41 delicious vegan air fryer recipes to impress. Make quick-cooking appetizers, sides, snacks, mains, and even desserts with little to no oil, and fall in love with this versatile kitchen appliance!
Whether you’re new to air frying and unsure where to begin or just looking for some extra inspiration for vegetarian and vegan air fryer recipes, you’re in luck. Keep reading for the benefits and tips for using an air fryer. Plus, 41 of the best plant-based air fryer recipes out there, including gluten-free air fryer snacks, appetizers, lunch, dinner, and desserts.
What Is An Air Fryer and Why Use One?
An air fryer is essentially a smaller convection oven that works by circulating extremely hot air around the food you’re cooking. In fact:
- Air fryers can allow you to cook foods using 80-100% less oil than deep-frying. This means less calories and fat with impressive texture.
- Their small size means you can cook and reheat food, sometimes up to 4x faster than in an oven, for a great timesaving (and energy saving) device on busy (hungry!) weeknights.
- They’re easier to clean than regular fryers, with no greasy mess or splatter.
- Though quick, microwaves leave food ‘soggy,’ and ovens, even after long periods, might not achieve the crispiness you’re after, but air fryers hit the mark every time.
- Perfect for big gatherings and holidays—helping you to free up oven space.
- Best of all, it’s super versatile! While they gained popularity as an alternative to a deep-fat fryer, you can air fry just about anything you’d fry, bake, or microwave—cookies, cauliflower wings, vegetable sides, tofu, pizza, cakes, and more.
Top Air Frying Tips
Having owned my air fryer (see below) for quite a while, I’ve picked up a few simple tips to get the most from this handy kitchen gadget.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket: It needs to be able to circulate the air around the food for crispy, even cooking.
- Shake/ flip: While it isn’t the case for ALL of these vegan/ vegetarian air fryer recipes, most will benefit from shaking/flipping to ensure even cooking.
- Only preheat if needed: While some models and recipes call for it, preheating isn’t necessary for most of my vegan air fryer recipes- saving you even more time!
- Cooking time may vary: Just like ovens and microwaves, brands/models or air fryers can vary, meaning it’s best to always monitor the food the first time you try a new vegan air fryer recipe. The cooking time may need slightly adjusting.
The Best Vegan Air Fryer Recipes
These plant-based air fryer recipes are all dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, and 100% vegan. Many use low or no oil, and may even be paleo, keto, etc.
Appetizers, Snacks, and Sides
By ditching the deep fryer for an air fryer, you can make homemade falafels that are far healthier while remaining crispy outside and tender in the middle. Plus, these 15-minute air fryer falafels are gluten-free, vegan, and perfect for pita, wraps, and salads.
Coat zucchini in a light and flavorful breaded coating for the most delicious air fryer zucchini chips. They take half the time to cook than baking, require only a fraction of the oil needed to deep-fry, and are a versatile snack or appetizer you can adjust to gluten-free, low-carb, keto, and whole30.
No list of healthy air fryer recipes would be complete without these air fryer Brussel sprouts. They cook in just 15 minutes and become perfectly tender in the middle and crispy/ slightly charred outside. Serve with an optional maple balsamic glaze for your new favorite side dish!
Whether you’re looking for simple air fryer appetizers or your next game-day crowd-pleaser, these crispy buffalo cauliflower wings are a must-try! Combining crispy battered cauliflower wings in a sticky sweet-spicy buffalo glaze, these are ready in under 25 minutes and are even gluten-free!
Avoid the additives, chemicals, preservatives, and abundance of sodium in many store-bought potato chips by making your own guilt-free air fryer snacks like these potato chips. They’re super crispy, use minimal oil, cook in under 15 minutes, and can be seasoned to your liking!
Another way to avoid unhealthy shop-bought salty snacks is with these super crispy air fryer chickpeas. They cook in about 15 minutes (2-3x faster than baking!) and are high fiber, high protein, low-fat, and perfect in salads, over soups, or even avocado toast.
These Hasselback potatoes will surely be your new favorite potato air fryer side dish—with a super crispy exterior and fluffy, flavorful interior. These sliced potatoes are perfect for serving with dips, a Sunday roast, or the holidays. Plus, you can bake them in half the time in an air fryer!
Potatoes are par-cooked and then smashed to create tons of little ridges and edges that crisp up when cooked (for just 15-18 minutes in an air fryer) for a super crispy, delicious potato side perfect for air fryer dinners and lunch recipes.
These air fryer appetizers/snacks are bite-sized nuggets loaded with nutrients and low in fat but still crispy and delicious enough to taste like a treat. They’re gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, low-fat, and air fry in 18 minutes.
