No matter your cooking experience, air fryer recipes for beginners are among some of the most sought-after culinary tips on the internet today. We have two air fryers, and it’s taken time to feel comfortable cooking in them. But, cooking in an air fryer shouldn’t be intimidating; it should be quick and easy!
These magical machines are lauded as one of the best ways to fry food, and easy air fryer meals are revolutionizing how we approach mealtime. From vegetarian options to air fryer healthy recipes, there are choices to suit every dietary requirement and taste preference.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What Makes Cooking With An Air Fryer So Easy
In today’s modern world, everyone has a little less time than they would like – but that doesn’t mean we should skimp on quality and nutrition! There are many air fryer recipe ideas perfect for creating crispy, juicy meals that retain their flavor without adding calories.
Air fryer recipes that are easy, make meal preparation and last-minute dinners a breeze, as the minimal steps and simple guidelines mean that even the most inexperienced chef can create something delicious.
Anyone who has been in a rush knows how important easy dinner recipes can be. Easy air fryer meals like quiche react incredibly quick to the heat of the machine, resulting in fluffy eggs that melt in the mouth – perfectly nutritious and incredibly tasty for nights when you just don’t have the energy to whip something complicated up.
Finally, air fryers are designed to be fairly fool-proof. So long as you don’t crowd the basket and avoid adding oils or greases with a low smoke-point, your air fryer recipes for beginners will turn out absolutely perfect.
Our Top Picks For The Best Air Fryer
- Ninja Foodi 6 in 1 Dual Zone 2 Basket Air Fryer – Our second air fryer we had in Ireland >> Perfect for cooking two different dishes at once
- COSORI Electric Hot Air Fryer – Our first air fryer in Ireland >> Compact and easy to use and clean
- GoWISE Deluxe Air Fryer Oven – The air fryer we owned in Spain >> Great first air fryer option for beginners
What Does Air Fried Food Taste Like
So what does air-fried food actually taste like? Put simply – air fryer recipes taste like extra crispy, oven-baked food. Air-fried food tends to retain its moisture a lot better than food that has been cooked in the oven or a frying pan. This is particularly important for meals like lamb chops and salmon, which can easily become overcooked and dry.
And, yes, this means that even novice chefs can include dishes like lamb and salmon in their list of air fryer oven recipes for beginners!
Air-fried food can have a similar taste and texture to deep-fried foods, particularly when it comes to snacks like chicken nuggets. However, it’s important to remember that no oil is required – don’t be tempted to add it to the basket! This is one of the mistakes beginners make when making air fryer dinner recipes.
Tips For Making Easy Air Fryer Recipes
Air fryer recipes for beginners make luxury recipes completely accessible. However, some tips to keep in mind when making your first east dinner recipes for beginners!
First, keep your air fryer clean. Recipes with a strong marinade like Moroccan chicken or pasta bake can leave a scent in your air fryer, which can affect the taste of future meals.
Cooking can be quite intensive, even with air fryer oven recipes for beginners. Even if you’re just browning vegetables, remove your basket and shuffle the contents every couple of minutes for even heat distribution.
I also warn people not to expect french fries to taste the same as deep-fried french fries. Our new accountant in Ireland visited us and saw the two air fryers we have in the kitchen. He asked how to use an air fryer and I replied with a warning. Your Irish chips aren’t going to taste the same as deep-fried. That said, everything else we cook tastes great!
Get more air fryer recipes here:
The Easiest Air Fryer Recipes For Beginners
Here are our recommendations for easy beginner recipes in an air fryer. Each includes a list of ingredients (many of them only have a couple of ingredients) and tips on how to use an air fryer for beginners.
Main Dishes – Meats And Fish In The Air Fryer
Looking for some air fryer quick dinner recipes? Here’s a collection of options for cooking meat and dish in the air fryer.
7 Ways To Air Fry Chicken Nuggets
This is probably what we tend to use our air fryer for the most – all sorts of chicken tenders and strips. It’s an easy lunch or late-night air fryer snack. If you’re new to air frying chicken, this guide to making adult chicken nuggets is a must-read. It includes 7 different seasoning blends so you can keep meals interesting.
Crispy Chicken Drumsticks
These Air Fryer Chicken Legs are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. This is one of my favorite chicken drumstick recipes because they are so easy to cook but super delicious and require only 3 ingredients! This recipe uses an air fryer oven, as you can see in the photo above, but it works just as well in a regular air fryer.
Crispy Breaded Pork Chops
Eric loves pork chops, but I’ve never been a fan. I think it’s because my mother used to cook pork chops and they were so dried out. But, that is less likely to happen when using an air fryer, which circulates the air better. Easy air fryer recipes like this one means less dried out meat, and more juicy, flavorful dishes.
