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30 Air-Fried Ways to Make Weeknights More Delicious

Add some crunch to midweek meals without adding on time in the kitchen.
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It’s a typical weeknight scenario: the family wants something crispy, craveable, and delicious. You want to serve something nutritious that doesn’t require a ton of work or ingredients to prepare. Enter: the air fryer. With so many tasty possibilities, from protein to fresh produce to pastry, it’s no wonder air fryers have surged in popularity. We’ve rounded up 30 of our favorite recipes that prove for snacks, meals, and even dessert, the air fryer is a busy cook’s best friend. 

Air Fryer Sesame Chicken with Broccoli

Air Fryer Sesame Chicken with Broccoli

The next time takeout temptation strikes, just open the freezer for this lightened-up sesame chicken that’s leaner for your wallet, too. Freezing the protein ahead of time in citrus-soy sauce marinade lets you get a jump on prep before cooking both the chicken and broccoli in the air fryer. 

Get the recipe: Air Fryer Sesame Chicken with Broccoli 

Air-Fried Crispy Pork Chops

This Italian-inspired crispy pork cutlet hits the table in under 20 minutes using just five ingredients. Lean pork tenderloin gets a savory crust from Parmesan-flecked panko and a spritz of cooking spray, no oil required.
Get the recipe: Air-Fried Crispy Pork Chops 

Mediterranean Sheet Pan Grazing Board with Air Fryer Falafel

This meal-worthy take on meze, aka Mediterranean appetizers, is easy to pull off using the air fryer and a sheet pan. Store-bought shortcuts like tzatziki, grape leaves, and hummus round out a spread starring crispy balls of homemade falafel. 

Get the recipe: Mediterranean Sheet Pan Grazing Board with Air Fryer Falafel 

Air Fryer Fried Chicken

For those nights when only classic comfort food will do, this oil-free fried chicken recipe hits the spot. A traditional buttermilk marinade helps to keep the meat tender and juicy on the inside while the air fryer makes it shatteringly crisp on the outside.
Get the recipe: Air Fryer Fried Chicken 

Air-Fried Vegetable Samosas

A rich medley of warm spices gives these vegan-friendly samosas authentic, Indian-inspired flavor. Egg roll wrappers serve as the no-fuss crust for two-bite savory turnovers stuffed with potatoes and peas.  

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Vegetable Samosas 

Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwiches

These hearty fish sandwiches are inspired by a fast-food favorite that’s especially popular during lent.  Whole wheat panko-breaded haddock fillets get a creamy, zingy topping of homemade tartar sauce made with yogurt, pickles, and cider vinegar.
Get the recipe: Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwiches 

Air-Fried Churros with Chocolate Sauce

Now you can enjoy Spain’s most famous, deliciously dippable dessert at home. Air-fried churros with chocolate-hazelnut sauce are best enjoyed warm…luckily, they disappear so fast, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Get the recipe: Air-Fried Churros with Chocolate Sauce 

Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken Wings

Chinese takeout meets game day all-star in these tangy wings that go directly from freezer to air fryer. Freshly crisped wings get Asian-inspired flavor from a sweet-spicy glaze made with sriracha, ginger, honey, and garlic.
Get the recipe: Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken Wings 

Guava Empanadas

This version of a popular Latin American street food comes together with just five ingredients. Store-bought dough and fruit paste cut down prep for empanadas stuffed with guava and queso fresco to just 10 minutes. 
Get the recipe: Guava Empanadas 

Crispy Shrimp Tacos

The next time you’re in the freezer aisle, grab an extra box of popcorn shrimp for this tasty addition to Taco Tuesday. Store-bought slaw mix tossed with diced tomatoes and cilantro adds a fresh bite of color and crunch.  

Get the recipe: Crispy Shrimp Tacos 

Air-Fried Barbecue Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

These fully loaded spuds are a nutrient-packed riff on potato skins. The air fryer speeds up prep for tender, fluffy sweet potatoes stuffed with saucy rotisserie chicken and melted Colby-Jack cheese.  

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Barbecue Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 

Air Fryer Fish Croquettes

Canned fish is the budget-friendly pantry star that makes these croquettes a snap to pull off any night of the week. A trio of aromatic veggies add savory flavor to air-fried patties of tuna or salmon served with cayenne-spiked yogurt for dipping.  

Get the recipe: Air Fryer Fish Croquettes 

Air-Fried Feta Bites with Honey

Don’t relegate your midweek snacking to the same old bag of chips. Air-fried chunks of tangy feta with everything bagel seasoning and honey make a tasty bite for watching your favorite show or a sweet-savory upgrade for salads and cheese boards. 

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Feta Bites with Honey 

Air Fried Crispy Tofu with Rainbow Slaw

Add more plant power to your dinner routine with this vegan-friendly plate. Crunchy rainbow slaw tossed in homemade orange-sesame vinaigrette adds Asian-inspired flavor to crispy planks of air-fried tofu. 

