Smart Air Frying Guide gives you everything you want to know about air frying just about anything with cooking times, recipe inspiration, ideas for how to adapt your existing recipes for the air fryer, sauce pairings & more.
I understand how overwhelming it can be to jump into a new gadget that changes everything you know about cooking. That was how I felt when I got my first air fryer.
Since I knew I wasn’t the only one, I wanted to put together a resource that took the unknown and made it easy to grasp. I wanted to make it simple to increase the outcome for success.
So here you will find tips and tricks for using your air fryer. You will also find some basic recipes for certain types of food.
But many of these aren’t specific recipes. Think of them more like a template that you can use as a base for whatever is it that you are making. Just plug in different ingredients in the recipe to change it up and make it easy.
These have all been broken out into meal-type – so be sure to scroll through to the bottom. We have Breakfast and Brunch, Snacks, Vegetables, Appetizers, Sides, Seafood, Pork, Poultry, Beef, Lamb, and, of course, Dessert.
I hope this Smart Air Frying Guide helps you love your air fryer as much as I love mine! Let’s get started.
Breakfast and Brunch – Smart Air Frying Guide
I know that when you think of air frying – breakfast isn’t the first thing to come to mind. But there’s a lot that can be made with the air fryer. Here is just a small list of ideas to get you started.
- Eggs – scrambled, hard-boiled, quiche, egg cups, frittata, bell pepper rings, steak and eggs, breakfast burritos
- Toaster pastries
- donuts, fritters
- stuffed crescents
- muffins, scones, bread (banana & chocolate zucchini)
- breakfast hash
Some of these recipes you can find links to here on my site – or found in The Essential Air Fryer Cookbook for Two.
How do you make hard-boiled eggs in the air fryer?
Air fryer Hard “Boiled” Eggs cook at 270 degrees for 15 minutes.
Visit my post for hard-boiled eggs for details.
Can I scramble eggs in the air fryer?
Air fryer Scrambled Eggs cook at 300 degrees for up to 8 minutes.
Scrambling eggs is possible in the air fryer. Be sure to have a pan that fits in your air fryer that will contain the eggs before they solidify.
- 1 tbsp milk, milk-substitute or mayo – some even prefer water PER EGG you are making
- 1/2 tsp oil or butter PER EGG you are making
- OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS…
- 1/8-1/4 cup shredded cheese of your preference depending on how cheesy you like it. You can also omit the cheese if you want.
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Feel free to add extras like diced green chilies, mushrooms, bell peppers, or onions.
- You don’t need to preheat the air fryer for scrambled eggs. Just oil the pan before adding in the egg mixture.
- You can also set the air fryer to 300 degrees and place the pan inside with the butter in it to melt it for 1-2 min.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the other ingredients and then add this mixture to the greased pan.
- Cook at 300 degrees for about 2-3 minutes, then stir the eggs by pushing them to the center of the pan. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring 2 more times throughout. The cooking and stirring will have you pulling open the basket multiple times – that’s fine. The machine will just pause each time you do this.
How do you make pastries in the air fryer?
So the really cool thing about the air fryer is the technology makes something as simple as refrigerated biscuit dough, puff pastry sheets and other quick ingredients into “homemade” favorites.
Donuts & Donut Holes
Air fryer Donut Holes bake at 350 degrees, whole Donuts at 360 degrees for 5 minutes.
- flaky buttermilk biscuits
- Coatings can be made with granulated sugar, cinnamon, confectioner’s sugar and more.
- Just preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
- To make donuts you will cut the centers out of the biscuits, to make donut holes you just cut the biscuits into about 4 pieces.
- Spray them with oil and cook for 4-5 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
- Dredge them in sugar or add a glaze before serving.
- You can also place the dough in whole to cook and then pipe your favorite jelly into the centers when they are done cooking.
Air fryer Toaster Pastries bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
- refrigerated pie crust
- filling (usually jam or preserves, or use Nutella)
- You’ll need to preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
- Cut the pie crusts into an equal number of pieces – all the same size.
- Spread the desired filling in the center of half of them and then close them with the other unfilled halves. You can wet the dough a little to get it to stick together and then pinch it with a fork.
- Place them on parchment in the basket, brush the tops lightly with oil and cook for 11-12 minutes.
