Healthier Fried Chicken & 13 Other Amazing Air Fryer Recipes

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
air fryer recipes

If there is one more kitchen appliance to make space for in your cabinet, it’s the air fryer. It’s the only appliance that will allow you to enjoy your fried food favorites… without all of the grease and fat.

So how does it work? A new patented technology circulates hot air around the food to create a crunchy, crispy exterior without submerging them in dangerously hot oils, full of saturated fat.

Saturated fats, like the ones in fried foods, may lead to inflammation in your body, according to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While chronic inflammation has often been linked to heart disease and diabetes, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that there is a correlation between the frequency of fried food consumption and risk of heart disease and diabetes.

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Cutting down on foods that can cause chronic inflammation and disease is just as important as cutting down on portion sizes and calories. This is why the air fryer reigns king! Enjoy all of the tantalizing elements of your favorite foods and still stay on track to lose. Nutrisystem has an awesome variety of air fryer recipes to satisfy any craving for fried food, while staying in-shape. Make these healthy air fryer recipes tonight!

1. Air Fryer Baked Apple >

Air Fryer Baked Apple

Dessert doesn’t have to be sinful. A whole apple or pear is turned into a delicious treat with nothing more than chopped walnuts, raisins, a touch of butter and spices. Just plop it in the air fryer and out comes a decadent sweet, full of healthy fats and satisfying carbohydrates. This recipe counts as half of a SmartCarb, half of a PowerFuel and one Extra. Get the full recipe here >

2. Air Fryer Apple Chips >

Air Fryer Apple Chips with Cinnamon and Nutmeg

Not all chips are created equal. These air fryer apple chips are as nutrient-dense as they are sweet and crispy. One whole apple is one whole serving and one whole SmartCarb. It couldn’t be any simpler! And, at less than 100 calories per serving, you’ll feel confident that this snack won’t sabotage your weight loss goals. The air fryer creates a perfect crisp in mere minutes. Get the full recipe here >

3. Air Fryer Drumsticks: Healthier Fried Chicken >

Air Fryer Drumsticks on Plate

We all know cooking at home has health and waistline benefits. When you get that craving for some fried chicken, don’t leave your kitchen! Pull out your air fryer and make a family meal in a snap. Leaving all that oil behind, you’ll prepare a fried chicken feast that fits into your plan. Cajun seasonings, heart healthy olive oil, and protein packed drumsticks are all you need to create a satisfying meal that elicits the thought of summer barbecues. Each serving of this delicious recipe counts as one PowerFuel and one Extra. Get the full recipe here >

4. Air Fryer Cauliflower Tots >

Air Fryer Cauliflower Tots

Pass the tots! Take this nutrient-dense cruciferous vegetable (the amazing cauliflower) and create the perfect tot for your recipe repertoire. Rich in folate and vitamin K, these crispy tots provide flavor and nutrition, while filling you up with fiber. Did we mention they serve up a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese, too? This will certainly satisfy any craving. Combine all ingredients in the air fryer and you’ll never miss the excess oil. This recipe counts as a PowerFuel, a Vegetable and an Extra, helping you reach your recommended serving of vegetables every day. Get the full recipe here >

5. Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks >

Healthy Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks

Thought you’d have to kiss your mozzarella fix goodbye? Think again! Thanks to the air fryer, we can spruce up that recipe to fit into your diet. Get rid of those “bar food” snacks dripping in oil and loaded with sodium. This recipe counts as one PowerFuel and one Extra. Mozzarella string cheese sticks, panko breadcrumbs, egg and Italian seasonings are all you need to create a better than the bar snack at just 99 calories per serving. Five ingredients, four steps and three servings? Sounds like a no-brainer. Get the full recipe here >

6. 5-Minute Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Apricot Sauce >

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Nothing screams gourmet deliciousness more than coconut shrimp with spicy apricot sauce. And this “fried” shrimp is guilt-free, using our fat-and-calorie-saving recipe. Perfect for busy nights or surprise guests, this meal is ready in five minutes when you use pre-cooked shrimp. Whole wheat flour, breadcrumbs and shredded coconut contribute an authentic flavor you’ll love. This air fryer recipe counts as half of a SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and two Extras. Get the full recipe here >

