a simple breakfast that’s cooked in the air fryer! These recipes are the perfect way to begin your morning.
French Toast Sticks – Air fryer french toast sticks are a fun twist on the classic breakfast or brunch dish. These easy to bake treats would be great for kids’ lunches, too!
Egg & Bacon Muffin Cups – Egg and Bacon Cups are a great breakfast on the go, but they also make an easy dinner. They’re my favourite air fryer recipe because you can freeze them ahead of time for last-minute breakfast. Just reheat and eat.
Crispy Air Fryer Bacon – It’s super easy to make bacon in the air fryer, cooked the way you want it – including crispy!
Air Fryer Dessert Recipes For Beginners
Don’t just stop at the savoury meals and snacks when using your new air fryer either! You can just as easily make desserts in your air fryer as well! There are some really cool options that may surprise you. Here are some easy air fryer desserts to get you started:
Air Fryer Pizookie Recipe – Want a skillet cookie minus the skillet? This giant cookie recipe is a fun family dessert idea that you can make in no time at all!
Air Fryer Donuts – If you are a fan of doughnuts then this is your chance to make them in the comfort of your own home! These air fryer cheat donuts are made using flaky refrigerated biscuits.
Air Fryer S’mores – Air fryer s’mores are so easy to make and just as delicious. The only thing you’re missing is the campfire, but why not bring those camping vibes to your own backyard!
Air-Fryer Mini Blueberry Muffins – Air-Fryer Mini Blueberry Muffins are a healthy and delicious snack or dessert that everyone loves. They only take 10 minutes to bake, so you can enjoy them in your own home anytime!
Air Fryer Weetbix Slice – Give this classic Australian favourite chocolate slice a modern makeover and make it at home in your air fryer instead.
Air Fryer Banana Bread – Who doesn’t love banana bread? This air fryer recipe is fluffy on the inside with a crunchy texture on the outside, baked inside a small baking pan inside your air fryer basket.
As you can see, there are plenty of air fryer recipes for beginners to try and enjoy. If you find yourself using your new appliance a lot more than anticipated. It’s a great time to get into the kitchen and experiment with new recipes, especially if you’re just getting started on your air fryer journey. We hope that this list of delicious recipes has helped!
Need more recipe inspiration? Check these out: