You Just Got an Air Fryer—Here Are 20 Low-Carb Recipes to Make First

Air-Fryer Crab Cakes
Photo: Photography / Jennifer Causey, Styling / Melissa Gray / Kay Clarke

Looking for a light and delicious dish to "fry" up in your new air fryer? Try one of these flavor-packed low-carb recipes. From protein-packed mains to veggie sides, these dishes contain no more than 14 grams of carbohydrates per serving, so you can meet your nutritional goals while enjoying tasty dishes. Recipes like our Air-Fryer Crispy Chickpeas and Air-Fryer Wasabi Egg Salad Wraps will make your air fryer your new favorite appliance.

01 of 20

Air-Fryer Zucchini

air fryer zucchini
Jacob Fox

Zucchini crisps up nicely in this simple air-fryer zucchini recipe. The interior is creamy and soft without feeling mushy, with the outside remaining crispy. A squeeze of lemon after cooking adds brightness and tang.

02 of 20

Air-Fryer Buffalo Wings


A sports bar favorite comes home with these deliciously crispy chicken wings in the air fryer, which require just 10 minutes of active prep time. 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.

03 of 20

Air-Fryer Wasabi Egg Salad Wraps

a recipe photo of the Air-Fryer Wasabi Egg Salad Wraps with lettuce on the side on a platter
Photographer: Kelsey Hansen, Food Stylist: Charlie Worthington, Prop Stylist: Stephanie Hunter

Wasabi sauce adds heat to this flavorful egg salad recipe, while cucumber provides a welcome crunch. We serve this egg salad in lettuce leaves, but you could also spread it on whole-wheat bread or stuff it in a pita for a healthy lunch.

04 of 20

Air-Fryer Potato Cakes

a recipe photo of the Air-Fryer Potato Cakes
Adam Albright

These potato cakes make a wonderful appetizer, especially for the holidays. Top them with an array of ingredients, from apples and sage to a red pepper aioli. With a crispy exterior and creamy center, these potato cakes will be the star of any gathering. For a colorful twist, try this recipe with purple potatoes.

05 of 20

Air-Fryer Tuna Steak

air fryer tuna steak
Jacob Fox

This air-fryer tuna steak is coated in sesame seeds and drizzled with a sweet and savory sauce. You can cook the tuna steaks all the way through, or if you prefer a pink center, opt for sushi-grade tuna and cook them for less time. These easy air-fryer tuna steaks would pair beautifully with spicy greens.

06 of 20

Air-Fryer Crab Cakes

Air-Fryer Crab Cakes
Photography / Jennifer Causey, Styling / Melissa Gray / Kay Clarke

These air-fryer crab cakes have a crispy crust with a savory crab-filled center flavored with fresh basil and tarragon. A dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice brighten the flavors.

07 of 20

Air-Fryer Crispy Chickpeas


Air-fried chickpea snacks are intensely flavored and incredibly crunchy. Drying the chickpeas is essential to a good crunch, so don't skip this step. If you have time, leave them out on the counter to dry for an hour or two before frying.

08 of 20

Air-Fryer Scallops


A quick and impressive dinner, scallops turn succulent and tender in the air fryer. The lemon-herb sauce drizzled on top is the perfect way to bring zest to each bite.

09 of 20

Air-Fryer Jalapeño Poppers


The perfect football-party food, classic jalapeño poppers get a crispy upgrade in an air fryer. Cream cheese tempers the just-right hint of heat from the pepper and Buffalo sauce. To save time, you can stuff the peppers ahead of the party and fry them just before serving.

10 of 20

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.

11 of 20

Air-Fryer Kale Chips

Air-Fryer Kale Chips

Homemade kale chips are incredibly easy to make. Thanks to the air fryer, fresh kale leaves turn extra crispy in under 15 minutes with much less fat than some store-bought options. Warning: These will go fast!

12 of 20

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.

13 of 20

Cheesy Zucchini Tots

Cheesy Zucchini Tots
Casey Barber

Not one, not two, but three cheeses make these low-carb cheesy zucchini tots live up to their name. Bake them in the oven or fry them in your air fryer for a crisp exterior and a gooey, melted center. Don't use pre-shredded cheese here; shred it fresh for the best and creamiest results. Serve with ketchup, marinara, ranch or your favorite dipping sauce.

14 of 20

Air-Fryer Pork Tenderloin

air-fryer pork tenderloin on a plate with asparagus

This air-fryer pork tenderloin is tender and full of flavor from the sweet and tangy rub. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cut the tenderloin in half before cooking.

15 of 20

Air-Fryer Tilapia

air fryer tilapia
Jacob Fox

This quick and simple air-fryer tilapia recipe is perfect for busy weeknights. The tilapia is moist and flaky and gets brightened up with lemon zest and fresh herbs.

16 of 20

Air-Fryer Cabbage

air fryer cabbage
Jacob Fox

Cabbage gets nice and crispy in this simple air-fryer cabbage recipe. The crumble of Parmesan and spices gets into the grooves of the cabbage, adding flavor throughout.

17 of 20

Air-Fryer Drumsticks

Air Fryer Drumsticks
Photographer: Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

These simple air-fryer drumsticks are sweet and savory with a subtly smoky flavor from smoked paprika. Lime zest adds bright flavor. These drumsticks pair well with just about anything, from a simple green salad to roasted sweet potatoes.

18 of 20

Air-Fryer Mushrooms

air fryer mushrooms
Jacob Fox

These air-fryer mushrooms are simple yet flavorful. The Worcestershire sauce adds a savory flavor. They crisp up on the outside but remain soft in the middle. The addition of the fresh herbs helps to lighten the dish.

19 of 20

Air-Fryer Shrimp

air fryer shrimp
Jacob Fox

This ultra-quick air-fryer shrimp recipe is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner—or add it to pasta or use as a salad topper. More crushed red pepper sprinkled on after cooking adds a kick.

20 of 20

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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