5 Budget Air Fryer Recipes

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Dec 14, 2022
2 minutes read

An air fryer is the hottest kitchen gadget this year, with many homeowners looking to cut their energy costs and make use of the cheaper way to cook meals. Benefitting from up to 63% less power use than an oven, those looking to pinch every penny this winter will need to look no further. If you’re one of the third of people looking to cook their Christmas dinner by using an air fryer, you may want to look up what else you can cook in this useful piece of equipment. After all, an air fryer isn't just for Christmas; there's so much you can do with this kitchen gadget beyond the obvious. Here are some recipes to help you on your way.

Mini Pizzas

This is a nice little trick to branch out of the ordinary evenly cooked chips. Lay a tortilla or pitta bread at the bottom of the fryer and smother with a saucy base of your choice. Cook for 8 minutes until crisp, then add your toppings and cheese, making sure to press them down firmly, and cook for another 3 minutes until the cheese has melted. This can be repeated any number of times in different combinations. Swap the tomato base for barbecue sauce or try grated cheddar as well as mozzarella.

Pasta Crisps

As pasta is usually unsuitable for cooking in an air fryer, you can always try making some tasty pasta crisps instead. Cook the pasta on the hob as normal, but remove it from the heat and drain it when it’s al dente. Dry the pasta thoroughly with kitchen roll before adding it to the air fryer, along with grated parmesan and a seasoning of your choice. The crisps will be ready in 7-10 minutes. You can either enjoy them as they are or make use of a dipping sauce.

Any pasta can be used, so experiment with rigatoni, penne, spirali or fusilli to create the perfect texture for you. As a master stroke, you could try how lasagne sheets work out and crack them when they're done to form pasta crisp shards.

Whole Chicken

Providing your air fryer is big enough, at least 6 litres, then you should be able to air fry a whole chicken that’s around 2.5kg. You’ll need to make sure there’s plenty of air to circulate inside the fryer, otherwise this won’t work.

First, make sure your air fryer is at 180°C. Remove the giblets from the chicken and pat dry with kitchen roll. The skin needs to be dry to make it crispy. Season with salt and pepper, garlic and paprika, rubbing all over. Place in the fryer breast side down and cook for 40 minutes, then flip over and cook for a further 20 minutes. Cooking times may need to be adjusted for different size chickens, but should always be cooked to at least 63°C.

Hot Dogs

A firm barbecue favourite, without need for firing up the grill. Simply heat your air fryer to 200°C and place the hot dogs in to cook for 4 minutes, rotating them halfway through. When done, place them inside the hot dog buns and cook for a further 2 minutes in the air fryer. This way, you can have warm buns and hot dogs at the same time without having to wait for one or the other.

Crispy Vegetable Fajitas

Another easy go-to is vegetable fajitas. Usually consisting of mushrooms, onions and peppers, the air fryer crisps these up nicely in 15 minutes, giving you time to grate cheese and lay out the fajitas and sauces. If you’re looking to add seasoning to the vegetables, make sure that you cover them in sauce beforehand, otherwise the air fryer will dry it all out. Just make sure to check on the vegetables as they’re cooking. If you’re mixing up the recipe with your own ingredients, you may need to adjust cooking times to suit.

You can warm up the tortillas in another draw, but this will only take a few minutes.