Healthy Meal Prep in The Air Fryer

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Air frying has become a popular cooking method in recent years and for good reason. 

Not only does it offer a healthier alternative to traditional frying, but it also allows for time-saving and convenient healthy nutritious meal prep.

By using an air fryer, you can cook a wide variety of foods and recipes with less oil and in less time than traditional methods, making it an ideal option for busy individuals who want to eat healthy, flavourful meals without sacrificing taste or convenience. 

In this blog post, I’ll explore the benefits of air frying for meal prep or batch cooking, provide tips for successful air frying, and share a variety of healthy cooking and quick meal prep ideas that are sure to make your life easier and more delicious.

So why not try air frying for your next meal prep session and experience the convenience for yourself? 

By incorporating these air frying techniques into your routine, you’ll be amazed at how much easier and enjoyable meal prep can be.

Some foods mentioned are covered in previous blog posts.

Tips for Successful Air Fryer Meal Prep

meal prep

Are you ready to take your meal prep game to the next level with air frying?

It’s all about nailing those air-frying techniques! 

To ensure a successful air frying experience, use the right temperature and cooking time for each type of food. 

And don’t forget to give your food enough room to breathe in the air fryer – overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking.

Once your delicious meals are cooked to perfection, store them properly to maintain their crispiness and freshness. 

With these cooking tips, your air frying game will be on point, and your meal prep will be a breeze.

Effortless Meal Prep with Delicious Air Fryer Recipes

Whether you’re vegan, low-carb, or just looking to mix up your meal prep routine, there are plenty of air fryer recipes that will suit your needs. 

Main dishes are the foundation of a balanced and satisfying meal. And with an air fryer, you can create delicious and healthy main dishes in no time.

 Here are some ideas for air-fried main dishes that are sure to be a hit:

Cooking display with herbs

EASY AIR FRYING RECIPES FOR BUSY WEEKNIGHTS WHEN YOU HAVEN’T GOT TIME TO COOK

34 FREE delicious recipes with step by step instructions and illustrations. Instant access.

Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breasts

breaded chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 60g plain flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150g panko breadcrumbs
  • Cooking spray

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Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (190°C).
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
  3. Dip each chicken breast in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
  4. Dip the chicken into the beaten eggs, then coat it with the panko breadcrumbs.
  5. Spray both sides of the chicken with cooking spray.
  6. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket and cook for 12-15 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
  7. Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer; it should read 165°F (74°C).

Note: Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Adjust accordingly.

More Healthy Air Fryer Recipes:

Air Fryer Salmon Fillets Moist And Delicious

The Best Ninja Dual Air Fryer Halibut Without Breading

Crispy Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

Quick And Delicious Roast Vegetables In The Air Fryer

Air Fryer Fish Fillets

air fryer salmon fillet

Fish is another great source of protein and can be a healthy addition to your meal prep.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fish fillets (salmon, tilapia, or cod)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried herbs (such as oregano, thyme, or rosemary)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To Make Air Fryer Fish Fillets

  1. Rub the fish fillets with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with herbs, salt, and pepper.
  2. Place the fish fillets in the air fryer basket, making sure they don’t overlap.
  3. Air fry for 8-10 minutes at 200°C (400°F) or until the fish is cooked through and the crust is golden brown and crispy.

Note: Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the fish fillets.

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Air Fryer Boneless Pork Steaks

Air Fried Boneless Pork Steaks

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless pork steaks
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil spray

How Do I Cook Pork Steaks In The Air Fryer?

  1. Season the pork with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper on both sides.
  2. Lightly spray the air fryer basket with olive oil.
  3. Place the pork steaks in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  4. Air fry for 12-15 minutes at 190°C / 380°F. or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F (63°C).
  5. Flip the pork steaks halfway through cooking for even browning.
  6. Remove the pork steaks from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

Vegetarian Options

For vegetarians and vegans, there are plenty of plant-based cooking options for air-fried main dishes as well.

 Here are some ideas:

Air Fryer Tofu No Oil

air fryer tofu

Tofu is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes and is a great source of protein. And with an air fryer, you can create perfectly crispy and flavourful tofu in no time.

