You Just Got an Air Fryer—Here are 23 Low-Calorie Recipes to Make First

air fryer beets with feta
Photo: Jacob Fox

Looking for light yet nutritious dinner options you can make in your new air fryer? These delicious dishes are a perfect fit. From 400-calorie mains to side dishes with no more than 200 calories per serving, these low-calorie recipes can help you meet your nutritional goals. Recipes like our Air-Fryer Beets with Feta and Air-Fryer Coconut Shrimp are tasty ways to make the best use out of your air fryer.

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Air-Fryer Beets with Feta

air fryer beets with feta
Jacob Fox

This air-fryer beets with feta recipe is a great way to enjoy beets. It's super easy to throw together, and it's just as good eaten cold as part of a salad as it is warm on its own.

02 of 23

Air-Fryer Fish Tacos

air fryer fish tacos
Jacob Fox

These air-fryer fish tacos get their kick from a crispy breadcrumb coating that's spiked with chili powder. Avocado crema helps balance the flavors, while shredded cabbage slaw adds crunch. These easy air-fryer fish tacos are finished with fresh tomato, but feel free to add your own favorite toppings to the mix.

03 of 23

Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts


These super-crispy and browned air-fryer Brussels sprouts with sweet onions and salty bacon--all amped up with bright lemon juice--are sure to be a hit, whether you serve them for a weeknight side dish or as part of your holiday spread for Thanksgiving. This recipe makes enough to serve eight but is easily halved, though once you taste it you may well want a double serving. And if you prefer a vegetarian side, simply omit the bacon.

04 of 23

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. Serve this air-fryer rotisserie 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.

05 of 23

Air-Fryer Coconut Shrimp

air fryer coconut shrimp
Jacob Fox

This air-fryer coconut shrimp is quick and easy to assemble. We dip these crispy shrimp in a hot-and-sweet chili sauce made from scratch, but any store-bought dipping sauce will pair nicely with this easy appetizer.

06 of 23

Air-Fryer Eggplant

air fryer eggplant
Jacob Fox

This air-fryer eggplant is crispy on the outside with a tender middle. You can fit more slices in the basket when you use smaller eggplant. Dip these crispy slices in marinara or pesto, or drizzle with balsamic glaze.

07 of 23

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.

08 of 23

Air-Fryer Beer-Battered Fish

Air-Fryer Beer-Battered Fish
Charlotte and Johnny Autry

We love a crispy piece of beer-battered fish, but we don't always want the calories that come with deep-frying. So we turned to the air fryer to develop a recipe with all the characteristics of the traditional dish—a light, crunchy-yet-airy exterior and a flaky, luscious interior. The secret to this recipe is in the method. Traditionally, the fish would go into a wet beer batter and then cook in hot oil. But in order to work in the air fryer, we needed to make some important changes. Get all the step-by-steps below, and learn how we tweaked the process, from the dredge to the oil, to create crispy air-fried fish.

09 of 23

Air-Fryer Baby Potatoes

air fryer baby potatoes
Jacob Fox

These savory air-fryer potatoes are crispy on the outside and make a perfect no-fuss side dish that pairs well with just about everything while freeing up your oven.

10 of 23

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.

11 of 23

Air-Fryer Chicken Breast

air fryer chicken breast
Jacob Fox

This air-fryer chicken breast recipe is sure to become your new favorite way to cook chicken! Brining helps the breasts stay moist while a simple combo of seasonings allows you to pair them with just about anything. Or slice and store them for later to add to a salad or sandwich.

12 of 23

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.

13 of 23

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.

14 of 23

Air-Fryer Spinach & Feta 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).

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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.

16 of 23

Air-Fryer Fish Cakes


Typically deep-fried, these tasty fish patties get a little zip from sweet chili sauce and fresh cilantro. Any white fish will work, so select what looks freshest at the best price. The squeeze of lime at the end really brings everything together perfectly, so don't skip it.

17 of 23

Air-Fryer Spaghetti Squash

air fryer spaghetti squash
Jacob Fox

This simple air-fryer spaghetti squash takes on a nice roasted flavor from the air fryer. You can enjoy it plain or dress it up with your favorite sauce or grated cheese.

18 of 23

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.

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Air-Fryer Empanadas

air fryer empanadas
Jacob Fox

These air-fryer empanadas cook up golden-crisp in the air fryer. The simple filling of peppers and ground beef pairs beautifully with bright and herby chimichurri sauce.

20 of 23

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.

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Air-Fryer Corn on the Cob

air fryer corn on the cob
Jacob Fox

Air-fryer corn on the cob is a simple way to cook sweet corn with little mess. We like it smothered in butter, salt and pepper, but any spice blend will work well.

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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.

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Air-Fryer Zucchini Fritters

air fryer zucchini fritters
Jacob Fox

These air-fryer zucchini fritters have a crispy outer surface and tender-savory middle just as if they've been fried in a skillet. A simple dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of refreshing mint is all you need to complete the dish.

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