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34 Air Fryer Thanksgiving Recipes That Will Blow Your Relatives Away

We love Thanksgiving, but besides the turkey skin and pie crust, there isn’t much crunch to be found on a traditional menu. (In fact, we’d argue that between the stuffing, cranberry sauce, mac and cheese and sweet potato casserole, most of the food is soft or mushy.) But have no fear: As long as you have an air fryer in your kitchen, that’s an easy fix. Read on for 34 air fryer Thanksgiving recipes, including appetizers, sides, mains and even desserts.

60 Thanksgiving Vegetables That Will Totally Steal the Show


Appetizers

1. Air Fryer Avocado Wedges with Garlic Aioli

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, vegetarian
  • Serve With: tortilla chips, hot sauce, refried beans

Kick the party off with these handhelds that are buttery and creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, thanks to panko breadcrumbs. The key to a crunchy exterior without deep frying? "Spray the basket with nonstick spray before putting them in, and then spray the wedges once more before you start to cook them," writes Bitz & Giggles founder Sara Zenner.

2. Air Fryer Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, keto-friendly, low carb, <30 minutes
  • Serve With: ranch dressing, Buffalo wings, nacho cheese

Decadent cream cheese cuts right through the pepper’s biting heat. Serve them solo with toothpicks so your guests can nosh on them easily, or plate them with warm nacho cheese for dipping.

3. Air Fryer Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, make ahead, crowd-pleaser
  • Serve With: vanilla ice cream, apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes

This sweet-and-salty snack is loaded with cinnamon, butter and pumpkin pie spice. Use store-bought seasoning or make your own (it’s easier than you think, promise).

4. Air Fryer Ham and Cheese Twists

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, kid-friendly, make ahead
  • Serve With: marinara sauce, honey mustard, tomato soup

We love you, store-bought pizza dough. Dunk these in ketchup, Dijon mustard, marinara sauce or nothing at all—they’ll be delicious no matter what.

5. Air Fryer Tortilla Chips

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, crowd-pleaser, make ahead, <10 ingredients
  • Serve With: guacamole, salsa, queso fundido

When in doubt, chips and dip never fails. Might we suggest pairing these three-ingredient gems with savory bacon guacamole or spicy avocado hummus?

6. Crispy Air Fryer Parmesan Chickpeas

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead, <30 minutes
  • Serve With: kale salad, roasted nuts, pumpkin soup

Use them to garnish your famous pumpkin soup, sprinkle them atop an autumn salad or simply plop them in a bowl and let your relatives snack their hearts out. "One of the tricks to making crispy chickpeas is making sure they are completely dry before adding olive oil and spices," shares Cathy, the recipe developer behind this dish (and Noble Pig). "I always rinse my chickpeas and then place them on top of paper towels to dry, blotting the tops with more paper towels."

7. Air Fryer Cheese Biscuits

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, <10 ingredients
  • Serve With: honey butter, pulled pork, hot pepper jelly

Be sure to save the leftovers for Black Friday brunch (we’re planning to load ours with chorizo, cheddar cheese and a runny egg).

8. Air Fryer Green Bean Fries

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, gluten free
  • Serve With: garlic aioli, French onion dip, mushroom soup

Shatteringly crisp green bean fries > gloppy green bean casserole. There, we said it.

Mains

9. Air Fryer Parmesan Shrimp

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, high protein, <30 minutes
  • Serve With: pasta, rice pilaf, garlic bread

A satisfying, flavorful appetizer that’s ready to eat in ten minutes? Call it a Thanksgiving miracle. Serve the shrimp with plenty of lemon wedges for spritzing.

10. Air Fryer Meatballs

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes
  • Serve With: toasted pita, hummus, mashed potatoes

Look no further if you have relatives on keto. The egg is enough to hold the meatballs together, so you can omit the panko breadcrumbs if need be.

11. Air Fryer Turkey Breast

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser, high protein
  • Serve With: sausage stuffing, roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce

If you’re only serving a few people, there’s no need to fuss with a whole bird. The breast alone will provide more than enough meat for you and your guests (plus leftovers to spare).

12. Air Fryer Maple Glazed Salmon

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, high protein, special occasion-worthy
  • Serve With: jasmine rice, baked potato, crispy Brussels sprouts

Hey, not everybody loves turkey on Thanksgiving. Mix things up by serving this seasonal seafood recipe. We’re betting you have every ingredient but the salmon in your kitchen right now.

13. Air Fryer Whole Chicken

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly
  • Serve With: gravy, dinner rolls, roasted red potatoes

If you’re looking for the same impressive look of a whole turkey but want to scale it down, chicken is your next best option. This one is seasoned with nothing but EVOO and dry spices.

14. Air Fryer Pot Roast

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes (plus marinating time)
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, <10 ingredients, high protein
  • Serve With: glazed carrots, egg noodles, mac and cheese

If you’re not sold on chicken or turkey, beef is always a crowd-pleaser, especially in the colder months. The chuck roast is marinated in fresh citrus juice, soy sauce and a few pantry staples overnight before it’s cooked.

15. Air Fryer Turkey Legs

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredient
  • Serve With: coleslaw, scalloped potatoes, cornbread

Dark meat lovers, rejoice. You’ll be able to dig into the main event in a mere 45 minutes, so have all your sides ready to reheat when you pop the legs in the air fryer.

