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Give junk food a makeover with these healthy air fryer recipes

As well as the environmental and health benefits, the air fryer is an excellent way to pimp out your ‘fakeaway’ staples with healthier ingredients, says Martin Senders

Tuesday 30 January 2024 06:30 GMT
Learn how to adapt everyday recipes to be optimised for the air fryer
Learn how to adapt everyday recipes to be optimised for the air fryer (Philips)

Tired of wrestling with your conscience every time you eye that greasy takeaway menu? Well, salvation is at hand. Enter the air fryer, here to give junk food a makeover.

Wanting to move away from junk foods is a key reason for the UK’s air fryer obsession. There’s a plethora of health benefits to be found, such as reducing the levels of dangerous carcinogens that are usually found in fried food. You can also pimp out your “fakeaway” staples with healthier ingredients.

However, getting hold of an air fryer is only half the battle. To get the best out of your new piece of kitchen kit, you need to know how to adapt those everyday recipes to be optimised for the air fryer.

Martin Senders, Philips’ official air fryer chef, has come up with a set of air fryer recipes to guarantee success.

“You can get the best of both worlds with your air fryer, by treating yourself to healthy, nutritious recipes and cutting down your cooking time so you have more headspace to focus on your bigger challenges,” he says. “Whether it’s a healthy breakfast before work, or a Friday night fakeaway, you’ll be able to add a nutritious twist to any recipe in a matter of minutes.”

Martin’s Top Five Air Fryer Recipes for Success

Shakshuka with egg and avocado

This recipe is packed full of your favourite vegetables and eggs
This recipe is packed full of your favourite vegetables and eggs (Philips)

Heart-helping avocado is the perfect topping for this rich, Middle Eastern recipe packed full of your favourite vegetables and eggs.

Preparation time:12 minutes| Cooking time:43 minutes


1 onion

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1½ tbsp coriander, fresh

200g tomatoes, diced, canned

2 tbsp olive oil

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 pinch ground cumin

1 pinch salt

1 pinch pepper

1 dried bay leaf

2 eggs

1 avocado


1. Peel the onion and cut it into half rings. Remove the stalk and seeds of the bell peppers and cut into strips. Cut the coriander, including the stalks.

2. Place the onion and bell peppers in a large bowl and mix with diced tomatoes. Sprinkle with olive oil. Season to taste with cayenne pepper, cumin powder, salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix in the coriander and bay leaf, and transfer into the air fryer.

3. Bake the vegetables in the air fryer for 10 minutes at 180C.

4. Stir the vegetables. Restart the air fryer and cook the vegetables for another 20 minutes at 160C.

5. Remove the bay leaf from the vegetables and make a whole for each egg. Break the eggs into each hole and poach them by cooking in the air fryer for another 13 minutes at 160C.

6. Half the avocado, remove the stone and peel. Cut the avocado into slices. Coarsely chop the coriander. Place the avocado over the shakshuka and sprinkle it with coriander. Serve with bread.

5-minute victory pizza

This delicious alternative will make unhealthy takeaways a thing of the past
This delicious alternative will make unhealthy takeaways a thing of the past (Philips)

Expensive and unhealthy takeaways can be a thing of the past with this easy and delicious alternative.

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cooking time: 5 minutes


2 tortillas

80g tomato sauce

125g mozzarella

6 basil leaves

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


1. Tear the mozzarella into pieces. Spread half of the tomato sauce over the tortilla, leaving about 1cm around the edges for the pizza crust. Arrange half of the mozzarella on top.

2. Place the tortilla in the air fryer basket and cook for five minutes at 180C. Repeat process for second tortilla.

3. Once baked, remove the tortilla from the air fryer and serve immediately with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

Salmon of champions

A twist on a British classic, this dish subs out the regular beef for the tasty, omega-3 superfood that is salmon.

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes


140g fresh puff pastry

220g skinless salmon fillets

40g frozen spinach

2 pinches salt

2 pinches pepper

1 egg


1. Cut the fresh puff pastry into two 14x26cm strips. Cut the salmon fillets into 10x5cm blocks. Thaw the spinach and drain before use. Add the spinach to the centre of each puff pastry strip. Place a piece of salmon on top of the spinach and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

2. Starting from the two longer sides, fold the pastry over the salmon. Then, fold over the other two sides on top to create a compact pastry package.

3. Turn the wellington top side down and, using a sharp knife, cut diagonal lines in two directions forming small diamond shapes on top of the pastry. Put the salmon wellingtons in the air fryer basket.

4. Whisk the egg and gently brush the pastry. Cook for 15 minutes at 170C.

5. Serve warm.

Winner winner chicken dinner

Juicy chicken and a rich, creamy sauce is an excellent combo
Juicy chicken and a rich, creamy sauce is an excellent combo (Philips)

A rich combination of tender, juicy chicken smothered in a creamy sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 22 minutes


450g chicken breast fillets

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tbsp vegetable oil

50g tomatoes, sun-dried

3 branches basil, fresh

350g cooking cream (15% fat)

50g parmesan, grated

100ml of water

1 tsp oregano, dried

1 tbsp tomato paste


1. Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise to get four equal pieces and sprinkle each with salt. Dip both sides of the meat in flour to coat evenly. Brush or spray it with vegetable oil and transfer to the baking accessory.

2. Place the baking accessory in the basket and slide the basket into the airfryer. Cook for 12 minutes at 200C.

3. For the sauce, combine the cooking cream, grated parmesan, water, tomato paste, and dried oregano and mix well.

4. Open the airfryer and pour the prepared sauce evenly over the chicken. Cook for 10 minutes at 180C.

5. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes of excess oil and chop them. Wash and finely chop the fresh basil. Once done, remove the chicken from the device and set it aside. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and basil to the sauce in the baking accessory and stir. Serve the chicken breast drizzled with the prepared sauce and cooked pasta or rice.

Medal-worthy meatballs

Try this elevated twist on a classic family favourite
Try this elevated twist on a classic family favourite (Philips)

An elevated twist on a classic family favourite: quick and juicy meatballs in a homemade tomato sauce.

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes


4 garlic cloves

500g ground beef

1 tbsp breadcrumbs

½ tsp thyme, dried

3 tbsp olive oil

300g tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

1 onion


1. Combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, thyme, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and mix until well combined. Shape into 12 equal meatballs.

2. Wash and dice the tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion into small cubes. Peel the remaining garlic. Transfer everything to the baking accessory, add the remaining olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

3. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the left pan. Place the baking accessory in the right pan. Cook the meatballs for 25 minutes at 200C and the vegetables for 20 minutes at 200C. Mix vegetables twice during cooking.

4. Transfer the roasted vegetables to another pot and blend them using an immersion blender into a smooth sauce. Serve the meatballs in the tomato sauce with the side of your choice.

For more tips and recipes to make the most of your air fryer, visit the Philips website

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