7 Whole30-approved foods you can legit make in your air fryer


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Photo: Real Food With Jessica

The Whole30 diet has earned its rep as one of the most challenging eating plans to stick with: Besides no sugar (duh), grains, legumes, and dairy are also all off-limits for an entire month. Yet many people swear that the tricky rules are worth it because they’re able to figure out what foods work and which ones may be causing problems—and end up feeling really great.

Fried food is definitely a no on the Whole30, but due to the godsend that is the air fryer, that doesn’t mean you have to forego enjoy crispy, flavorful snacks and meals in order to stick with the eating plan. The kitchen-tool-of-the-moment only needs a teeny amount of Whole30-approved oil (like extra-virgin olive oil) to work its magic making everything taste just so much better.

Keep reading for seven delicious Whole30 air fryer recipes

whole30 air fryer fries
Photo: Fit Slow Cooker Queen

1. Air frier fries

Normally, French and sweet potato fries are definitely not Whole30-approved, but because potatoes actually are fine to eat on the eating plan, crisping them up in the air fryer is a-okay. Pro cooking tip: Soak your sliced potatoes before putting them in the air fryer so they won’t stick together.

Whole30 air fryer buffalo cauliflower
Photo: Beauty and the Bench Press

2. Buffalo cauliflower

Craving Buffalo hot wings? While most sauces are loaded with off-limits preservatives, this one coats fiber-rich cauliflower with a tangy blend of hot sauce, ghee, and nutritional yeast. It also calls for arrowroot powder to give the veggie a crispy, bready texture (without using bread!).

Whole30 air fryer coconut shrimp
Photo: Real Food With Jessica

3. Coconut shrimp

This seafood dish is a Whole30, Paleo, *and* Mediterranean diet win. The coating is made with unsweetened shredded coconut, and paired with the simple ginger dipping sauce, the sweet and sour combo is a major flavorful win.

whole30 air fryer tostones
Photo: What Great Grandma Ate

4. Air fryer tostones

A popular snack in Latin America and the Caribbean, tostones are green plantains fried twice to sweet, golden perfection. Because they’re so yummy on their own, all you need besides the fruit and a tiny bit of oil is a dash of salt, adding a touch more complexity to the snack.

Whole30 air fryer chicken nuggets
Photo: Thyme and Joy

5. Chicken nuggets

Just because you’re committed to the Whole30 doesn’t mean your dinner has to look any different than the rest of your fam’s—this one’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Just be sure to use ethically sourced chicken to adhere to the eating plan’s rules.

whole30 air fryer brussles
Photo: Second Heart Paleo

6. Air fryer Brussels sprouts

Crispy Brussels taste *so* much better than their boiled counterparts. (Just sayin’.) Season ’em up with salt, pepper, and garlic, pair with your go-to protein, and you have yourself a well-rounded, fiber-rich meal that easily fits the Whole30 specifications.

whole30 air fryer chicken
Photo: Dr. Davinah’s Eats

7. Air fryer whole chicken

Even though you’re cooking your chicken in an air fryer and not in the oven, you still want to let this baby marinate while it’s in there, so get your spices together (the recipe calls for sea salt, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder) and let it simmer for 25 minutes per side. It’s a bit more tedious than the average air fryer recipe, but still super low-maintenance, and the crispy bird will be worth the wait.

For more Whole30 recipes, check out these dinners you can make in less than 30 minutes and these Instant Pot recipes.

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