I am a huge fan of the air fryer. It makes the best, crispiest food without a ton of oil, and while people tout its ability to make crispy french fries, that's not all it can do. (Although homemade french fries are perfection.) These
fall recipes for your air fryer prove that the appliance is way more versatile than you ever dreamed, and can give you some of your fall comfort foods.
The trick of the air fryer is adapting recipes that you would normally make in the oven or the deep fryer, without removing the flavor. Some things work better than others. While potatoes and fish are almost always a win, batter-fried foods that aren't par-fried (like frozen fish fillets) don't work as well — they end up sort of strangely baked, and not at all fried. However, breaded foods respond really well to the air fryer, as do meats with skin that you'd want to crisp up, and unexpected foods like bagels and rolls can even be made. I do suggest using some cooking spray to achieve the best texture, but keep it minimal. Use the oil only as you would a glaze, and make sure you use plenty of salt and pepper, as it really kicks up the flavor and adds to the overall success of the dishes.
Chicken wings are one of the best foods to make in the air fryer.
This recipe from Immaculate Bites has tons of flavor thanks to the dry rub used, and it comes out crispy and juicy. My son would argue that wings made in the air fryer are even better than the chicken wings that are made in a traditional fryer. Nothing says fall like football and chicken wings, and if you can't have the former, why not eat up all the snacks?
butternut squash made in the air fryer like this one from Two Sleevers, because the inside of the pieces turns almost to pudding, while the outside stays crunchy and almost caramelized thanks to the sugars in the squash. I add some pumpkin spice and a little chili pepper to give it some zing. My kids add maple syrup because they are monsters who don't understand how delicious it is on its own. It is the quintessential fall vegetable, and honestly, I'm eating it from the end of August to February.
Air fryer potatoes are classic for a reason. This recipe from
Sweet and Savory meals hits all the right buttons. But honestly, once you figure out how to do it, you can experiment. Or, you can do what I do half the time and grab a bag of tater tots, spray them with Pam, and call it good. This recipe, though not specifically fall, pairs wonderfully with wings or spiced fried chicken — which are more classic cool weather dishes.
I mean, I do salt them and give the kids ketchup and ranch. It's practically a buffet.
In the summer, it's all about lightly grilled everything. As temperatures dip, we bring out the fattier flavors and give them the spicy, roasty treatment.
To that end, air fryer salmon is so satisfying because the skin gets so crispy and the meat flakes perfectly.
This recipe from Sculpt Fit Kitchen gets it right, and it has a bajillion shares for a reason. It's so easy to do, and you will fall in love with it. I make it at least once a week for my husband for lunch, topping it simply with a dill-yogurt sauce.
Air fryer crispy pork chops are meant for fall. Not only do they go wonderfully with applesauce, but they taste so wonderful with a crisp fall lager. Plus, you can pair it with those tater tots I talked about earlier.
This recipe from Delish is a good primer on how to make them.
Brussels sprouts are one of the vegetables that are reliably wonderful in the autumn. This recipe for
air fryer Brussels sprouts and bacon from Bellalimento is practically a meal on its own. It is particularly delicious over a big dollop of mashed potatoes, and goes even better with the pork chops.
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
The wonderful thing about air fryer sweet potato fries is that they can be served either sweet or savory depending on the toppings and dip.
This recipe from Everyday Family Cooking is easy to make and is cooked quickly. The fact that it pairs so well with cinnamon and pumpkin pie-esque spices makes me feel fallish.
They're also totally malleable. You could make a chipotle mayo dip if you want something spicy, or a marshmallow dip if you're feeling Thanksgiving-ish.
Air fryer meatballs are in the same vein as salmon, in that they're a bit more sturdy and feel like a fall treat, and this method of cooking is better than you're thinking it would be. I know it seems like an odd way to prepare them, but they turn out really well, and you can glaze them however you want. I like tossing them in with a sweet and sour sauce and serving them with rice or mashed potatoes.
This recipe from Sweet C's Designs is really easy and delicious.
Cod is fatty like salmon and cooks evenly, which makes it ideal for the air fryer. When you add some seasoning and perhaps a sauce, it's delectable.
This recipe from A Cedar Spoon has a ton of flavor and works well in tacos if you're a fan of fish tacos. (Who isn't?) It's the type of recipe that straddles summer and fall perfectly.
Crab season starts in the fall, and what better way to celebrate than with some savory spicy crab cakes and aioli? This recipe from
Urban Foodie Kitchen makes the whole process a breeze. Use whatever crab you have, and whatever is economical, but personally, I like a mix between lump and backfin for my crabcakes. StockFood/Foodcollection/Getty Images
There are a ton of great recipes for air fryer taquitos like
this one from Show Me The Yummy, but honestly, whatever recipe you love will work beautifully in the air fryer. Spray them with some cooking spray, jack up that heat, and you're in. Top it with some guac and pico and you're done.
These are the perfect after-school snack because of how well they freeze and reheat, so get a bunch made now.
Boneless Country Style Ribs
Down wit Dee on YouTube makes the most delectable-looking country style ribs using just a few ingredients and her air fryer. The recipe is simple, but the order in which she adds the ingredients and her method of cooking makes the ribs fall-apart tender and super savory. They'd pair well with some creamy, spicy potato salad and maybe a big bowl of seasonal fresh-cut apples and pears. (I also tend to think that fruit goes with every meal, so do what you want.)
