12 Air Fryer Dinners That Take 30 Minutes (or Less)

There's no doubt air fryers come in handy for game night finger foods and easily reheating leftovers. But this handy kitchen appliance has a lot to offer beyond mozzarella sticks and last night's French fries. Perhaps you're looking to get dinner on the table during the week without taking up your whole evening. Or maybe you've got unexpected dinner guests on the way and need to whip up an impressive meal before they pull into the driveway. When time isn't on your side, turn to these 12 delicious air fryer recipes for a fast and flavorful meal.

breaded pork chops with roasted peppers and couscous
Photo: France C
01 of 12

Air Fryer Tacos de Papa

Who can say no to a crispy potato taco? They're a staple throughout Mexico for good reason. After frying in batches, top these with tons of salsa verde and cotija cheese, or pull out your family's favorite taco night toppings. Bonus: These are a great way to use up leftover homemade mashed potatoes.

02 of 12

Air Fryer Beyond Meat Brats, Onions, and Peppers

The traditional German sausage, typically made from pork, gets a Meatless Monday makeover. When shopping, look for brands like Impossible and Beyond Sausage—and for an even quicker meal, snag the pre-cut onions and peppers in the produce section. Serve over rice with grainy mustard on the side, or add some hoagies and beers for a satisfying ballpark-inspired meal.

03 of 12

Panko-Crusted Air Fryer Mahi Mahi

Panko-crusted mahi-mahi fillet on a bed of slaw on a green plate
Panko-Crusted Air Fryer Mahi Mahi. Allrecipes

Use your air fryer to serve up perfectly flaky fish filets with a satisfying panko-crusted crunch. Not only is mahi-mahi a smart (i.e. sustainably managed and responsibly harvested) seafood choice, but it's reasonably priced, too. Take care not to overcook it and you'll be serving up a flavorful main in less than 20 minutes.

04 of 12

Air Fryer Hamburger Patties

Why should you make hamburgers in the air fryer? Allrecipes user Sue put it best: "Do I want to stand outside sweating over a hot grill? I don't think so—my air fryer to the rescue!" Use the butter and bouillon mixture to give the patties a nice grilled color, and adjust the cook time to your preferred degree of doneness. And just like that, you've pulled off burger night without a single charcoal briquette.

05 of 12

Air-Fried Chicken Calzone

Kick off this air fryer dinner with prepared pizza dough – plenty of grocery stores offer pre-made versions, or you can try a hand at making the dough yourself. After stuffing fresh baby spinach, marinara, mozzarella, and chicken into the dough rounds, use a fork to securely crimp the edges. Whichever side of the calzone debate you're on (Is it a pizza? Is it a sandwich?), we can all agree this air-fried version makes for a satisfying dinner.

06 of 12

Mexican-Style Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Whip up a quick and easy weeknight dinner with these spice-packed stuffed chicken breasts. Make sure to first soak toothpicks in a small bowl with water to keep them from burning while cooking. Serve with fresh pico de gallo and tortillas, or take inspiration from Allrecipes user Lisa and make bite-size wraps for a guaranteed hit at your next tailgate.

07 of 12

Breaded Air Fryer Pork Chops

Breaded Air Fryer Pork Chops
France C

These breaded pork chops take just 10 minutes in the air fryer and only require basic pantry ingredients—we call that an easy weeknight win. Take it from Allrecipes user Gary: "First time doing pork chops in the air fryer, turned out probably the juiciest chops ever. Will definitely make again!" While air frying, keep finished chops in the oven on the lowest setting so everything's warm when you're ready to serve.

08 of 12

Crumbed Chicken Tenderloins (Air Fried)

Crumbed Chicken Tenderloins (Air Fried)
Buckwheat Queen

Take a break from frozen chicken nuggets and try out this homemade air-fried version instead. Avoid overfilling the basket and make sure the chicken pieces aren't touching—that's how Allrecipes user Soup Loving Nicole ensures peak crispiness. Don't forget the dipping sauces!

09 of 12

Cajun Air Fryer Salmon

close up view of Cajun Air Fryer Salmon garnished with fresh herbs, served with carrots and rice on a plate
France C

The classic Cajun spice combo of paprika, cayenne, garlic, and oregano come together in this hosting-worthy meal. Take care not to overcook (this can dry out the filets) and pair the salmon with a side of risotto and your guests' favorite veggies. "Absolutely perfect," says Allrecipes user eclipse 007cw. "I will never cook salmon another way."

10 of 12

Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

air fryer shrimp tacos
Soup Loving Nicole

Taco night just got easier with these super simple air fryer shrimp tacos. Recipe author Soup Loving Nicole recommends buying pre-shredded coleslaw mix instead of an entire head of cabbage to cut down on prep time. And don't forget about the creamy cilantro sauce—it perfectly cools down the spiciness of the taco seasoning.

11 of 12

Lemon-Garlic Air Fryer Salmon

Less than 10 minutes is all it takes to achieve perfectly cooked salmon, thanks to your air fryer. When shopping, seek out center-cut filets about an inch thick and pick up a few sides to go along with this delicious main—perhaps a serving of okra like Allrecipes user Gammy Shark, or a simple risotto like Allrecipes user FrackFamily5.

12 of 12

Air Fryer Chicken Thigh Schnitzel

Air Fryer Chicken Thigh Schnitzel

The traditional Austrian dish gets a modern makeover with this simple air fryer version. Recipe author Yoly prefers chicken thighs, but chicken breasts will work just fine if that's what you have on hand—just make sure to pound them nice and thin before frying. Serve with basmati rice and asparagus like Allrecipes user Carol for a "company-worthy meal."

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