Ditch the Deep Fryer: 12 Air Fryer Main Dishes the Whole Family Will Love

Posted: May 27, 2021 4:36 pm

Eating healthier doesn’t have to be boring or involve tons of prep work. With air fryer recipes starting at less than 30 minutes to make, you can have all the comfort food you want, at a fraction of the calories as the deep-fried traditional versions. We’ve compiled a list of twelve flavorful main dishes with maximum flavor and minimal oil. From vegan main dishes to meat eater’s favorites, we’ve got something for everyone.

Air Fryer Five Cheese Lasagna Fritta

Inspired by the Olive Garden dish, this five cheese lasagna fritta is a battered and “fried” lasagna rollup. Each lasagna noodle is filled with a savory five cheese mixture before being dipped in a simple egg batter and seasoned breadcrumb crust.

Served over tomato sauce, these are crispy on the outside with a soft cheesy center. For an even fancier dish, you can drizzle alfredo sauce over top. One of the things we love about this dish is that freezing is encouraged, meaning that you can make these in advance and pull them out as needed for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Crispy Air Fryer Sesame Chicken

Forget take-out! This homemade sesame chicken takes only 30 minutes to make. By marinating the chicken before air frying, you get even more flavor than the restaurant version, with only a fraction of the oil. These sticky, crispy sesame bites will keep you going back for more, sure to impress family and friends.

Honey Garlic Air Fryer Pork Chops

These sweet, juicy honey garlic air fryer pork chops are gluten-free and paleo. The savory sauce includes lemon juice and chili sauce for a bright, slightly spicy kick. From start to finish, this air fryer main dish takes less than 30 minutes to cook, making this the perfect choice for a weeknight dinner.

Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp

For another quick and easy air fryer recipe, don’t pass on these spicy bang bang shrimp. Ready in under 30 minutes, these crispy shrimp are soaked in a bright, tangy buttermilk mixture before air frying. Once cooked to a crisp, they are tossed in a creamy, spicy chili sauce and topped with sesame seeds and sliced green onion. We promise you can’t have just one!

Air Fryer Falafel

This vegan air fryer falafel recipe is packed with protein from chickpeas. Each crispy ball is full of flavor, made with fresh greens, onion, garlic and spices. Serve these alone or turn them into a falafel sandwich stuffed with lettuce, tomato and tahini sauce.

Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers

A complete meal in an edible pepper bowl, these air fryer stuffed peppers are filled with savory beef, rice and tomato. Yet another 30-minute meal, this quick and easy recipe makes eating veggies fun! Be sure to make extras for an easy take-to-work lunch throughout the week.

Air Fryer Veggie Chimichangas with Spicy Queso

If you haven’t had a chimichanga before, it’s somewhat like a crispy burrito covered in a flavorful sauce. In this air fryer chimichanga recipe, tortillas are filled with a vegetarian mixture of beans, corn, peppers and spinach. Folded like a burrito and toasted in the air fryer until crisp and golden, these homemade chimichangas are drizzled with a creamy, spicy queso.

Basil-Parmesan Crusted Salmon

Cooking salmon in the air fryer helps give the fish a crisp crust while keeping the inside soft and flaky. This recipe for basil-parmesan crusted salmon amps up the flavor with a cheesy, creamy topping. This easy dinner recipe is so quick and easy while impressing even the picky eaters in your family.

Air Fryer Asian BBQ Cauliflower Wings

If you’re trying to lighten things up, these air fryer Asian barbeque cauliflower “wings” are the perfect dish. Tossed in a crispy vegan batter and air fried, these cauliflower bites are then covered in a homemade smoky, coffee-infused barbeque sauce. Feel free to serve up with a side of ranch or spicy mayo, or combine in a corn tortilla with crumbled cheese, lettuce and tomato for homemade spicy tacos.

Air Fryer Loaded Mini Meatloaf

These air fryer mini meatloaves are loaded with bacon, cheese and barbeque sauce. The recipe swaps ketchup for sweet chili sauce for a subtle kick and complex flavor. This is the ultimate comfort food, turning any rainy day into a celebration.

Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Air Fryer Nashville style fried chicken” has the perfect amount of tanginess and spice. Marinated with hot sauce and pickle juice, this chicken is so juicy and full of flavor. Tossed with buttermilk and flour, this “fried” exterior is bright and crispy, just like fried chicken cooked in oil. Paired with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce, this recipe is a game-changer – you won’t want to go back to any other chicken recipe after trying this!

Air Fryer Fish Tacos

Perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, these homemade fish tacos are exactly what you need for a lightened up version of classic comfort food. Paired with a crunchy slaw, crispy radishes and creamy avocado, this dish has the perfect balance of textures and flavors. The slaw is seasoned with a rich, zesty dressing made with lime, garlic, mayonnaise and sour cream, adding just the right amount of refreshment and bright flavor to take this dish over the top.