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10 Ways to Air-Fry Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Laura Lea/LLBalanced

Fighting for oven space on Thanksgiving is a thing of the past. Use an air-fryer to create incredibly crispy sides instead. It has all the benefits of a convection oven but requires a minuscule amount of counter space, and next to no extra fat. It doesn’t get better than that!

Really, how could it be any better? A crispy, flavorful side dish without the inevitable oil slick seemed impossible until the air fryer came on the market. But now that it’s a reality, it seems obvious to put it to work on Thanksgiving.

After all, the turkey day feast isn’t known for being light. Between the creamy green bean casserole and the ever-decadent gravy, there’s already plenty of fat on the table. An air-fried side gives all the satisfying crunch without the need for extra oil or butter.

If that weren’t enough to win us over, an air-fryer saves valuable oven real estate. No more waiting for the last side dish to cook, and no more attempts at holding dishes warm for long periods. Just make one of your sides in an air-fryer and simplify holiday oven logistics.

Air Fryer Potatoes

air fryer baked sweet potato

When you think Thanksgiving, you probably think mashed potatoes. But crispy potatoes deserve a place on the table too. Crispy spuds with gravy are arguably one of the best side dishes you could create. And sweet potato fries are delicious when seasoned with cinnamon-sugar and served up next to cranberry sauce. But don’t stop there, baked potatoes in the air-fryer are an excellent option too!

Air Fryer Vegetables

Air Fryer Green Beans
Recipes From a Pantry

Oven space is in high demand on holidays, so cooking your vegetables in a counter-top air fryer is a great option! The satisfying crunch that each of these side dishes provides is certainly welcome on the Thanksgiving table.

Plus, we love the idea of using creative side dishes to bring in a little extra spice. Traditional holiday meals are often lacking in acidic ingredients. But these sides, dressed in tangy citrus or spicy buffalo sauce, lend a much-needed contrast to the decadence of gravy and potatoes.

Air Fryer Baked Bites

Air Fryer honey and Goat cheese balls
The Creative Bite

Most of these could double as appetizers. But we doubt anyone will mind if you serve them right alongside the rest of the feast. After all, to turn down a guilt-free, air fried, mac-and-cheese ball is to bring one’s sanity into question, regardless of when it’s served.

So say goodbye to oven-space issues, and hello to crispy, flavorful side dishes. All you need is a tiny bit of counter real estate and the ultimate in trendy kitchen tools: the air fryer!

Lauren Sakiyama Lauren Sakiyama
Lauren Sakiyama is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. She has managed restaurants, country clubs, and large-scale event operations, but her passion has always been about the food. Read Full Bio »
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