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16 Crispiest Comfort Food Recipes to Make in Your Air Fryer Tonight

From french fries to fried chicken, it all tastes better in the air fryer.
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When you're trying to eat healthy the one texture you often miss is crispy. After all, what's better than a perfectly crisp potato chip or a crunchy bite of breaded fried chicken? Crispy screams comfort food but healthy cooking techniques, like steaming and using less, fat often leave that satisfying texture behind for the sake of calorie consciousness. That's where the air fryer comes in. Its biggest claim to fame is the ability to cook foods to a satisfying crunch without excess oil. Here are our favorite crispy, comfort food recipes that you should make in the air fryer tonight! Plus, don't miss our 22 Meals to Melt Belly Fat in 2022.

1

Veggie Chips

ranch veggie air fryer chips
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Don't stop with potato chips. All kinds of veggies can be crisped up in an air fryer. In this recipe, we use thin slices of zucchini, sweet potato, and beet to add color and nutrition. Bonus: They're seasoned with a tangy ranch blend.

Get our recipe for Ranch-Flavored Veggie Chips.

2

French fries

Courtesy Show Me the Yummy

Admit it, French fries are one of the main reasons you got an air fryer in the first place. Show Me the Yummy recommends a bath in sugar water to remove excess starch and a coating of corn starch before cooking.

Get the recipe from Show Me the Yummy.

3

Chicken Fingers

air fryer chicken strips
Courtesy of I Am A Food Blog

Baked chicken fingers never quite reach the crunch of deep-fried ones. Use your air fryer to cut the calories but keep the crunch.

Get this recipe from i am a food blog

4

Fried Ravioli

Courtesy Show Me the Yummy

The kid in you will rejoice when you pull a piece of this crispy fried stuffed pasta out of the air fryer and dip it in your favorite marinara sauce.

Get the recipe from Show Me the Yummy.

5

Coconut Shrimp

coconut shrimp 2
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

The sweet crunch of fried coconut goes perfectly with tender shrimp. The trick to achieving a superb level of crunch is to toast the coconut before coating the shrimp. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Get our recipe for Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

RELATED: 15 Healthy Shrimp Recipes That Are Perfect for Weight Loss

6

Pork Chops

air fryer breaded pork chop 1
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Panko breadcrumbs crisp up in the air fryer without the use of excess oil, giving these pork chops an irresistible crunch.

Get our recipe for Breaded Air Fryer Pork Chops.

7

Falafel

air fryer falafel
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

The perfect falafel gets a bit of crunch from a bath in hot oil, but the air fryer gets the job done without it. After cooking, pile on a Greek salad or lay on a pita with tzatziki, pickled red onion, and cucumbers.

Get our recipe for The Perfect Air Fryer Falafel.

8

Baby Hasselback Potato Bites

baby hasselback potatoes
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

These mini potatoes are the perfect combination of crunchy and soft. To cut a hasselback potato perfectly, use wooden chopsticks or round handles of wooden spoons on each side of the potato as a knife-stopper to create same-depth cuts.

Get our recipe for Air Fryer Baby Hasselback Potato Bites.

9

Sweet and Sour Crispy Cauliflower Bites

sweet and sour crispy cauliflower bites
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

For this irresistible dish, bite-sized cauliflower florets are coated with flour, crisped up in the air fryer, and then tossed in an easy, homemade sweet-and-sour sauce. However, you can save even more time using your favorite bottled sauce if need be.

Get our recipe for Sweet and Sour Crispy Cauliflower Bites.

10

Buffalo Cauliflower

Air Fryer Cauliflower Bites
Courtesy Diethood

If you're more into the spicy flavors, try these almond-flour-coated, keto-friendly bites tossed in traditional Buffalo sauce. Serve then with lots of fresh crunchy celery and a light blue cheese dressing.

Get the recipe from Diethood.

11

Fried Chicken

Air Fryer Fried Chicken
Courtesy Show Me the Yummy

You don't need much to make the crispiest, healthiest fried chicken you've ever tasted. Show Me the Yummy uses a spiced-up coating of crushed cornflakes for an amazing crunch, but use what you have on hand. You can also use this coating for chicken breasts if you want to go the cutlet route.

Get the recipe from Show Me the Yummy.

RELATED: 21 Healthy Chicken Recipes You Can Make in 15 Minutes (Or Less!)

12

Meatballs

air fryer meatballs
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

You can bake or pan fry meatballs, sure, but you won't get the 360-degree crisp exterior that an air fryer will give you.

Get our recipe for Air Fryer Meatballs

13

Mozzarella Sticks

air fryer mozzarella sticks
Courtesy of Show Me The Yummy

Do you think your local diner or bar is using part-skim mozzarella for their mozzarella sticks? Probably not. With your air fryer, you can control the type of cheese and cut the calories.

Get the recipe from Show Me the Yummy

14

Sesame Soy Garlic Chicken Wings

sesame soy garlic chicken wings 2
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Baked chicken wings are fine, but they often end up overcooked before the outside reaches the desired level of crispiness. The air fryer gives you the crispiness you crave without a dunk in the deep fryer. Turn these into Buffalo wings with a different sauce and a light blue cheese dressing.

Get our recipe for Sesame Soy Garlic Chicken Wings.

15

Calzones

veggie pizza calzones
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Pizzeria calzones get their crispy exterior from the super-hot commercial ovens that cook them quickly. Here the air fryer does the job.

Get our recipe for Air Fryer Veggie Calzones.

16

Crispy Parmesan Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

crispy parmesan air fryer brussel sprouts
Courtesy of Diethood

Brussels sprouts go from a healthy vegetable to a crispy, salty, comfort food when tossed in a deep fryer. Skip the excess oil but all the satisfying crunch by using an air fryer.

Get the recipe from Diethood.

Plus, don't miss 50 Healthy Recipes to Make in 10-Minutes (or Less).

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Meaghan Cameron
Meaghan Cameron is senior editor of Eat This, Not That! overseeing food content for MSN.com. Read more about Meaghan