Let’s talk about air fryer recipes for a minute. Maybe you think you know the drill: You can make small-batch fries! Or wings! Whee! But wait: You can also incorporate more vegetables into your life. Air fryer cookbook author Ben Mims told The New York Times that veggies are one of the very best things to cook in one of these wonderful gadgets. “Especially the soggy ones.” (Think: okra; zucchini; summer squash; eggplant.)
Now, we have our own air fryer cookbook, and our opinion about why they so rule. But it floored us that even the college kids—and the non-cooks—we know love them. With a counter space footprint about the size of a coffee maker, it’s the sort of thing even someone short on space and cooking supplies can learn to use for fast weeknight meals. (Because oh, boy, is it fast.)
Here are five no-brainer air fryer recipes to try out tonight (or as soon as you snap one of these babies up!)
There are those among us for whom autumn heralds the purchasing of a head of a cauliflower on a weekly basis. We salt it, olive oil it, cut it up and roast it at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until it turns golden and unctuous. It’s great, but it’s hard to wait that long for glorious caramelized cauliflower. Enter the air fryer. Prep time dwindles to 10 minutes; cook time is five. What a world.
2. Salmon With Preserved Lemon Tapenade
Keep the oven off and your home cool just a little longer this summer and early fall! Air-fried salmon with preserved lemon tapenade comes together in a heartbeat. The gadget gives the fish a slightly crackly exterior while preserving its tender, delightfully supple belly. Pitted green olives and preserved lemons give the whole thing an easygoing Mediterranean vibe.
3. French Fries
Air fryer recipes come and go, but French fries are forever. For those of us who could never envision ourselves breaking out a deep fryer but who always crave fries, these guys are right on the money. It’s a five-star recipe, it takes 10 minutes to prep, and you’ll be grateful to yourself for ages. (And, hey, it uses a fraction of the oil you’d add to a deep fryer.)
4. Shrimp With Lemon and Chile
A blessedly short ingredient list and so, so little prep time come together in this wonderfully speedy dinner. Pair with baguette and butter, chips and hummus, a big green salad, or a margarita. There’s no wrong way to do shrimp, and this fabulous recipe comes together on the fly with pantry and fridge staples.
Because the world can indeed be a magical place at times, we have not one, not two, but three air-fried chicken wing recipes for you. So pick your poison: We’ve got Sichuan-spicy, Sriracha-honey spicy, and classic Buffalo-style spicy. The right wing is out there for you. You’ve just got to believe.