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3 air fryer recipes your whole family will love

By Michelle Rogers, CPT | January 25, 2020 | Health & Wellness

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An air fryer is a countertop convection oven that cooks food by circulating hot air. It’s a way to cook food crispy and fast, without deep frying or pan-frying in oil.

The air fryer is cleverly named — you do not “fry” food in the traditional sense since you don’t put oil directly in the appliance. Rather, it is an oven-frying method. Almost any food you cook in the oven can be air fried.

Benefits of an Air Fryer

  1. Because you do not fry in oil, this method of cooking is considered healthier. With an air fryer, greasy foods can be a thing of the past, without losing the taste and crispiness of fried foods.
      
  2. Air fryers cook foods faster and more evenly than a conventional oven. Just remember that foods get done quicker, and require a slightly lower temperature when convection cooked.
      
  3. Air frying is also a great way to sneak more vegetables into your family’s diet. The batter recipe and technique in the fried pickles recipe, below, could be used on any of your favorite veggies. Or if you prefer them non-breaded, just toss the vegetables in a bowl with some olive oil and seasoning; then cook in your air fryer.

Three Recipes your family will love

Here are three easy air fryer recipes that my family loves and I think yours will, too: Boardwalk Fries, Crispy Chicken Nuggets, and Fried Pickles. They also make great finger food for watching the big game on TV or serving guests at a party.

air fryer french fries
Air Fryer Boardwalk Fries

Air Fryer Boardwalk Fries

Ingredients

  • 5 small or 2 large Russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Wash potatoes.
  2. Keep the skins on. Cut into thin fries, about 3/8” to 1/2”.
  3. Place fries in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak for at least 30 minutes. (This part helps remove the extra starch and will make the fries crispier).
  4. Drain and rinse fries.
  5. Lay them out on a sheet pan lined with paper towels and let dry. Blot with additional paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
  6. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees.
  7. In a bowl, toss the fries with the olive oil until well coated.
  8. Add a single layer of fries to the air fryer basket. Do not stack on one another or overload basket. Cook in batches.
  9. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, pausing every 5 minutes to mix the fries using tongs.
  10. When fries are golden brown, remove from fryer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
  11. Cook remaining fries. Serve immediately.

 

air fryer chicken nuggets
Air Fryer Crispy Homemade Chicken Nuggets made with gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Air Fryer Crispy Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Ingredients

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (or gluten-free crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts
  • Spray oil

Directions

  1. Heat air fryer to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut chicken into nugget-sized pieces.
  3. Place flour in a bowl.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs.
  5. Mix panko crumbs, olive oil, and seasoning in a small food processor briefly, just until combined and crumbs are finely crumbled. Place panko crumbs in a bowl.
  6. Dip chicken pieces into the flour, then the egg, then the panko crumbs. Set on a plate.
  7. Spray the coated nuggets with oil.
  8. Place nuggets in the air fryer basket, in a single layer only. Do not overcrowd.
  9. Cook for 8 minutes, pausing at 4 minutes to shake the basket and flip the nuggets if necessary. Cook until golden brown and chicken is fully cooked through (to an internal temperature of 165 degrees).
  10. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Serve immediately.

 

Note: Photo shows nuggets made with gluten-free crumbs, which yields a crispier coating.

air fryer pickles
Air fryer fried pickles

Air Fryer Fried Pickles

Ingredients

Dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Pickles:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (or gluten-free crumbs)
  • Dill pickle chips, about 25
  • Spray oil

Directions

  1. Mix dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Heat air fryer to 400 degrees.
  3. Place pickles on a plate lined with paper towels. Blot with another paper towel to dry and remove as much liquid as possible.
  4. In a bowl, combine flour and pepper.
  5. In another bowl, whisk the egg.
  6. Mix panko crumbs in a small food processor briefly, just until finely crumbled. Then place panko crumbs in a bowl.
  7. Dip pickle slices into the flour, then the egg, then the panko crumbs. Set on a plate.
  8. Spray all of the coated pickle slices with oil.
  9. Place half of the pickles in the air fryer basket, in a single layer only.
  10. Cook for 6-7 minutes until golden brown, pausing halfway to shake the basket and flip chips if necessary.
  11. Repeat with remaining pickles.
  12. Serve hot; accompany with dipping sauce if desired.