16. Air Fryer Lobster Tails

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy, <10 ingredients
  • Serve With: garlic herb butter, steak, risotto

Thanksgiving dinner for two has never looked so fancy. Go the extra mile by pairing the lemon butter lobster with an impeccably seared steak for a little surf-and-turf action.

17. Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: keto-friendly, high protein, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients
  • Serve With: creamed spinach, buttered noodles, spicy broccoli

Think thin, tenderized chicken breast stuffed with spinach, cream cheese, Parmesan and jalapeños. The crispy bacon exterior merely gilds the lily.

18. Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloin

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, high protein
  • Serve With: sweet potato casserole, cauliflower gratin, biscuits

If your family prefers white meat, this simple recipe with only ten minutes of prep is basically foolproof. Just be sure to flip the tenderloin halfway through cooking, if you have a basket-style air fryer. This ensures even cooking all around, says Laurie of Fork to Spoon, who created this recipe.

Sides

19. Air Fryer Crispy Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly
  • Serve With: pork chops, pickled onions, short rib

Leave it to sharp red onion and zingy balsamic vinegar to reinvigorate a basic veggie side. Toss the sprouts with pecans, crumbled goat cheese and crushed red pepper flakes for an even greater breadth of flavor (and texture).

20. Spiced Butternut Squash

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly
  • Serve With: pumpkin polenta, farro, pepitas

Your favorite winter gourd will have a whole new lease on life once it’s coated in Chinese five spice.

21. Air Fryer Carrots, Five Ways

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, vegan
  • Serve With: pot roast, lamb, beef stew

Take your pick from plain, sweet brown sugar, spicy bacon, Indian-inspired and medley varieties. No matter which route you go, the carrots will pair well with just about anything.

22. Air Fryer Cornbread

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, kid-friendly, make ahead
  • Serve With: pickled jalapeños, meatloaf, chili

Skip the usual canned biscuits in favor of tender, crumbly cornbread. Bonus points for topping your slice with honey, butter and diced chiles.

23. Air Fryer Macaroni and Cheese Muffins

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, make ahead
  • Serve With: ketchup, ribs, brisket

Any appetizer with this much cheese in it is bound to be a hit. Make the mac and cheese ahead so it’s cold and ready to mold on Turkey Day.

24. Air Fryer “Roasted” Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly
  • Serve With: turkey breast, ham, green salad

They’re garlicky, cheesy and packed with fresh and dried herbs alike—what’s not to love? The only thing that could make them tastier is a drizzle of warm gravy.

25. Air Fryer Mushrooms

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly
  • Serve With: steak, garlic asparagus, herb mashed potatoes

It doesn’t take much more than a few pantry staples and 20 minutes of your time to transform these baby bellas into a drool-worthy side.

26. Shawarma Green Beans

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, vegan, beginner-friendly
  • Serve With: warm naan, hummus, yogurt sauce

The homemade shawarma spice mix (a blend of dried oregano, cinnamon and other warm seasonings) can be used on basically any protein or veggie that you have on hand.

27. Air Fryer Acorn Squash

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegan, kid-friendly
  • Serve With: pumpkin soup, chile crisp, candied maple bacon

The recipe only calls for two basic seasonings, but we’re betting this sweet squash would taste incredible drizzled with anything from maple syrup to chile crisp.

28. Air Fryer Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: TK
  • Serve With: turkey roulade, grilled peppers, sautéed mushrooms

At our Thanksgiving table, stuffing is just as important as the bird. Substitute chicken or turkey sausage for Italian pork sausage or spruce it up with dried cranberries.

29. Easy Air Fryer Loaded Sweet Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients
  • Serve With: toasted marshmallows, sour cream, hot honey

You can pile ’em high with butter and honey, but we wouldn’t blame you for sticking to tradition and going the route of mini marshmallows instead.

Desserts

30. Air Fryer Apple Fries with Caramel Dip

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly
  • Serve With: cream cheese frosting, dulce de leche, mulled cider

This fall treat couldn’t be easier to pull off. The apples are coated in crushed graham crackers for extra crunch.

31. Maple Pecan Bars with Sea Salt

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, make ahead
  • Serve With: cinnamon lattes, buttered rum, vanilla ice cream

All the flavor and gooey decadence of pecan pie, but way easier to prepare. Be sure to serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (but we’re guessing you knew that already).

32. Air Fryer Baked Pears

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly
  • Serve With: mulled wine, whipped cream, candied nuts

It’s time for pears to stop living in apples’ shadow. Finish them with whipped cream, pralines or halved figs.

33. Air Fryer Churros

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients
  • Serve With: chocolate fudge, hot cocoa, horchata

’Tis the season for all things cinnamon, and that includes these tiny bites of sugar-coated dough. Pass the chocolate and dulce de leche dipping sauces, please.

34. Air Fryer Apple Pie Chimichangas

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy
  • Serve With: vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, chai lattes

If turkey and all the fixings don’t fill you up, these heavenly pockets of caramel-laced bliss are sure to get the job done. (Pro tip: To keep this dish as mess-free as possible, buy 10-inch tortillas. Cathy says they're easiest to roll up and contain the filling.)

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Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.