- You can add frosting or sprinkles once cooled.
- If you want to use homemade pie crust – check out my recipe here.
How to make Egg in a Hole using Puffed Pastries?
Air fryer Eggs in a Hole bake at 390 degrees for 21 minutes.
- frozen puffed pastry
- Optional – shredded cheese, fresh parsley
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees.
- Thaw the puff pastry and lay it out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Cut into the desired size and place it in a lined air fryer. Cook for 9-10 minutes.
- Remove, press into the center to make an indentation – then add one egg into the center of each pastry. This is also where you would add any additional ingredients.
- Return to the air fryer for another 7-11 minutes, or until eggs are cooked.
Refrigerated crescent roll dough can be cooked in the air fryer- with or without other favorite ingredients wrapped inside at 320 degrees for 6-7 minutes.
How do you make Quiche in the air fryer?
Air fryer quiche bakes at 300 degrees for 19-20 minutes.
- frozen pie crust
- 6 large eggs or 8 medium eggs
- ½ cup heavy cream, milk, or milk substitute
- ½ cup sour cream or ricotta cheese
- Optional items – usually about 1/4 cup of each) include baby spinach, chopped, diced ham, diced tomatoes, diced green chilies, mushrooms, shredded cheese.
- Additional Optional items – 1-2 tbsp larger seasonings – try minced onions, chives, bacon bits
- Optional items – 1-2 tsp ground seasonings such as salt, pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder.
- Thaw the pie crust and add it to your air-fryer baking dish.
- Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into the prepared pie crust.
- Bake for 19-20 minutes at 300 degrees. If you are adding toppings, do that after the first 10-12 minutes of baking.
- Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Snacks and Appetizers – Smart Air Frying Guide
My absolute favorite thing to make in the air fryer is snacks. The air fryer makes everything so quick and easy. Check out some of these awesome recipe ideas you can make – using your air fryer.
- Apple or Pear Chips
- Seasoned Crackers
- Potato Chips
- Fried Pickles
- Zucchini Fries
- Onion Bites
- Jalapeno Poppers
- Seasoned Kale Chips
- Homemade Croutons
- Seasoned Chickpeas
- Mozzarella Bites or Sticks
- French Fries – or Steak Fries
- Hush Puppies
- Savory Fritters
- Fried Artichoke Hearts
- Spicy Peppers
- Mini Pizza – use pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperonis. Or use shredded chicken, cream cheese, buffalo sauce, ranch seasoning, mozzarella cheese & blue cheese for a buffalo chicken pizza flavor.
- Pretzel Bites
- Chicken Wings
- Cheesy Spinach Dip or any other flavor cheese dip
- Fried Wontons
- Chicken Tenders
- Fried Ravioli
- BBQ Smokies
How to make Basic Granola Bars in the air fryer.
You can adapt this basic granola bar recipe & then cook in the air fryer – or use the guidelines below.
- 1-1/4 cup oats – any type
- 1/4-1/3 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 3-4 tbsp honey
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Optional items – add-ins such as vanilla extract, cinnamon, dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, flax seeds, or nuts.
- Grind half of the oats in a blender. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Stir in remaining oats, and all other ingredients.
- Press into a flat, layer in an air fryer baking pan.
- Bake in the air fryer for 10 minutes at 320 degrees, then increase the heat to 360 degrees and cook another 5 minutes.
- Allow them to set before cutting into bars and serving.
Want a Dipping Sauce for your snacks?
- Mix ½ cup mayonnaise with bbq sauce or mustard. Add a little honey or maple syrup if you want it sweeter.
How do you make pickle chips in the air fryer?
- sliced pickles, drained
- eggs, beaten
- crushed crackers, panko, or breadcrumbs
- Soak the pickles in the buttermilk for at least 1 hour.
- Dip the soaked pickles in the flour, then in the eggs, and then coat in the crunchy ingredient of choice.
- Place them in a parchment-lined basket and then spray with oil.
- Cook at 390 degrees for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Can I cook chickpeas in the air fryer?
- garbanzo beans, drained
Alternate seasonings… about 1 tsp or less of each
- cinnamon and sugar mix
- chili powder
- taco seasoning
- ranch seasoning
- garlic powder
- Italian seasoning
- lime juice
- Cook the chickpeas at 390 degrees for 17 minutes. Shake and stir, spraying with more oil every 5-7 minutes.
