Air fryer vegetables and salmon

Air Fryer Vegetables: Tips & Tricks

You’ve probably heard the buzz surrounding air fryers, but their popularity isn't only due to chicken wings and french fries. Air fryer vegetables are yet another canvas for creating wildly delicious dishes. Get perfectly crisped asparagus edges or tender, crusted cauliflower bites, even when you’re short on time when you use an air fryer.

There are so many different ways you can utilize air fryer vegetables to make your everyday dinners new and exciting. Whether you’re taking advantage of the seasonal harvest or you’ve just always wanted to try chicken-fried jackfruit, the air fryer is the way to liven-up your veggies.

An air fried blooming onion

How To Cook Vegetables in an Air Fryer

Cook crispy, golden air fried vegetables as a side dish, vegetarian entree, or an appetizer served with dip. Depending on the recipe, you’ll want to sprinkle your veggies with seasoning or breading and a light spray of oil before tossing them in the basket for a few minutes at the right temperature for a quick and easy recipe. 

Whether you’re making thin slices of air fried zucchini chips to serve beside a refreshing tzatziki or a balsamic vegetable medley, an air fryer will help you achieve a crispy, mouthwatering, and tender result in no time. Get more tips on how to master the art of air frying and explore which one is right for you.

Ingredients

While there is a world of delicious vegetables suited to air fryer cooking, there’s a class of them that cook exceptionally well in an air fryer:

  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Russet Potatoes
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Acorn Squash
  • Breaded Green Tomatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms

Popular Seasonings

Salt, pepper and garlic powder can act as a base for getting the seasoning party started. Other popular air fryer vegetable seasonings range from Za’atar and sumac for Middle Eastern flair, dried parsley, oregano and onion powder for a classic Italian flavoring or chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika to turn the heat up, Tex-mex style. 

You can find tons of inspiration for seasoning combinations that suit your recipe and the theme, or culinary integrity of whatever dish you're creating. Curry powder, cajun spice, or even a pinch of red pepper flakes can instantly spice up your air fryer vegetables. Get more inspiration by learning how to grind your own spices at home.

Extras

Extras are the finishing touches that will marry your flavors together to create a cohesive and balanced bite. Try fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley and basil, a squeeze of lemon juice or shavings of lime zest, fried capers, crispy bacon or melty cheese. You can also add texture and crunch with things like candied walnuts and sliced roasted almonds.

Be mindful as you build layer upon layer of flavor. Air fryer vegetables will never be just one note when you choose the right extras.

Air fried zucchini chips and sticks

Air Fryer Vegetables Recipes

Cooking times and temperatures will vary depending on what kinds of air fryer vegetables you plan on making but across the board, recipes will usually call for lightly coating your veggies in oil, seasoning them and placing them in a single layer on the air fryer tray or basket. Let them cook and, if you’re using a baking sheet, flip them or give them a shake at interval cooking times. If you’re using an oven with the 360° Air Fry System and an air fry basket, like the KitchenAid® Dual Convection Countertop Oven or Digital Countertop Air Fry Oven, then you won’t need to flip or shake your veggies.

How to Cook Tender Vegetables 

Tender vegetables like air fried zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli and green beans follow a similar guideline to one another for time and temperature. For air fried cauliflower and zucchini, you’ll want to preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Toss or spray the vegetables with oil and place as evenly as possible in a single layer before cooking for 10-12 minutes.

How to Cook Firm Vegetables 

For firm vegetables like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, butternut squash and rutabaga start by peeling and chopping them into uniform size pieces. Keep in mind that smaller pieces will cook faster. Follow your recipe for preheating instructions that will likely be between 350°F-400°F. Next, toss or spray them with oil, add seasoning, and place them in a single layer to put into the air fryer. Firm vegetables will usually take between 15-30 minutes depending on size. Top them with extras like chopped scallions, parmesan cheese or a drizzle of honey.

What Are the Best Oils for the Air Fryer?

Because of their different smoking points—the temperature at which oil begins to smoke—certain kinds of oils are better for air frying than others. Avocado oil, ghee and extra light olive oil make great choices due to their high smoking points. Next in line would be soybean oil, coconut oil, peanut oil and vegetable oil.

How to Cook Frozen Vegetables 

If you’ve frozen some veggies you grew in your garden, air frying them is a great way to cook up a dish that’s full of flavor. Don’t let the veggies thaw as they can become watery. Spray your vegetables on all sides with oil then place them straight into your air fry tray or basket in a single layer. Give them an extra spray of oil and top with a sprinkling of seasoning before placing them in your air fry oven. Then air fry at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, checking intermittently until crispy.

While fresh seasonal vegetables are ideal, there’s no denying the convenience of frozen vegetables. The challenge is getting them to taste great. Transform your frozen vegetables into a crisp and delicious side dish using your air fryer. With an air fryer, you can get the crispy, lightly charred results you’re looking for.

Air fryer vegetables and salmon next to a KitchenAid® Countertop Oven with Air Fry

Veggie Air Frying Tips

Air frying is a creative way to cook delicious vegetable dishes, and knowing a few added tips will help you get the results you’re looking for every time. Cook your own delicious, air fried dishes with a Digital Countertop Air Fry Oven or Dual Convection Countertop Oven from KitchenAid brand.

  • Preheat: Preheat the air fryer before adding your foods. You can do this by simply choosing the temperature and waiting for the oven to chime when it's preheated.

  • Don’t overcrowd: Get the best results by cooking your vegetables in an even layer. Don’t overcrowd the basket with stacks of veggies as it will prevent proper browning and crisping.

  • Shake and Flip: Some standalone air fryers require you to flip your vegetables or give the basket a good shake about halfway through the cooking process to redistribute them and get more even browning. KitchenAid® Countertop Ovens with Air Fry have the 360° Air Fry System and include an air fry basket so you don’t need to flip your veggies while they cook.

  • Check on your veggies: As some recipes and air fryers can vary on time and temperature, feel free to keep an eye on your veggies—using the interior light if you have a KitchenAid® Dual Convection Countertop Oven with Air Fry—to make sure they’re done to perfection.

 

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