7 Thanksgiving Side Dishes You Can Make in Your Deep Fryer

7 Thanksgiving Side Dishes You Can Make in Your Deep Fryer

Thanksgiving is absolutely the biggest dinner of the year, and it seems like weeks go into not only planning the guest list and the table, but also planning the meal. There will be welcome cocktails and appetizers, but these are just the teaser for the main event, which is sure to include a beautiful turkey with all the trimmings and a variety of side dishes.

I recently made my own turkey breast using the deep fryer. My goal was to show how I could make Thanksgiving without using the oven. Air fryers are extremely popular because they have many benefits, including being healthier than traditional fried foods, but also removing the need for an oven, microwave, and many other cooking appliances. The downside though was — yes, I could make the protein in the air fryer, but my little apartment fryer was only big enough for one turkey breast, not a full-sized whole turkey. If I wanted to make a whole bird, I would have to either upgrade my air fryer or reframe my Thanksgiving goal.

What if instead of making the turkey in the air fryer, we just made all the sides in the air fryer and reserved the oven for just the turkey? Oven space is precious real estate when you’re making such a hearty meal, and anything you can avoid putting in the oven is a major win. And, after all, air fryers are like benchtop convection ovens anyway, right? They can do essentially anything an oven can do, but in a more compact, often faster way.

So break out your deep fryer and get ready to divide and conquer this Thanksgiving. You might be surprised how much you can do in there—as in any side dish you might want for the big meal!

1

Air Fryer Pumpkin Cookies

air fryer pumpkin cookies

air fryer pumpkin cookies

An important part of any Thanksgiving (or, if we’re being honest, any big family dinner) is going to be some kind of bread. Traditionally, cornbread or cookies are quite common to see on a holiday table, but why not pay homage to the seasonal aspect of the holiday and go with pumpkin?

These pumpkin cookies are super easy to make in the air fryer and will come out wonderfully light and airy and fluffy. But they won’t last forever and will blow up the oven because they can be in the air fryer in less than 10 minutes. They’re also full of fiber and have a good amount of protein, so it’s a good way to get that starchy element without feeling carb-loaded.

Get the recipe from Good Cheap Eats.

2

Crispy Parmesan Fritter Brussels Sprouts

crispy parmesan air fryer brussels sprouts

crispy parmesan air fryer brussels sprouts

I’ve been making brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving for years, and in recent attempts I’ve discovered that the crunchier and saltier the ingredients, the more successful this dish ends up being.

These Crispy Parmesan Fried Brussels Sprouts couldn’t be easier to make. They are topped with parmesan cheese and a blend of savory spices, and the results are crunchy and full of flavor. These are ready in less than 10 minutes in the air fryer, so they couldn’t be simpler, and I also love that they’re incredibly easy to make your own, depending on your family’s tastes and flavor profiles. Want to swap out the garlic and Italian seasoning for taco seasoning or a curry blend? They will be just as delicious.

Get the recipe from SideChef.

3

Fryer with honey cinnamon buttercorn

air fryer butternut squash

air fryer butternut squash

Butternut Squash is a popular choice throughout the season of fall and harvest — but it’s anything but simple. It can take over half an hour to bake in the oven, and that’s not even counting preheating or prep time. But this butternut squash fritter recipe takes a fraction of that time and makes for a sweet and delicious Thanksgiving side that incorporates warming spices and the sweetness of honey. It only takes about 15 minutes to make, too, so much less time commitment.

Get the recipe from Everyday Family Cooking.

4

Caramelized Maple Harissa Carrots with Lemon Yogurt and Feta

maple harissa caramelized carrots with lemony yogurt and feta cheese

maple harissa caramelized carrots with lemony yogurt and feta cheese

Carrots add a beautiful color to this turkey, stuffing and potato dish. But they are also delicious, healthy and easy to make. The air fryer really lets the caramel flavor breathe and saves time—this colorful and flavorful side will be ready in just 15 minutes. Make this recipe even more fun by using rainbow carrots for an extra pop of color.

Get the recipe from The Fresh Market.

5

Air Fryer Hasselback Potato Bites

baby hasselback potatoes

baby hasselback potatoes

You will need to eat a plate of potatoes (at least!) at any Thanksgiving dinner. Traditionally, this could have included anything from garlic mash to baked potatoes. But why not have a little more fun this year? These fries are easy to make and make a beautiful presentation for the table, and the deep fryer will leave them golden and crispy. Use these slits in fries to add fun toppings or seasonings and they’ll be even more Instagram-ready.

Find our recipe for Air Fryer Hasselback Potato Bites.

6

Air Fryer Asparagus

air fryer asparagus

air fryer asparagus

Asparagus is a delicious and healthy side dish that can be made tender and delicious in the air fryer. Cooking with this method takes less than 10 minutes and involves less oil than other cooking methods. But it’s also so easy to do. All this recipe needs is asparagus, a little olive oil, salt and pepper. If you want to take them to the next level, some grated parsnip, a squeeze of fresh lemon or some crushed red chili flakes will do the trick.

Get the recipe for Air Fryer Asparagus from The Forked Spoon.

7

Air Fryer Green Beans

air fryer green beans

air fryer green beans

Yes, we know, green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving staple. But this involves a lot of ingredients and is time consuming and not so good for you. These green bean stir-fries are simple and require only a few ingredients. They also only take 15 minutes to make and will make a lovely bubbly coffee. That’s a fraction of the time it would take to make this pot and pop it in the oven. This recipe is also vegan and gluten free, which is important as various people at your table may have dietary restrictions and we want them to be able to eat too.

Get the recipe from Planted in the Kitchen.

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