Air-fryer recipes for beginners

If you've recently purchased, or been gifted an air-fryer, where do you start? What do you cook first? Air-fryers can look intimidating, and without a simple recipe to start you off, you may be feel you can't use it with confidence. That's why we've created a variety of fuss-free, accessible air-fryer recipes which will set you on the path to air-fryer success. Whether its salmon fillets, chicken breasts, sausages or baked potatoes for dinner, these low-effort, energy-efficient ideas make for speedy weeknight dinners which the whole family can get behind. With less prep and cook time on your hands, not to mention less time standing in the kitchen, using an air-fryer really is a no-brainer!


Read our review of the best air-fryers we've tested, to find the perfect one for you, then find more air-fryer recipes, healthy air-fryer recipes and vegetarian air-fryer recipes. You'll never look back. You can also read our guide: are air-fryers worth it?

1. Air-fryer salmon

Air fryer salmon served with greens and grains

Get dinner on the table in 15 minutes with these air-fryer salmon fillets. Simply rub each salmon fillet with a little olive oil and herb seasoning, put in the air-fryer basket and cook 180C for 8-10 mins until cooked through. Serve with your choice of greens, quinoa or rice. That's dinner sorted!

Salmon fillets cook beautifully in an air fryer – check out our salmon fillet recipes for more ideas.

2. Air-fryer chicken breasts

Air fryer-cooked chicken breasts in a salad

Use your air fryer to create this vibrant dish of tender chicken breast, coated in garlic, sweet paprika and herbs. Simply roll oiled chicken breasts in the seasoning and put in the air-fryer to cook for 18-20 mins, then serve with rice, greens or a salad. Mix up the spices for interest or keep it plain, it's up to you.

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Discover more ways to cook with chicken breast with our chicken breast collection.

3. Air-fryer sweetcorn fritters

Air-fryer sweetcorn fritters served on a plate

Make homemade sweetcorn and spring onion fritters in the air fryer for easy, energy-efficient cooking. These would be perfect as a veggie lunch, starter or side.

Find more ways to make fritters with our easy sweetcorn fritter recipes and courgette fritter recipes.

4. Air-fryer sweet potato jackets with tahini yogurt

A sweet potato jacket with tahini yogurt & curry leaves served on a plate

Enjoy these air-fried sweet potato jackets as a filling family meal, amped up with a simple yogurt flavoured with tahini, garlic lemon zest and juice, maple syrup and some salt and pepper. Sprinkle with crisp curry leaves, chopped coriander and chilli flakes and you've got a seriously impressive air-fried meal on your hands.

Looking for ways to use up sweet potato? We've got plenty of interesting ideas in our baked sweet potato collection.

5. Air-fryer bacon

bacon sandwich

Cooking bacon in your air-fryer means you'll still achieve a crispy texture, just with less fat. Serve with your favourite sauce.

See these bacon recipes and healthy bacon recipes for more ideas.

6. Air-fryer buffalo cauliflower wings

Air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings in a large sharing bowl

Make the most of your air-fryer and try these low-effort buffalo-style cauliflower wings, enjoyed as a spicy side or veggie main. Full of flavour, without the effort!

Find more ways to reinvent cauliflower with our best cauliflower recipes, including these bang bang cauliflower tacos.

7. Air-fryer baked potatoes

air fryer baked potato filled with baked beans and topped with cheese

Good news: bang your spuds in the air-fryer and you'll still achieve the same crisp skin and fluffy potato centre as its oven baked alternative. The process is quicker and more energy-efficient, so it's a win-win!

Jazz up your jackets with these exciting jacket potato recipes - baked potatoes with spicy dhal, anyone?

8. Air-fryer roasted canned potatoes

Air-fryer roast canned potatoes in a bowl

You wouldn't believe these roasted potatoes are from a can. Skip the process of oven roasting entirely in favour of the air fryer – they're not the same as oven-cooked, but they do turn golden and crisp.

We have our best ever roast potatoes here, as well as more glorious roast potato recipes for your cooking pleasure.

9. Air-fryer tofu (popcorn nuggets)

Air fryer tofu bowls on a square plate and served with a dip

Do you struggle with getting perfectly fried, crunchy tofu? Try cooking in your air-fryer. Coated in breadcrumbs and flavoured with garlic and paprika, these golden nuggets will become your new savoury snack, served with your favourite dip. They could also accompany a main meal.

See more ways with tofu including our tofu stir-fry and sweet & sour tofu.

10. Air-fryer chips

Air fryer chips with dips

Who knew you could make super-crispy, tender and golden chips without the use of a deep-fat fryer? This recipe is so simple: tip your chips into the bottom of an air-fryer, add the oil, toss the chips in the oil so they are evenly coated and program to cook for 30 mins. Air-frying means you'll use less oil than deep-frying, making it a healthier alternative.

Now you know you can use air-fryers for chips, see our loaded fries recipes: vegan bean chilli fries, Greek loaded fries and meatball marinara fries.

11. Air-fryer chicken thighs

Air fryer chicken thighs with roasted carrots and parsnips

A simple shortcut to succulent chicken, with deliciously crispy skin to boot? Who would say no to that! The good news is it can be easily achieved in the air-fryer: rub the chicken thighs with oil, coat in a simple spice mix then leave in the basket of your air-fryer to cook, skin-side down, for 10 mins at 180C. Turn over and cook for a further 10-15 mins until cooked through. Crispy perfection!

See our collection of chicken thigh recipes for more easy family dinner ideas.

12. Air-fryer sweet potato fries

Air fryer sweet potato fries served with tomato sauce

You can now rustle up a plate of sweet potato fries using very little oil thanks to the air fryer. Before leaving in the basket to cook, ramp up the flavour with your choice of seasoning: sweet smoked paprika, Cajun or BBQ seasoning all work well.

Discover our healthy sweet potato collection and sweet potato wedges collection for more ways with sweet potato.

13. Air-fryer sausages

Air fryer sausages in hot dog buns with sauces

Sausages can be cooked quickly and easily thanks to the air-fryer (and without the need for additional oil). Arrange the sausages in a single layer in the basket, set the air-fryer to 180C and cook for 10-15 mins, turning every 5 mins, until the sausages are cooked through. Serve as a side for breakfast or in buns with lashings of ketchup.

The possibilities with air-fryer sausages are endless – seek out your new favourite dish with our collection of sausage recipes.

14. Air-fryer halloumi

Pieces of air fryer halloumi on a plate

You can cook up the same crispy fried halloumi you know and love in the air-fryer, just with a lowered fat content. Sprinkle with smoked paprika or mixed herbs to pep things up.

If you love halloumi as much as we do, you'll be pleased to find our collection of halloumi recipes.

15. Air-fryer steak

Air fryer steak cut into slices

Use your air-fryer to cook steak and you won’t look back. Once you've removed it from the air fryer basket, knock up your favourite sauce and serve alongside air-fryer chips, a leafy green salad or roasted veg.


We've got plenty more ways to enjoy steak – see our collection of best steak recipes for a dose of inspiration.

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