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10 Nutritionist-Recommended Healthy Air Fryer Recipes

Natalie Krafft

7 min read

July 21, 2023
salmon cooking in an air fryer
salmon cooking in an air fryer

Air fryers have grown in popularity over the last few years, and with good reason! It’s now easier than ever to whip up a tasty and delicious dish—and without all the oil that you may use when frying food on the stove.

You may have seen everything from air fryer chicken recipes to a buffalo cauliflower side dish cooked in an air fryer. So, if you’re looking for some healthy recipes to get started with in your air fryer, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re looking for a tasty and delicious appetizer, main dish, or even just a healthy snack to munch on, here are 10 of the best air fryer recipes to try out!

Is Air Fryer Cooking Really Healthier?

cooking potatoes in an air fryer

There’s no doubt air fryers have become a trendy kitchen appliance, but are they really healthier than frying your food in a pan or baking it in the oven? The answer is often yes.

In most cases, cooking with an air fryer drastically decreases the amount of oil you’re adding to your food during the cooking process. While oils such as avocado or olive oil can be a good source of healthy fats, they can also add a lot of extra calories to your plate.

Baking these foods in the oven is one way to use less oil, but one of the other clear benefits of the air fryer is that it heats up much more quickly than a traditional oven. This can save you lots of time in the kitchen and cut your cooking time down significantly, which is important if you’re cooking weeknight meals.

10 Easy Air Fryer Recipes To Try Out

Now that we’ve explored some of the benefits of cooking with an air fryer, let’s get into some of the most hearty and delicious foods to prepare with this appliance. Here are 10 of our favorite recipes to whip up in your air fryer.

1) Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries by Delish

Recommended by Amanda Donahue, MS, RD, CD

a plate of air fryer sweet potato fries

Amanda says, “Lately, I've been obsessed with sweet potato fries. In order to avoid the extra calories, trans fat, and oxidative damage from deep frying foods, I use my air fryer to cook them! Here's one sweet potato recipe I use with a small amount of EVOO or avocado oil.”

Not only are these sweet potato fries tasty to pair with a grilled turkey burger, but sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, manganese, B6, and Vitamin E.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

2) Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts by Eating Bird Food

Recommended by Becky French, MS, RDN, LDN

Becky says, “Air fryer vegetables are magical—I will never go back to steamed or even roasted! You can cook up all kinds of veggies in your air fryer, from zucchini to green beans to cauliflower!”

These Brussels sprouts are done in about 10 minutes and are crispy, flavorful. Plus, by cooking them in the air fryer, you don't have to wait forever for your oven to preheat. They’re perfect for a busy weeknight dinner or a quick side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut into halves
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste

3) Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast by Well Plated

Recommended by Randi Yow, RD, LD

a plate of air fried chicken breast and green beans

Randi says, “Growing up in the south, fried chicken was a staple in my husband’s diet. Finding a healthier “fried” chicken recipe has been a great way to provide a taste of his childhood in a healthier manner!”

This recipe is flavorful, very versatile, and is a great way to get in your protein at meals with a side of veggies! If this recipe isn’t for you, you can get creative and cook your chicken in so many different ways— try whipping up chicken parmesan or even making air fryer chicken wings with a dipping sauce.

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts 
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs or plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt 

4) Air Fryer Salmon by Feel Good Foodie

Recommended by Victoria Eaton, RDN, LDN, IFNCP

Victoria says, “I'm a big salmon fan! This salmon dinner recipe is a quick and easy way to prepare a glucose-friendly, omega-3 rich salmon fillet. You can serve it in a variety of ways, from salmon tacos to salmon salad. Simple, delicious, and nutritious—a powerful trio!”

Ingredients

  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • Tartar sauce for serving

5) Air Fryer French Fries by Love and Lemons

Recommended by Marie Funk, RD

a plate of air fryer french fries

I love to use Russet potatoes to make crispy air fryer french fries while using less oil. Sprinkle your fries with some salt and paprika and pair them with a source of protein such as nuggets, meatballs, or tofu.

Ingredients

  • 2 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch sticks
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt
  • Herbs of choice
  • Chili powder (optional)

6) Air Fryer Crispy Chili Lime Chickpeas by Eating Bird Food

Recommended by Becky French, MS, RDN, LDN

Becky says, “I love air fryer chickpeas! Top these with your sauce of choice for a snack the whole family will enjoy— even my boys love these as a crunchy poolside snack.”

If you're following a gluten-free diet, these can be a fun crunchy snack or crouton alternate for a salad. They also have fiber and protein in addition to the carbs to help smooth out your glucose response.

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Juice from 1 medium lime, about 2 teaspoons
  • Zest from 1 lime, about 1 teaspoon

7) Air Fryer Cinnamon-Ginger Apple Chips by Eating Well

Recommended by Becky French, MS, RDN, LDN

air fryer cinnamon ginger chips

Becky says, “These air fried apple slices are a quick, healthy, and yummy dessert option. I like to dip them in full fat greek yogurt or slather some almond butter on top for a sweet treat that doesn't score too badly with your glucose either!”

Ingredients

  • 2 8-ounce Honeycrisp apples
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Cooking spray
  • Honey- or vanilla-flavored yogurt (optional)
  • Honey (optional)

8) Air-Fried Tofu by Jessica in the Kitchen

Recommended by Christie Borders, CNS

Christie says, “Air fryer tofu is a great and easily customizable vegetarian protein option. Just coat your tofu lightly in olive oil and pair it with some whole grains and veggies for a tasty and healthy meal.”

Ingredients

  • 1 pound block of extra firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ tablespoon liquid aminos
  • ½ teaspoon oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

9) Air Fryer Keto Crab Cakes by Tasteful Venture

Recommended by Heather Davis, MS, RDN, LDN

keto crab cakes with lemon slices

Heather says, “Though your crab cakes don't necessarily have to be keto, I like this air fryer keto crab cake recipe because it offers an alternate take on the highly processed bread crumbs included in most crab cake recipes that people may not always do so well with in higher amounts.”

Ingredients

  • 2 6-ounce cans lump crab meat drained
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 2 teaspoon dijon
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Lemon wedges for serving

10) Air Fryer Pork Chops by Delish

Recommended by Heather Davis, MS, RDN, LDN

Heather says, “If you’re looking for a high protein option for lunch or dinner, these air fryer pork chops are easy to make in a short amount of time and pair nicely with any side! You can easily customize any of the seasonings based on your preferences.”

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
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Jordyn Wallerius, MS, RDN, CD

Reviewed by: Jordyn Wallerius, MS, RDN, CD

Jordyn has a bachelor’s degree in biology, a graduate degree in Human Nutrition and completed a dietetic internship at the Memphis VA. She's a dietitian at Nutrisense, and has experience working as a clinical dietitian at a VA medical center specializing in oncology and at the Mayo Clinic, working with a wide range of patients ranging from neonates in the NICU to adult ICU.