Air Fryer Potatoes
If I had to pick one vegetable that is the “jack of all trades,” it would be the potato. Potatoes can be used to make so many dishes from a baked potato, to french fries, to mashed potatoes and even vodka! Plus, they can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch or dinner! However, one of my favorite ways to enjoy potatoes is my air fryer potatoes.
This dish pairs perfectly with my Instant Pot Whole Chicken, my Balsamic Vinegar Steak and my Instant Pot Short Ribs. These air fryer potatoes have that perfectly crisp exterior with a starchy interior that is just delicious!
Please scroll down to see my How to Use an Air Fryer – What is an Air Fryer Introduction.
How to make air fryer potatoes
These air fryer potatoes take about 20 minutes from air fryer to table. To make this side dish, first preheat the air fryer to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, cut mini potatoes in half. Then, coat the potatoes with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes in the air fryer and cook for 20 minutes, tossing half way through.
When it comes to seasoning, it doesn’t have to end at salt and pepper – they are only a base to start off with. Some of my go-to seasoning for potatoes include thyme with a splash of lemon juice once cooked, rosemary and maldon salt (or large flakey salt), or sprinkle of paprika and cayenne for a more smokey and spicy kick. Have fun and make your own seasoning! I’d love for you to share your spice mix for these air fryer potatoes with me in the comments below, or on my Instagram @ChefAbbieGellman.
Variations of air fryer potatoes
Mini potatoes aren’t the only variety of potatoes you can make in the air fryer. Below are some preparations of other variations of air fryer potatoes you can enjoy (NOTE: cooking temperatures and times may vary) :
- French fries: To make french fries, cut the potato into strips. Coat and season the potato using the same measurements for olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Potato chips: Using a mandolin, slice the potato into ¼ inch rounds. Coat and season the potato using the same measurements for olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Potato pancakes: Using a food processor, shred the potatoes. Add an egg, a tablespoon of flour, and onion to the shredded potatoes. Form the mixture into little patties and coat with oil spray.
- Smashed potatoes: Instead of slicing the mini potatoes in half, use a potato masher (or fork) to smash the mini potatoes. Smashing the potato allows for more crispy corners. Coat and season the potato using the same measurements for olive oil, salt and pepper.
You can also swap the traditional Idaho or Russet potato for the wide variety of sweet potatoes for any of these air fryer potato variations.
Health benefits of potatoes
Potatoes do not only taste good, but they are good for you. Potatoes are a source of fiber and are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese (NOTE: this is for an Idaho potato and different colored potatoes lend different nutrient profiles).1
When it comes to fiber, it is recommended that an adult consumes 14 grams per 1000 calories consumed.2 Fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic disease (i.e. heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke), as well as aid in digestion.2
Vitamin C is important for many processes throughout the body. Specifically, it is important to create collagen, which keeps the skin healthy and assists in the healing of wounds.3 Additionally, vitamin C is shown to support immune function and aid in cell health through its antioxidant activity.3
Vitamin B6 and manganese have many health benefits too. The main functions of vitamin B6 include aiding in brain health, the breakdown of sugars in the body, and hemoglobin synthesis.4 Manganese, on the other hand, plays roles in different metabolic pathways in the body.5 Additionally, manganese works to protect the immune system, is involved in the synthesis of bone, and acts as an antioxidant.5
- Raman R. 7 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Potatoes. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-potatoes. Published March 14, 2018. Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Anderson JW, Baird P, Davis RH, et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutr Rev. 2009;67(4):188-205. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x.
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin C. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/. Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Brazier Y. Vitamin B-6: Benefits, dosage, food sources, and deficiency symptoms. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219662#potential_health_benefits_of_vitamin_B6. Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Manganese. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Manganese-HealthProfessional/. Accessed May 18, 2020.
Have you heard about the air fryer?
You may have seen commercials advertising air fryers, or you may have seen them lining the aisles of your local Target, Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond. With different models on the market, you may be asking yourself, “what is an air fryer?” According to the Kitchn, the air fryer works as a convection oven, however, the fan that circulates the air spins quicker.1 The process of air frying differs from traditional frying as in the air fryer, all portions of the food are cooked at the same rate versus needing to turn the food to cook all sides.1 Additionally, air frying usings less oil than traditional frying, which brings me to my next point!
Why use an air fryer?
As I previously mentioned, air frying uses a lot less oil, which reduces calories and saturated fat making whatever we cook healthier, without impacting the taste or texture! When we traditionally deep fry foods, as little as 8 percent or as much as 25 percent of the oil will be absorbed into the foods.2 This is in the form of saturated fat, which also adds 9 calories per gram of oil absorbed. Research has shown that a diet high in saturated fat can lead to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and death.3 By using the air fryer, you can use an oil high in polyunsaturated fat (i.e. olive oil), and the excess oil will fall to the bottom of the air fryer. In fact, the American Heart Association presidential advisory notes that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat results in about a 30% reduction of heart disease.4 Cooking in the air fryer allows us to enjoy some of our favorite (now not-so-guilty) guilty pleasures.
Air Frying Tips
- Use a light coating of oil (or oil spray) on either the basket and food item to achieve the golden-brown exterior of the food item you are cooking. This also imparts great flavor to the food.
- Do not over-crowd the air fryer. This can lead to uneven cooking, and/or soggy texture of the food item.
- Check the appropriate cooking times and cooking temperatures, as these factors will differ from cooking food items in a standard oven.
- A rectangular air fryer allows for easier spacing of the food items (and more food cooked at once) compared to the air fryers that are more circular.
- Franke S. How Does an Air Fryer Work? Kitchn. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-do-air-fryers-work-265185. Published May 1, 2019. Accessed May 9, 2020.
- Dunford N. Deep Fat Frying Basics for Food Services – Oklahoma State University. Deep Fat Frying Basics for Food Services | Oklahoma State University. https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/deep-fat-frying-basics-for-food-services.html. Accessed May 9, 2020.
- Souza RJD, Mente A, Maroleanu A, et al. Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMJ. August 2015. doi:10.1136/bmj.h3978
- Sacks FM, Lichtenstein AH, Wu JH, et al. Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2017;136(3). doi:10.1161/cir.0000000000000510
- air fryer
- 1 ½ pounds a 24-ounce bag mini potatoes, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Optional: other spices you like!
- Preheat air fryer to 425 degrees F.
- In a bowl, add potatoes, salt, pepper, oil, and other spices you like and mix well.
- Pour potato mixture into air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes. Toss the potatoes and cook for another 10-12 minutes depending on your preferred level of golden brown and crispiness.