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If you don’t already have an air fryer, make sure somebody gifts you one this holiday season. It’s a necessary addition to your kitchen, and will save you so much time and energy while cooking up a storm. And if you already have one lying around, it’s time to start rounding up some air fryer holiday recipes to make for your next get-together—whether it be an intimate gathering or a huge family reunion. The good news? The options for entrees, sides, snacks and desserts (!) made in the air-fryer are endless, and each one is tastier than the next.
Here’s the thing about air fryer recipes: The food gets super crispy (like you’ve deep-fried it) but the machine uses hot air instead of hot oil. Not only does this make all your favorite fried recipes healthier, but it also requires less clean-up than deep frying. And frankly, who wants to deal with kitchen clean-up when there are guests on their way over for a holiday bash? Not me.
If you don’t already have an air fryer, but also don’t want to wait for someone to gift you one, just go ahead and treat yourself! Air fryers are available in plenty of different sizes, so no matter how big (or small) your kitchen is, you can find the right one for you. There are mini air fryers (which will fit about two servings at a time), and then there are quart-sized air fryers—like the best-selling COSORI air fryer —that can fit enough for the whole family. Choose what works best with your lifestyle, then get cooking!
Once you’ve got your air-fryer all set up and ready to go, you’ll be amazed at all the holiday recipes you can make in it. To help get you started, you’ll find plenty of delicious options below. So whether you’re hosting a few people or a few dozen, these easy, tasty air-fryer recipes are bound to be a hit.
1. Air Fryer Whole Chicken
Skip the turkey this year and try out this air fryer chicken recipe, made with a warm rosemary marinade. Before actually air-frying the chicken, you’ll need to brine and marinate this bad boy for a few hours, but trust us, that wait time is worth it in the end.
2. Air Fryer Stuffing
Stuffing can be seriously hit or miss, and this air fryer stuffing will definitely be a hit with your entire family. Easy to make and loaded with carrots, leeks and celery, it’s a fun twist on a traditional stuffing recipe.
3. Air Fryer Spiced Potato Wedges
Why make regular old potatoes when you can make these flavorful, spiced potato wedges? Black pepper, cumin and chili powder come together to create an amazing flavor that’ll tickle your taste buds, in the best way possible.
4. Air Fryer Sriracha Honey Chicken Wings
Honey sriracha might not scream ‘holiday,’ but these wings are so delicious, you won’t care if you get some side-eye from your traditional aunt. IMO, wings are the best thing you can make in an air fryer: Crispy, juicy and the perfect appetizer before dinner.
5. Air Fryer Veggie Tots
These air fryer veggie tots make for a perfect side dish or passed app at your holiday get together. Healthy in disguise, these little bites are nice and crispy on the outside and bursting with flavor on the inside. Everyone from kids to your grandma will love them.
6. Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs
If you haven’t experimented with meatballs in an air fryer yet, you are seriously missing out. The air fryer ensures your meatballs are perfectly crispy (but not crunchy) on the outside, and juicy AF in the middle.
7. Easy Air-Fryer Roasted Potatoes
These air fryer roasted potatoes are a comfort food classic you can whip up in the air fryer. Simple? Maybe, but they’re definitely delicious.
8. Air Fryer Cauliflower
This air fryer cauliflower isn’t as simple as you might think. It features curry powder tandoori masala to give it an Indian-inspired flavor—and is sure to be a hit with your guests.
9. Air Fryer Twice-Baked Potatoes
As a side or an appetizer, these twice-baked potatoes aim to please. Topped with all the goodies like bacon, chives and cheese, what’s not to love?
10. Air Fryer Crispy Spiced Chickpeas
These crispy spiced chickpeas can be roasted in the oven or the air fryer, so take your pick. Either way, you’ll end up with the perfect party snack.
11. Air Fryer Pull-Apart Garlic Bread
There’s no holiday spread that wouldn’t benefit from crispy, cheesy garlic bread. Just make sure you have some candy canes lying around in case folks over-indulge.
12. Air Fryer Mushroom And Steak Bites
Don’t tell me I’m the only one salivated over this photo of air-fried mushroom and steak bites. They’re perfect for a holiday dinner party or to pass around as little apps.
13. Air Fryer Blooming Onion
Is this air fryer blooming onion the perfect holiday appetizer? All signs point to yes. Plus, since it’s not deep-fried, you can eat as much of it as you want. (At least that’s what I’m telling myself.)
14. Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
I know chicken tenders are a kid food, but they’re also a great holiday appetizer (for kids and adult kids). You can make them seem fancier with an array of dipping sauces, too.
15. Air Fryer “Baked” Garlic-Parsley Potatoes
If you’re doing a pot roast this year, you’ll need some crispy-skinned baked potatoes to go along with it. You may not think it now, but garlic and parsley are a winning combination.
16. Air Fryer Turkey Breast
Whether it’s an impromptu Thanksgiving meal or December get-together, this crispy turkey breast is perfect for an intimate holiday dinner.
17. Air Fryer Apple Pie
Apple pie in the air fryer? LOL, yep. Every meal needs dessert, and you really can’t go wrong with a classic apple pie. Just don’t forget the ice cream!
18. Air Fryer Glazed Ham
There are a bajillion ways to cook glazed ham, but the air-fryer will yield results that are tender on the inside, crispy on the outside. Plus, there’s no denying it’s a holiday staple!
19. Air Fryer Simple Green Beans
Forget green bean casserole. These simple, tasty green beans deserve a spot on your holiday spread. They’re so good, you’ll probably be tempted to cook them long after the holidays are over, too.
20. Air Fryer Pot Roast
No interest in actually roasting your pot roast? No problem, the air-fryer knows how to do it. You’ll end up with a main course that tastes like you spent hours cooking it in the oven.
21. Air Fryer Spiced Butternut Squash
The only problem with this spiced butternut squash is that it’s tough to tell whether it’s for dinner or dessert. Regardless, it’s one holiday treat that will have folks coming back for seconds (and thirds).
A version of this article was originally published in December 2020.