How to Make the Most of Your Air Fryer During Thanksgiving

While you probably can’t bake a full-size pie in most air fryers, there are many air fryer Thanksgiving recipes that can make holiday hosting so much easier.

Broccoli and Cheese Air-Fried Baked Potatoes
Photo: Caitlin Bensel

When you think of the best times to bust out your air fryer—that popular, crunchifying, mini convection oven countertop appliance—you’re probably imagining a casual weeknight dinner with a family of fast food fans, or perhaps a game day party. Wings, fries, chicken strips, and so much more are easy and awesome in the air fryer, but don’t forget about the holidays. Yes, there are plenty of air fryer Thanksgiving recipes and tricks to put your trusty air fryer to use on the biggest culinary day of the year.

Read on for your complete guide to the best Thanksgiving air fryer recipes to pair with your turkey. But first, we’re dishing up a few general tips about how to utilize your air fryer to make holiday hosting no sweat.

4 Air Fryer Thanksgiving Strategies to Save Time and Coveted Oven Space

Its small size means the heat can circulate around the food at a more rapid clip, which often translates to a slightly shorter cook time than in a regular-sized oven. And since that oven is often overloaded with tasks on Thanksgiving, consider tagging in your air fryer for these tasks:

1. Greet guests with air-fried snacks.

Depending on the time of day, diners might be a bit peckish before the full dinner hits the table. So with that in mind, we always like to offer at least one or two Thanksgiving appetizers for all to nibble on as the other elements of the feast finish up. Since the oven and stove are likely occupied by the turkey, gravy, and other traditional Thanksgiving recipes, we like to heat up some apps in the air fryer. Below, we’re sharing a couple of homemade ideas, but keep in mind that some of the best air fryer Thanksgiving recipes for snack time can be found in the freezer aisle at the supermarket. Who could be mad about a pre-meal pizza roll or mozzarella stick?

2. Use the air fryer to “roast” vegetables.

A sheet pan takes up precious real estate in the oven. Instead, try our Thanksgiving air fryer recipes below for everything from Brussels sprouts to root vegetables to squash. Or get creative and toss together your seasonal favorites with olive oil, salt, and your seasoning blend of choice. Air fry until tender and golden brown.

3. Upgrade your Thanksgiving or Black Friday brunch.

Instead of sticking with the usual routine of an oven-baked breakfast casserole or acting like a short-order cook overseeing separate skillets of bacon, eggs, and pancakes, try air frying a family-sized batch of baked donuts, quick bread, jam-stuffed pastries, or French toast this holiday season. We have Thanksgiving air-fryer recipes for all of that and more ahead.

4. Reheat Thanksgiving leftovers in the air fryer.

We’ve already raved about reheating leftover pizza in the air fryer, but that’s far from the only item you can rejuvenate in the appliance. Everything from rolls to vegetables to pie (holy smokes, how amazing would a slice of air-fried apple pie taste served a la mode?!) can be reheated in the air fryer. Stick to medium heat, about 325° F, and check every couple minutes to see if the recipe has reached your desired level of warmth. To protect the bottom of your machine from any potential drips or sticking, we recommend covering it with one of our best air fryer accessories: a parchment paper liner.

Our Best Air Fryer Thanksgiving Recipes

Sure, you could deep-fry a turkey. But we’re partial to roasting the bird, then rounding out the menu with these Thanksgiving air-fryer recipes.

Air Fryer Thanksgiving Appetizers

While the turkey finishes up, pour a round of spirit-free Thanksgiving drinks to ease into the holiday you and your guests snack on these easy appetizers.

Air Fryer Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Vegetables any which way, twice-baked potatoes, and even dressing/stuffing can be made in this multitasking appliance. As we were pulling together this list of Thanksgiving air fryer recipes for side dishes alone, we started wondering, “how many air fryers are too many to store in one kitchen?” So much air fryer awesomeness, so little time. Choose a couple of your favorites, sprinkle in your family heirloom holiday sides made in the oven or on the stove, then prepare to dig into an unforgettable feast.

Air-Fried Apple Fritters with Salted Caramel Sauce
Caitlin Bensel

Air Fryer Thanksgiving Dessert

No Thanksgiving menu is complete without pie, if you ask us. But we like to offer some alternatives for those who might have different dietary restrictions or preferences—or cravings. Purchase a pint of vanilla ice cream to pair with one or both of these warmly-spiced, autumnal air-fryer Thanksgiving recipes.

Air Fryer Thanksgiving Weekend Brunch

On Thanksgiving morning or before Black Friday shopping (or football-watching, movie-binging, or napping—do you!), put your air fryer to work once more for one of these family-friendly recipes.

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