If you’re new to using an air fryer, we’ve got you covered! These are the best recipes for beginners because they are fail proof, easy and help you learn exactly what your air fryer can do! Simple recipes with great flavor!

Leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite air fryer recipe is!

a collage of air fryer recipes shown with a title

Air fryers are really popular right now and for good reason. I am literally obsessed with my air fryer (I have several but THIS ONE is my favorite). It makes delicious meals without a mess, cooks in a fraction of time, needs little fat, is easy to clean, and makes great food.

So, what can you make in an air fryer?! We’ve got you covered!

Air Fryer Recipes for Beginners

The collection of air fryer recipes below are great starter recipes. Our beginner recipes are:

  • easy to make
  • fail proof, these are the tried and true favorites
  • selected to show you exactly what you can do with an air fryer
  • tried, tested and true so they’ll work perfectly in almost any model

5 Beginner Air Fryer Recipes to Start With

1. Roasted Potatoes

AIR FRYER ROASTED POTATOES are crisp on the outside, tender inside and perfect with almost any meal. You’ll see how much quicker an air fryer cooks compared to an oven and how nice and crisp the outside can get.  TIPS: Don’t overcrowd the basket. Fresh garlic can burn so use garlic powder.

Air Fryer potatoes being served
Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes
Perfectly seasoned and crispy, these Air Fryer Potatoes make a great side dish!
View the recipe

2. Chicken Wings

AIR FRYER CHICKEN WINGS are just as good as deep fried with without the splatter of grease. Juicy meat and a crispy exterior. This recipe shows how an air fryer can give results similar to a deep fryer without cooking in grease. Ensure the wings are in a single layer so the air can circulate around them. Wings can also be cooked from frozen.

Air Fryer Chicken Wings on a plate with garnish
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
These air fryer chicken wings are a delicious way to enjoy everyone's favorite appetizer. 
View the recipe

3. Chicken Breast

AIR FRYER CHICKEN BREASTS are very juicy and flavorful and cook up quickly. You’ll see how fast an air fryer is and how it can make lean meats extra tender. TIPS: Check the chicken early with a meat thermometer, chicken breasts can vary in size from 5-10 oz so cooking time can vary.

a plate with air fryer chicken breasts, green beans and rice
Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
Air Fryer Chicken Breasts are perfectly seasoned, tender & juicy!
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4. “Boiled” Eggs

AIR FRYER BOILED EGGS are so easy, require no water and the shells just slide right off. They can be cooked to soft, medium or hard-boiled. This recipe shows the variety of recipes you can make in an air fryer. TIPS: It’s fairly easy but might take one or two eggs to learn the exact time on your specific air fryer.

air fryer hard boiled eggs on a marble
Air Fryer Eggs (Boiled Eggs)
Air Fryer Boiled Eggs come out perfect every time, whether you prefer soft, medium, or hard yolks!
View the recipe

5. Frozen Foods

FROZEN FOODS You’ll be surprised at just how crispy prepared frozen foods from tater tots to fries to egg rolls are in the air fryer. You’ll love how crisp the air fryer can make things. It also demonstrates cooking in batches.

Tip for Frozen Foods: Cook frozen foods in batches so the air can circulate (don’t overfill the basket). Once cooked, put all batches in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes to reheat before serving.

Air Fryer French Fries on a tray
Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
French fries turn out crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside every time when they're cooked in the air fryer!
View the recipe
close up of Air Fryer Frozen Tater Tots on a plate
Air Fryer Frozen Tater Tots
Frozen Tater Tots are so easy to make in the air fryer and come out perfectly crispy & golden every time!
View the recipe

BONUS BEGINNER TIP

Start by using your air fryer to reheat foods. Anything that is crisp or browned reheats beautifully and just as good as the day it was made.

Reheat pizza, burger patties, fried chicken, leftovers, garlic bead, really almost anything! (Pizza can be reheated at 350°F for 3-5 minutes and I don’t even preheat the air fryer! To me it’s even better reheated than when it’s fresh).

