I'm a private chef who loves my air fryer. Here are 8 of my favorite things to make in it.

I'm a private chef who loves my air fryer. Here are 8 of my favorite things to make in it.
  • I work as a private chef and love making quick and easy recipes in my air fryer.

  • I use some of my own recipes, like crispy chickpeas and chicken tenders.

  • But I mostly use my air fryer to make perfectly crispy frozen tots, samosas, and arepas.

I know it's ironic, but as a private chef, I barely have time to cook for myself.

After a day in the kitchen, the last thing I want to do when I get home is stand at the stove. And when I'm in the middle of school pick-up or trying to meet an article deadline, I need something to tide me over until we get back from the playground.

This is where my air fryer has become my close friend and ally. It's no wonder why the countertop appliances keep raking in profits.

I make some fresh items in my air fryer. But mostly, I like to crisp up something delicious I've picked up from the frozen aisle or batch-made in advance.

Here are some of my top choices.

Crispy chickpeas are a great snack.

crispy chickpeas laid out on a small sheet pan
I like to season my chickpeas with za'atar and smoked paprika. Fatima Khawaja

My family always polishes off my air-fried chickpeas the day I make them — sometimes, I have to make two cans.

After rinsing the beans, I toss them in olive oil, salt, and seasonings (my favorite combination is za'atar and smoked paprika) and air-fry them until they're crispy delights.

I haven't found a better way to cook frozen arepas.

cooked arepa on a colorful plate
The cheese gets nice a bubbly but the exterior stays crisp.Fatima Khawaja

I buy the frozen arepas from Trader Joe's, and they are dangerously good.

I enjoy that there's a balance of salty and sweet flavors. Plus, they're gluten-free and actually quite filling.

There are a few ways to heat them up, per the package, but they turn out perfectly in my air fryer.

Tots are better when they're crispy.

bowl of air fried  tater tots
You can't convince me there's a better way to make tots.Fatima Khawaja

I am always shocked by how well tots turn out in the air fryer. The little potato nuggets maintain their crispy shells and fluffy interiors.

It's almost as if I deep-fried them.

I'm always throwing frozen samosas in.

plate of air fried samosas with a side of sauce
I prefer a midsize samosa over ones that are too big or small. Fatima Khawaja

As a Pakistani, I always have bags of frozen samosas of all sizes in my freezer stash.

I love the vegetarian ones that are big enough that I don't have to make too many to fill me up.

They're great served with a tamarind chutney.

My daughter can't get enough scallion pancakes.

hand holding a plate of scallion pancakes with sauce on top
Hot sauce and mayonnaise are great toppings for scallion pancakes. Fatima Khawaja

My daughter loves scallion pancakes (so do I), so I keep a few in my freezer.

I air-fry them for her lunchbox or after-school snack, so they're crispy on the edges and a nice golden brown all around. My biggest tip is to flip halfway through cooking.

I like adding hot sauce and mayonnaise to mine or dipping them in soy sauce or a sesame dressing.

Plus, there are so many savory frozen pancakes on the market. After scallion, my next pick is kimchi.

If you haven't tried air-fried artichokes, this is your sign.

hand holding up a dish of frozen artichokes
Frozen artichoke chunks get crispy in the air fryer.Fatima Khawaja

A coworker told me air-fried frozen artichokes were great, and I didn't believe her at first. But she was right.

In the air fryer, they get crispy edges with a savory, soft center.

I love these with a sprinkle of salt and a tangy aioli.

I eat taquitos as a snack or a meal.

plate of taquitos topped with shredded lettuce
The rolled tacos can be topped with basically anything. Fatima Khawaja

Taquitos teeter the line between snack and meal, but I enjoy how they turn out in the air fryer.

Crispy on the outside with a steamy center, they're essentially a blank canvas for sauces and toppings.

And because I didn't deep-fry them, I don't feel heavy after enjoying a couple for my afternoon snack.

I make my own chicken tenders and heat them up in the air fryer.

plate of chicken tenders with sauce on the side
Keeping homemade chicken tenders in the air fryer has been a game changer. Fatima Khawaja

I love chicken tenders. Some store-bought brands are good, but I like to batch-make my own.

To make, dredge organic chicken tenderloins in egg, then move them to seasoned flour (salt, pepper, garlic powder). Press them into panko breadcrumbs mixed with a little bit more salt and some sesame seeds before lightly frying.

When I prepare. batch, I cook them about 60% of the way in the oil, freeze them, and then pop them in the air fryer to finish them off whenever the craving hits.

Read the original article on Business Insider