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Air fryers are the hottest new cooking trend everyone continues to rave about. While you might’ve only gotten your hands on one in 2020, it’s actually been in development since 2005. Inventor Fred van der Wejj invented it for a reason you can likely relate to — he was disappointed with the current methods of cooking crisp french fries. However, since his innovation, professional and home chefs worldwide have created healthy air fryer recipes that make planning dinner or meal planning a snap.
Naturally, air frying your food is healthier because it lowers the amount of saturated and trans fats you would eat if you used deep frying. But there are still plenty of unhealthy meals you can make in an air fryer. Here’s a collection of healthy air fryer recipes you or your family and friends might beg for seconds of.
Have you heard of the concept of eating the rainbow? It involves trying to eat a fruit or vegetable of every shade per meal to increase your phytonutrient intake. Those with a host of picky eaters on their hands may find it challenging to encourage nutritious eating, but this roasted chicken and vegetables may be the key. Perhaps the best part of this Pinch Me Good recipe is that it only takes 15 minutes to come together.
Not to mention, it’s highly customizable, too. Feel free to swap in your favorite quick-cook veggies, seasonings or meatless protein replacements to suit your liking. All you need to do is chop the vegetables and protein, toss them with your flavorings of choice and a bit of neutral oil, put everything in the air fryer basket and cook at 400° Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. If you’re using chicken, make sure it reaches 165°F internally. Serve alone or alongside mashed potatoes or rice for a nutritious and filling meal.
The flavoring for this salmon is also incredibly versatile, too — feel free to try it Southwestern style or find a seasoning blend for an Asian-inspired meal. This is a fantastic healthy air fryer recipe because it serves as a base for any flavors you crave. Noble Pig calls for paprika, salt and pepper, but let your imagination run wild.
Simply rub the filets with a neutral oil, coat them with your favorite seasonings and pop them in the air fryer for seven minutes at 390°F. Enjoy this salmon with a salad, asparagus or any side that fits with your flavors of choice.
Want something a bit more unique? Check out these pecan-crusted pork chops! This recipe will take a little more prep time, but it’s worth it to achieve the delectable crispy crust complemented by the incredible flavor the pecans deliver.
To start, mix chopped pecans, starch, garlic and onion powder, salt and Italian seasoning. In a different bowl, place Dijon mustard, egg, garlic and water and whisk them together. Take a pork chop, coat it in the egg mixture, then cover it in the pecan breading. Cook three pork chops at a time at 400°F for twelve minutes, flipping them over at six minutes. Wholesomelicious recommends serving these with green beans, sauteed vegetables or topping a salad with them.
This delicious meatloaf has the longest cook time on this list at 50 minutes, but the preparation is a breeze and you’ll be ready to pop it in the air fryer in no time. You could chop the necessary veggies yourself or buy them pre-chopped for quicker prep. PaleOMG calls for onion and bell pepper, but you could add more to your liking. Mix those with ground meat or meatless replacement, egg or egg replacement, flour, regular and celery salt, white pepper, cayenne and garlic powder, ketchup and spicy mustard.
Grab a loaf pan to form the meatloaf — this recipe recommends adding bacon to the pan first to cover the meatloaf, but you could leave it off. Take the loaf out of the pan, put it in the air fryer and cook at 350°F. Once the timer has 30 minutes left, brush the meatloaf with the ketchup-and-maple-syrup sauce and tent it with tinfoil, brushing again after 16 minutes and removing the tinfoil for the last four minutes. Serve it with your favorite sides for a healthier home-cooked classic.
Who says healthy food has to be simple? Air fryers are fantastic kitchen appliances because of the variety of meals they can make and how fast they can cook. The next time you want something easy while still being nutritious, choose one of these quick and healthy air fryer recipes and dig in.