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Cooking Vegetarian Food with an Air Fryer—Creating Delicious and Healthy Meals

    Imagine this: you head to your kitchen, craving some fries. But you don’t have a deep fryer, nor enough oil to fry the potatoes. You recall seeing someone...

 

 

Imagine this: you head to your kitchen, craving some fries. But you don’t have a deep fryer, nor enough oil to fry the potatoes. You recall seeing someone on Instagram this morning making fried food in less than 15 minutes—and in a healthy way. But how? Using an air fryer! Since air fryers became popular in the UK, our food editors have been experimenting with every possible recipe using their rotisserie air fryer. If you love roasted vegetables, you’ll adore making them in an air fryer. The effect is similar to roasting: crispy exteriors without needing much oil. HYSapientia’s unique meat-free recipes are easy to make, and both vegetarians and meat lovers will enjoy them.

 

Health Benefits of Cooking Vegetarian Food with an Air Fryer

 

Using an air fryer to cook vegetarian food not only brings deliciousness but also significantly improves dietary health. Firstly, air fryers use hot air circulation technology to cook crispy and tasty food with minimal or no oil. This greatly reduces the fat and calorie intake associated with traditional frying, aiding in weight control and preventing cardiovascular diseases. Secondly, the short cooking time and high temperatures of air frying lock in the nutritional content of the ingredients, preserving the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in vegetables and legumes. Moreover, air fryers are easy to operate and clean, reducing the complexity of cooking steps and encouraging more people to opt for healthy vegetarian cooking.

 

How to Handle Common Vegetarian Ingredients with an Air Fryer

 

The air fryer offers great convenience when handling common vegetarian ingredients. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers only need to be washed, chopped, lightly tossed with olive oil and seasoning, and then roasted at high temperatures in the air fryer. Broccoli can be roasted at 200°C for about 10 minutes, resulting in crispy exteriors and tender insides. Carrots, cut into sticks similar to fries, can be roasted at 180°C for 15 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.

 

Legumes and tofu are also well-suited for the air fryer. Tofu can be cut into blocks, marinated, coated with cornstarch, and lightly sprayed with oil before being roasted at 200°C for 15 minutes, achieving a crispy exterior and tender interior. Chickpeas, seasoned with spices, can be roasted at 180°C for 20 minutes to create a healthy and delicious snack.

 

Types of Vegetarian Foods You Can Cook in an Air Fryer

 

Air fryers are suitable for cooking a wide range of vegetarian ingredients, from vegetables to legume proteins. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, and squash can be seasoned to taste and roasted. Legumes and tofu, such as tofu, chickpeas, edamame, and various soy products, also work well in an air fryer.

 

Additionally, vegetarian proteins like veggie burgers, veggie nuggets, and tofu strips can be cooked in an air fryer. Veggie burgers can be roasted directly at 180°C for 10-12 minutes, while veggie nuggets can be marinated with spices and roasted at 200°C for 15 minutes, resulting in a crispy exterior and great taste.

 

Making Vegetarian Snacks and Treats with an Air Fryer

 

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

 

  • Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, then slice them thinly.

 

  • Toss the sweet potato slices with olive oil and salt.

 

  • Lay the slices in the air fryer basket in a single layer.

 

  • Set to 180°C and bake for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.

 

  • Bake until crispy and enjoy.

 

Kale Chips

 

Ingredients:

 

  • A bunch of kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

 

  • Wash the kale, tear into small pieces, and remove tough stems.

 

  • Toss the kale pieces with olive oil and salt.

 

  • Place in the air fryer at 150°C for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

 

  • Bake until crispy and enjoy.

 

Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas (canned or cooked)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

 

  • If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse them.
  • Toss chickpeas with olive oil, paprika, cumin, and salt.
  • Roast at 180°C for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
  • Bake until crispy and enjoy.

Making Vegetarian Main Dishes with an Air Fryer

 

Veggie Burger

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 veggie burger patties
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions:

 

  • Lightly spray the veggie patties with olive oil.

 

  • Roast at 180°C for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.

