Air Fryer Cookbook For Dummies
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Tired of feeling like the only appetizer you make is a cheese tray? We aren’t knocking that, but you can use your air fryer to create delicious, nutritious, and crowd-pleasing appetizers, and it's a lot easier than you can imagine!

Egg rolls? Wontons? Tater-tots? All of these are totally attainable, and they don’t require a culinary degree to make them come to life!

We’ve taken some of our dining-out favorites and turned them into easy-to-make, do-it-yourself appetizers. Who’s ready for a party? We sure are!

Avocado Fries

avocado fries

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Yield: 8 servings


2 medium avocados, firm but ripe

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup almond flour

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees.
  2. Rinse the outside of the avocado with water. Slice the avocado in half, slice it in half again, and then slice it in half once more to get 8 slices. Remove the outer skin. Repeat for the other avocado. Set the avocado slices aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, pour the almond flour.
  5. In a third bowl, mix the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
  6. Carefully roll the avocado slices in the almond flour, then dip them in the egg wash, and coat them in the cheese and breadcrumb topping. Repeat until all 16 fries are coated.
  7. Liberally spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray and place the avocado fries into the basket, leaving a little space around the sides between fries. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook these in batches.
  8. Cook fries for 8 minutes, or until the outer coating turns light brown.
  9. Carefully remove, repeat with remaining slices, and then serve warm.

These fries are gluten-free, but you can use an all-purpose flour and traditional breadcrumb or panko coating if gluten-free isn’t a necessity for you.

Serve with your favorite sauce. A yogurt-based ranch tastes great, as does a spicy sriracha!

Avocado Egg Rolls

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Yield: 8 servings


8 full-size egg roll wrappers

1 medium avocado, sliced into 8 pieces

1 cup cooked black beans, divided

1/2 cup mild salsa, divided

1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese, divided

1/3 cup filtered water, divided

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the egg roll wrapper on a flat surface and place 1 strip of avocado down in the center.
  3. Top the avocado with 2 tablespoons of black beans, 1 tablespoon of salsa, and 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese.
  4. Place two of your fingers into the water, and then moisten the four outside edges of the egg roll wrapper with water (so the outer edges will secure shut).
  5. Fold the bottom corner up, covering the filling. Then secure the sides over the top, remembering to lightly moisten them so they stick. Tightly roll the egg roll up and moisten the final flap of the wrapper and firmly press it into the egg roll to secure it shut.
  6. Repeat Steps 2–5 until all 8 egg rolls are complete.
  7. When ready to cook, spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray and place the egg rolls into the basket. Depending on the size and type of air fryer you have, you may need to do this in two sets.
  8. Cook for 4 minutes, flip, and then cook the remaining 4 minutes.
  9. Repeat until all the egg rolls are cooked. Meanwhile, mix the sour cream with the hot sauce to serve as a dipping sauce.
  10. Serve warm.

You can scale this recipe up or down depending on how many you’re cooking for.

Slice the egg rolls in half, top with chopped cilantro, and serve on a platter with a spicy green sauce and sour cream salsa for a great presentation.

Prefer a different filling? Go for it! Thai spiced ground chicken with cabbage tastes great with a peanut dipping sauce, too!

Spicy Sweet Potato Tater-Tots

Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


6 cups filtered water

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in half

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon blackened seasoning


  1. In a large stovetop pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and let boil about 10 minutes, until a metal fork prong can be inserted but the potatoes still have a slight give (not completely mashed).
  2. Carefully remove the potatoes from the pot and let cool.
  3. When you’re able to touch them, grate the potatoes into a large bowl. Mix the garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt into the potatoes. Place the mixture in the refrigerator and let set at least 45 minutes (if you’re leaving them longer than 45 minutes, cover the bowl).
  4. Before assembling, mix the breadcrumbs and blackened seasoning in a small bowl.
  5. Remove the sweet potatoes from the refrigerator and preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
  6. Assemble the tater-tots by using a teaspoon to portion batter evenly and form into a tater-tot shape. Roll each tater-tot in the breadcrumb mixture. Then carefully place the tater-tots in the air fryer basket. Be sure that you’ve liberally sprayed the air fryer basket with an olive oil mist. Repeat until tater-tots fill the basket without touching one another. You’ll need to do multiple batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.
  7. Cook the tater-tots for 3 to 6 minutes, flip, and cook another 3 to 6 minutes.
  8. Remove from the air fryer carefully and keep warm until ready to serve.

Air fryer temperatures vary. Keep an eye on the tater-tots and flip them when the breading is browned.

To reheat leftover tater-tots, use the air fryer and cook at 350 degrees until ready to serve.

Prefer a cinnamon sugar tater-tot? Nix the garlic, pepper, and Cajun seasoning and use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of sugar in the tater-tot, with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of cane sugar in the panko breading.

