We just love cooking in our air fryers (yes, plural, we have a couple!). One of the reasons is that it cuts down on the amount of oil and fat needed to cook. This makes cooking in an air fryer more healthy than deep frying or traditional frying. But, air fryer versions of traditional recipes do so much more. We count down some of our favorite healthy air fryer recipes.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Is Air Fryer Cooking Healthier?
I was entirely skeptical when we bought our first (of several air fryers). I, too, wanted to know if air frying is healthy?
Air fryers were originally marketed as an alternative to cooking in oil. It is healthier in comparison to cooking in oil, or deep frying. Even WebMD reports that using an air fryer for cooking can reduce calories by up to 70 or 80%. I normally warn people not to expect that french fries in an air fryer will taste exactly like they do when deep-fried, but they will be healthier. And, they will still be tasty.
But cooking in an air fryer is way more than an alternative place to cook french fries or an alternative to oil cooking. You can broil, roast, dehydrate, and even bake a cake in an air fryer. All without oil.
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
Shopping for a new air fryer? Check out our recommendations for The Best Large Capacity Air Fryers – Reviews
What To Expect With Air Frying Recipes?
In addition to my caveat of expectations when “frying” french fries in an air fryer, I’ve learned a lot in the years since we purchased our first air fryer. Although air fryers won’t create super crispy fries, cooking with less oil is a healthier twist to classic recipes.
First, making healthy air fryer recipes are actually pretty easy. Generally, I will season meats or vegetables in a large mixing bowl. This might include some salt, pepper, cumin (one of my favorite spices), chili powder, paprika, or crushed red pepper. It’s really anything you like.
I will coat the ingredients in a small amount of vegetable or olive oil. Or, for an air fryer version of a recipe, I will sometimes use a spray oil to coat the bottom to ensure ingredients don’t stick without a lot of hot oil when used in a traditional recipe.
Second, I find healthy air fryer cooking to be so simple and quick! Season the ingredients and pop them in the air fryer. Most of these recipes take between 10-20 minutes to cook. And, if you use the Ninja 2-in-1 dual air fryer, you can cook proteins and vegetables side by side!
Best Air Fryer Recipes That Are Healthy
Most of the recipes below also include nutritional information, calories, and lower-fat options. Some are perfect recipes for people keeping low-carb, gluten-free, keto, and even vegan.
That’s the thing about what to cook in an air fryer. It’s more than just an alternative to deep-frying. Air fryers act more like an induction oven. In fact, some are considered air fryer ovens. They roast, bake, reheat, and in fact, we used ours as an alternative to our oven both when living in the hot summers of Spain and while our oven was on the fritz in Ireland.
Check out some of our other recommended air fryer recipes:
Starters And Appetizers
We use our air fryer to cook healthy appetizers either for snacking or to nosh on while making the rest of our dinner. This includes frozen gyoza in an air fryer, to save time having to steam them.
We also make a lot of breaded mushrooms and vegetables in an air fryer, without having to deep-fry them. They also take less time to cook in an air fryer than a traditional oven.
Air Fryer Gyoza
Obsessed with Asian-style dumplings, potstickers, and gyoza!? These crispy and savory frozen dumplings in the air fryer are super and delicious. And, by cooking them in the air fryer instead of frying, these dumplings are more healthy.
Air Fryer Cheese Curds
Learn how to make crispy and delicious fried cheese curds with this easy recipe using your at-home air fryer. This may not be the healthiest air fryer recipe on the list because it is still cheese-based, but it’s definitely more healthy than the same dish deep-fried.
Air Fried Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
So many healthy air fryer recipes involve vegetables, and cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables to cook!
These sweet and tangy air fryer cauliflower wings are coated with teriyaki sauce for a tasty appetizer. Ready in minutes! We also do buffalo cauliflower in the air fryer too, which are a healthy alternative to buffalo wings.
Healthy Air Fried Mushroom Bites
These air-fried mushrooms are made using button mushrooms that are commonly available. This is a quick and easy mushroom appetizer that is keto-friendly and healthy. You can also even throw store-bought breaded mushrooms into the air fryer too!
Southwestern Egg Roll Recipe
These vegetarian Air Fryer Southwest Egg Rolls are a super popular recipe and so easy to make. Crispy on the outside and packed with delicious vegetables, these are wonderful dipped in a zesty ranch.
