14 Low-Calorie, High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in Your Air Fryer

Air-Fryer Chicken Cutlets
Photo: Photography / Antonis Achilleos, Styling / Christine Keely / Ali Ramee

These healthy and delicious recipes are lower in calories and deliver at least 15 grams of protein per serving for extra staying power. Pair one of these delicious main dishes with a high-fiber side, and you'll have a meal that's light but satisfying to help you reach your weight loss goals. Recipes like our Pork Schnitzel with Creamy Dill Sauce and Air-Fryer Chicken Cutlets are healthy reasons to fire up your air fryer.

01 of 14

Pork Schnitzel with Creamy Dill Sauce

Pork Schnitzel with Creamy Dill Sauce
Jacob Fox

Pounding pork chops before breading and pan-frying is the signature method to getting crisp yet tender German schnitzel. Using an air fryer works well too and cuts back on calories.

02 of 14

Air-Fryer Turkey Stuffed Peppers


Stuffed peppers are a classic family meal--and they're fun to eat, too. Instead of roasting the sweet peppers in the oven, use an air fryer to get them crisp-tender but not soggy.

03 of 14

Air-Fryer Salmon

Air-Fryer Salmon
Caitlin Bensel

In this simple air-fryer salmon recipe, the garlic gets crispy on the top while the Aleppo pepper and coriander bring earthy flavor to the fish, which remains delicately cooked in the middle.

04 of 14

Air-Fryer Buffalo Wings


A sports bar favorite comes home with these deliciously crispy chicken wings, which require just 10 minutes of active prep time, thanks to the air fryer. In fact, one of EatingWell's recipe testers declared this air-fryer Buffalo wing recipe "a reason to buy an air fryer." Add a spicy sauce, carrot sticks, celery sticks and ranch dressing for dipping and you have a healthy take on wings that's sure to score.

05 of 14

Air-Fryer Chicken Cutlets

Air-Fryer Chicken Cutlets
Photography / Antonis Achilleos, Styling / Christine Keely / Ali Ramee

Cooking chicken cutlets in an air fryer creates a crunchy, golden-brown exterior while eliminating excess oil. Serve the crispy cutlets with a side salad.

06 of 14

Air-Fryer Pork Chops


These crispy breaded air-fryer pork chops don't require a lot of oil to create a deep-fried crispy crust. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or alongside roasted veggies. Want to double the recipe? Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to cook the pork chops in batches, but that's easy to do.

07 of 14

Air-Fryer Chicken Nuggets


These crispy air-fried chicken nuggets are a quick kid-friendly dinner that parents will love too. The homemade nuggets are healthier than fast-food versions--and more flavorful, thanks to the cornflake coating. You can also cut the chicken into strips for air-fryer chicken tenders. Be sure to cook those 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until done.

08 of 14

Air-Fryer Greek Turkey Burgers

Air-Fryer Greek Turkey Burgers

Sharp raw garlic, fresh herbs and tangy feta cheese superbly flavor these turkey burgers. Since the patties are air-fried with very little oil, there's room to add a bit of olive oil to the meat to keep the patties from drying out. Serve with air-fried zucchini fries (see associated recipe).

09 of 14

Air-Fryer "Fried" Chicken Thighs

Air-Fryer Fried Chicken Thighs

Air fryers need a lot less oil to create a deep-fried crispy crust. Here, chicken thighs are marinated in buttermilk and dredged in a simple breadcrumb coating. With the help of a little cooking spray, they cook up nice and crispy with a lot less fat. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or slice them up to top a salad.

10 of 14

Air-Fryer Rotisserie Chicken

a recipe photo of the Air-Fryer Rotisserie Chicken
Antonis Achilleos

Replicate the flavor, lovely burnished skin and moist texture of a classic rotisserie chicken with this easy recipe for cooking a whole chicken in your air fryer. With just a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes of active time, you get a roast chicken with lemon and herbs that's a remarkable doppelganger for a deli chicken right after it comes out of the rotisserie--before it gets shriveled and dried out from sitting in the deli's holding case for hours. Serve this chicken with your favorite veggie sides for a healthy weeknight dinner or weekend supper. And if you're hosting a dinner party, cooking your main course in the air fryer is also a great way free up oven space for casseroles, rolls and other dishes.

11 of 14

Air-Fryer Fish Sticks

Air-Fryer Fish Sticks
Tara Donne

Essentially a mini convection oven, an air fryer circulates hot air all around these breaded fish sticks for a perfectly crisp exterior in minutes. This recipe can easily be doubled if you have an extra-large air fryer or made in batches in a regular-size one.

12 of 14

Air-Fryer Tuna Patties

Air-Fryer Tuna Patties
Photography / Greg DuPree, Styling / Ruth BlackBurn / Julia Bayless

These bright and savory air-fryer tuna patties won't disappoint for a quick lunch or dinner. They hold their shape nicely while cooking, with a tender middle and a crispy crust on the outside. Peppery arugula and a lemony mayonnaise sauce round out the meal.

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Air-Fryer Salmon with Horseradish Rub

Air-Fryer Salmon with Horseradish Rub

A crust of fresh horseradish, parsley and capers turns delicately crispy on this air-fried salmon. It's an impressive dinner that's also super simple to make. If you can't find fresh horseradish, use a high-quality prepared product. Be sure to drain and squeeze it to remove as much moisture as possible.

14 of 14

Air-Fryer Popcorn Shrimp


These air-fried popcorn shrimp get crispy and crunchy with very little oil. The unique flavors are inspired by Mexican fare, with a smoky, spicy dipping sauce and full-flavored shrimp coating. Look for the smallest shrimp you can find so they will cook evenly.

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