- During the last 2-3 minutes left to cook, sprinkle half of any desired seasoning over the beans. Cook for the final few minutes.
- Transfer them to a bowl, toss with remaining seasonings before serving.
Note – you can take these same or similar ingredients along with a drizzle of olive oil to coat oyster or another snack cracker or pretzel. Then cook for 10-12 minutes at 325.
How do you make jalapeno poppers in the air fryer?
- jalapeno peppers- halved and deseeded
- cream cheese, dairy-free is fine
- bread crumbs
- ½-1 tsp seasonings of choice
- Combine the cream cheese, half of the bread crumbs, and desired seasonings- mix well.
- Divide the mixture between the halved peppers.
- Sprinkle the tops with any remaining breadcrumbs.
- Cook at 370 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
How do you make fried mozzarella in the air fryer?
- mini mozzarella balls or mozzarella cheese sticks cut into bite-sized pieces
- egg – whisked
- breadcrumbs or panko
- 1-2 tsp seasonings of choice
- all-purpose flour
- Freeze the cheese for at least 30 minutes.
- Place the frozen cheese into a zip-top bag with the flour and shake it around to coat.
- Dip the cheese in the whisked egg and then in the panko.
- Return to the freezer for at least 1 hour.
- Spray with oil and cook in a preheated air fryer at 370 degrees for 5 minutes before you are ready to cook.
Vegetables and Sides – Smart Air Frying Guide
Veggies are one of the EASIEST things to make in your air fryer. Many of which only require a light spritz of oil and whatever desired seasonings added to them before cooking. They are FAST and SIMPLE.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Chile Rellenos
- Seasoned Cauliflower
- Zucchini Boats
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- Green Beans
- Hasselback Potatoes
- Roasted Asparagus
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Roasted Carrots
- Kale Chips
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Zucchini Chips
Can you cook carrots in the air fryer?
- baby carrots
- Combine the carrots with the oil.
- Cook at 390 degrees for 12 minutes.
How to cook broccoli in the air fryer.
- broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp seasoning of choice
- Toss broccoli with oil and seasonings.
- Cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
How do you cook hash browns or potato pancakes in the air fryer?
- 3-5 russet potatoes – peeled & grated
- 3-4 tbsp ground seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, ranch seasoning, or another favorite flavor.
- salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoon oil
- Soak the grated potatoes in water for at least 20 minutes to help remove some of the starch.
- Drain and squeeze out the water.
- Mix well with the other ingredients.
- Spread into a flat layer on a parchment liner.
- Cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
How to make corn on the cob in the air fryer.
Place the corn in the air fryer and cook at 390 degrees for 15 minutes. No need to oil or season it first.
Add desired toppings or seasonings in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Seasonings can include, melted butter, salt, pepper, Feta cheese, chili powder, lime juice, or cilantro.
How do you make cauliflower in the air fryer?
- cauliflower florets
- olive oil
- 1-2 tsp seasonings of choice
- 1-2 tbsp sauce of choice if desired
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
- Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil and add any seasonings at this time.
- Cook for 15 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes.
- Once done, toss with your favorite sauce before serving.
To make this buffalo – combine the florets in a zip-top bag with melted butter, oil, and buffalo sauce – shake around to coat the cauliflower evenly. Add in some flour and seasonings – and toss to coat before cooking.
How to cook fried cabbage in the air fryer.
- butter, melted
- 1-2 tsp seasonings of choice – garlic, salt, pepper
- Cut the cabbage into bite-sized pieces and toss with butter and desired seasonings.
- Cook at 375 degrees for 10 minutes tossing halfway through.
How long to cook squash in the air fryer?
- Chop into large pieces and then drizzle with oil.
- Cook at 400 degrees for 17 minutes, or until tender.
How long to cook zucchini in the air fryer?
- Place zucchini slices in the air fryer.
- Sprinkle with cheese and cook at 370 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is dark, golden brown.
Can you air fry peppers?
- Shishito, Banana, Sweet, Bell, Cherry or Poblano peppers
- 1-2 tsp seasonings of choice
- optional – sprinkle with cheese after cooking
- Rinse the peppers and pat dry. Slice them if they are large – removing seeds and membranes.