While they don’t crisp up as much as potatoes, air fryer carrot fries make for a delicious low-carb air fryer snack or side instead of potatoes, and still crisp up much more in an air fryer than when baked. Perfect for serving as part of a meal or with a dipping sauce like ketchup, vegan mayo, yum yum sauce, etc.
Looking for yet another alternative to regular French fries? It’s your sign to give these easy yuca fries a try. They’re super creamy in the middle, crisp outside, and cook in an air fryer in about 18 minutes.
Air fryer oyster mushrooms are tender and meaty in the middle with a delicate flavor and crisp, perfectly spiced outer breading, perfect as a vegan ‘chicken’ substitute to serve with various air fryer dinners or on game days!
As air fryer appetizers go, these vegan onion rings are a household favorite. They’re super crispy, golden brown, air fry in just 8-10 minutes, and can be made completely oil-free if preferred! Perfect for serving at parties, potlucks, and alongside burgers.
Make super delicious eggplant pizza slices with just a handful of ingredients, perfect for snacking, parties, or as a side. Plus, they’re gluten-free, grain-free, keto, and vegan and can be baked or air fried into the most delicious air fryer snack.
Air Fryer Lunch and Dinner Recipes
These simple and delicious empanadas are made using homemade gluten-free dough, packed with an easily customizable veggie filling, and make for a delicious light air fryer meal.
Stuff a chickpea dough base with corn and bell pepper or the veggies of your choice for these simple and delicious veggie fritters, perfect for enjoying as a side, or part of an air fryer lunch recipe in burgers, alongside salads, or with fries.
You can bake or air fry the tofu in this delicious homemade fakeout recipe. Pair that with a quick pan-cooked sweet, sticky gluten-free, vegan teriyaki sauce, and you’ll have a quick, tasty air fryer dinner that’s better than takeout and ready to pair with rice or noodles.
Even though I originally designed this simple potato side dish to be pan-fried, you can also air fry them with even less effort until super crisp outside and fluffy in the middle. They make a delicious, quick vegan air fryer recipe to pair with any meal.
Make cauliflower steaks with or without a crispy gluten-free breading in your oven or air fryer. Once cooked, they’re crisp, caramelized, and a delicious vegan side dish or main at BBQs and family dinners.
These mouth-watering vegan chili cheese fries are the perfect vegan air fryer recipe when you’re craving something cheesy, comforting, and delicious while still fairly low-fat and healthy.
The combination of a super crisp and slightly chewy rice paper wrapper encasing a sushi-inspired filling of nori, rice, and fresh vegetables is sure to delight. Serve them with a dipping sauce, as a delicious lunch or dinner.
In the following recipes, I’ve included advice (usually in the FAQs or Recipe Notes sections) on how I think you can air fry the item, though I haven’t tried it myself. If you try any of them, please let me know if the method works for you!
Using homemade gluten-free wraps and an oven or air fryer, you can make super crispy and delicious vegan spring rolls without the usual deep-fryer they require, ready to enjoy as a flavorful air fryer appetizer or side. The air fryer method is in the recipe notes section.
Combining quinoa and red lentils, these vegan burger patties are packed with fiber, plant-based protein, iron, and more. They’re also naturally gluten-free and cook in practically half the time in an air fryer, ready to make a healthy air fryer meal in a burger bun or salad!
These mixed vegetable pakora (and homemade onion bhaji) are super crispy outside and tender in the middle, made with a flavorful chickpea flour batter and pan-fried to use minimal oil. However, I’ve also included an air fryer method in the FAQs that cook up in just 15 minutes!
Plantain cooked until tender inside and crispy on the outside becomes a delicious sweet or savory breakfast, snack, or appetizer and can now be cooked in the oven or an air fryer to ditch the excess oil in deep-fried methods.
These gluten-free cauliflower patties can be shaped into bite-sized fritters, medium patties, or large burgers, perfect for enjoying with dipping sauces, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and burger buns. Plus, they’re packed with protein, contain 10 simple ingredients, and should be able to air fry (method in FAQs) in just 18 minutes.
Whether you want a hearty air fryer appetizer or a side, these versatile gluten-free lentil patties are an excellent option. They’re made up of simple ingredients and packed with healthy plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Air fryer method in post.
There’s never a bad time for a big plate of warm, crispy potato wedges, whether with a dip or alongside a larger meal. Luckily, it’s easy to adapt my baked version into a simple vegan air fryer recipe and get them ready to enjoy in half the cooking time!
These easy vegan taquitos combine a perfectly spiced mashed potato and vegetable filling encased in crispy tortillas for a crispy, savory, delicious air fryer snack or appetizer ready in 1/3 the time they take to bake.
