There’s the air fryer craze. And then there’s the keto craze. Combine the two, and it’s bound to be an earth-shattering pairing that everyone wants in on.
In case you need a refresher: The air fryer has been touted as the miraculous kitchen appliance that slashes fat and calories off your favorite fried foods without diminishing that greasy, crisp texture. The keto diet is a super-popular (and super-restrictive) eating plan that calls for lots of fat and very few carbs, the goal being to keep your body in a fat-burning mode known as ketosis.
While it may seem odd that someone on the keto diet would want to use a cooking technique that diminishes fat count—after all, the whole point of keto is to increase fats—air frying is actually a great way to enjoy traditionally-friend recipes that are high in carbohydrates, explains Dana Angelo White, registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer, and author of the Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook.
For example, you can cut out the typical breadings in fried food and opt for keto-approved breadings like nuts and seeds, which will also give the dish a healthier makeover. The air fryer is also a convenient and easy appliance for keto dieters who meal prep, she adds.
Give these keto air fryer recipes a shot, and you won’t be sorry. (Hello, Super Bowl snacks.)
Buffalo Chicken Bites
This 3-ingredient recipe could not be easier, and it has less than 1 gram of carbs per serving. “Just season diced boneless, skinless chicken thighs with salt and air fry at 390F for 10 to 12 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the fryer basket and toss immediately in 2 tbsp of your favorite hot sauce,” says White. These are perfect for game night with the guys.
Keto Buffalo Wings
These wings taste just like those you’d find at your favorite dive bar. Al you need is about 1/4 cup keto friendly hot sauce, 1 tablespoon ghee/grass-fed butter, 1 lb. chicken wings/drumettes, and a non-stick oil spray, like Primal Kitchen avocado oil, says global integrative nutrition health coach and keto expert, Karissa Long.
Pre-heat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the hot sauce and whisk until fully combined. Turn the heat down to low and keep the sauce warm. Add the wings to the air fryer and spray lightly with the non-stick spray. Fry for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, open the air fryer, and rotate the wings using tongs. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes until the wings are fully cooked and crisp. Remove the wings from the air fryer. Place the wings in a bowl, cover with the warm buffalo sauce, and toss to evenly coat.
Kale and Feta Frittatas
“Scramble up 4 eggs, 1 cup chopped kale and 3 tbsp of crumbled feta cheese with some salt and pepper. Air fry at 360F in a baking pan or egg cups,” says White. This recipe serves two people and has 5 grams of carbs per serving. You can also make a bunch at once and save for easy breakfasts or protein-packed snacks.
Sesames offer some nice crunch for a more fried texture. “Brush fillets of salmon or cod with 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce mixed with 1 tsp honey and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Air fry for 7 to 9 minutes at 360F,” says White. Enjoy this high-fat and excellent source of protein for a mere 5 grams of carbs per serving. You can also cook up some cauliflower rice to sub for white rice and consider it takeout.
Spice, cheese, and bacon—are you drooling yet? “Fill hollowed out jalapeños with a mixture of cream cheese and shredded cheddar, then air fry at 360F for 10 minutes. For a meatier spin, wrap in bacon before air frying. Each popper has less than 1.5g of carbs,” says White.
The Best Bacon Ever
Yaaaas, who doesn’t love bacon? Get 6 slices of bacon (no-sugar added) and place the bacon slices in the air fryer basket. Set the temperature at 400 degrees F. Cook for 5 minutes and then check the bacon slices. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until it reaches your desired doneness, and you’re set, says Long.
Add these to some zoodles for a keto-friendly Italian dinner. The recipe calls for one pound ground beef, 1/4 cup no sugar-added marinara sauce, 1 teaspoon dried minced onion, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated, and one egg.
“Pre-heat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together all ingredients until fully combined. Take the mixture and form into 12 1-inch sized circular balls. Place the balls in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook in the air fryer for 10-12 minutes,” says Long.
Asparagus Wrapped With Crispy Proscuitto
Have some fun with these fancy looking keto-approved apps. “Wrap stalks of asparagus with thinly sliced prosciutto and air fry at 360F for 4 minutes,” says White. It literally couldn’t be simpler. Try these out for date night, and you’ll make quite the impression. There are only 2 grams of carbs per serving. “Allow to cook slight before serving,” she says.