- Toss with the oil and any desired seasonings.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until blistered but not burnt.
How long do you cook baby potatoes in the air fryer?
- 1-pound baby potatoes
- olive oil
- 2-3 tsp seasonings of choice – granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, ranch seasoning, taco seasoning, Italian seasoning, parsley
- optional – grated parmesan cheese
- Toss the potatoes with a drizzle of oil and desired seasonings.
- Cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring after 7-8 minutes.
How do you make fresh green beans in the air fryer?
- 1-pound fresh green beans
If you want to make them crispy-
- 1 tbsp seasoning of choice – garlic, onion, or ranch powder
- Clean the green beans and toss with oil.
- If making them crispy, toss with panko and seasonings too.
- Cook at 390 degrees for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
Can you make stuffed mushrooms in the air fryer?
- Cremini mushrooms
- olive oil
- 2-4 tsp seasonings of choice- such as granulated garlic, taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, dried onion soup mix, salt, and pepper.
- parmesan, mozzarella, or other cheese
- Toss cleaned mushrooms with the oil and seasonings.
- Cook at 370 degrees for 13 minutes.
- Add cheese and cook for another 2 minutes.
How long to cook asparagus in the air fryer?
- Toss asparagus with oil and any desired seasonings – garlic, chili powder, taco seasoning, Italian seasoning, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Cook at 390 degrees for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.
Seafood – Smart Air Frying Guide
Seafood is so quick and easy in the air fryer. When you are making light meals with ingredients such as seafood, you want to also keep the prep simple and the air fryer allows you to do that. Check out all these great seafood ideas to make in your air fryer.
- Tuna Melt
- Shrimp – skewered, coconut, parmesan & so many other flavors
- Filet – either salmon, catfish, cod, flounder, mahi-mahi, halibut, and more
- crab cakes
How to make fish filet like salmon, mahi-mahi, cod, flounder, swordfish or halibut in the air fryer?
- fish fillets
- 2-3 tsp dry seasonings such as salt, pepper, Old Bay seasoning, chili powder, garlic, or onion powder.
- Combine any seasonings and sauce ingredients and brush over the top of the filet.
- Add a sprinkle of dry seasonings.
- Cook at 400 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes (10 min for cod) or until it flakes easily when pulled at with a fork.
- Remove and serve with additional sauce, your favorite glaze, or just a lemon slice, sprig of dill, or rosemary on top.
**1-2 tbsp sauce ingredients – such as teriyaki, sesame oil, lemon juice, orange juice, pineapple juice.
**You can also make a sauce by mixing 1/4 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream, 3 tbsp flavoring such as hot sauce, garlic paste, pesto or mustard, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, and 1-1/2 tsp salt – heating over medium heat until thickened. For added flavor and garnish – add a sprig of dill or rosemary.
Can muscles be cooked in an air fryer?
Cook at 390 degrees for 4 minutes, stir and cook another 4 minutes or until the mussels have opened.
**Add a mixture of melted butter, garlic and chives when serving.
How do you air fry calamari?
- 1/2 -1-pound squid, sliced thin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tsp additional seasonings – if desired – like chili powder, Old Bay seasoning, or garlic powder
- 1 egg
- Olive oil
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
- Combine the flour, and seasonings in a zip-top bag. Set aside.
- Toss the squid in the beaten egg and then transfer to the flour mixture and shake to coat.
- Spray with oil and cook for 8-9 minutes, turning halfway through.
Can you cook scallops in the air fryer?
- 1-pound sea scallops
- Cook the scallops at 320 degrees for 5 minutes, flipping them over after 3 minutes so they are perfectly brown on both sides. No seasonings required.
These can be served with a lemon butter, teriyaki, sweet chili sauce or sun-dried tomato sauce.
**To make a sauce for the scallops – combine 2 tbsp – ¼ cup of your favorite sauce (marinara, garlic mayo, or herb oil), 1-3 tbsp heavy cream or evaporated milk, 1-2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp granulated garlic, 1-2 tsp seasonings of choice – salt and pepper, Old Bay seasoning, onion powder, chili powder. Bring to a simmer for 2 minutes and then set aside. Add the sauce to the top of the scallops when serving. For added flavor and garnish – add a sprig of dill or rosemary.
