Vegan Cooking with an Air Fryer — A Case For Plant Based

A Case For Plant Based
3 min readJan 21, 2022


Having gained popularity in recent years, air fryers can be used to make a wide variety of delicious vegan dishes. Not only can they be used to create delicious food, but they are also great for reheating and crisping up leftovers. So, let’s dive in and discuss vegan cooking and recipes utilizing an air fryer.

What is an air fryer

An air fryer is basically a small convection oven. It is designed to mimic deep frying foods without actually submerging in oil. The appliance uses a fan to rapidly circulate hot air to crisp food. However, little to no oil is used. Therefore, foods prepared in air fryers are generally healthier than deep fried foods.

Plus, air fryers heat up quicker than an oven and use less energy. And, foods require less cook time than in a traditional oven.

For foods that need a little bit of oil in the air fryer, I recommend an oil spray bottle. They are inexpensive and work really well.

Air Fryer uses in vegan cooking

An air fryer can often be used in place of an oven and used to:

  • cook baked tofu or tempeh steaks
  • roast vegetables
  • make fries, chips, and twice-baked potatoes
  • cook vegan burgers, nachos, “crab” cakes, quesadillas
  • make vegan bacon with eggplant or mushrooms
  • toast garlic bread or homemade croutons or crostini
  • cook frozen foods
  • reheat leftovers: slices of pizza, toasted sandwiches, burritos, etc.
  • create other traditionally fried foods with small amounts of oil
  • roast chickpeas
  • toast nuts and seeds
  • caramelize bananas
  • some baked goods

That being said, there are certainly some cons to owning an air fryer that must be considered.


  • even large air fryers have limited cooking capacity
  • foods are best cooked in a single layer, so not a lot of food can be prepared at one time
  • appliance takes up a good amount of counter or storage space
  • for best results with most recipes, some oil is needed to get a good crispy texture, so if you are following a WFPB diet, an air fryer may not be for you
  • not all are dishwasher safe and can sometimes be difficult to clean

For me, I enjoy owning an air fryer, but this is a personal choice. It’s an appliance that takes some thought and weighing the pros and cons before purchasing. Other appliances I highly recommend for a plant based diet, such as a food processor. I use mine all the time in vegan cooking.

Vegan recipes utilizing an air fryer

If a recipe does not have specific instructions for cooking with an air fryer, I find this conversion to work well in most cases:

I recommend trying some of these delicious plant based recipes!

For more amazing vegan recipes utilizing the air fryer, be sure to check out my Pinterest page. What are your favorite recipes to make in the air fryer? What are some other things you’ve used the air fryer for? Let me know in the comments below! And be sure to follow me on social media this week for lots more vegan cooking deliciousness! 😋

Originally published at on January 21, 2022.