The air fryer has been used to perform many miracles in the kitchen: turning onion rings into a legit healthy snack, kale into a crunchy sandwich companion, and even making tofu the perfect amount of crispy. But all of that is amateur hour compared to the marathon that is holiday cooking.
Holiday cooking is in its own league. There are some foods people look forward to eating only this time of year and they expect it to be prepared right. Then there’s the problem of not having enough time—between big end-of-year projects at work, holiday parties, present shopping, and family commitments, who has time to prep and plan any kind of meal, let alone holiday cooking? But rest assured, these are challenges the air fryer is up for. Don’t believe me? Check out these holiday dishes that won’t create a whole sink full of dishes or take all night to perfect, all thanks to your favorite cooking appliance. (Cover your ears, Instant Pot.)
Scroll down for seven air fryer side dishes perfect for all your winter holiday needs
Similar to how it works to make classic French fries healthier (less oil, no deep fryer), the air fryer health-ifies latkes the same way. This recipe from Strength and Sunshine is vegan and gluten-free, so eaters of all diet types will be able to enjoy.
Most people will tell you that the best part of any green bean casserole are the little crunchy onions on top. In this (vegan!) take from blogger Glue and Glitter, the crunchy onion toppers are still there, but now you get that satisfying crispy bite with every forkful because the air fryer lets the green beans get in on the fun.
Even eaters who normally turn their nose up at Brussels sprouts will go for this take from Bitz & Giggles. The secret to upgrading the veggie from meh to a crowd pleaser is making them slightly crispy and sweetening them up with a touch of honey and balsamic.
Place a plate of acorn squash like this one from Thyme and Joy on the table and everyone will want it in their Instagram shot, trust me. It’s also a great party food; it’s a finger food people can nosh on without getting all over their clothes. An added bonus: this seasonal veggie is full of fiber and vitamin C!
Whether the old wives’ tale holds truth or not, many people won’t let a New Year’s Day go by without eating a hearty serving of black eyed peas for luck. A new twist to try this year: making them crispy using your air fryer. It’s (ahem) good luck you found this recipe, huh?
This recipe from This Old Girl works for a more finger food-friendly way to nosh on turkey and cranberry sauce, whether it’s for the kids’ table at your holiday meal or for a party. Add the cranberry sauce on top of the turkey croquettes and use gravy as a dipping sauce!
If you want to add something sweet to your holiday spread, these crispy sliced apple slices by Mama Shire will do the trick. What makes the treat especially delicious is that they’re drizzled with ghee before being placed in the air fryer. That and the apple pie spice blend make *all* the difference.
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