These easy air fryer pork chops have a perfectly crispy exterior, tender inside, and are cooked so quickly. Pair them with your favorite side dish and you have a wonderful easy 20-minute meal for any weeknight.
Air Fryer Salmon
Are you ready for the best tasting glazed salmon of your life?! This easy air fryer salmon fish recipe is so flavorful with hoisin sauce and other Asian spices. You end up with a crispy exterior, super moist flesh, and done in only 15 minutes!
Easy Air Fried Turkey Meatballs
These easy air fryer turkey meatballs are tender, moist and delicious with an Italian-inspired flavor profile. You can use any kind of meat, though, when preparing meatballs for an air fryer.
Air Fried Moroccan Chicken
This 15-minute air fryer chicken is full of Moroccan flavors without the long cooking time. They’re a big hit in our family!
Looking for more Moroccan recipes? Check these out:
Air Fried Lamb Chops
Sure, dropping some frozen nuggets or meatballs into an air fryer is one of the easiest ways to get started with an air fryer for beginners, but take things up a notch by cooking lamb!
These air fryer lamb chops are super easy to make and require just a few ingredients! You can season them yourself, or sometimes we buy them marinated from the grocery store to make them even easier!
Air Fried Brats
This easy Air Fryer Brats recipe shows you exactly how to cook bratwurst in the air fryer quickly and easily! Whip them up on a busy weeknight to enjoy with peppers, onions, and sauerkraut or on hot dog buns.
Air Fryer Dinner Recipes
Did you know it’s possible to cook entire meals in an air fryer. These easy air fryer meals include protein and vegetables or potatoes in one dish, making dinner to easy!
Air Fried Chicken Fajitas
Easy air fryer cooking doesn’t have to mean just throwing a protein into the air fryer. You can build an entire meal in one basket. Make perfect chicken fajitas in the air fryer in just 20 minutes! This recipe is easy, quick, and makes a wonderful weeknight dinner. Warm up some tortillas and toss on some sour cream and you have an entire meal.
Meatloaf In An Air Fryer
This delicious barbecue cheddar meatloaf is a great, simple recipe that takes half the time as it does in the oven. Simply mix the meatloaf ingredients, shape it into a loaf and air fry!
Air Fryer Pasta Bake
When we bought our first air fryer, I had no idea that you could put baking dishes into the air fryer in order to make entire meals, desserts, or even cakes. It opened up a whole world of air fryer ideas I hadn’t even thought of, one of them being a cheesy pasta bake.
Cook the most delicious and comforting cheesy pasta bake in a fraction of the time in your air fryer. This pasta casserole is easy to adapt to suit your tastes and is ready to serve in less than 25 minutes for a hearty and filling family dinner.
Air Fryer Chicken Fried Rice
Cook up a delicious Chinese-inspired dinner in less than 20 minutes! This air fryer chicken fried rice is one tasty family-friendly dinner that’s made with pantry staples. With flavors of soy sauce and ginger, it’s as good as any takeout!
Air Fried Nachos With Chicken
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Nachos is a cheesy flavorful comfort food treat that cooks in less than 5 minutes, making it the perfect meal or snack for your busy family.
Having lived overseas for the last 10+ years, nachos are comfort food for us. This version is super easy to make, too.
Easy Air Fried Quiche
One of the easiest things to make in an air fryer is a crustless quiche! The air frying does wonderful things to eggs, so light and fluffy and done in 10 minutes or less! A great recipe for beginners just starting out with air frying!
Potatoes, Vegetables, And Sides
Foolproof Frozen French Fries
For the ultimate foolproof recipe for cooking frozen crinkle-cut french fries in the air fryer, try this recipe. They will be hot, crispy, and yummy with just the right amount of time to cook in the air fryer. This tasty recipe is healthier than deep-frying plus ideas for great dipping sauces.
I also find that crinkle-cut fries are some of the best to make in an air fryer. They tend to be more crispy than other versions, and mimick deep-frying the best.
Air Fried Onion Rings
You’re going to love how quick and easy it is to make frozen onion rings in air fryer! With absolutely no prep work needed, these perfectly crispy onion rings are ready to serve in minutes.
Air Fried Garlic Bread – Texas Toast
Frozen garlic bread is easy to make in the air fryer. They turn out perfect in a matter of minutes.
You can also sprinkle Texas Toast with parmesan cheese or shredded mozzarella to jazz them up.