 

  • Serve with whole-grain buns and fresh vegetables.

 

Roasted Veggie Skewers

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 200g tofu
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions:

 

  • Cut tofu, red pepper, green pepper, and onion into chunks.

 

  • Skewer tofu and vegetables on bamboo sticks.

 

  • Mix olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper to make a marinade, and brush it on the skewers.

 

  • Roast at 200°C for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.

 

  • Bake until vegetables are tender and tofu is crispy.

 

Roasted Veggie Pizza

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 whole-wheat pizza base
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • Assorted vegetables (like mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes)
  • Vegan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Dried herbs to taste

Instructions:

 

  • Spread tomato sauce on the pizza base.
  • Add chopped vegetables and vegan cheese, and sprinkle with herbs.
  • Lightly spray the top with olive oil.
  • Roast at 180°C for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese melts and edges are crispy.
  • Slice and enjoy.

Making Vegetarian Desserts with an Air Fryer

 

Baked Apple Chips

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 apples
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions:

 

  • Wash, core, and thinly slice the apples.

 

  • Toss with cinnamon and sugar.

 

  • Lay the slices in the air fryer basket in a single layer.

 

  • Set to 150°C and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

 

  • Bake until crispy and enjoy.

 

Baked Bananas

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions:

 

  • Peel and halve the bananas.

 

  • Melt coconut oil and mix with honey, then brush on the bananas.

 

  • Roast at 180°C for 8-10 minutes, until golden.

 

  • Serve with yogurt or nuts.

 

Vegan Chocolate Cake

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plant milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

 

  • Mix flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add oil, plant milk, and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
  • Pour into an air fryer-safe baking dish.
  • Set to 160°C and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool, slice, and enjoy.

 

Don’t have an air fryer yet? Check out HYSapientia experts' picks for the best air fryers to find the perfect brand and model for you.

 

Tips for Cooking Vegetarian Meals with an Air Fryer

 

There are a few tips to enhance your cooking results with an air fryer. Firstly, pre-treating ingredients like marinating tofu and vegetables will enhance their flavors. Marinate tofu in soy sauce, ginger, and garlic for 30 minutes, then coat with cornstarch before roasting for a crispy outside and tender inside.

 

Secondly, understanding the cooking times and temperatures for different ingredients is crucial. Vegetables typically roast at 180-200°C for 10-15 minutes, while tofu needs about 15 minutes at 200°C. Remember to turn the ingredients midway to ensure even cooking.

 

Lastly, maintaining moisture in the ingredients is key. Spraying a little water or oil on the ingredients before roasting helps retain their moisture and texture.

 

Suggestions for Pairing Air-Fried Vegetarian Meals

 

To ensure a balanced diet, try pairing air-fried vegetarian main dishes, snacks, and desserts. For example, roasted veggie skewers can be paired with crispy tofu chunks and baked sweet potato chips for a delicious and healthy meal.

 

You can also add a fresh vegetable salad and simple dips like guacamole or carrot hummus to increase the variety and nutritional value. For dessert, choose baked fruits or vegan cakes to satisfy your sweet tooth without worrying about excessive calorie intake.

 

Conclusion: HYSapientia’s Vegetarian Air Fryer Experience

 

(Shared by HYSapientia air fryer loyal user Anna Thompson)

 

Anna Thompson is a longtime user of our air fryer. She says, “I love using an air fryer because it’s simple and convenient. You don’t have to heat the entire oven just to roast a few vegetables. If my daughter wants pizza, I can make a delicious one with a small naan bread in less than 15 minutes.”

 

Anna uses the HYSapientia 22L Digital Dual Zone Air Fryer Oven With Rotisserie. She highly recommends this air fryer: “It cooks faster, uses less oil, and is healthier than traditional frying. Plus, it’s very easy to clean, making cooking much easier.”

 

“An air fryer is not just for frying frozen fries. You can make all sorts of vegetable recipes, giving your veggies a new taste! HYSapientia’s best-selling air fryer has really simplified and healthified my cooking life!”

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