Homemade Pretzel Bites

pretzel bites

Prep time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Cook time: 6 minutes

Yield: 8 servings


4-3/4 cups filtered water, divided

1 tablespoon butter

1 package fast-rising yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

2-1/3 cups bread flour

2 tablespoons baking soda

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, add 3/4 cup of the water. Heat for 40 seconds in the microwave. Remove and whisk in the butter; then mix in the yeast and salt. Let sit 5 minutes.
  3. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, add the yeast liquid and mix in the bread flour 1/3 cup at a time until all the flour is added and a dough is formed.
  4. Remove the bowl from the stand; then let the dough rise 1 hour in a warm space, covered with a kitchen towel.
  5. After the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl and punch down a few times on a lightly floured flat surface.
  6. Divide the dough into 4 balls; then roll each ball out into a long, skinny, sticklike shape. Using a sharp knife, cut each dough stick into 6 pieces.
  7. Repeat Step 6 for the remaining dough balls until you have about 24 bites formed.
  8. Heat the remaining 4 cups of water over the stovetop in a medium pot with the baking soda stirred in.
  9. Drop the pretzel bite dough into the hot water and let boil for 60 seconds, remove, and let slightly cool.
  10. Lightly brush the top of each bite with the egg whites, and then cover with a pinch of kosher salt.
  11. Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray and place the pretzel bites on top. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove and keep warm.
  12. Repeat until all pretzel bites are cooked.
  13. Serve warm.

If you’re tight on time, nix the boiling water part. The only difference is you won’t have that browned texture to the outside of the pretzel bite. They still taste delicious, though!

Serve with a cheese sauce or spicy mustard dressing.

For a dessert pretzel, toss the pretzel bites in a cinnamon-sugar blend before air frying.

Panko-Breaded Onion Rings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices and rings separated

2 cups ice water

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 egg, whisked

2 tablespoons milk

1 cup breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, soak the onion rings in the water for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a towel.
  3. In a medium bowl, place the flour, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  4. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
  5. In a third bowl, place the breadcrumbs.
  6. To bread the onion rings, dip them first into the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture (shaking off the excess), and then into the breadcrumbs. Place the coated onion rings onto a plate while you bread all the rings.
  7. Place the onion rings into the air fryer basket in a single layer, sometimes nesting smaller rings into larger rings. Spray with cooking spray. Cook for 3 minutes, turn the rings over, and spray with more cooking spray. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Cook the rings in batches; you may need to do 2 or 3 batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.

Serve with a variety of dips, from ranch dressing to ketchup to barbecue sauce.

Crispy Wontons

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 8 servings


1/2 cup refried beans

3 tablespoons salsa

1/4 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry

1/4 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

2 ounces cream cheese

1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped pepperoni

1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon grated parmesan

2 ounces cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

32 wontons

1 cup water


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the refried beans and salsa.
  3. In a second medium bowl, mix together the artichoke hearts, spinach, cream cheese, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
  4. In a third medium bowl, mix together the pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oregano.
  5. Get a towel lightly damp with water and ring it out. While working with the wontons, leave the unfilled wontons under the damp towel so they don’t dry out.
  6. Working with 8 wontons at a time, place 2 teaspoons of one of the fillings into the center of the wonton, rotating among the different fillings (one filling per wonton). Working one at a time, use a pastry brush, dip the pastry brush into the water, and brush the edges of the dough with the water. Fold the dough in half to form a triangle and set aside. Continue until 8 wontons are formed. Spray the wontons with cooking spray and cover with a dry towel. Repeat until all 32 wontons have been filled.
  7. Place the wontons into the air fryer basket, leaving space between the wontons, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn over and check for brownness, and then cook for another 5 minutes.

This recipe can satisfy a range of guests at a party, from vegetarians to kids. This is also a great recipe to get kids cooking. Let them help from start to finish!

Serve the wontons filled with refried beans and salsa with a ranch dressing or Mexican crema. Serve the other two varieties of wontons with a marinara dipping sauce.

The sky’s the limit with what you fill in wonton wrappers, from something sweet like fruit jam to something savory and meaty. Get creative and have fun!

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Meri Raffetto, RDN, founded Real Living Nutrition Services (, which pro- vides one of the only interactive online weight-loss and wellness programs.

Wendy Jo Peterson MS, RDN, enhances the nutrition of clients ranging from elite athletes to pediatric patients, and is currently a culinary instructor at Mesa College.

Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN, is a dietitian, culinary instructor, award-winning coauthor of Born to Eat, and a contributor to Taste of Home magazine.

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT, is a dietitian, personal trainer, nutrition professor, and media authority on TV and in print, sharing evidence-based facts.

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