What Else Can You Cook in an Air Fryer

Almost anything and everything that isn’t liquid! Meats, eggs, casseroles, potatoes, leftovers, muffins, breads. Here are our favorites:

Air Fryer Appetizers

We love cooking air fryer appetizers because they’re easy, quick and come out as crispy as deep fried without the mess. Make appetizers from scratch or buy prepared appetizers and serve with your favorite sauces.

Air fryer stuffed mushrooms can be filled with almost anything!

close up of Air Fryer Stuffed Mushrooms on a plate
Air Fryer Stuffed Mushrooms
These savory mushrooms are stuffed with a seasoned cheese mixture, then air fried until golden brown!
View the recipe

Better than deep fried, the air fryer makes popcorn shrimp easy! Serve with a side of cocktail sauce.

crispy popcorn shrimp on a tray with cocktail sauce
Crispy Popcorn Shrimp
Perfectly seasoned & breaded shrimp comes out crispy and delicious.
View the recipe

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and perfectly snack-able!

Air Fryer Zucchini Chips
Tender slices of zucchini with a crispy Panko coating.
View the recipe

Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts are sweet, savory, smoky, salty, crispy perfection.

plated Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts are wrapped in bacon, sprinkled with brown sugar, then air fried until crispy on the outside & tender on the inside!
View the recipe

The air fryer makes Pasta Chips a breeze, no deep fryer needed!

Air Fryer Pasta Chips
Air Fryer Pasta Chips are a fun and crunchy alternative to potato chips! Make your own version of the fried Olive Garden favorite appetizer using the air fryer. In just a few minutes a tasty and unusual snack can be ready for dipping and dunking.
View the recipe

Low carb with big flavor, air fryer Zucchini Skins are loaded with cheese and bacon.

bacon cheddar zucchini skins
Air Fryer Zucchini Skins
Tender zucchini skins are topped with cheddar and bacon for a dippable appetizer everyone loves. This snack is naturally a keto appetizer but loved by everyone!
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Crispy homemade onion rings in the air fryer are great for snacking (or served next to a burger!).

close up of Air Fryer Onion Rings on a plate
Air Fryer Onion Rings
Crispy & crunchy air fryer onion rings are perfect as a snack with dipping sauce, or as a side dish with burgers or hot dogs!
View the recipe

Wonton wrappers with a savory pork filling are easy to make in the air fryer.

closeup of Fried Wontons on a plate with dip
Fried Wontons
Try this recipe for crispy fried wontons, either deep-fried on the stove or fried in the air fryer!
View the recipe

Air Fryer Main Dish Recipes

Dinner is ready in a fraction of the time in an air fryer. Meats come out tender and juicy with a nice crust, crumbs and coatings crisp up beautifully and clean up is a breeze.

a cooked whole chicken in an air fryer basket
Air Fryer Whole Chicken
The air fryer is the best way to cook a whole roasted chicken for dinner. Perfectly juicy every time.
View the recipe
close up of cooked Air Fryer Meatballs in the air fryer
Juicy Air Fryer Meatballs
Seasoned with breadcrumbs & Parmesan, these Air Fryer Meatballs are tender & juicy!
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Air Fryer Salmon on a plate with lemon slices
Air Fryer Salmon
This Air Fryer Salmon is tender, flaky, and cooked to perfection!
View the recipe
Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan on a plate with spaghetti
Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
This Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan recipe takes a classic favorite to the next level! Serve with pasta or enjoy on its own any day of the week.
View the recipe
plated Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
These 3 ingredient chicken thighs are so easy to cook in the air fryer! They turn out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside every time.
View the recipe

cooked Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers in the air fryer
Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers
These Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers are loaded with simple, flavorful ingredients and come together so quickly!
View the recipe
Crispy Air Fryer Shrimp in a bowl with dip
Crispy Air Fryer Shrimp
These Air Fryer Shrimp are perfectly seasoned, breaded, and so crispy!
View the recipe

plated Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
Air Fryer Pork tenderloin cooks up juicy and tender every time.
View the recipe
sliced breaded air fryer pork chops on a plate
Crispy & Juicy Air Fryer Pork Chops
Breaded pork chops made in the air fryer turn out perfectly tender & juicy every time!
View the recipe

