Food and Nutrition

How To Make Delicious, Protein-Packed Chips With Your Favorite Alt-Pasta—And Your Air Fryer

Francesca Krempa

Photo: Stocksy / Babette Lupaneszku
Thanks to TikTok, foodies have had no shortage of trendy new recipes to whip-up at home. Feels like only yesterday we were posting glasses of fluffy, whipped coffees to our social media feeds. And who could forget the ridiculously delicious baked feta pasta recipe?

The latest viral food craze? Crunchy pasta chips. Made using an air fryer to crisp-up pre-cooked pasta, this simple hack has taken the internet by storm. Food bloggers, like Yumna Jawad of Feel Good Foodie and Nicole Keshishian Modic of Kale Junkie, have racked up hundreds of thousands of views creating their own pasta chip recipes.

@feelgoodfoodie#pastachips are my new favorite chips! They’re so good and make the best appetizer! #pastatiktok #summertime♬ Music Food (Director Cut Mix) - Chad

Essentially, all you do is boil your favorite type of dried pasta until al dente, drain it, toss with oil and the seasonings of your choice, then cook in the air fryer for 10-ish minutes until crispy. Most of the pasta chips recipes out there call for traditional white pasta (delicious). But if you have a specific dietary need, rest assured that you can use any type of alt-pasta you like, says Kathy Hester, founder of the blog Healthy Slow Cooking and author of the cookbook Vegan Cooking in Your Air Fryer ($16). For example, her healthy pasta chip recipe swaps out whole wheat bowties for brown rice farfalle. (Working with alt-pasta may also boost the protein and fiber count per serving, which is an added nutritional benefit.)

When swapping around pasta, just keep in mind that the size, shape, and type of pasta can impact their boiling time. "A thicker pasta like spirals might need more cooking time, while broken lasagna pieces would need less time," Hester says. And if using an alt-pasta, "cook it for half the time it says on the package," she suggests. "That will give you enough leeway to make sure the pasta holds its shape, because sometimes when you cook gluten-free pasta the whole time it suggests, it dissolves."

Ready to try the pasta chips of your own? Grab your favorite alt-pasta and an air fryer and choose from these five healthy pasta chip recipes.

5 healthy pasta chip recipes to try at home

1. Vegan air fryer bowtie pasta chips

Photo: Healthy Slow Cooking

After you boil your pasta, Hester suggests dressing it up with aquafaba (aka chickpea can water) and nutritional yeast. "Drain that liquid [from your chickpea can] you usually pour down the sink," she says. "I use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan, but you can also use a vegan parmesan if you wanted to. Violife has a really great one in a chunk you can shred on your own."

Get the recipe: Vegan air fryer bowtie pasta chips 

2. Pasta chips and whipped feta dip

Photo: Feel Good Foodie

Like we mentioned, Feel Good Foodie's recipe went viral with over 2 million views on TikTok. Yumna Jawad, the recipe's creator, air fries thick rigatoni for just ten minutes before plating them with a heavenly whipped feta dip. Like Hester, Jawad emphasizes the importance of reducing boiling time if using alt-pasta. "Just cook it al dente since gluten free pasta can sometimes break down more easily," she says.

Get the recipe: Pasta chips and whipped feta dip

3. Chickpea pasta chips with marinara

Photo: Eating Bird Food

This recipe puts a twist on traditional pasta with red sauce. Created by Brittany Mullins, founder of the food blog Eating Bird Food, it calls for all the makings of a classic Italian dish, like Italian seasoning, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

For a vegan-friendly option, Mullins recommends a lentil or chickpea-based pasta, like Banza, which she subbed in and said worked great. Plus, her recipe has instructions for baking your pasta. So if you don't have an air fryer, don't fret—pop them in the oven at 400-degrees for about 20 minutes, and enjoy.

Get the recipe: Chickpea pasta chips with marinara

4. Chaat spiced pasta chips

Photo: Nish Kitchen

Serve these flavorful chaat masala pasta chips as a tasty appetizer or a summer side. Nish Kitchen's recipe calls for white bowties, but you can swap-in a gluten-free option in just about any shape or color you want. The stand-out trick is all in the spices, which are sprinkled on just before they crisp up in the air fryer. Yum.

Get the recipe: Chaat spiced pasta chips 

5. Air fryer dill pickle pasta chips

Photo: Meatless Makeovers

These light, gluten-free pasta chips by Meatless Makeovers are about to be your new go-to snack. Once your pasta is rinsed and dried, coat with a mixture of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and french dill. The result? An airy, refreshing gluten-free chip you won't be able to resist.

Get the recipe: Air fryer dill pickle pasta chips

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