14 of our best air fryer recipes for crispy, crunchy bites

Our best air fryer recipes include takeaway-inspired favorites like egg rolls and chicken satay, chicken wings galore, and better-for-you twists on meatballs and burgers. By using an airfryer, you can achieve the crisp, crunchy texture of deep-fried treats with almost no cooking oil. How? The cooking process is similar to cooking with hot air. Instead of using quarts and quarts of vegetable oil, an air fryer uses a fan to circulate super hot air that thoroughly and evenly cooks whatever you put in the basket. Yes, it’s healthier, but it’s also a far less messy cooking process. A win-win.

But it is not only suitable for deep-fried delicacies such as mozzarella sticks, chicken meatballs and French fries. It is also an easy alternative to roasting vegetables such as potatoes or Brussels sprouts in the oven; not only do they get crispier than they do in the oven, but they cook in about half the time. Whether you live in a small apartment with a not-so-functional oven, or you love trying out new gadgets and cooking appliances, a deep fryer will transform the way you cook. There is a wide variety of air fryers on the market, ranging from $50 to $350. Start small and if you fall in love, invest in a smart model. (Spoiler alert: you’re going to fall in love.) Not convinced? Take a look at the 12 recipes below and try to give us a good reason why you want to pass on the air fryer lasagna nachos. We thought so.

Air-Fried Chicken Avocado Egg Rolls by Kevin Curry

A takeout order isn’t complete without a side of egg rolls. Make this to-go favorite at home using just a handful of healthy ingredients — rotisserie chicken, avocado, cilantro, onion and egg rolls — and an air fryer. They are perfectly crispy without the greasy feel of deep-fried treats.

4-Ingredient Air Fryer Salmon by Jocelyn Delk Adams

Baked salmon can get a bit boring. Cook it in an airfryer, glaze it with honey, soy sauce and garlic, and it’s a whole new ballpark.

Air-Fried Lasagna Nachos by Will Coleman

Instead of the usual tortilla chips, these nachos start with lasagna noodles. They are seasoned with Parmesan, olive oil, Italian seasoning and granulated garlic, then cooked in an air fryer until crisp.

Guy Fieri’s Crispy Chicken tenders by Guy Fieri

This is without a doubt the best chicken tender recipe. It’s a bold but honest statement, and here’s why: To make them, you brine chicken tenders in a combination of lemony buttermilk and pickle juice. For even more flavor, the chicken is coated with a seasoned flour mixture and panko breading with paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic and oregano. They are far from your fast food offerings.

Air-Fryer Chocolate Chip Cookie by Jennifer Smith, Grace Like Rain Blog

No need to turn on the oven! Use your airfryer to bake this nine-ingredient cookie dough. Instead of forming individual cookies, make a large-format cookie in a cake pan for an easy-to-share dessert.

Air-Fried Tipsy Tequila Wings by Jernard Wells

Deep-frying chicken wings can be messy, but baking them doesn’t always produce a crispy exterior. By “frying” them in an air fryer, you achieve the crispy, crunchy texture without the need for cups of oil. Toss them in a sauce made from tequila, agave, chipotle in adobo sauce and pineapple juice for a sweet and spicy bite.

Robin Arzón’s Bananas by Robin Arzón

Inspired by a traditional recipe for fried plantains, these better-for-you crispy plantains are baked in an air fryer. “If you’re prepping a lot, you want to just layer in the basket, not overfill them and cook them in batches,” adds Robin Arzón.

Air-Fried Cajun Sweet Potato Fries by Jernard Wells

While it’s easy to pick up a bag of frozen fries from the grocery store, it’s much more satisfying to make your own. By baking them in an air fryer, they become just as crispy as they would be if they were deep-fried.

Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs from Donatella Arpaia

When you’re craving spaghetti and meatballs but want a leaner bite, turn to these better-for-you turkey meatballs. The ground turkey is mixed with softened wholemeal bread, garlic, fresh parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Calabrian chili paste. “The air fryer achieves the golden crust on the outside and moisture on the inside without added fat,” explains Donatella Arpaia.

Tebasaki Wings by Leah Cohen

Toss crispy, air-fried chicken wings in a sauce made with soy sauce, sake, grated garlic, fresh ginger and add black vinegar. It’s a flavorful, umami-packed bite that you’re sure to want seconds of.

Air-Fryer Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce by Gina Homolka

Recreate this popular Southeast Asian-inspired dish using an air fryer. To save time, marinate the chicken up to a day in advance, then come dinner time, all you have to do is fry them and serve them.

Jimmy Fallon’s Air-Fried Chicken Burgers by Jimmy Fallon and Questlove

Ground chicken has a reputation for tasting dry and bland. The way to solve that is with this actually tasty recipe for chicken burgers that are cooked in an air fryer. Jimmy Fallon mixes the meat with a combination of jalapeño pepper, cayenne pepper and breadcrumbs for a heavenly handheld bite.

Air-Fried Cauliflower Tots by Kevin Curry

We’ll never say no to classic Tater Tots, but these Parmesan Cauliflower Tots are just as delicious as the real thing. They are air fried for just 10 minutes until they are crispy.

Sesame Broccoli Poppers by Mia Rigden

This gluten-free sesame broccoli recipe gets its flavor from coconut aminos and tamari, both of which are gluten-free substitutes for soy sauce, a touch of sesame oil, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and white miso paste. It totally transforms broccoli into an appetizer or side dish that everyone will rave about.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com