7 surprising things you can cook in an air fryer

What can you cook in an air fryer apart from chips? Make more of your air fryer with these tasty suggestions.

Air fryers continue to be popular, not just because they can cook your favourite foods in a healthier way via convection heat, but because they can also save your money.  

While everyone knows that there’s nothing quite like air fryer chips, air fryers are more versatile than you may think. And their ability definitely extends beyond “healthier” fried foods. What can you cook in an air fryer? It seems the only thing limiting your air fryer repetoire might be your imagination. 

Asian couple baking in their kitchenCredit: Shutterstock/Hananeko_Studio
What can you cook in an air fryer? Ditch the chips and try cakes, eggs and even home-made crisps

Clare Andrews, author of The Ultimate Air Fryer Cookbook, says that even after writing a successful cookbook, she’s still experimenting with different recipes for her air fryer.  

To be honest, I’ve been trying out different recipes and ingredients in my air fryer for over two years now and I still get surprised at how well each one turns out,” she says. 

So, if you’ve purchased one of the best air fryers from our guide, or already own one, read on for culinary inspiration. 


1. Eggs

Boiled, poached or omelette

Someone cooking eggs in an air fryerCredit: Shutterstock/Nattawut Susri
Poaching eggs is super easy in an air fryer

Don’t dismiss eggs, as, according to Andrews, they are a wonderful match for an air fryer.  

“Eggs work great,” she says. “Poached, omelettes and even a dippy egg. They are all fantastic.”  

Use a ramekin or silicone cupcake mould to poach your eggs, or a silicone pot to scramble them in (although we don’t necessarily recommend an air fryer for scrambled eggs – we prefer the traditional saucepan-on-the-hob method, so you can stir more easily). Don’t put raw egg directly into the basket, unless you’re doing boiled eggs in their shells. 

Alternatively, try her recipe for easy breakfast cups for a delicious start to the day.  

2. Crisps

No packet required

a black air fryer or oil free fryer appliance is on grey table in the dining room with crisps in small black dishCredit: Shutterstock/Enjoy The Life
Healthy crisps? Yes please. And your air fryer can help you make them in an no time at all

No, we’re not suggesting you put a pack of Walkers into your air fryer any time soon, but you can make homemade crisps easily in one. 

Use a potato peeler or a mandoline slicer to cut thin slices of potato, spray with oil, throw some salt over and then add to the air fryer for around 15 minutes (checking on them halfway through).  

You don’t have to stick to Maris Pipers either – making crisps is a great way to use up vegetables such as kale, sweet potato or beetroot, for a tasty alternative. 

3. Mash potato

An alternative recipe

Air fryers are the perfect partner for potatoes, especially those that benefit from a lovely crispy skin, such as baked potatoes or chips. However, you can actually also make mash, probably one of the more surprising things you can cook in an air fryer.

Just bake the potatoes first and then empty the soft flesh from the skins, and mash it the normal way. It will taste slightly different to mash made from boiled potatoes, but it’s still delicious (some people say it’s better, because you don’t lose any potato flavour in the cooking water).

And for extra health points, mash the whole potato as the skin contains lots of fibre, which will benefit your gut health. 

4. Yorkshire pudding

Can you do batter than this?

You can roast your chicken, potatoes and veggies in the air fryer, so why not complete that roast dinner with a delicious air fryer Yorkshire pudding? 

It doesn’t matter what recipe you use, but the key here lies in the is pre-heating. Add your chosen fat to either a silicone muffin tin or ceramic ramekins and heat at 200°C (400°F) for ten minutes. Once that’s done, pour your batter in and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through.  


5. Pizza

Ditch the takeway and go all out fakeaway

Person putting pizza into an air fryerCredit: Shutterstock
Yes, you can even make a pizza in your air fryer

While you may not be able to make a full-size 13-inch (33cm) pizza in your air fryer, it is a good way to make smaller pizzas. Either make your own dough or use a pre-bought mixture, and bake for around five minutes until golden. Then add your favourite toppings.  

