Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and with it comes expensive restaurant reservations. But does this really have to be the case? With useful kitchen appliances, such as the best air fryers, making delicious recipes at home has never been easier.
So you don’t have to worry about fighting the crowds, or waiting until late at night to get a table — you already have what you need for an amazing meal.
Need some inspiration? We’ve pulled together five recipe ideas to help you out. Even if you don’t have an air fryer, you can also use one of the best toaster ovens to make these recipes, though we have a list of 9 things you should never put in an air fryer. Once you’ve cooked your crispy meal, you won’t be left asking how to clean an air fryer either, as cleanup couldn’t be easier. So, whether you’re planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, these air fryer recipes are certainly worth treating yourself to.
1. Coconut shrimp
Coconut shrimp is a delicious classic to start with, and an air fryer will provide a crisp finish which adds a real crunch to this delicacy. First, you need to preheat your air fryer to 375°F, then you need to shell and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. To create the coating, in one bowl you need to combine coconut and breadcrumbs, while in another, whisk together egg whites with salt and pepper. Then, you need a third bowl filled with flour.
You then need to dip your shrimp into each of the bowls, moving from flour, to egg whites, to breadcrumbs. Be sure to coat your shrimp on both sides and cover it as best you can. Now you’re ready to cook your shrimp on a greased tray in your air fryer. Cook for four minutes before rotating and cooking for a further four minutes. Once the breadcrumbs are golden and the shrimp turns pink, they’re ready to serve.
You can mix a dipping sauce together as well while cooking. Apricot sounds like an unusual option, but it goes very well with coconut. Simply combine apricot preserve with one teaspoon of cider vinegar and some red pepper flakes if you like spice, then cook in a saucepan on a low heat.
Check out the full recipe on how to make air fryer coconut shrimp.
2. Bacon avocado fries
Bacon avocado fries sounds all kinds of delicious, and these are unbelievably simple to make in an air fryer. First, you’ll want to preheat your air fryer to 400°F. You’ll need about three avocados for a good portion of fries. Slice each avocado into eight even wedges. Then wrap each wedge in streaky bacon, working your way from bottom to top of each wedge.
You can cut the bacon to size as necessary, and use a drop of oil to help stick the ends to the avocado. Now lay your bacon avocado fries across the surface of your air fryer basket — be sure that none are touching and don’t pile them up. Depending on how many you’ve prepared, and the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook in two batches.
Air fry each batch for eight minutes until the bacon is cooked and crispy. These are then ready to serve immediately. Ranch dressing goes well as a dipping sauce.
Check out the full recipe on how to make air fryer bacon avocado fries.
3. Garlic and paprika salmon
Cooking fish in an air fryer can result in a tender and flaky texture which falls apart in your mouth — but you must be careful not to overcook it. Salmon, in particular, can be a delicious choice if you fancy fish for Valentine’s Day.
First of all, you’ll want to preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Now, depending on the size of your salmon, you might need to cut your fillet into small even pieces which will fit in your air fryer basket. Next, you want to add your seasoning to your fillets. You can use garlic, paprika, salt and pepper, and you should then coat with some olive oil on top. Be sure to rub the seasoning in, so the air fryer fan won’t blow it away.
Place your salmon in the air fryer and leave to cook for 7 to 9 minutes. The time to cook will depend on the size and thickness of your salmon, so make sure you keep an eye on it. You can check whether it’s ready with a fork — once cooked, it should flake apart. The paprika should give it a browned color, too. That’s it, your salmon is then ready to serve with fresh salad or grains.
Check out the full recipe on how to make air fryer salmon.
4. Sweet and spicy roasted carrots
If you’re looking for a scrumptious side dish for Valentine’s Day, then look no further. This sweet and spicy roasted carrots recipe turns a dull veggie into a flavorsome addition — and it couldn’t be easier to make!
First, preheat your air fryer to 400°F so it’s ready to cook, and spray the basket with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, mix together butter, honey, orange zest and cardamom. Once combined, remove one tablespoon of the sauce for later, then dunk your baby carrots into the remainder, being sure to coat them fully.
Pop your carrots into the air fryer basket, making sure they’re in a single layer and not touching. Then cook your carrots in the air fryer, tossing them every seven minutes for 15-22 minutes, or until cooked. You can combine your spare tablespoon of sauce with orange juice and honey-butter sauce to toss the carrots in once cooked. Then season with salt and pepper as desired.
Check out the full recipe on how to make air fryer roasted carrots.
5. Air fried Oreos
Yes, you can air fry Oreos, and it is as delicious as it sounds. This is a rich dessert you will struggle to find in any restaurant, and it’s pretty simple to make. First of all, preheat your air fryer to 350°F. Next, you’re going to use crescent rolls for the dough. Unroll each crescent roll and place a single Oreo at the wider end of each triangle.
Press the dough around the Oreo and seal it once it’s covered. Now, add some oil to your air fryer basket, and dot your Oreos across the surface — keep them roughly an inch apart. Now cook for four to five minutes; they will appear golden-brown in color once cooked. Leave to cool until safe to eat, then dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Check out the full recipe on how to make air fryer Oreos.