I love this recipe because when I was in college, I actually worked at a Chili’s for awhile. This was one of my guilty pleasures. I like making this health air fryer version at home!
Healthy Chicken Wings
Delicious and extra crispy Air Fryer chicken wings from the outside, juicy and flavorful on the inside. It’s a quick and easy appetizer to make. And, it’s gluten-free. Chicken wings are one of the best foods for an air fryer because we find it easier than cooking in an oven and definitely lower calorie than deep frying. But, they come out evenly cooked and crispy on the outside.
These zucchini fritters are a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies. They pack quite a nutritious punch too.
I’ve made fritters like this with white beans or chickpeas in the them too. The first time I made them I cooked them in hot oil. But I prefer the air fry version because it’s less greasy.
Air Fried Steak Bites
Super quick and easy Air Fryer Steak Bites are perfectly tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, and seasoned to perfection! Serve them as an appetizer for any occasion, or enjoy them as your main dish!
Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Fries
These Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan Fries make the best crispy appetizer! This recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, and perfect with marinara.
Healthy Buffalo Tofu
This Buffalo Tofu is spicy, flavorful, and packed full of protein! Perfect for those who are vegan or just trying to decrease their meat intake!
Air Fried Chips
An entirely different category of healthy snacks to make in an air fryer – all sorts of chips. This includes healthier classic potato chips, kale chips, sweet potato chips, and more. We often make homemade sweet potato chips in the air fryer even when we order burger delivery. We like our sweet potato chips more!
Healthy Potato Chips Recipe
Homemade potato chips are so easy and healthy when you make them in an air fryer. It takes just three ingredients and an air fryer to make them.
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Chips
Air Fryer Sweet Potatoes are an easy-to-make delicious and nutritious snack or side. They cook quickly and can be enjoyed on their own or paired with your favorite sandwich or burger.
Air Fried Kale Chips
Air fryer kale chips are coated in cashew cheese before cooking for a crispy and delicious healthy snack. Even without the cashew cheese, you can cook kale in the air fryer until crispy and coat in all sorts of tasty seasonings, including paprika, Himalayan salt, or cajun seasoning.
Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
Have you ever tried using your air fryer to make tortilla chips?! These air fryer tortilla chips make a healthier snack option and they turn out ultra-crispy. The recipe includes 5 different flavor options so you can make these chips just the way you like them!
Vegetables And Sides
One of the things I love about our Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer is that we can cook two different things at once. This means we can cook meat and fish on one side while cooking a healthy vegetable or side dish on the other side of the air fryer.
Keto-Friendly Air Fried Radishes
These air fryer vegetables are so full of flavor and so easy to make they will become your go-to. Tons of different veggies will work with the same recipe.
Air Fried Baby Carrots
Get some tasty veggies on your plate in a matter of minutes with these air fryer baby carrots. Seasoned with some pantry staples, they are perfectly tender and so quick and easy to make.
Air Fried Sweet Potatoes
These crispy air fryer sweet potato fries are a healthy side dish, a delicious way to get healthy fries on your table.
Air Fryer Cauliflower Steaks
These air fryer cauliflower steaks are an easy way to fancy up your mealtimes in the most effortless way! With crispy florets that have a wonderful natural nutty flavor, this low-carb cauliflower recipe is quick and easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.
Air Fryer Plaintain Fries
Air fryer plantains are healthy and nutritious. They are vegan, gluten-free, and make a quick snack or a side dish.
Air Fryer Turnip Fries
These turnip fries in the air fryer are a great substitute for French fries. They taste good, are nutritionally better and are low carb. A great way to get your family to eat their veggies.
Air Fryer Roasted Beets
These tender roasted air fryer beets are easy to make for a healthy snack or side dish. Serve them on a salad, or sandwich, or just eat them plain. Making beets in the air fryer is so quick and easy!
Smashed Potatoes In The Air Fryer
Now you can have smashed potatoes without the fuss thanks to air frying. No boiling required!
Roasted Moroccan Potatoes
Moroccan Roasted Potatoes are so easy to make. A perfect side dish of crispy roasted potatoes, jam-packed with spices like cumin, paprika, turmeric, and optional spicy Harissa! No par-boiling, just crispy roasted in an Air Fryer
Healthy Roasted Brussel Sprouts
These air-fried brussel sprouts are a healthy snack or side dish at any meal and are quick and easy when prepared in an air fryer!
