Air fryers have evolved from a neat kitchen gadget used to make fries and nuggets to earning a permanent place in our kitchens. The more we have cooked and tasted, the more we like the air fryer, and we are not alone. According to the NPD group, last year, U.S. consumers spent nearly $1 billion buying air fryers, up 51 percent from 2019. Nearly 60 percent of Americans own an air fryer.
It’s no longer fries and nuggets—now air fryer recipes are downright gourmet, particularly in the wonderful new book, Ultimate Air Fryer Perfection, with 185 recipes. Included are go-to favorites plus recipes for breakfast, vibrant complete meals, and small-batch baking. Discover the best way to roast salmon and other seafood, air-fry all kinds of vegetables, efficiently make dinner by layering a main and a side, and more.
Looking for a healthy and delicious dish for the new year? Use your air fryer to whip up Salmon Tacos with Roasted Pineapple Slaw, a sample recipe from the book. Instead of the usual deep-fried white fish, these California-style fish tacos feature naturally rich salmon. A spice rub gives the filets a nice crust, and air-frying them with the skin on atop a foil sling ensures that they will hold together and emerge perfectly moist inside. Plus, the bright, fruity slaw involves roasting pineapple pieces in the air fryer, allowing them to caramelize a bit before combining them with a crunchy coleslaw mix, cilantro, and lime—a bright complement to the fish. For a creamy component, in lieu of a heavy sour cream–based sauce, mash avocado with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Spread onto warmed corn tortillas. The avocado mash holds the moist, flaky fish and tangy slaw in place for a perfect bite.
Serves two to four
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- Salmon filets (If using wild salmon, cook it until it registers 120 degrees)
- 3 cups (8 ounces) shredded coleslaw mix
- ¼ cup lime juice (2 limes), plus lime wedges for serving
- Salt and pepper
- 1½ cups ½-inch pineapple pieces
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 (8-ounce) skin-on salmon filets, 1½ inches thick
- 1 avocado, halved and pitted
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 6–12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
- Toss coleslaw mix with three tablespoons of lime juice, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper in bowl; set aside.
- Toss pineapple with one teaspoon of oil in a separate bowl; transfer to air-fryer basket. Place basket in air fryer and set temperature to 400 degrees. Cook until pineapple is browned at edges, 12 to 16 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking. Transfer to now-empty bowl and set aside; let air-fryer basket cool slightly.
- Make foil sling for air-fryer basket by folding one long sheet of aluminum foil so it is four inches wide. Lay sheet of foil widthwise across basket, pressing foil into and up sides of basket. Fold excess foil as needed so that edges of foil are flush with top of basket. Lightly spray foil and basket with vegetable oil spray.
- Combine paprika, coriander, cayenne, ⅛ teaspoon of salt, and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl. Pat salmon dry with paper towels, rub with remaining one teaspoon of oil, and sprinkle tops and sides of filets with spice mixture. Arrange filets skin side down on sling in prepared basket, spaced evenly apart. Return basket to air fryer and cook salmon until center is still translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), six to 10 minutes, using sling to rotate filets halfway through cooking.
- Meanwhile, using fork, mash avocado with remaining one tablespoon of lime juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain coleslaw mixture and return to now-empty bowl. Stir in cilantro and pineapple.
- Using sling, carefully remove salmon from air fryer. Slide fish spatula along underside of filets and transfer to plate, leaving skin behind. Using two forks, flake salmon into rough one-inch pieces. Serve on tortillas with slaw and mashed avocado, and garnish with lime wedges separately.