Baby Potatoes With Rosemary
Pair these with the lamb chops from above to impress! Herbed air fryer baby potatoes are a quick and simple air fryer recipe that’s great for beginners and pros alike. Toss cut baby potatoes in oil and seasonings, then air fry til golden and crispy.
Sweet Potatoes With Brown Sugar
Air Fryer Sweet Potatoes are topped with brown sugar cinnamon butter after cooking into tenderness in the air fryer. The flavored butter is the crowning glory and melts into and flavors tender baked sweet potatoes.
5 Ways To Air Fry Brussel Sprouts
We love using our air fryer for brussel sprouts, normally cooking them up with pancetta or garlic and a drizzle of balsamic. But there are various ways to cook them in an air fryer. Brussels sprouts are perfect for air frying. This guide teaches you how to make them with minimal prep and includes 5 seasoning combos.
Baby Carrots With Honey
It is so easy to make air fryer roasted baby carrots. These carrots are coated with honey and melted butter after they are cooked making them one delicious side dish.
Corn On The Cob
Air fryer corn ribs make the best sweet and juicy snack, side or appetizer. Cooked in 10 minutes using a deliciously spiced rub and minimal oil.
Air Fried Asparagus
Air Fryer Asparagus cooks to be perfectly tender with just enough bite to not be soggy. Cooked with less oil, have his easy and delicious asparagus on the table in less than 10 minutes!
Air Fryer Broccoli
Making air fryer broccoli is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to enjoy this vegetable, and it can be enjoyed by the whole family! This is a great alternative to steaming or boiling vegetables.
Loaded Air Fried Baked Potatoes
Are you looking for an easy way to make a crispy and delicious baked potato? You can have these simple air fryer baked potatoes on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Easy Air Fried Snacks
Healthy Homemade Potato Chips
With just three natural ingredients, you can make delicious homemade air fryer potato chips in no time. They are crispy and delicious and made with very little oil. This makes them a healthy air fryer recipe.
Air Fried Popcorn
It is a breeze to make air fryer Popcorn. Quick recipe. Needs only one ingredient. Perfect for a healthy munchie.
Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
These Air Fryer Tortilla Chips are an absolutely wonderful semi-homemade snack for parties or just for yourself! Use store bought flour or corn tortillas and almost no oil, and you’ll have them on your plate, ready in a snap!
Air Fried Kale Chips
These easy air fryer kale chips are a healthy and tasty snack! Make them at home in your Instant Pot Air Fryer for a healthy snack.
Air Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich
This is a fail-proof method to make the best Air Fryer Grilled Cheese ever! Made in minutes and way easier than a stovetop.
Air Fried Bagel Bites
Whether for a quick breakfast or a midday snack, bagel bites are easy to make in an air fryer. This recipe makes me miss the bagels from back home in NJ. They are stuffed with cream cheese and topped with everything seasoning.
Perfect Frozen Pizza In The Air Fryer
Everybody absolutely LOVES pizza! With this air fryer frozen pizza recipe, you can make the best-tasting pizza right at the comfort of your own home!
Enjoy these air fryer flatbread pizzas with a crispy crust and bursting with flavor. Easy to assemble and quick to cook, make personal pizzas for the whole family or serve as a tasty appetizer.
Air Fried Gyoza Dumplings
Obsessed with Asian-style dumplings, potstickers, and gyoza!? These crispy and savory frozen dumplings in the air fryer are super and delicious.
We learned how to make dim sum at home when living in Ireland. We didn’t have a single dim sum restaurant in our city! So, we purchased different types of dumplings from our local Asian supermarket. We often steamed them in a basket on the stovetop, but making dumplings in an air fryer is so much easier.
Turn frozen ravioli into a scrumptious appetizer with just a few simple ingredients. With a crispy crunch and cheesy middle, these Air Fryer Frozen Toasted Raviolis make the best appetizers for Italian dinner night with spaghetti or even pizza.
FAQs – Easy Air Fryer Recipes For Beginners
There are so many reasons why we love cooking in our air fryer. Here are some of the questions we get from friends and family who don’t know how to make the most of an air fryer when they first purchase one.
Anything that you could put in a deep-fryer or in an oven will work well in an air fryer. The easiest things are meats perfect for roasting as well as vegetables and potatoes.
Anything you can pull from the freezer! All of those tasty snacks and treats in the frozen food aisle will cook quicker and easier in an air fryer. The air fryer is healthier than deep frying. And, it will cook quicker than in the oven without needing a long time to pre-heat the oven.
It’s a great one-pot option that is easy to clean. Particularly in a dual basket air fryer, like the one we have, you can cook two things at once without even turning on the oven or stove top.