There's no question that the air fryer has become a must-have kitchen appliance. After all, air fryers make the crispiest bacon, the fluffiest baked potatoes, and perfectly cooked salmon. So it only makes sense that when it comes to Thanksgiving—the MVP of food holidays—that we'd want to utilize this kitchen wizard. Not only will the air fryer free up your oven space for your turkey, it also will help you make the best Thanksgiving sides more quickly—even those that are traditionally cooked in the oven!
While writing my cookbook, “Air Fried Boss,” I tested over 50 air fryer recipes from French toast and baked salmon to BBQ chicken pizza. So I know a thing or two about cooking in the air fryer. Here are my tips for converting oven Thanksgiving side dish recipes for cooking in this trendy appliance.
Yes, You Can Air Fry It!
Most side dishes that can be cooked in a conventional oven can go in an air fryer. Here are some suggestions for cooking oven recipes in the air fryer.
- Lay the food in the air fryer basket in a single layer so that it cooks evenly. The surface area of an air fryer basket is smaller than most baking dishes and sheet pans, so you may need to cook your food in batches. Still, I find that it takes a lot less time overall.
- Line the bottom of the air fryer basket with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Oven-safe containers like ramekins, baking dishes, and cupcake pans can safely go in the air fryer, too.
- Air fryers are small but mighty—the food will be very hot coming out of it—so be sure to handle them with tongs and oven mitts.
How To Convert Oven Recipes for the Air Fryer
As a general rule, I recommend reducing the temperature of an oven recipe by 25°F to 30°F, and the cook time should be shortened by about 40 percent. For example, these oven roasted vegetables call for a cook time of 45 minutes at 425°F. I would air fry them for about 25 minutes at 400°F. It's best to check on the food about halfway through, and flip or stir it around to allow everything to cook evenly. You can check once more a few minutes before the cook time ends.
10 Thanksgiving Side Recipes You Can Make in an Air Fryer
Your air fryer is going to be a game changer when it comes to preparing Thanksgiving side dishes that are typically made in the oven. You will be amazed at how much easier and quicker they are to cook in the air fryer, and how delicious they turn out. Here are 10 of my favorite recipes you can make in the air fryer:
1. Honey Chipotle Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Air fry the Brussels sprouts at 375°F and cut the cooking time in half, to about 10 minutes. Then, coat the Brussels with the honey chipotle dressing and air fry for another five minutes. I recommend checking them after three minutes and giving the basket a good shake—you don’t want the honey to burn!
2. Sweet Potato Casserole
I use an aluminum foil pan that fits in my air fryer for easy transportation and serving. This would be great for small gatherings if you cut the recipe in half, which you may have to do to anyway. If you’re making anything that needs to be cooked in a baking dish or cake pan, like a casserole or stuffing, you may need to scale the recipe down to fit in a container that fits in your air fryer basket.
3. Baked Asparagus With Parmesan
Add the grated Parmesan to the veggies at the end to prevent the cheese from burning.
4. Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Rolls
Place the rolls directly in the air fryer basket and keep the temperature the same, but reduce the cooking time to 12 to 15 minutes. Check on your rolls after 10 minutes to make sure the tops aren't burning. If the tops are brown but the insides aren't cooked through, simply cover them with foil to prevent the outsides from burning.
5. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
These mashed potatoes are made on the stove top, but the magic ingredient is the roasted garlic. Air fry a whole garlic wrapped in aluminum foil for 15 to 20 minutes at 380°F, until fragrant and soft.
6. Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella with Maple-Brown Butter Dressing
Toast the bread and roast the vegetables in the air fryer in batches, if needed, at 400°F and cut the cook time in half.
7. Gouda and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
Make the filling on the stove top and air fry the stuffed mushrooms for about 10 minutes at 375°F, until the cheese is melted and the mushrooms are tender.
8. Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze
You'll be glad that the beets won't take over your oven for up to two hours. Wrap each beet loosely with foil and air fry them at 375°F for about 45 minutes or less, depending on the size of the beets.
9. Honey Roasted Carrots with Dates and Hazelnuts
The carrots will only take about 15 minutes to cook through at 375°F in the air fryer. Check them halfway through and toss them around to make sure the honey doesn't burn.
10. Roasted Radish and Feta Salad
Cut the radishes to about same size so that they cook evenly. They'll only take about 15 minutes at 375°F.