  1. To make crispy tofu in an air fryer, start by pressing your tofu to remove any excess water. 
  2. Then, cut your tofu into bite-sized cubes and toss them in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, and any other seasonings you prefer.
  3. Place in your air fryer and air fry at 380°F (190°C) for 20 minutes turning until golden brown and crispy.

Not only is crispy tofu delicious, but it’s also incredibly nutritious. Tofu is low in calories and fat, but high in protein and other essential nutrients.

You can enjoy all the crispy goodness without the added calories and unhealthy fats by air-frying your tofu instead of deep-frying it.

Air Fryer Tempeh Recipe

Air Fryer Tempeh

If you’re looking for a plant-based source of protein and fibre, tempeh is a great option. 

Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that is packed with nutrients and has a unique nutty flavour. It’s a great source of plant-based protein and fibre, as well as other essential nutrients like iron and calcium

And with an air fryer, you can easily create a delicious and satisfying main dish that is perfect for meal prep.

  1. Start by cutting your tempeh into bite-sized pieces.
  2.  Then, coat the tempeh in your favourite sauce – try barbecue sauce or teriyaki sauce.
  3. Place the tempeh in your air fryer and cook at 380°F /190°C for 10 minutes flipping once until crispy and golden brown.

Air Fryer Falafel Burgers

falafel burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 can (400g) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley -if using dried 4 teaspoons
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander-if using dried 4 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 burger buns

Cooking Air Fryer Falafel Burgers

  1. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, and both types of coriander, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Pulse until well mixed but still slightly chunky.
  2. Add the flour and baking powder to the mixture and pulse again until well combined.
  3. Use your hands to shape the mixture into 4 patties.
  4. Brush the patties with olive oil on both sides.
  5. Place the patties in the air fryer basket and air fry for 10-12 minutes at 190°C/375°F, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and crispy.
  6. Serve the falafel burgers on burger buns with your favourite toppings such as lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki sauce.

Air Fryer Prep Side Dishes

No meal is complete without some delicious and healthy sides, and with an air fryer, you can make them quickly and easily. 

Air-fried roasted vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts are a great option for a healthy and flavourful side dish.

Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables

Not only do they add some colour and crunch to your meal, but they’re also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

How To Make Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables

Toss your veggies with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place them in your air fryer.

Air fry at 200C/400F for 15 minutes. Turning occasionally. Cook until they’re tender and crispy, and enjoy as a side dish or snack.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more indulgent, try making air-fried sweet potato fries, onion rings, or courgette fries.

These crispy and flavourful snacks are perfect for satisfying your cravings without the guilt. 

Air Fryer Snacks

Air-fried chickpeas, edamame, or roasted nuts are great options for a protein-packed snack that will keep you feeling full and energized.

And by air-frying them instead of roasting them in the oven, you can achieve a crispy texture without the added oil.

Air Fryer Chickpeas/Edamame Recipe

air fryer crunchy chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas or 160g edamame
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Air Frying Chickpeas or Edamame

  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas or edamame, pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and sea salt.
  3. Add the chickpeas or edamame to the spice mixture, and toss until evenly coated.
  4. Place the chickpeas or edamame in the air fryer basket, spreading them out into a single layer.
  5. Air fry for 15-20 minutes at 190°C / 375°F. , shaking the basket every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking.
  6. Once done, remove from the air fryer and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Air Fryer Kale Chips

kale chips

Enjoy healthy and crunchy air-fried kale chips as a snack, garnish for soups or salads, or even as a crispy topping for your favourite dishes!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions

  • Wash the kale and dry it completely. Remove the kale leaves from the thick stems and tear them into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a large bowl, drizzle the kale with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt (and any other desired seasonings).
  • Toss the kale until it is evenly coated with the oil and seasoning mixture.
  • Place the kale in the air fryer basket, spreading it out into a single layer.
  • Air fry for 5-7 minutes at 190°C / 380°F, checking and shaking the basket every 2-3 minutes to prevent burning.
  • Once the kale chips are crispy and lightly browned, remove them from the air fryer and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

Mastering Meal Prep: Tips for Planning and Organising Your Air Fryer Meal Prep Session

Meal prep planning and organisation are key factors in successfully utilising your air fryer for meal prep.

