This TikTok air fryer potato Christmas tree hack has gone viral — so I tried it

Potatoes in festive sack
Potatoes in festive sack (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The best air fryers are convenient for rustling up delicious fried foods in less time. And I’m always on the hunt for new recipes that I can experiment with in my small, yet reliable air fryer. 

Air fryers have rocketed in popularity in recent years, and it isn’t any wonder why stocks are running low in many stores. Not only does this mini convection oven cook fried foods rapidly using little or no oil, but they are also known to be slightly cheaper to run than a standard oven, saving you money on bills. 

After owning an air fryer, I’ve certainly put mine to good use, and there’s no doubt that they produce crispier and tastier results than conventional frying. Although it may be too small to cook a festive meal, a viral TikTok potato Christmas tree recipe caught my attention. Not only is it a fun way to present festive, potato snacks, but it’s so simple and quick to make. Win-win! 

The clever idea came from TikTok user @Foodmadesimple who created the potato Christmas tree bakes originally intended for the oven. It has since been adapted to cook in the air fryer, with similar results. 

Posted with the caption, "Christmas made simple," a voiceover then explains, “Here’s a different way to have your roast potatoes on Christmas Day.” We then see sliced potato pieces stacked on top of each other on wooden skewers to form a tree-like shape. After coating with oil and cooking them for 20 minutes, the user sprinkles the potatoes with grated parmesan, salt, chili flakes and parsley. 


♬ It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas - Michael Bublé

The end results were sparkly, potato Christmas tree snacks. It isn’t any wonder why this TikTok hack garnered 155k views, and over 27k shares, with many commenting on what a fun and easy hack this was. It was for this reason that I thought I’d try it out myself. So here’s what happened when I made my air fryer potato Christmas trees.

TikTok air fryer potato Christmas tree hack — 4 steps

1.  First, I preheated my air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. While waiting, I peeled and cut my large potatoes horizontally into chunks, much like fritters, before threading them onto wooden skewers. Ideally, each slice should be about ¼ inch so that they'll cook through evenly.  

Sliced potatoes on chopping board

Sliced potatoes on chopping board (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Stack from the largest size up in ascending order to make a tree-shape, and leave a little gap between each potato when threading. I decided to put five to six slices on each, cutting the skewer to size, so that they can sit flat in the air fryer.  

Raw potato trees on skewer

Raw potato trees on skewer (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. Next, I sprayed a little olive oil around each potato "tree" before putting them into the air fryer to cook for about 12 minutes. While other recipes state 15 to 20 minutes, this will depend on how powerful your air fryer is. My air fryer gets hot very quickly, so it didn't take a lot of time to cook. 

Alternatively, you can take them out once they’re brown and crisp around the edges. Always allow any dish to cool down before taking it out of the air fryer. 

Potato trees cooking in air fryer

Potato trees cooking in air fryer (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. Finally, add the finishing touches. I sprinkled sea salt, chili flakes, and dried rosemary onto a small plate before rolling the potato "trees" around in it. I didn’t have parmesan nor parsley, but the aromatic rosemary gave it more flavor. Once covered with the savory "sprinkles," they were ready to eat! 

Cooked potato 'Christmas trees'

Cooked potato 'Christmas trees' (Image credit: Tom's Guide)


While my potato Christmas trees didn’t turn out as pretty as I would have liked, they tasted way better than they looked. The texture had a delicious crunch to it, and the seasonings made it more flavorsome. 

You can always swap the finishing touches out to your preference, such as grated mozzarella instead of parmesan, or thyme. The best part is, this potato treat is super easy to make — which is fun for very young festive helpers. What’s more, their bite-sized portions make ideal party treats if you’re hosting festive gatherings. I'll definitely be trying these out over the holiday season. 

If you're new to the world of air frying, you’ll need to know how to use an air fryer for best results. Once you do, check out these 7 foods you never knew you could cook in an air fryer, and of course, there are some things you should never put in an air fryer. Also, find out whether air fryers are actually healthy or whether an air fryer vs halogen oven is cheaper? 

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!