20 Low-Carb, High-Protein Recipes to Make in Your Air Fryer

air fryer chicken breast
Photo: Jacob Fox

All you need is an air fryer to whip up one of these tasty and nutritious dinner mains. With at least 15 grams of protein and no more than 14 grams of carbohydrates per serving, you can enjoy a light yet satisfying dish that has the same crispy appeal as traditional fried food. Recipes like our Air-Fryer Tuna Patties and Air-Fryer Steak & Pepper Cabbage Rolls are delicious and healthy choices for dinner tonight.

01 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.

02 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.

03 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.

04 of 20

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.

05 of 20

Air-Fryer Pistachio-Crusted Sea Bass

a recipe photo of the Air-Fryer Pistachio-Crusted Sea Bass served on a platter with greens

Sea bass fillets are crusted in pistachios and panko for a nutty, crunchy exterior in this healthy air-fryer recipe. We use sea bass here, but any other firm white fish like halibut would work just as well. Serve with grains and a side salad.

06 of 20

Air-Fryer Steak & Pepper Cabbage Rolls

a recipe photo of the Air-Fryer Steak & Pepper Cabbage Rolls
Photographer: Brie Passano, Food Stylist: Greg Luna

Steak and bell peppers are rolled in cabbage leaves for a filling main dish. Use the outermost cabbage leaves, which are larger and will encase the filling better. For smoky flavor, use a poblano instead of a bell pepper.

07 of 20

Air-Fryer Turkey Breast

a recipe photo of the Air-Fryer Turkey Breast
Jason Donnelly

Rosemary and garlic flavor this juicy air-fryer turkey breast. Putting the sliced garlic under the skin adds flavor to the meat and prevents the garlic from burning. Enjoy this simple recipe with a side of roasted veggies and mashed potatoes.

08 of 20

Air-Fryer Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Tomatoes

a recipe photo of the Air-Fryer Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Tomatoes
Photographer: Brie Passano, Food Stylist: Greg Luna

We took all the flavors and ingredients of Buffalo wings—spicy hot sauce, tangy blue cheese and shredded chicken—and stuffed them into a tomato for a filling main dish. Serve these tomatoes with celery sticks and carrot sticks.

09 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.

10 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.

11 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.

12 of 20

Air-Fryer Meatballs

air fryer meatballs
Jacob Fox

These air-fryer meatballs cook quickly and stay juicy in the air fryer. Seasoned simply with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese and paired with your favorite marinara sauce, they make the perfect weeknight meal.

13 of 20

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.

14 of 20

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.

15 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.

16 of 20

Air-Fryer Meatloaf

air fryer meatloaf
Jacob Fox

Air-fryer meatloaf is perfect for those who like a crispy outside and tender juicy inside. This air-fryer meatloaf recipe has the classic flavors of Worcestershire sauce and onion, with a ketchup coating on top.

17 of 20

Air-Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast

a recipe photo of the Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast
Jason Donnelly

These air-fryer breaded chicken breasts use a mixture of Dijon mustard and oil to help the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken. Keeping the chicken breasts at least 1/2 inch apart helps keep them crispy. If your air fryer is too small to cook all four chicken breasts at the same time, you can cook them in two batches. Serve these flavorful air-fried chicken breasts over salad or with your favorite dipping sauce.

18 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.

19 of 20

Air-Fryer Stuffed Chiles with Pork

a recipe photo of the Air-Fryer Pork Chile Rellenos
Photographer: Brie Passano, Food Stylist: Greg Luna

These hearty stuffed chiles are packed with a savory filling made from pork, zucchini and black beans. Once stuffed, the chiles are delicate, so use caution when transferring to the air-fryer basket. A crumble of cotija cheese finishes these chiles for a satisfying main dish.

20 of 20

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.

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