This summer’s hottest air fryer food ideas

We’ve all been waiting for these sun-filled afternoons and long summer evenings to arrive. Now that they’re here, it’s time for the backyard get-togethers and city park parties. And if you’re looking to add a sizzle of sophistication to this season’s menu, then the air fryer is the perfect way to do it.

Whether you’re hosting family at home, going to a friends’ garden party or heading out on a picnic, the air fryer will elevate your event. We’ve selected some mouth-watering recipe ideas to get your imagination and appetite fired up!

Air fryer lunches for the summer

On a hot day, spending less time in front of a fiery grill or oven is a blessing. Air fryers are compact and super-efficient, so they reach top temperatures in minutes and cook food fast – often in half the time of a conventional oven.

Air frying involves blasting hot air around food to cook it, rather than using hot oil like a deep fat fryer. This means that there’s a lot less fat involved, so you can stay cool with some light summer lunches.

And the best bit? It’s the crispy, tender texture the air fryer creates. Whatever the occasion, whatever the recipe, your air fried contributions are guaranteed to steal the show.

What kind of air fryer party food is best?

Our food preferences change like the seasons, and when it’s hot the best food is usually light, crisp and juicy. The good weather also seems to make us hungry for sweet treats, so we’ve thrown in an air fryer dessert idea for you to dig into. Let’s get started on these delicious summer lunch recipes.

Pimp your picnic with heavenly coconut prawns

This first air fryer recipe will bring the cool, tropical flavours of a Caribbean vacation into your kitchen. It’s a fragrant, crispy summer dish that’s just as good chilled as it is hot. We highly recommend whipping up a batch ahead of any picnic or picky-bits lunch.

When you cook prawns in the air fryer, they get a perfectly crisped coating while the meat within stays juicy and firm. In this recipe, the prawn is covered in a sweet and nutty coconut layer which turns golden brown as it fries.

Cooking shrimp and prawns in the air fryer couldn’t be easier. Here’s a quick guide -to making our heavenly coconut prawns:

  • Preheat your air fryer to 200°C – this will only take a few minutes to heat up.
  • In a shallow dish, mix together some shredded coconut and panko breadcrumbs in a 2:1 ratio, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  • In another dish, whisk together two eggs.
  • Using fresh or frozen prawns, pat each one dry before coating.
  • Dip the prawns into the egg mixture, then press them gently into the coconut-flour mixture to create an even coating.
  • Place the coconut covered prawns into the air fryer basket, using a drawer liner to catch any fallen coconut flakes. Make sure the prawns aren’t touching each other.
  • Air fry for 6 minutes on each side, or until the prawns are crispy and golden brown all over.

And that’s it! Serve them as a light, flavourful picnic snack with some sweet chili sauce for dipping. Or use them as a salad topping with some cool avocado slices and a squeeze of lime.

Make sure your food containers are as fresh as these flavours – good presentation and safe transportation are vital! Our picnic range has loads of patterned plates and serving boards for just such an occasion.

Fritters are welcome at any summer garden party

This season, fritters are the new quiche. These savoury courgette patties are sure to be a hit with even the pickiest party guest. How could anyone resist these soft golden appetisers?

Our air fryer fritters are best served hot, so if you’re planning to bring a dish to a friends’ house then make sure you have a plus-one invite for your air fryer! Fortunately, our models weigh between 3kg (our digital compact air fryer) and 8kg (the Ninja dual) and are super compact and portable. Prepare your fritter mixture ahead of time and it’ll be a breeze.

Everyone loves an all-in-one recipe. Throwing everything together in one bowl has always been a satisfying and speedy way to cook, but the air fryer takes this to another level. From fishcakes to falafel, the air fryer is brilliant at transforming dollops of mixture into golden patties.

For your courgette fritters, mix two grated zucchini, 75g breadcrumbs into a bowl with 1 egg, 50g grated parmesan and a 1tsp garlic powder. We’d also recommend stirring through some chopped spring onions before adding salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat your air fryer to 375°F and start making your fritters using a golf ball sized spoonful of mixture. Dust each fritter with flour and breadcrumbs before spraying with oil. Cook the fritters for 10-15 minutes, making sure to turn the fritters halfway.

There you have it! These sunny little bites will brighten the table, especially when surrounded by summer serviettes and brilliant table décor.

Cool your guests with caramelised peaches and ice cream

Air fryers might be the hottest kitchen gadget, but they can still help to elevate your cooler courses. When it comes to sweet summer dishes, don’t get stuck on simple vanilla ice cream. Not when an air fryer can create caramelised fruits, chocolate brownies and cake!

Our caramelised peaches will add a touch of sophistication to your summer lunch. Hot syrupy peach halves sprinkled with nutty granola are a game changer.

To make this air fryer dessert, you’ll first need to preheat your machine to 180°C. Cut 4 ripe peaches in half. Mix together 1tbsp of melted butter, 1/2tsp cinnamon and 1tbsp honey and brush this over the peach halves. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the peaches and place them cut side up in the air fryer. After 5 minutes, give the peaches another light coating with any remaining mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes, sprinkle with granola and tell your guests to get them while they’re hot!

Pile on the ice cream and maybe give everything an extra drizzle of honey. Good living is what summer is all about.

These air fryer party foods are perfect for a summer garden party, a family barbecue, or any other occasion where you want to serve a light and refreshing treat. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy the taste of summer in every bite!

Keep you air frying adventure alive throughout the year with our fantastic air fryer cookbooks. Get recipes and tips from award-winning chef Todd English, or check out our 100 recipe cookbook for inspiration throughout the year.