Air Fryer Okra
For a quick and delicious snack or side dish, try this Air Fryer Okra! You only need 5 ingredients, and these okra fries take just 15 minutes to get browned and crispy in the air fryer.
Air Fryer Tempeh
This Crispy Air Fryer Tempeh covered in a delicious tempeh peanut sauce is a 20-minute vegan air fryer recipe that everyone will love!
Healthy Air Fryer Meals And Main Courses
Included here are healthy air fryer proteins, like chicken and fish, as well as complete meals that you can cook in an air fryer or air fryer oven.
Air Fryer Whole Chicken
If you love a quick and easy chicken dinner, this Air Fryer Whole Chicken recipe will not disappoint! It’s tender, juicy, and flavorful with extra crispy skin and takes just 50 minutes in the air fryer! This is one of our favorite healthy air fryer chicken recipes.
Air Fryer Cauliflower Pizza
Have you ever tried to make pizza in the air fryer? The great thing is, you don’t need to know how to make dough as this Air Fryer Cauliflower Pepperoni Pizza is breadless!
Air Fried Eggplant Pizza
These Air Fryer Eggplant Pizzas are fun to make and totally delicious. You can experiment with any of your favorite classic pizza toppings for a DIY dinner that the whole family loves.
Air Fried Greek Chicken Bowls
Fresh delicious Air Fryer Greek Chicken Bowls are a filling and satisfying main dish. Moist marinated chicken, favorite Greek ingredients and flavors make this a great choice for lunch, dinner, and meal prepping.
Greek Style Cornish Hens
These Delicious Greek-Style Air Fried Cornish Hens are lower in fat and higher in protein than regular chicken. When cooked in an air fryer, the game hens come out perfectly juicy and have delectable crispy skin.
Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers
A yummy dinner option tonight is the air fryer stuffed peppers with ground turkey! So easy to make with super simple ingredients!
Paleo Meatloaf Sliders
These Air Fryer Paleo Meatloaf Sliders are great for feeding a crowd or getting dinner on the table quickly and easily. Plus kids go ga-ga over mini burgers, so dinner will go down a treat! Or, see our recommendations for other air fryer burger recipes.
Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloin
Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloin makes a great and healthy option. Plus it tastes like thanksgiving dinner in less than 30 minutes!
Herbed Turkey Meatballs
Homemade herbed turkey air fryer meatballs are the perfect weeknight meal. Super versatile, they pair well with salads, mashed potatoes, lots of veggies or even in a meatball sub for lunch the next day. Simply add the ingredients together, roll into balls and cook in the air-fryer for dinner perfection.
Healthy, Crispy Air Fried Pork Chops
These healthier Air Fryer Pork Chops are crispy on the outside, yet deliciously tender and juicy on the inside. And so much faster than cooking in the oven!
Healthy Sausages With No Oil
Air Fryer Sausages are so quick and easy to make and they are healthier too because you don’t need lots of oil. No oil splatter to clean up either and you get perfectly cooked sausages every time.
Air Fryer Honey Roasted Tofu
Crispy air fryer tofu is made to perfection every time, with less fat than the traditional method of deep-frying. In less than 20 minutes, you are tossing your air fryer tofu in a homemade honey garlic sauce that is balanced in flavor and totally satisfying.
Air Fried Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts
Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Chicken is so easy to make and totally delicious using pantry staples. Because the bacon is cooked in the air fryer, it’s healthier than frying the bacon in a pan
Cajun Shrimp In An Air Fryer
Make fresh or frozen Cajun Shrimp in less than 15 minutes. This recipe uses just three ingredients, including DIY cajun seasoning & garlic butter.
Air Fryer Salmon
If you love salmon you’ll love my easy Air Fryer Salmon Recipe that is made in under 15 minutes from start to finish. This gluten-free / dairy-free seafood recipe
Air Fryer Tilapia
Air fryer tilapia is my favorite easy and healthy way to cook a delicious dinner. Whether you are cooking frozen air fryer tilapia or fresh air-fried tilapia, we have got you covered! Fast, healthy, and on the table for family dinner in no time.