Jo Cooks does
air fryer fried chicken right in this recipe. It's crunchy and flaky, with plenty of flavor thanks to hot sauce and paprika. Although if you're like me, you're probably going to add some Accent, garlic and onion powders, and a little cayenne. Like the cod, this is one of those foods that you tend to see around Labor Day, but keeps going strong all the way until Thanksgiving. (Although, my MawMaw made it all year long. It's only the side dishes that shifted with the seasons.)
I worried about making latkes in the air fryer, but
this recipe from The Kitchn has proven me wrong. You probably won't use this recipe on Hanukkah, but for the rest of the year, it adds another potato dish to your arsenal to add to your meals whenever the mood hits. Honestly, my main reason for loving latkes in the fall is because they are so freaking tasty served with super fresh, chunky applesauce and tart, cold sour cream.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Sweet Potato Soul can make anything delicious, but I'll admit, I was dubious about
air-fried cauliflower crust pizza. Thankfully, I was wrong. She knows what she's doing and it shows in this easy-to-follow plant-based recipe that bakes up in a jiffy, and can be altered and topped however you like. Cauliflower is plentiful in September and October, so now is the time to try this recipe economically.
This air fryer
spicy eggplant with jicama from Very Vegan Val is full of flavor, and the texture is out of this world. It is tossed with soy sauce, garlic, and chili peppers, and goes well with crispy tofu, fried chicken, or even a bowl of steamed, salted edamame. This hot and spicy eggplant dish gets very popular in the fall at my in-laws' house, because it really warms you up.
True story: I eat tofu almost every day, and so does my 12-year-old. We are creatures of habit. This recipe for
air fryer tofu from Live, Eat, Learn has quickly become one of our favorite recipes. It is so easy to make, takes no time, and the tofu itself gets as crispy as it does in the pan. In the fall, we toss it with sturdy broccoli and Brussels sprouts for a hearty, autumnal dish.
I have a love affair with chimichangas. And oddly, it started with school lunch, which obviously makes me think of fall. Ours were... not great. But I loved them all the same.
While I prefer the bean variety, my kids like the version with beef,
like this recipe from Air Fryer Fanatics. Serve it with some cilantro rice and a salad for a round meal. Or just serve the chimichangas and eat the leftovers over the sink at midnight with an ice cold beer. Whatever.
I love ranch-flavored everything. These air fryer
ranch cheddar chicken tenders from Pillsbury are juicy and crispy, and yes, I do dip them in more ranch dressing, and that's how they should be eaten, don't @ me. I'm right. Just add a healthy dollop of hot sauce with that ranch. Switching from grilled chicken and rotisserie to breaded tenders and fried chicken screams, "it's getting colder, finally!" to me.
Air Fryer Korean Style Beef Tacos
Air Fryer Baby Back Ribs
To me, ribs are right up there with wings as game day food. Being originally from Canton, Ohio (The Pro Football Hall of Fame City) we had a ribs burn off with every new season, and I'm kind of an expert. (At eating them. In large quantities. While making a huge mess of myself in public.)
Sweet Savant makes ooey gooey, super tender, extra juicy
baby back ribs in the air fryer. I know, it seems to go against everything you've heard about making ribs, but she's basically a kitchen sorceress, and this magical dish proves it.
Air Fryer Broccoli Parmesan
Air fryer broccoli parmesan is easily one of my favorite side dishes on the planet and it's best in the fall when the broccoli season is at its zenith.
This version from Happy Veggie Kitchen is more than worth your appreciation. I would pair it with easy grilled chicken or a white fish, or even a store-bought rotisserie chicken. My kids love it served over rice.
I love Caribbean food. It is by far my favorite cuisine on the planet. I love the heat, the mix of sweet and savory, and the fact that carbs are sometimes doubled in a meal. (Hello rice and plantain!) And jerk chicken wings are perfect for air frying. This marinade from
Jessica in the Kitchen blends all of the flavors beautifully. Make these any given Sunday for a real treat.
Did you know that paratha can be made in the air fryer? It can.
Healthy Kadai takes you through it step-by-step, and it turns out beautifully. The air really gives the pockets in the dough lift and crunch. Serve it with dal or even some frozen palak paneer and that's your meal. Mostly, I make paratha to hold the meat from the boneless wings because I am a messy woman with a deep love of cultural fusion and also carbohydrates.
While I normally make way too many bagels to make them in the air fryer, if I just need a few, I use
this recipe from Simply Scratch that uses yogurt, of all things. The recipe is made in just a few minutes, and stands up to any recipe you'd make in an oven. I add these here because they're so easy, they can be made before school. You read that right.
My Forking Life does not mess around
with her crispy fish. I swear, you can hear it crunch from a mile away, it's that wonderful. This recipe is about as perfect as it gets, but paired with crispy fries or tots and maybe a fresh broccoli salad? Pure heaven.
This recipe is great all year, but if you make it with a seasonal fish like walleye or catfish, you've in for some fierce flavor.
Like I would skip apple pie in the fall. Luckily for everyone,
My Gadget Kitchen has a simple recipe for air fryer apple hand pies that will knock your socks off (and help you use up all those apples you picked with your kids in that overpriced bee-infested orchard).