How to Air Fry Every Vegetable (at Least the Ones You'd Want to)
Your favorite tool for crispy tots will be your go-to appliance to make every vegetable side dish from now on.
The air fryer is beloved for its ability to make crispy, crunchy foods without the fat and calories of a deep fryer. But the air fryer can go far beyond this basic task, quickly cooking any number of foods faster and easier than most other methods. This includes rendering vegetables of all kinds, from main dishes to simple sides, tender and delicious in less time.
Also, an air fryer frees up oven space you might need for the rest of the meal, but if you'd rather avoid the oven altogether, you can. An air fryer will heat up rapidly and put out much less heat than a standard oven.
Here, we break down how to air fry vegetables of all kinds. Temperatures and times may vary slightly for your air fryer. (Don't have an air fryer yet? Check out our list of the best air fryers you can buy.) Use this as a guide, adjusting as you learn how your machine cooks.
How to Air Fry Vegetables
An air fryer is essentially a mini convection oven, so air frying vegetables is a lot like roasting them, albeit faster and with guaranteed crispy results. Aside from using a different appliance, roasting vegetables and air frying vegetables are nearly the same.
Get the Recipe: Air-Fryer Roasted Veggies
Step #1: Cut into bite-sized pieces
Vegetables, especially denser veggies like potatoes and winter squash, will cook much more quickly when they're chopped into smaller, uniform pieces. It also creates more surface area, which provides more opportunities for a nice crisp. Air fryers are notoriously small, so chopping your vegetables also helps you fit more pieces into the cooking drawer. (Larger pieces are less forgiving.)
Step #2: Add oils and seasoning
Before you stick your veggies into the chamber, toss them with oil, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you want in a large bowl. Just cut back on the amount of oil you'd normally use. You don't need as much as standard roasting requires.
This is also the time to dredge and coat anything that you're intending to bread. Wet batters won't cook in an air fryer, so you'll need to coat any vegetables you dip in flour and egg wash.
Step #3: Arrange
Lay your vegetables out as flat as possible to streamline cooking time. If you haven't already preheated your air fryer, do it now.
Air Frying Times for Vegetables
The air frying time for vegetables depends on their size and texture. Firmer veggies, like potatoes and winter squash, require more time or higher temperatures, while tender vegetables such as eggplant and asparagus, cook faster and at lower temperatures.
Frozen vegetables will require a few extra minutes and space to compensate for the added water. If your air fryer has multiple compartments, group vegetables with similar textures and cooking requirements together. Here is a general overview of air frying time for various vegetables.
- Potato (whole) – 40 minutes at 400°F
- Potato (cut) – 15 minutes at 400°F
- Baby potatoes – 15 minutes at 400°F
- Potato wedges – 18-22 minutes at 360°F
- Broccoli – 5 minutes at 400°F
- Carrots – 15 minutes at 380°F
- Brussels sprouts (halved) – 15 minutes at 380°F
- Zucchini – 12 minutes at 400°F
- Squash chunks – 12 minutes at 400°F
- Sweet potato – 30-35 minutes at 380°F
- Sliced peppers – 15 minutes at 400°F
- Pearl onions – 10 minutes at 400°F
- Asparagus – 5 minutes at 400°F
- Cauliflower – 12 minutes at 400°F
- Cherry tomatoes – 4 minutes at 400°F
- Sliced tomatoes – 10 minutes at 350°F
- Eggplant – 15 minutes at 400°F
- Kale – 12 minutes at 250°F
- Parsnips – 15 minutes at 380°F
- Beets – 40 minutes at 400°F
- Corn on the cob – 6 minutes at 390°F
Step #4: Cook
Now that you've got your temperature and cooking time figured out, all that's left is to air fry your vegetables. Halfway through cooking time, give your veggies a shake to optimize their potential for crispiness.
If you like crispy, browned bits, you can add more cooking time. Just keep a watchful eye on the cooking trays. Air fried food cooks quickly.
How to Air Fryer Vegetables That Cook at Different Times
If you have vegetables that are finished cooking before others in your air fryer, you can remove them when they're done. Or better yet, next time, make sure you save space on the tray or drawer, and add those faster-cooking veggies a few minutes later. This way, all the food comes out hot and crispy at the same time.