Air Fried Fish Cakes
Air Fryer Fish Cakes are easy to make and so delicious. Classic potato and fish patties made with crab and cooked to a golden brown.
Homemade Fish Sticks
Air Fryer Fish Sticks are made with tender cod filets and a crunchy panko and parmesan coating. Homemade fish fingers are an easy and healthy main dish that the whole family will love.
Roasted Rack Of Lamb With Red Pepper Sauce
This rack of lamb with red bell pepper butter sauce is going to bring rave reviews, and no one will ever guess it’s made in the air fryer! The sauce comes together easily and quickly for a no-fuss meal fit for royalty.
Healthy Mexican Dishes In An Air Fryer
Oftentimes, Mexican dishes can be heavy, loaded with cheese and sour cream, particularly Tex-Mex recipes. But, there is an entire subset of healthy meals in an air fryer within the Mexican and Tex-Mex category.
Roasted Poblano Pesto With Air Fried Peppers
This 7 ingredients poblano pesto is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and made by roasting poblano peppers. This is creamy, mildly spicy, nutty, and made with no parmesan cheese.
Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas
Healthy, low carb, and full of flavor, Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas are an easy one-pot meal. This recipe is packed full of flavor with tender chicken, peppers, and spices for a filling meal the whole family can enjoy. It’s also a tasty and complete chicken air fryer recipe that is healthy.
Tex Mex Flautas
Tex Mex flautas are a family favorite appetizer, snack, or even main dish when served with your favorite sides. These crispy roll-ups are filled with beans, peppers, and corn, making them both flavorful and filling. One bite and you’ll be able to satisfy your cravings for this restaurant-style dish right at home!
Air Fried Tostadas
Tostadas are an easy, Mexican-inspired recipe perfect for feeding the entire family any night of the week. Crispy, crunchy corn tortillas topped with creamy homemade refried beans, cheese, corn, avocado, and shredded lettuce, our Tostada recipe is packed with the classic flavors and textures for a mouthwatering meal! And since you can customize them as much as you want, you know everyone will end the meal full and happy!
Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Your family will LOVE these tasty stuffed poblanos and they are so easy to make in an air fryer! These Mexican chicken stuffed peppers offer a true south-of-the-border flavor.
Air Fryer Vegetables With Pico De Gallo
Air fryer roasted asparagus with pico de gallo makes a perfect side dish for dinner or lunch. This fresh asparagus is loaded with flavors, tender, crisp, and completely oil-free.
Potato Air Fried Tacos
Score big on game day with these crispy Potato Air Fryer Tacos – they’re bite-sized, perfect for dipping, and totally crowd-pleasing!
Healthy Air Fryer Recipes – Snacks
Air Fryer Apple Chips
Air fryer apple chips crispy guilt-free snack is ready in less than 30 minutes and with only 6 ingredients! The perfect after-school treat!
Air Fryer Banana Chips
Air Fryer Banana Chips are healthy, delicious, and easy to make for an irresistible homemade snack. All you need are 3 ingredients to make these crunchy, sweet, and lightly salty treats.
Air Fried Popcorn
Love popcorn? Then make this delicious, fluffy, and easy Air Fryer Popcorn for a movie theatre snack the whole family will love.
Air Fryer Roasted Peanuts
Dry roasted peanuts in the air fryer are the easiest to make and turn out evenly browned and done. No need to add oil. Add seasonings of choice and you have a perfect healthy snack. Super easy recipe too.
Air Fried Roasted Chickpeas
Air Fryer Chickpeas are a quick and easy snack that is packed with protein and nutrients. They make a great on-the-go snack without all the guilt or a topping on salads or over a rice bowl.
FAQs – How To Make Healthy Air Fryer Recipes
Some of the best ingredients that are simply made for air frying are vegetables and meats. Vegetables, like air fryer brussels sprouts, for example, can be cooked without a lot of oil, and in a fraction of the time. Meats can be similarly prepared, without oil.
The air fryer version of many traditional recipes can, in fact, be healthier than the alternative. They are also easy to make. This is because you don’t need to cook food in oil or butter the same way you do on the stovetop or when roasting.
This is a question that is often asked on the internet. I am not a doctor, but most of what I read concerns cooking meat, in general, regardless of whether it is in an air fryer.