7. Air Fryer Vegetable Tots >

Air Fryer Vegetable Tots

Gotta love them tots! These Vegetable Tots make it easy to munch healthfully and enjoy every second of it. A delightful combination of zucchini, carrot and Parmesan cheese, we can’t think of a better way to get 176 calories. They’re hot, they’re pop-able and they’re a Vegetable serving disguised as junk food. This Air Fryer Vegetable Tots recipe takes 10 minutes to put together and makes two servings, so couples are set for their evening side. You’ll even get a PowerFuel and half a SmartCarb squeezed in. Get the full recipe here >

8. Air Fryer Fish and Chips >

Air Fryer Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips are another restaurant favorite, heading to us from overseas. Air Fryer Fish and Chips make use of this crafty, little invention to bring fish-stick appeal to our plates and fry delight to our stomachs. Cod is a clean fish and one of the healthiest seafood options, while whole wheat breadcrumbs and a little love from the air fryer make it a party for the mouth. At two SmartCarbs, one and a half PowerFuels plus one Extra, this recipe may make you want to save some of the “chips,” till later, but rest assured either way you have it, you’ll be doing yourself a flavor favor. Get the full recipe here >

9. Air Fryer Tortilla Chips >

Air Fryer Tortilla Chips

While the guac is easy to justify with all of the healthy fats of avocados, tortilla chips are usually the item that spell diet destruction. Healthy Tortilla Chips are the snack food we’ve been waiting for. Salty, light and crunchy as anything you’d see in a bag, there’s no reason to feel like you need to sacrifice taste any longer. These chips are made only with corn tortillas and a very small amount of oil—just the wholesome, natural ingredients that they should always be made from—so it makes sense that they’re just one SmartCarb and one Extra on Nutrisystem. Get the full recipe here >

10. Air Fryer Honey Garlic Drumsticks >

Homemade Air Fryer Honey Garlic Drumsticks

If you have an appetite for chicken… and maybe appreciate a little honey, garlic bang, the Air Fryer Honey Garlic Drumsticks are for you. This flavor bomb takes no longer than your typical chicken dinner recipe to make, but raises the bar with its easy air fryer preparation. Sweet touches of honey, oil and minced garlic all meld together in a dish that will get you a PowerFuel and two Extras in the dreamiest way possible. Get the full recipe here >

11. Air Fryer Frittata >

Air Fryer Frittata with Mushroom Tomato

Mushrooms, tomatoes and chives thrown into a blend of warm, protein-heavy egg whites for a recipe that—we kid you not—is just 75 calories per serving. (There are beverages with more calories than that!) The Air Fryer Frittata makes breakfast seem like a good idea for any meal of the day because as a nourishing, fluffy dish, its flavor is just as surprisingly amazing as its calorie count. Log it as a PowerFuel and fit it in your diet seamlessly. Get the full recipe here >

12. Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries >

Sweet Potato Fries hearty vegetables

Sweet potatoes bring that beta-carotene punch to a clean, complex carbohydrate, the potato. And anyone who’s had sweet potato fries before, knows that this tasty vegetable makes one mean French fry. The Air Fryer banishes the unhealthy aspects of this side, using light oil and whatever seasonings your heart desires—cinnamon for sweetness or chili powder for smokiness—so you can focus on the nutritional benefits. This recipe serves up one SmartCarb, one Extra and fewer than 100 calories. Get the full recipe here >

13. Air Fryer Spiced Nuts >

Air Fryer Spiced Nuts

Obviously, here at Nutrisystem, we are nuts for nuts. The healthy fats in this on-the-go snack is critical to maintaining your health. Unfortunately, the nut blends they sell on the side of the street aren’t quite as nutritious. Side vendors pile up the oil and fry, fry away—essentially undoing all of nuts’ wonderful body-enhancing benefits. Air Fryer Spiced Nuts are an incredibly creative alternative, calling on egg whites to hold on to amazing seasonings that we can support—cayenne pepper, cinnamon and just a touch of naturally sweet Stevia. This PowerFuel brings a mouthful of great taste for a waist-narrowing 98 calories. Get the full recipe here >

14. Air Fryer Potato Chips >

Homemade Air Fryer Potato Chips on Paper

Put that bag down! These Potato Chips are not just a better option than the typical chip. Have one and you’ll think they’re the only option. Salty, crispy and not full of junk, you can spice up this homemade snack to your liking. Cajun? Done. Chili powder? Go for it! Rosemary and thyme? Sounds like heaven! For just a SmartCarb and an Extra, this recipe seems like a solid way to use 114 calories. Get the full recipe here >

*Please note that all air fryers cook differently. Before trying any recipe, always refer to the manufacturer safety instructions provided with your specific air fryer.