Prefer heartier meat-free taquitos? Check out my recipe that combines mashed chickpeas with buffalo sauce. It’s a crispy, spicy, hearty, satisfying air fryer snack, appetizer, lunch, or dinner in under 30 minutes.
Creamy polenta and polenta fries are worlds apart—transforming the corn-based ingredients into a crispy, savory, moreish treat perfect for game days and replacing potato fries. However, you no longer need to rely on a deep-fat fryer to get perfect results. Instead, my recipe bakes or air fries the polenta fries in a naturally gluten-free breading until super crispy and delicious.
If you’re looking for healthy air fryer meals, try these spinach tacos. My recipe traditionally stuffs homemade spinach tortillas with a hearty rice, bean, and vegan cheese filling, then bakes them until crispy. However, you can air fry them even quicker for a crowd-pleasing air fryer dinner.
Potato lovers unite and get ready to fall in love with your newest obsession. These potato cakes are made with mashed potato (new or leftovers!) and stuffed with a mixed vegetable and vegan cheese filling. They’re then cooked until crisp outside and creamy/fluffy in the middle. Plus, they’re gluten-free and will air fry in under 10 minutes for a decadent appetizer, snack, or side dish.
Make delicious vegan calzone (pizza pockets) with homemade gluten-free dough and your choice of filling. It’s simple, delicious, and they air fry in under 12 minutes for a crowd-pleasing air fryer lunch recipe (or dinner!).
To make it even quicker & easier, you could use pre-made dough or make mini calzones.
Air Fryer Breakfast Recipes
For those days you’re craving something light and savory, try this protein-rich, pantry-friendly, chickpea, mushroom, and spinach stuffed crepes. Usually, I pan-fry them, but you can just as easily ditch the oil and air-fry them instead!
Homemade granola is not only budget-friendly and super adaptable, but this recipe is nut-free, gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan. Plus, it can be baked or air fried until crispy, toasted, and delicious! A delicious air fryer breakfast recipe with dairy-free milk, yogurt, parfaits, over smoothies, etc.
Air fryer breakfast recipes like these vegan hash browns will help you start the day with a smile. All you need is a handful of ingredients, and—unlike my frying method- you can cut down the fat in air-fried hash browns to just a few squirts of cooking oil!
Air Fryer Desserts
Air fryer desserts like small-batch peanut butter cookies from Bites of Wellness are perfect for small households and last-minute cravings. These cookies air fry in just 8 minutes and are perfectly crunchy on the outside and tender in the middle. You’ll love them.
These cinnamon and maple-glazed air fryer apples from Healthful Blondie are about to become a new favorite air fryer dessert. They taste like apple pie filling and are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and perfect for enjoying with dairy-free yogurt, cream, or even ice cream.
Instead of lots of little cookies, why not try this thick, decadent caramelized banana-topped chocolate salted caramel cookie ‘skillet’ from Nourishing Amy? It’s warm, gooey, chewy, and perfect for serving two on date nights and Valentine’s.
More Vegan Recipe Roundups
- 27 Vegan Pasta Recipes You’ll Love
- 33 Vegan Chickpea Recipes
- 14 Vegan Pantry-Friendly Dinners
- 63 Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes
- 33 Vegan Valentine’s Day Recipes
- 7 Fruit-Infused Water Recipes
- 23 Vegan Soup Recipes
- 36 Best Vegan Desserts & Healthy Ideas
- 32+ Vegan Super Bowl Snacks
If you try any of these vegan air fryer recipes, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating on their posts. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan—I love seeing them.
Vegan Air Fryer Recipes: Vegetable Fritters
- You can watch the short video for visual instructions.Grate the zucchini, potatoes, and carrot. Then squeeze out as much liquid as possible using a nut-milk bag, cheesecloth, or a clean kitchen towel.
- Add the veggies to a skillet and stir in all spices. Cook the veggies over low-medium heat with a lid for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat.
- Add in the chickpea flour and stir with a spatula to combine. Let the mixture cool, until you can touch it.
- Shape the mixture into 6 patties, using your hands. You can choose between the following three cooking methods:
- Cook at 380 °F (195 °C) for 15 minutes in your air fryer (flip after 10 minutes). I recommend spraying the basket of your air fryer with a little oil before adding the patties, otherwise, they may stick.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan and place 3-4 patties in it. Fry on both sides until crispy (about 4-5 minutes per side).
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F (205 °C) and bake the patties for 35-40 minutes on a lined baking sheet (flipping after 20-25 minutes). For a crispier result, I recommend spraying the patties with a little oil before baking and after flipping.
- Enjoy with a dip of choice, e.g. this vegan ranch dressing.
- Find 40 more vegan air-fryer recipes in the blog post above.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
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