Sides

The air fryer is great for potatoes and fries but we also love it for roasting veggies. If you have meat drippings in the bottom of your air fryer (especially from chicken skin) toss it with your veggies before you cook them for an extra boost of flavor.

plated Rosemary Air Fryer Potato Wedges with dip
Rosemary Air Fryer Potato Wedges
Crispy and perfectly seasoned, these Rosemary Potato Wedges are a delicious side dish, snack, or appetizer!
View the recipe
AIR FRYER BRUSSEL SPROUTS on a plate with fancy spoon
Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts
With a pleasantly chewy texture and a hint of crispness at the edges!
View the recipe
close up of Garlic Butter Air Fryer Mushrooms in a bowl
Garlic Butter Air Fryer Mushrooms
Air Fryer Mushrooms are easy, elegant, and full of garlicky flavor!
View the recipe
close up of Air Fryer Baked Potatoes cut open with butter and seasoning
Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
Air Fryer Potatoes are so easy to make. Serve with sour cream, bacon, and chives for the perfect side dish!
View the recipe
plated Air Fryer French Fries with ketchup
Crispy Air Fryer French Fries
These Air Fryer French fries are perfectly seasoned, crispy, and golden!
View the recipe
Air fryer asparagus on a serving tray
Air Fryer Asparagus
This crispy air fryer asparagus is ready in under 15 minutes with just a few pantry staples!
View the recipe

A Few Surprising Ideas

Did you know you can brown beef in the air fryer, make nachos, desserts, or even boil eggs? Here are a few things you probably didn’t know you could make in the air fryer.

plated Air Fryer French Toast with syrup and icing sugar
Air Fryer French Toast
Crispy on the outside & fluffy on the inside, this Air Fryer French Toast is the easiest way to make a breakfast favorite!
View the recipe
cooked Air Fryer Bacon in the air fryer
Crispy Air Fryer Bacon
Air Fryer Bacon turns out perfectly crispy every time!
View the recipe
air fryer grilled cheese on a board
Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
Cheesy and golden brown, these air fryer grilled cheese sandwiches are so easy to make for lunch, dinner, or a snack!
View the recipe
a plate of air fryer nachos with sour cream
Air Fryer Nachos
Cheesy, crispy, and full of fresh toppings, these Air Fryer Nachos are a crowd favorite!
View the recipe

How to Use an Air Fryer

An air fryer is essentially a small convection oven that circulates air. The circulation of the air cooks quickly and creates crispy food and great color in a fraction of the time of baking or roasting.

Air Fryers can come in many forms now, from those that are compact countertop versions, to toaster oven style air fryers, and even new full sized ranges with an air fryer feature. Find our top air fryer choices here.

  1. Preheat the air fryer if needed.
  2. Prep the food and place in the air fryer basket ensuring there is space for air to circulate around each piece.
  3. Set the time and temperature on the air fryer and let it work its magic!

How to Preheat an Air Fryer

An air fryer should be preheated if you’d like to get a nice crisp or color on the outside of your food.

  1. If your air fryer has a preheat button, press it and you should be able to adjust the temperature. Allow the air fryer to preheat for approximately 5 minutes or until the air fryer indicated it is preheated.
  2. If your air fryer has no preheat button, set the air fryer to the desired temperature and let it heat for 5-7 minutes. Add the food and reset the timer to the correct time as indicated by the air fryer recipe.

Tips

  1. Add a touch of oil to get a nice crust on most items.
  2. Ensure foods are not wet or they will steam instead of crisp. Use a kitchen towel or salad spinner to dry washed veggies.
  3. Don’t overcrowd the basket or the air won’t circulate properly.
  4. Shake/Flip as needed, this helps to ensure that items cook evenly.
  5. Check foods early because air fryers (and even a different shape of meat) can cook at a different rate.

If you’re new to air frying, let us know what your first couple of recipes are and how they turn out! Happy cooking!!

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

    1. Sure you can! I cook frozen stuffed chicken at 380°F for about 18-20 minutes. You’ll want to ensure it reaches 165°F.

  1. Thank you so much for sharing tips and recipes for first time Air Fryers, Miss Holly! I just bought an InstaPot with an Air Fryer as a late Christmas present, and I am looking forward to trying some delicious dishes!5 stars