By Carl Hanson

The air fryer is the perfect tool for making appetizers. You get the crispy crunch of fried foods but with much less oil -- and a lot less mess. Air fried appetizers are healthier than the deep-fried kind. And at clean-up time, you'll be so happy you ditched the deep-fat fryer. Give these top-rated air fryer appetizers a try.

The Best Appetizers for the Air Fryer

1. Air Fryer Cauliflower Tots

These air-fried tots make an incredible appetizer, yes. But tater tots made from cauliflower are also a terrific (and deliciously sneaky) way to get the kids to eat their veggies! Yoly says, "The best part is they will never know. Now you can have them on the table in less than 10 minutes and you won't have to heat up your house by turning on the oven."

Photo by Yoly

2. Air Fryer Spicy Dill Pickle Fries

"Go bold and use your favorite spicy dill pickle spears for these tasty fries," says bd.weld. "They are easy to make and will be sure to please anyone that likes spicy food. Serve with ranch dressing or your favorite dipping sauce." If you like these, you might also like Air Fryer Avocado Fries.

Photo by bd.weld

3. Stuffed Mushrooms with Sour Cream

"These are great stuffed mushrooms, the recipe uses sour cream and grated cheese to hold the stuffing together, it is far and away my favorite pre-dinner snack to serve at parties," says MumAndMe. You can also make these cheesy mushrooms under the broiler: Bake at 325 degrees F until the cheese in bubbly and browned, about 15 minutes..

Photo by Allrecipes

4. Air-Fried Korean Chicken Wings

"These Korean-style air-fried wings are crispy, sticky and spicy," says Yoly. "Cooked in an air fryer they are ready in less than 30 minutes. They are perfect as an appetizer or add some rice and veggies on the side and you have a balanced meal."

Photo by Yoly

5. Air Fryer Buffalo-Ranch Chickpeas

You'll toss the chickpeas with dry ranch dressing mix and buffalo wing sauce and then air fry in an even layer.  "Great flavor with a hint of heat," raves France C. "Nice and crunchy, it's hard not to eat the whole batch by myself!" You might also like Air Fryer Salt and Vinegar Chickpeas.

Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

6. Air Fryer Egg Rolls

These Southwest-style egg rolls are stuffed with corn, beans, spinach, jalapeno Jack cheese, Cheddar cheese, and green chiles. You'll get the same crispiness cooking them in the air fryer as you would the deep-fryer.

Photo by Yoly

7. Air Fryer Sweet Potato Tots

These sweet potato tots are lighter when made in the air fryer, and they come with a spicy kick. Enjoy with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauces. "The sweet and spicy were a nice contrast," says Buckwheat Queen. "They go very well with hamburgers. My kids liked these a lot."

Photo by fabeveryday

8. Air-Fried Mozzarella Sticks

Here's a classic app! "These ooey, gooey mozzarella sticks are sure to impress," says Chef Wheeler del Torro. "The best part: because they are air fried, they're better for you than their fried cousin! Season with garlic salt and serve with marinara sauce for dipping."

Prep Tip: "One tip, leave a good amount of space between each stick," says Soup Loving Nicole. "I didn't leave enough space. If the cheese bubbles up into one another, it is impossible to separate them."

Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

9. Air Fryer Pakoras

"All the things you love about pakoras but without the guilt by air frying instead of deep frying," says Soup Loving Nicole. "Don't forget the yogurt dipping sauce!"

Photo by cricky87

10. Air Fryer Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Wings

"Put a big stack of napkins on the table because once you start eating these crispy, sticky, sweet glazed chicken wings, you won't want to stop," says lutzflcat. "This can be an appetizer for four or main course for two."

Photo by lutzflcat

11. Air Fryer Fingerling Potatoes with Dip

"The air fryer does a fantastic job roasting potatoes quickly," says lutzflcat. "On their own, these fingerling potatoes make a wonderful side dish. But they also make a tasty appetizer when served with a tangy dipping sauce. They're also a popular game day snack, suitable for adults and kids."

Photo by lutzflcat

Check out our collection of Air Fryer Recipes.