Deep fryers have become a popular kitchen appliance over the past few years thanks to their compactness and versatility. This also makes them the perfect kitchen appliance for students who may not have much space in their kitchen. Fried foods are also a healthier alternative to the deep-fried foods that many college students resort to eating to save money. However, investing in an air fryer can save you a lot of money in the long run and you may even spend less than you would when buying greasy fast food or frying food on the stove.
If you don’t already have a deep fryer, invest in the Ninja AF101, which is currently $94.99 on Amazon. The Ninja AF101 can air fry with up to 75% less fat than traditional frying methods, making it a great option for healthier cooking. Some air fryers double as toaster ovens, saving even more counter space. A great air fryer toaster oven to invest in is the Bella Pro Series Digital Air Fryer, currently on sale at Best Buy for $129.99. The Bella Pro series provides a versatile cooking experience as it can air fry, broil, grill, roast and reheat your favorite dishes. You can make hundreds of delicious meals with your air fryer, and if you’re not sure what to cook first, here are 10 foods that are perfect for college students on a budget.
You can cook almost any variation of chicken in your air fryer. Whether you’re in the mood for chicken tenders, chicken wings, or chicken breasts, your air fryer can easily get the job done. Check out this list of 20 chicken recipes to get you started!
2. French fries
French fries are probably one of the easiest foods to make in your air fryer. Air frying frozen fries or homemade fries is much cheaper than buying fries from a fast food restaurant. Try this recipe for the best french fries.
Many air fryers can cook pizza, although you have to consider the size. You can either buy a personal-sized frozen pizza, like DiGiorno’s Four-Cheese Personal Frozen Pizza, or you can make one from scratch to get a pizza that’s the perfect size for your compact kitchen appliance.
If you love making meatballs for a weeknight pasta dinner, check out this recipe for juicy meatballs. Air frying your meatballs is not only healthier, but they will cook in almost the exact amount of time it takes you to cook your pasta!
5. Garlic bread
Garlic bread is another quick and easy food to make in your air fryer. It can be the perfect addition to your pasta and meatball dinner or you can eat it on its own. This simple garlic bread recipe allows you to customize your bread to your liking, so you can add as much garlic or cheese as you like.
6. Baked potatoes
Baked potatoes are perfect as an appetizer, side dish, or even a main course. Air-frying your potatoes is much faster than baking them in the oven, and you’ll get the same results—if not better! Try this recipe for crispy and tender baked potatoes.
Another easy food to prepare is shrimp. You can air fry this nutritious dish in just eight minutes, making it perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. This recipe will give you plump, juicy and perfectly seasoned air fried shrimp.
8. Hot pockets
Cooking Hot Pockets in a deep fryer instead of a microwave is not only healthier, but also tastier. If you’ve been struggling to make the perfect Hot Pocket, your air fryer is the answer you’ve been looking for. This recipe will give you perfect hot pockets that are crispy on the outside but also hot and cheesy on the inside.
9. The breakfast burrito
Lunch and dinner aren’t the only meals your air fryer is good for. Breakfast burritos are just one of the many breakfast foods you can make. You can fill a tortilla with your favorite breakfast ingredients, then pop it in your air fryer for the perfect crispy breakfast burrito.
10. French toast
Another breakfast to add to your menu is French toast. French toast is easy to make and an air fryer makes it quick. To make this delicious breakfast treat, try this recipe for French Toast Sticks.
11. Donut holes
Donut holes aren’t the healthiest food to begin with, but making them in your air fryer can at least cut a few calories. Whether you want to eat them for breakfast or dessert, these homemade donut holes are a delicious treat you won’t be able to get enough of.