With its promise of virtually oil-free fried food, the counter-top air fryer has become one of the must-have kitchen gadgets of the last few years. This ingenious little machine uses heated air to create a crispy, deep-fried texture using no more than a thin film of oil, making it a lower-calorie, healthier way to cook your favourite fried food.
There are plenty of meat-based air fryer recipes out there, with countless variations of fried chicken wings, crispy fish and breaded pork chops, but the air fryer is also great for cooking vegan food. If you think a fried feast that’s vegan and virtually oil-free sounds too good to be true, take a look at these delicious air-fryer recipes, all of which are suitable for vegans.
Fried artichoke hearts: we love these elegant hors d’oeuvres from Cadry’s Kitchen. The fresh, delicate texture of the artichoke hearts contrasts beautifully with their crispy breadcrumb coating for an irresistibly dainty mouthful.
Gluten-free vegan popcorn tofu: this popcorn tofu from Keepin it Kind has it all - vegan, reduced fat, and completely gluten-free, so it’s suitable for coeliac sufferers too.
Air fryer potatoes: for a gourmet twist on fully-loaded potato skins, try these air fried potato slices from Cadry’s Kitchen. Air fried to crispy perfection and topped with miso flavuored cashew cream, seitan bacon and green onions.
Vegan bacon wrapped mini breakfast burritos: great as a flavourful vegan breakfast or a tasty appetiser, these bite size burritos from Spabettie are full of vegan goodies like sweet potato, asparagus and kale, all wrapped in a tasty homemade vegan bacon. They can be baked in a regular oven too, but using an air fryer adds that extra level of crispness to the bacon.
Air fryer tater tots: tater tots are a classic comfort food that also happens to be completely vegan. They taste great as a side, as part of a cooked breakfast, or even just by themselves. Take a look at this how-to guide from Glue and Glitter for tips on how to air-fry your tater tots to crispy perfection.
Portobello mushroom pizzas with hummus: these personal size pizzas from Fat Free Vegan are great as a snack or an appetiser. This recipe uses a crispy air-fried portobello mushroom as a base, topped with a tomato pasta sauce, plenty of veggies, and a drizzle of hummus in place of the cheese.
Vegan fish taco crunchwrap with mango salsa: this crispy vegan fish taco from Spabettie is the ultimate Mexican-inspired comfort food. These generously-filled wraps are stuffed with tasty fishless filets, a spicy minted mango salsa, vegan cheese, diced veggies, and a layer of tortilla chips for extra crunch.
Thai style vegan crab cakes: these delicate, golden vegan crab cakes from A Virtual Vegan are packed with aromatic Thai seasoning, and use shredded palm and artichoke hearts for a tender and flaky crab meat texture.
Air fryer eggplant parmesan with pasta: air-fried eggplant slices coated with a homemade Parmesan-flavour crust make the perfect topping for a bowl of hearty, tomato-based linguine in this vegan take on a classic parmigiana from Forks Over Knives.
Vegan lasagna: using the air fryer is also a quick and easy way to cook a simple lasagna when you’re short on time, but don’t want to compromise on flavour. This tasty vegan lasagna from Cadry’s Kitchen is layered with creamy tofu ricotta, zucchini, spinach, fresh basil, and your favourite jarred pasta sauce, and takes just 30 minutes to make, including prep time.
Stuffed peppers: these simple air fryer stuffed peppers from Cadry’s Kitchen are filled with chunks of your choice of veggie sausage, marinara sauce, rice, onions, garlic, and Italian spices.
Simple black bean burger: another fuss-free, everyday classic, these smoky chipotle black bean burgers from Fat Free Vegan are made with just 8 ingredients, and take around 30 minutes to make from start to finish.
Eggplant parmesan sandwich: perfect for a lazy lunch, this gourmet sandwich from Cadry’s Kitchen is filled with slices of air-fried eggplant with a vegan Parmesan crust and marinara sauce.
Tofu buddha bowl: the air fryer is the perfect way to make crispy, flavourful tofu pieces for this healthy Buddha bowl from The Foodie Eats.
Sushi rolls: for a tasty vegan twist on this Japanese classic, these tender rice rolls from Glue and Glitter are stuffed with toasted sesame, kale salad and creamy avocado, then rolled in sriracha mayo and panko breadcrumbs.
Guilt free air fryer fries: French fries are the ultimate fried food, and you can enjoy this oil-free air fryer recipe from Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen without having to worry about the calories.
Air fryer roasted potatoes: roast potatoes also work well in the air fryer. This recipe from Vegetarian Mama does require a little oil, but far less than for regular roast potatoes, and the result is perfectly crispy roast potatoes with a light, fluffy centre.
Air fried spicy cauliflower stir fry: this quick and easy recipe from Vegan in the Freezer makes the perfect crispy cauliflower, seasoned with garlic, sriracha and tamari, and garnished with scallions.
Air fryer Brussels sprouts: fried Brussels sprouts are a super simple, tasty side dish, and this handy guide by Recipes from a Pantry shows you how to make it several different ways. Some versions are not suitable for vegans, but you can still try your sprouts with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, pomegranate seeds, or just with a simple pinch of salt and pepper.
Small batch brownies: the air fryer is also great for making small batches of baked goods. These chocolate brownies from Veggies Save the Day are air-fried for a crisp outside and soft, gooey centre.
Air fried vegan beignets: a vegan version of the famous beignets from the Café du Monde in New Orleans, these sugary, pillow-like treats from Healthy Slow Cooking are the perfect partner for your favourite cup of coffee.
Air fryer carrot cake: an air-fried mug cake may take a few minutes longer than in the microwave, but it will have the texture of a real oven-baked cake. This carrot cake from Healthy Slow Cooking couldn’t be simpler - all you need are your ingredients, a mug, and a fork for stirring.
Easy vegan air fryer cinnamon rolls: these decadent cinnamon rolls from Rescue Dog Kitchen are the ultimate sweet treat, with a gooey cinnamon filling and icing drizzled over the top.
Baked apples: stuffed with pumpkin spice, pecans and raisins, these baked apples from Glue and Glitter are the perfect dessert for Halloween.