You can line your basket with greaseproof paper to ensure the dough doesn’t stick at the beginning, but if you do have a pan or pizza stone that fits inside your air fryer, these can help give a crispier result.  

An air fryer is also a great option if you want to reheat pizza from the night before. Cook for around three to four minutes at 180°C (360°F) to freshen it up and give it a nice, crispy finish.  

Expert tip

Be careful that your toppings don’t fly around in the air fryer – the hot air can cause this to happen to lighter ingredients such as cheese and pepperoni. To prevent this from happening, place an air fryer rack over the pizza. It will hold the toppings in place as they finish cooking.

6. Apple crumble

Your just desserts

Wondering what can you cook in an air fryer to satisfy your sweet tooth? While not all desserts can be made in an air fryer, an apple crumble is one that really does work well.  

First, cut up the apples and cook them in a tin or silicone mould for around 15 minutes with a couple of teaspoons of water. You then just throw the crumble mix on top and cook for around another ten minutes, just keeping an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.

We love this recipe by Liana’s Kitchen, who recommends using a baking tin lined with greaseproof paper to prevent the apples from sticking. 

7. Cakes and biscuits

Ready to get your bake on?

A cake baking in an air fryerCredit: Shutterstock/Ingrid Balabanova
Your air fryer is a great partner for cake making – although you will be limited to the size of the air fryer for the finished product

Baked goods, such as cakes and biscuits, work really well in air fryers, says Andrews. 

“I always bake my muffins in there now,” she says. “Whatever you can pop in your oven, you can cook in the air fryer.”  

Just make sure you have the right air fryer accessories such as a cake tin or a silicone muffin tray, as wet mixtures should never be put direct into your air fryer basket.

And if you fancy trying your hand at baking in your air fryer, check out Andrews’ Irresistible Cookie Bites (below) recipe from her book. 


Irresistible Cookie Bites

If you’ve not tried baking with your air fryer before, these cookie bites are a great starter recipe from Andrew’s book The Ultimate Air Fryer Cookbook. 

Plate of cookies alongside a mugCredit: The Ultimate Air Fryer Cookbook
This delicious recipe takes just ten minutes in an air fryer


  • 150g (5oz) salted butter, at room temperature 
  • 80g (3oz) light brown muscovado sugar 
  • 80g (3oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour 
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  •  200g (7oz) dark chocolate chips or chunks 


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, muscovado sugar, granulated sugar, egg, plain flour and bicarbonate of soda to make a firm dough. Add the chocolate chips or chunks and beat again until well incorporated. 
  2. Using your hands, break off golf ball-sized pieces of the dough and roll them into balls. Continue until all the dough is used up.  
  3. You can cook the cookies in a large silicone mould or on a sheet of baking paper. Either way, transfer the cookie balls to the air fryer, spacing them out so that they can spread during cooking and bake for 10–12 minutes, until golden but still fairly soft (they will firm up as they cool). Depending on how many cookies you are baking and the size of your air fryer, you may need to do this in several batches. Leave to cool slightly, then serve still slightly warm or cool.

Expert tip

You can freeze the uncooked cookie dough in a sealed sandwich bag ready for another day and bake them straight from the freezer – just add an extra five minutes to the cooking time.

Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Written by Jayne Cherrington-Cook she/her


Jayne is the Senior Editor at Saga Exceptional. She cut her online journalism teeth 23 years ago in an era when a dialling tone and slow page load were standard. During this time, she’s written about a variety of subjects and is just at home road-testing TVs as she is interviewing TV stars.

A diverse career has seen Jayne launch websites for popular magazines, collaborate with top brands, write regularly for major publications including Woman&Home, Yahoo! and The Daily Telegraph, create a podcast, and also write a tech column for Women’s Own.

Jayne lives in Kent with a shepsky, her husband and her son, who is attempting to teach her the ways of TikTok, Aston Villa and anime. A keen neurodivergent ally after her son was diagnosed as autistic five years ago, when Jayne does have some rare downtime she enjoys yoga, reading, going to musicals and attempting to emulate Beyonce (poorly) in street dance classes.

  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • Email