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Easy Air Fryer Recipes For Beginners

Just got your first air fryer and don’t know where to begin? Or maybe that air fryer has been sitting unused because recipes seemed too complicated? Well grab it from the back of that cabinet because we’ve got you covered!

From crispy potatoes to juicy chicken, start air frying with confidence thanks to these easy air fryer recipes for beginners! Approachable dishes, perfect for first-time air frying.

Photos of air fryer foods with text overlay: Easy air fryer recipes for beginners.

Air fryers are great for conveniently making your favorite foods with significantly less oil than traditional frying. But finding straightforward recipes tailored for beginners’ cooking abilities amidst the sea of options online can still prove tricky.

In this article, we’re breaking it down with the 10 easiest, foolproof air fryer recipes specifically tailored for beginners. Whether you’re fumbling around the functions of a new fryer or your old one needs some love, these recipes help you make the most of this game-changing appliance.

With simplified processes and only common ingredients, whipping up dishes from crispy chicken wings to homemade sweet potato fries will be a cinch. So relieve that new buyer anxiety or the guilt of an untouched gift with air fryer recipes actually made for amateur chefs.

>> Related article: Air Fryer Guide for Beginners

The BEST easy air fryer recipes for beginners

1. Air Fryer Frozen French Fries

One of the first things I’d recommend cooking in your new air fryer is a good ol’ bag of frozen french fries. Not only do frozen fries come out crispy and delicious, but the process of cooking them is a great way to get a feel for your new gadget. You can see how powerful your particular model is and how flipping and shaking the fries improves even crisping on all sides.

Since they are prepped already, you can zero in on the appliance factors rather than worrying about a tricky recipe. Shake up that basket and experiment with batch sizes and cook times as you simply focus on those frozen spuds. It’s seriously the perfect way to break in your air fryer!

Air fried french fries in a basket with ketchup.

2. Air Fryer Chicken Breast

Chicken breasts are your new best friend for getting the hang of the air fryer. Boneless, skinless breasts keep things super simple ingredients-wise. All you need is a little olive oil and some simple seasoning, to end up with some crazy juicy, tender chicken.

Unlike thin cuts of meat, chicken breasts are nice and thick so it’s easier to get the cooking time right (and forgiving if you cook them a little too long). Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure they are cooked through, and say hello to worry-free air frying!

Pinterest image: photos of air fryer chicken breast with text overlay of recipe name.

3. Air Fryer Bacon

From breakfast to salads, bacon makes everything better. Luckily, frying it up is also easier and less messy in the air fryer – making it great for beginners!

Bacon cooks evenly in the circulating hot air rather than curling and splattering all over like in a skillet. You can focus on achieving the perfect level of crispness batch by batch. The flat basket catches any grease drips too, unlike oven racks.

The ingredient simplicity means you’re learning appliance capability, not complex cooking. From testing doneness by appearance to arranging strips, consider bacon your tasty teacher for air frying confidence. Crispy perfection awaits your BLT or potato topper thanks to stress-free air fried bacon.

Crispy air fryer bacon on a white paper towel

>> Get the recipe: Air Fryer Bacon

4. Air Fryer Baked Potato

With minimal prep and maximum rewards, baking Russet or sweet potatoes in the air fryer delights beginners and advanced chefs alike. Poke a few fork holes, rub with oil, and let the air fryer handle the rest – evenly caramelized skin hiding fluffy interior goodness emerges in just over half an hour.

Baked potatoes serve as the ultimate blank canvas for experimenting too once cooled. Pile on butter, cheese, chili, broccoli – the possibilities are endless!

Air fryer baked potatoes with melted butter and cheese.
Air fryer baked potatoes.

>> Get the recipe: Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

5. Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are a perfect recipe for novices just starting out with air frying. Whether cooking them bone-in or boneless, minimal preparation is required beyond adding seasoning rubs (or marinades if desired).

Oil the thighs then simply place them in the air fryer basket to achieve mouthwateringly juicy results every time. Thanks to their smaller size requiring less cook time, chicken thighs are a great option when you want to get dinner on the table fast. Affordable and versatile, chicken thighs will fast become an air frying go-to for new cooks.

Two photos of air fryer chicken thighs with text overlay.

6. Air Fryer Broccoli

For new air fryer owners, fresh broccoli florets provide the perfect vegetable specimen to experiment with. By simply tossing bite-sized florets with oil, seasoning, and placing in a single layer in the basket, you’re guaranteed deliciousness.

The circulating hot air transforms the poppable florets to a beautiful bright green with caramelized crispy edges and tender insides. Paying attention to the crispiness level batch by batch helps novices learn ideal air frying times tailored to personal taste.

Air fried broccoli in a serving dish.

>> Get the recipe: Air Fryer Broccoli

7. Air Fryer Salmon

Salmon is a healthy and flavorful dish that is easy to cook in an air fryer. Salmon fillets have a relatively uniform thickness, making them ideal for air frying – the hot air cooks the salmon evenly and seals in the natural flavors. The rich oily fish also has a decent window of doneness error when testing out cook times, resulting in a tender juicy piece of fish (even if it gets slightly overcooked!).

Air fryer salmon on a gray plate.

>> Get the recipe: Air Fryer Salmon

8. Air Fryer Pork Chops

Air frying bone-in or boneless pork chops makes for an easy, approachable protein prep for those just getting started. Minimal prep is needed beyond adding olive oil, salt and preferred spices or herbs to coat the chops.

The air fryer handles the rest – perfectly cooking the juicy, tender chops in minutes. Unlike the grill or skillet, the controlled crisping ensures more forgiving, fool-proof results if slightly overdone.

Air fryer pork chops on a white plate.

>> Get the recipe: Air Fryer Pork Chops

9. Air Fryer Fish

Air frying delicate white fish fillets offers beginner cooks an incredibly fast, foolproof protein option. The rapidly circulating hot air gently cooks fish like tilapia, cod or sole fillets to tender perfection in minutes.

Simple oil, salt and pepper is all you need to beautifully flavor the fish. Alternatively, you can add a simple breading to fish fillets before air frying if you prefer.

Air Fryer White fish on a white plate with salad.

10. Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts provide the perfect veggie side for novice air fryers looking to experiment with flavors. Tossed first with oil and seasoning Brussel sprouts char beautifully with caramelized crispy edges over tender interiors. Unlike oven roasting, the circulating air in an air fryer adds crispiness to every surface while preventing blackened bottoms from prolonged heat exposure.

Air fryer Brussels sprouts on a blue plate.

>> Get the recipe Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

11. Air Fryer Corn

For an almost effortless side that highlights the air fryer’s strengths, corn on the cob shines for new users. Prepping the sweet summer staple takes no time at all – simply peel back husk, and remove silk strands before a quick spritz of oil (or just use frozen corn!)

Air fried corn cobs on a black plate with dip.

>> Get the recipe Air Fryer Corn

12. Frozen foods

Frozen foods, such as chicken nuggets, onion rings, and tater tots, are easy to make in an air fryer and come out crispy and delicious without the need for deep-frying.

Just convert the package instructions for cooking time and temperature using our oven to air fryer conversion calculator.

>> Related article: Best Frozen Foods to Cook in an Air Fryer

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