Here are some tips to help you plan and organise a successful air fryer meal prep session:

  1. Set aside enough time: Air fryer meal prep can be quick and easy, but it still requires time and effort. Make sure to set aside enough time in your schedule to prepare and cook your meals. Consider blocking off a few hours on the weekend or after work to focus on your meal prep.
  2. Prepare ingredients in advance: To save time during your meal prep session, prepare your ingredients in advance. This can include washing and chopping vegetables, marinating meat, and measuring out seasonings. By having everything ready to go, you can streamline the cooking process and avoid any last-minute rushing.
  3. Use proper storage containers: Proper storage is important to ensure your meals stay fresh and safe to eat throughout the week. Use airtight containers or freezer bags to store your cooked meals in the refrigerator or freezer. Label your containers with the date and contents for easy organisation.

Following these tips and planning ahead, you can make the most of your air fryer and enjoy healthy and delicious meals throughout the week.

Air Fryer Accessories for Meal Prep

Air fryer accessories can be a game-changer when it comes to meal prep.

From baking pots to racks and silicone mats, there are a variety of options available to make the most out of your air fryer.

Baking pots can be used to make mini quiches, muffins, or even brownies.

Racks can help you make more food at once, such as cooking chicken breasts and vegetables together.

Silicone mats are perfect for air frying foods prone to sticking, such as tofu or fish.

Investing in air fryer accessories can help you diversify your meal prep options and make the process even easier.

Consider purchasing a few different types to try out and see which ones work best for your needs.

With the right accessories, you can create delicious and healthy meals in no time.

Meal Prep Frequently Asked Questions

Air frying has become a popular method for meal prep, but it’s normal to have some questions about the process.

air fryer meal prep containers

Here are some frequently asked questions about air frying for meal prep:

Let your air-fried food cool down to room temperature before storing it.

Place it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to four days.

Freezing your meal prep is a great way to extend its shelf life.

Here’s how to store your meal prep and freeze it:

Choose freezer-safe containers

Not all food storage containers are the same when it comes to freezing.

Choose containers that are specifically labelled as freezer-safe and can withstand the extreme temperatures of the freezer without cracking or breaking.

Glass containers, plastic containers with tight-fitting lids, and freezer bags are all good options.

Let your meal prep cool down

Before you store your meal prep in the freezer, make sure it’s cooled down to room temperature.

Putting hot food in the freezer can cause it to thaw and spoil other foods in the freezer.

Label and date your containers

Label your containers with the name of the dish and the current date.

This will help you keep track of what’s in your freezer and how long it’s been there.

Portion out your meals

Divide your meal prep into individual portions before freezing.

This will make it easier to thaw and reheat later and will help you avoid food waste.

Leave some room for expansion

When filling your containers, leave some room at the top for the food to expand as it freezes. This will help prevent your containers from cracking or breaking.

Store your meal prep in the freezer

Once your containers are filled and labelled, place them in the freezer.

Try to keep them organised so you can easily find what you’re looking for later.

Thaw and reheat your meal prep safely

When you’re ready to eat your meal prep, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

Never thaw food at room temperature, as this can promote the growth of harmful bacteria.

Once thawed, reheat your meal to a safe temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) before eating. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.

Q&As

It depends on the recipe and your preferences.

Some recipes require a small amount of oil to achieve the desired texture and flavour.

If you prefer a low-fat option, you can use cooking spray instead of oil.

Yes, the air fryer is versatile and can be used to cook a variety of foods, including meats, vegetables, and even desserts.

Cooked food can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days, but it’s important to properly store it in a sealed container to maintain freshness.

Yes, many people choose to meal prep a week in advance.

However, it’s important to properly store the cooked food to maintain freshness and ensure food safety.

Yes, the air fryer can be used to cook multiple items at once and even more when using racks, but it’s important to make sure they are not overcrowded and have enough space to cook evenly.

