Crisp mornings, twinkly lights, the smell of cinnamon and fir trees in the air –Christmas is almost here! So what better way to get into the holiday spirit than with festive-inspired foods and sweet treats cooked in the air fryer?
Whether you bought an air fryer in the recent Black Friday sales, or you’re a long-time convert, the holiday season presents the perfect opportunity to put the appliance to the test. Especially if you’re hosting loved ones throughout the holidays.
Not only have the best air fryers gained an almost cult following because of their versatility, but they offer a healthier alternative to frying with oil. They also tend to use less energy than traditional ovens, are faster, and can be much less hassle. Exactly the kind of quality and convenience you need at what can be a stressful time of year.
To help you feel inspired this holiday season, I’ve picked five of my favorite air fryer Christmas recipes below, each one offering a slight spin on traditional festive flavors and foods.
And if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, we’ve explained how you can even cook turkey in your air fryer, albeit with a few caveats!
Looking for a gift for the air fryer lover in your life? Our air fryer gift guide will help with that.
1. Turkey poppers
If you’re after a more exciting way of serving turkey this Christmas, or looking for festive snacks or canapes for your holiday entertaining, these turkey poppers are a great, tasty and alternative way to stick with tradition.
The cream cheese inside stops the turkey from drying out, and the crispy bacon adds a delicious, crispy and salty taste. You can add jalapenos for a touch of heat, or add different herbs and spices to the cream cheese to lift the flavor even more.
Plus they’re incredibly simple to make and can be made with as few as three ingredients. The perfect low-hassle, cost-effective way to feed your family or large groups this Christmas.
2. Mini pecan pies
I adore warm pecan pie, especially over the holidays when the weather is cold, the nights are long and I’m craving sweet festive flavors. However, it’s not the easiest dessert to make at home so I’ve found a compromise.
These mini pecan pies have all the flavors you expect from a large pie – crunchy pecans, a soft, sweet centre and crispy pastry – but in individual, bite-sized portions that can be made in the air fryer.
They take just 20 minutes from start to finish and if you use pre-rolled pastry you can make sweet party treats in very few steps.
3. Prime rib
Not everyone likes turkey so if you prefer serving beef, or you want to serve both to give your family options, then this air fryer prime rib is worth a try.
Simply mix butter with salt, pepper and flavors of your choice – I like rosemary and garlic – rub the mix over your prime rib and put in the air fryer for 45 minutes. The butter seeps into the meat and leaves it moist and delicious, while giving the fat a perfectly crispy and salty texture.
I recommend letting the meat rest for at least 20 minutes to maximize the flavor, but this means you can make it slightly ahead of time and have one less thing to worry about when serving the rest of your meal.
4. Pork, apple and sausage rolls
If you’re hosting at any point over the holidays, and especially if you’re putting on a buffet spread, you’re going to want to serve sausage rolls. They’re a buffet staple and, if my family and friends are anything to go by, you’ll need to stock up.
Instead of buying them frozen, or taking multiple trips to the store over the holidays to buy them fresh, make your own.
These air fryer sausage rolls are easy and quick to bake. You can make them ahead of time and freeze them, or make a large batch of filling and bake batches as and when you need them. They taste their best when served straight from the air fryer and my family love dipping them into tomato relish.
5. Green beans
Green beans are the go-to veg of choice for me and my family at Christmas but they can be quite boring when boiled, and can take ages in the oven.
This air fryer green beans recipe offers a happy medium between taste and time. You can swap the onions and mushrooms out for strips of bacon, or swap the Italian seasoning for mint. It even works well with frozen green beans.
The options are almost endless and it’s a great, low-stress way to both elevate your side dishes this Christmas, and encourage your children to eat more veg. Win-win!