Quick Air Fryer Hacks That Will Simplify Your Weeknights

Monica Gray - October 26, 2023
My Forking Life

Recreate Leftover Mac and Cheese

If you have a container of old mac and cheese lying around, you can use your air fryer to eat them in an entirely new way. Shape cold mac and cheese into balls, coat them in breadcrumbs, and air fry for a crispy treat. This will take that boring bowl of mac and cheese and turn it into something new and delicious. Add a few more flavors to change it up even more. Because you’re not deep frying them, they’re just as nutritious as if you were simply eating mac and cheese. You can make them even healthier by using gluten-free noodles or vegan cashew nut cheese. They only need about 10 minutes in the air fryer to come out golden and crispy (My Forking Life).

Fork to Spoon

Bake Mini Cakes

There’s nothing better than a mini cake to end a long day at work. You can prepare small cake batter portions in ramekins and air fry at 350°F (175°C) for a quick and easy dessert, or post-work snack. For a healthier alternative, use gluten-free flour, no sugar, and nutritious ingredients like eggs or fillings like apples or blueberries. Toss them in the air fryer until their cooked through and crispy, and add a dollop of peanut butter on top for added protein and fat (Fork to Spoon).

Simmer to Slimmer

Roast Nuts

For the perfect afternoon snack, grab a handful of roasted nuts. You can roast these nuts in the air fryer, like almonds or cashews, at 300°F (150°C) for a few minutes. Make sure you’re shaking the basket occasionally to prevent it from burning or sticking to the side. Blogger from Simmer to Slimmer says roasted nuts in your air fryer make a great snack because “Nuts are a good source of protein, fat, and fiber and are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. They protect against heart disease and diabetes. It also keeps you satiated for a long time preventing mindless snacking.” You know exactly what’s going on with them, and there are no added salts or oils that you might get with bagged nuts (Simmer to Slimmer).

Tasty Oven

Roast Garlic Bulbs

Whether you love eating garlic by itself or want to add it to another dish, you can make garlic bulbs in your air fryer. Cut the top off a garlic bulb, drizzle it with olive oil, wrap it in foil, and air fry at 350°F (175°C) until it’s soft and fragrant. You’ll know it’s done when you can press your fork into the garlic and it has a similar consistency as butter. You can use it on toasted bread, pasta, soups, salads, curries, pizza, or vegetable side dishes. The options are endless when it comes to roasted garlic (Tasty Oven).

Cook it Real Good

Crispy Quesadillas

You’re probably used to making quesadillas on the stove. But it never seems to come out right, and you might end up with a burned tortilla or cheese that’s too crispy. For an evenly, deliciously cooked quesadilla, use your air fryer. Make quesadillas by placing tortillas with your favorite fillings in the air fryer for a few minutes and flipping once, until they’re crispy and golden. For an easy dish that’s packed full of protein, you can use simple ingredients like beans and cheese. But for a more nutritious option, fill your quesadilla with chicken, spinach, and other vegetables (Cook It Real Good).