Flavored Sauces for your seafood
- Combine ½ cup butter and 2 tsp seasoning of choice – garlic paste, pesto, chili powder
**You can also place the shrimp on skewers – season or brush with sauce and cook at 400 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes or until pink and firm.
**If making with a Cajun flair – toss with rice, smoked sausage and red beans.
**You can also give this shrimp an Asian flavor by tossing with your favorite sweet chili sauce before serving.
**try making a balsamic glaze with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2-3 tbsp of honey and a splash of olive oil.
**you can also use your favorite teriyaki sauce when making salmon filet.
Can you cook tilapia in the air fryer?
- Place the filets in a preheated 400-degree air fryer.
- Spray with oil.
- Cook for 4 to 6 minutes depending on the thickness.
You can also dip the filets in an egg wash and coat with breadcrumbs or panko prior to cooking for added texture.
If you want to make fish sticks – slice the fillets into strips. Coat in an egg wash, then breadcrumbs and seasonings. Spray with oil, then cook at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
**You can also do this with catfish – cut into slices or bites. Season with a spicy Cajun powder.
Poultry – Smart Air Frying Guide
We love making chicken recipes in our air fryer. Not only do we already keep our meals lean by choosing chicken – but making it in the air fryer reduces the fat too. Here are some really delicious recipes to try in your air fryer.
- Lemon Pepper Chicken
- Chicken Tenders
- Chicken Thighs
- Crispy Chicken Parmesan
- Chicken Strips
- Popcorn Chicken
- Spinach Stuffed Chicken
- Whole Chicken
- Chicken Nuggets
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Chicken Wings
- Chicken Sandwich
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Chicken Drumsticks
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Game Hens
- Turkey Breast
How to make turkey breast in the air fryer.
- Cook turkey breast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Remove turkey and brush with sauce.
- Bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
To make a glaze for the turkey –
- In a small saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and whisk well.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat until sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside until the turkey breast is done.
Beef, Pork and Lamb – Smart Air Frying Guide
The possibilities are endless when it comes to making beef, pork and lamb in the air fryer. Check out these super tasty ideas!
- Pork Chops
- Cheesesteak Taquitos
- Honey Baked Ham
- Meatball Subs
- Steak Bites
- Lamb Chops
- Ham & Cheese Pockets
- Pork Tenderloin
- Hot Dogs
- Lamb Burgers
- Sweet & Sour Pork
- Pork Belly Bites
- Sausage & Peppers
- Beef Stir Fry
- Crescent Dogs
- Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs
- Mongolian Beef
- Beef Jerky
- Blue Cheese Burgers
How to make schnitzel in the air fryer.
Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees. Coat the chops in an egg wash and seasoned breading. Spray with oil prior too cooking – cook for 8-10 minutes – flip, spray again with oil and cook another 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.
Can you make beef jerky in the air fryer?
You bet! It was not only one of the first things I learned to make when I first got my air fryer 4-5 years ago. But it is one of my favorite things to make. I love it because it can go low and slow – much lower than I can set my oven at.
Just marinate your strips of steak for 30 minutes in a zip-top bag with your seasonings of choice. Then cook in a single layer at 180 degrees for 2 hours – checking every 15 minutes.
Dessert – Smart Air Frying Guide
Now for the best part – dessert. When I figured out that my air fryer wasn’t just for savory foods I fell in love all over again. Check out all these super creative ideas for making dessert with the air fryer.
- Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
- Cherry Pie
- Angel Food Cake Churro Bites
- Fried Twinkies
- Mug Cakes
- Dessert Pizza
- Chocolate Lava Cakes
- Chocolate Filled Wontons
- Meringue Cookies
- Grilled Peaches
- Baked Apples
- Berry Crumble
- Berry Cheesecake
- Apple Fries
- Apple Pie Egg Rolls
- Funnel Cake
- Elephant Ears
- Fried Oreo Cookies
- Hand Pies
How to air fry Candy Bars, Twinkies, or Oreo Cookies.
Just wrap the treat in refrigerated biscuit dough. Place in the air fryer, spray with oil and cook at 200 for 10 minutes, flipping and spraying with more oil halfway through.
Whew – you made it to the end. Great job! That was a lot of info crammed into this Smart Air Frying Guide. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you can keep up to date with all of our latest recipes and ideas.
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