Yes, using an air fryer for reheating is a great way to keep your food crispy and delicious.

Simply place your pre-cooked meal prep items in the air fryer basket, and set the temperature to 360°F (180°C) for 3-4 minutes.

The exact time and temperature may vary depending on the type of food you’re reheating, so it’s always a good idea to check the internal temperature with a food thermometer to ensure that it’s safe to eat. The temperature should read at least 165°F (74°C).

If you’re reheating items that have been in the refrigerator, it’s best to let them come to room temperature before reheating to ensure even heating.

Additionally, if you’re reheating items that contain sauces or liquids, it’s a good idea to cover them with foil to prevent splattering.

By using your air fryer for reheating, you can enjoy delicious and crispy meals without the hassle of using the oven or hob.

One of the main concerns when it comes to food safety and air frying is ensuring that the food is cooked to a safe internal temperature.

This is particularly important for meat, poultry, and seafood, which can harbour harmful bacteria if not cooked properly.

Food Safety

To ensure that your food is cooked to a safe internal temperature, use a food thermometer to check that it has reached the appropriate temperature.

Another important factor to consider is cross-contamination.

Just like any other cooking method, it’s important to prevent cross-contamination by washing your hands, utensils, and cooking surfaces thoroughly before and after handling raw meat, poultry, or seafood.

You can find the official guide for food safety here.

Some oils, such as olive oil, have a low smoke point, which can release harmful fumes when heated to high temperatures.

Make sure to choose an oil with a high smoke point, such as canola or vegetable oil, to avoid this issue.

Finally, it’s important to clean your air fryer thoroughly after each use to prevent the buildup of oil and harmful bacteria.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance to ensure that your air fryer is safe to use.

To save time during meal prep, consider using time-saving hacks like pre-cutting vegetables or using pre-made spice blends to cut down on prep time.

There are plenty of budget-friendly options for meal prep using the air fryer, such as using frozen vegetables or buying meat in bulk and portioning it out for multiple meals.

Does air frying help with weight loss?

The answer ….. it can, but it depends on how you use it.

Lady Measuring Her Waist With A Tape measure

One of the main benefits of air frying is that it allows you to cook food with little to no added oil, which can significantly reduce the calorie content of your meals.

By using an air fryer instead of a deep fryer or pan-frying, you can cut down on the amount of fat and calories in your food.

This can lead to a reduction in overall calorie intake, which is essential for weight loss.

Air frying can be a great way to cook healthier versions of your favourite fried foods, such as french fries and chicken.

By using an air fryer, you can still enjoy the crispy texture and delicious flavour of these foods without the added fat and calories of traditional frying methods.

However, it’s important to note that air frying alone is not a magic solution for weight loss.

It’s still important to maintain a balanced and healthy diet, as well as regular exercise.

Simply switching to air frying won’t lead to significant weight loss if you’re not making other healthy lifestyle changes.

Air frying can be a helpful tool in weight loss efforts by reducing the amount of added fat and calories in your meals.

However, it’s just one factor and should be combined with other healthy habits to achieve lasting weight loss results.

Family On A Beach

With busy schedules, many families are looking for quick and easy meal prep options that can be prepared in advance.

Prep your ingredients: Once you’ve purchased your groceries, prep your ingredients by washing, chopping, and portioning them out. This will save you time when it comes to cooking your meals.

Cook in bulk: Cook large batches of food that can be portioned out for multiple meals throughout the week. This could include rice, pasta, or proteins like chicken, fish, or tofu.

Store your meals: Invest in some quality storage containers that can be used to store your prepped meals in the fridge or freezer. Label your containers with the date and contents to keep track of what you’ve prepared.

Annemarie

Hi, I’m Annemarie

Having recently retired, I found myself yearning for a new project to channel my energy.

That’s when the idea struck to create a dedicated UK air frying website.

Combining my passion for cooking and the desire to promote healthy eating in busy households, I began developing a collection of recipes tailored for those seeking quick and nutritious meals.

Join me on my journey and discover delicious ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste.

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