This a really useful cheat sheet to determine how to air fry the most common vegetables (for how long and at what temperature).
Air Fryer Vegetables Cheat Sheet
Can you air fry vegetables without oil?
The short answer is yes, you can air fry any vegetable without oil. Air fryers work simply by circulating very hot air, and that makes your veggies crispy without the need for any oil. It’s the same method as the convection option in a full-sized oven or large toaster oven, the air fryer is just small, compact, and more energy efficient. To use the air fryer without oil, season your vegetables, put them in the air fryer basket and set the appropriate time and temperature. If you choose to add oil or if your recipe calls for it, add it directly on the veggies before air frying and rub it directly onto the vegetables. A good light olive oil to use is an organic extra virgin olive oil spray and can be found in your local grocery store.
What can be used as a substitute for oil in an air fryer?
Non-stick cooking spray has a high smoke point, but is one choice for replacing any oils when air frying. For the best air frying results, use a cooking spray that is low in saturated fats and free of any unhealthy chemicals. Recommended over a cooking spray is an olive oil spray which is propellent-free. Olive oil spray adds flavor, helps to give an extra crispy surface, and can prevent the vegetables from sticking to each other while air frying. There are a few other tricks to remember:
- don’t overcrowd the basket with the vegetables
- flip the vegetables over halfway though the total cooking time
- open the air fryer often to check for your desired doneness of the vegetables
- use toothpicks to hold vegetables down during the air frying process
- shake the basket to slightly rearrange the vegetables during air frying
Are air fryers good for roasting vegetables?
Roasting involves cooking food uncovered in an oven or air fryer or by exposure to open circulating heat. When roasting, the air fryer will default to a higher temperature and cook for a shorter amount of time than regular air frying. Many air fryers have a “roast’ function.
Roasting usually refers to a method involving meat, but since air frying has become so commonplace, roasted root vegetables are very popular. Nothing brings out the flavor of vegetables more than roasting. Roasted vegetables are extremely nutritious since they contain so many vitamins, minerals, as well as fiber. The best choices of vegetables to roast in an air fryer are root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and parsnips. Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower roast well, too. Even the more delicate vegetables like cabbage, tomatoes and squash roast well, too, in an air fryer.
When roasting vegetables, spray a little oil on the chopped vegetables you want to roast and add your favorite seasonings. With a little practice in roasting vegetables, you may never want to go back to regular air frying them. They roast faster, hotter, and for a shorter amount of time, so they come out crispier.
How long does it take to cook vegetables in an air fryer?
There are 2 types of vegetables:
- tender, like tomatoes and zucchini that cook quickly
- firm, like butternut squash and beets that take a little longer to cook.
To cook the more tender, cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts), soft veggies (like bell peppers and tomatoes), and thin vegetables (like asparagus), a good rule of thumb is to preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees F and cook for 10-15 minutes.. Don’t forget to prep your veggies by chopping them to your desired thickness, drizzle with oil, add to the air fryer basket in a flat layer, and shake the basket a couple of times during coking to promote perfectly even cooking.
To air fry the more firm vegetables, like root vegetables (such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and beets), and winter squash (such as butternut and pumpkin), preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F and cook for 20-30 minutes. That is a little longer than the more tender vegetables. First, prep the veggies by chopping them to your desired size, drizzle with oil, and add to the basket of the air fryer in a flat, single layer. Shake the basket a couple of times during cooking in order to get more even cooking of the vegetables throughout the basket.
Can you cook frozen vegetables in an air fryer?
Frozen vegetables cook wonderfully in an air fryer. All you need to do is figure out which category your vegetable falls under (either tender or firm as we mentioned above). Tender vegetable are like tomatoes and zucchini and firm vegetables are like butternut squash, carrots, and beets. Then simply add a few minutes to the total cooking time to take into account that the frozen vegetables need to thaw during the air frying process. When cooking frozen vegetables in the air fryer, it is important to add space between the vegetables so that the water can evaporate during the cooking process and they can become perfectly roasted.
Are air fried vegetables healthy?
Since air fryers use less oil than vegetables that are deep-fried, air fried vegetables are so much healthier compared to deep-frying. Air frying cuts calories by 70%- 80% and uses significantly less fat or oil than deep-fried vegetables. Air frying is similar in healthiness to conventional ovens, although it is much quicker and economical to air fry vegetables. All vegetables can be cooked in the air fryer. Air frying can give you the result similar to roasting, but slightly more crispy on the outside.
Why does my air fryer smoke when cooking vegetables?
If your air fryer may smoke while air frying vegetables, the bottom of the baking pan or basket in the air fryer may be oily from prior baking. Be sure to clean it thoroughly to prevent the oil from smoking. A new air fryer sometimes has a smell so consider turning it on once or twice in the garage to burn up any “new” smell. Another suggestion is to place the air fryer under the stove hood with the fan on so any smell of cooked food can be fanned away and out of the home.