Get the recipe: Air Fried Crispy Tofu with Rainbow Slaw 

Air-Fried Breakfast Taquitos

Need another reason to love the air fryer? It can help you get a jump start on busy mornings. Crispy taquitos stuffed with bacon, egg, and cheese are a portable, grab-and-go breakfast that’s easy to make ahead, freeze, and reheat.  

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Breakfast Taquitos 

Air-Fried Lemon Pepper Scallops with Vegetable Sauté

For golden seared scallops without the mess and guesswork of pan frying, it’s the air fryer to the rescue. Pair with a weeknight-friendly mix of pre-sliced veggies and baby bella mushrooms for a satisfying, low-carb meal that preps in just five minutes. 

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Lemon Pepper Scallops with Vegetable Sauté 

Air-Fried Crispy Brussels Sprouts

If you know a self-proclaimed Brussels sprouts hater, this simple but spectacular recipe might just change their mind. A drizzle of lemon butter is all you need to finish these super sprouts that become irresistibly crisp and flaky in the air fryer. 

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Crispy Brussels Sprouts 

Air-Fried Hasselback Apples

For all the comfort of homemade apple pie without turning on the oven, this showstopping dessert takes the cake. Hasselback apples with cinnamon-nut crumble are easy to make and even easier to enjoy guilt-free with just over 100 calories per serving.   

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Hasselback Apples  

Air Fried Crispy Chicken Cutlets

Another reason we love the air fryer: endless possibilities. These crunchy, panko-crusted chicken cutlets that prep in just five minutes are tasty building blocks for a variety of meals, like sandwiches, salads, pasta, grain bowls, and more.  

Get the recipe: Air Fried Crispy Chicken Cutlets 

Air Fryer Crab and Corn Cakes

These savory seafood patties will transport you to the Maryland shore any night of the week. The air fryer makes it easy to achieve a perfectly crisped exterior on golden cakes studded with crab meat and fresh corn.  

Get the recipe: Air Fryer Crab and Corn Cakes 

Air Fried Banana Split

This better-for-you dessert delivers all the flavors of a classic sundae with a fraction of the calories. The air fryer caramelizes whole bananas stuffed with peanut butter, chocolate chips, and nuts before a finishing dollop of creamy Greek yogurt. 

Get the recipe: Air Fried Banana Split 

Air Fryer Fish Stick Tacos with Crema

A kid-friendly freezer staple helps get these tempting tacos on the table in just 20 minutes. Lime-spiked crema adds bright tang to air-fried fish sticks and crunchy slaw wrapped inside a warm flour tortilla. 

Get the recipe: Air Fryer Fish Stick Tacos with Crema 

Air-Fried Pickles

This bite from the Deep South makes a perfect side for barbecue, a tangy sandwich topper, or a crispy stand-alone snack. An extra dash of dill in the panko breading gives air-fried dill pickle chips a burst of herby flavor complemented by smoky chipotle ranch for dipping. 

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Pickles 

Air-Fried Sandwich Cookies

You don’t have to visit a carnival or theme park for this tempting, four-ingredient treat. Refrigerated crescent dough works as tender pastry wrapped around air-fried chocolate and vanilla crème sandwich cookies. 

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Sandwich Cookies 

 Air-Fried Chicken Taquitos

We’ve got school lunch all wrapped up with these two-bite taquitos kids will devour. Air fry a batch of mini tacos stuffed with rotisserie chicken and two kinds of cheese (or swap in refried beans for a vegetarian version) on the weekend and knockout lunchbox duty for the entire week. 

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Chicken Taquitos 

Air-Fried Asparagus Fries

Watch out, potatoes, there’s a new fry in town. Crispy asparagus with Parmesan-panko coating and creamy garlic dipping sauce might become your family’s new favorite side. 

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Asparagus Fries 

Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Dill pickle brine is the secret ingredient that flavors this juicy chicken inside and out. Serve the crispy cutlets on a soft potato roll with barbecue sauce-spiked mayo and optional pickle slices for even more tang.  

Get the recipe: Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Sandwich 

Air-Fried Gluten-Free Pork Schnitzel

Even those with a gluten-free lifestyle can enjoy these crispy, breaded pork cutlets. Gluten-free panko flecked with garlic and paprika gives boneless, air-fried pork chops irresistible flavor and crunch. 

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Gluten-Free Pork Schnitzel 

Air-Fried Beet Chips

The next time you’re hit with a snack attack, try this nutrient-rich riff on colorful root vegetable chips. Savory beet chips with blue cheese dip are easy to whip up using a mandolin and the air fryer. 

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Beet Chips 

Air-Fried Chicken Drumsticks with Mashed Peas

This affordable weeknight meal gets more veggies on the table with a little help from the freezer aisle. Frozen peas and cauliflower rice combine for a creamy, mashed sidekick to savory, air-fried chicken drumsticks. 

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Chicken Drumsticks with Mashed Peas 

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