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20 Breakfast Foods You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Air Fryer

Air fryer with breakfast foods
Air fryer with breakfast foods - Static Media/Shutterstock

The air fryer has arguably gotten much more buzz than any other kitchen appliance in recent years. This countertop appliance is so popular for both its affordability and because the machine requires much less oil than cooking foods on the stovetop or in an oven. Moreover, air fryers can be used for much more than just cooking crisp French fries or reheating leftovers. They're very useful for the most important meal of the day: breakfast.

It's the perfect appliance for preparing many varieties of breakfast fare. The air circulation in the machine will perfectly crisp up everything from frozen waffles to hash browns, while also reducing the need to add a hefty dose of oil to dishes like fried eggs. In an effort to make the most of your air fryer, we've compiled a list of some of the breakfast foods you should consider cooking with it.

Read more: 11 Cleaning Tips For Keeping Your Oven Spotless

Fruit

Pineapple rings in air fryer
Pineapple rings in air fryer - rigsbyphoto/Shutterstock

You can elevate breakfast by roasting fruit in your air fryer. While fruit might not be the most protein-dense and filling breakfast option, a side of fruit with your eggs or pancakes always makes for a well-rounded morning meal. The heat from the air fryer will caramelize the edges of the fruit and make it crispy, which can be a refreshing take on a relatively boring side dish. Add your roasted fruit to the top of your Greek yogurt, or just eat it straight from the bowl.

The best fruits to air fry include bananas, which develop a toffee-like taste when they're cooked in the air fryer; another popular one is pineapple, which will come out with a firm, golden exterior and a sugary, soft interior.

French Toast

French toast with butter on plate
French toast with butter on plate - Grandriver/Getty Images

If we could only have one Sunday breakfast food for the rest of our lives, it would probably be French toast. What we don't love about this classic battered dish, though, is that it takes forever to dredge and cook on the stove. Your air fryer will make French toast so much easier to cook and still produce the same nostalgic texture we all know and love.

Start with a few slices of sturdy brioche bread dipped in a mixture of egg, milk, butter, and vanilla. From there, transfer your slices to a perforated parchment paper-lined air fryer basket. Top tip: Ensure a perfect and even brown color by flipping the bread. Typically, you can fit two to three slices of bread in the air fryer at any time, which makes this a great recipe for when you want a quick breakfast for yourself.

Frittata

Vegetable frittata slice on plate
Vegetable frittata slice on plate - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Frittatas are a great breakfast recipe for when you're looking for a step up from just eggs. Plus, you can customize frittatas with different meats, vegetables, and cheeses ─ our favorites include chopped spinach, bell peppers, garlic, and onion. This air fryer frittata recipe is perfect for busy mornings and makes just enough for two people to eat with a side dish like hash browns or fruit.

The ideal vessel for cooking your eggs is a greased, non-stick pan (like a cake pan) that will sit comfortably in your air fryer. If you're working with hard veggies, you may want to pre-cook and soften them beforehand. Most recipes will take only about 15 minutes to cook through before it's good to slice and enjoy with a side of hash browns.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon buns on plate with coffee
Cinnamon buns on plate with coffee - Jennifer_sharp/Getty Images

We love the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the morning. Cooking cinnamon rolls in your air fryer will take your store-bought canned rolls to the next level by giving them an irresistibly crunchy edge. If you're working with the pre-packaged rolls, you simply pop open the package and place the pieces in the appliance to cook. For even-crispier edges, you can keep the rolls in for a couple more minutes. But because air fryers tend to vary in heating efficiency, it's best to check your rolls about halfway through the cooking time.

Once your rolls are completely baked, slather them with your favorite cream cheese icing and enjoy. This method is so much more efficient than turning on your oven and will have piping hot rolls on your plate very quickly.

Scrambled Eggs

Bowl of scrambled eggs
Bowl of scrambled eggs - Marianvejcik/Getty Images

Scrambled eggs are one of the foods most people think of when you mention the word "breakfast." Fluffy scrambled eggs are even easier to make in an air fryer because of how hands-off the recipe is. You don't have to constantly turn your eggs to ensure they stay soft ─ your air fryer will do the work for you (though a stir now and again is recommended for an even consistency).

You'll need a small baking pan for this recipe. Preheat the air fryer to a low temperature before pouring your eggs in and cooking for about two minutes. From there, you can incrementally cook your eggs until they reach your desired degree of softness. Four minutes is ideal for soft, plush eggs, while a firmer texture (like the eggs you'd get from a diner) will take from six to eight.

Bagels

Seedy bagels on board
Seedy bagels on board - rsooll/Shutterstock

Homemade bagels are not for the faint of heart. Not only do you have to worry about getting the perfect yeasty puff, but you also have to think about boiling your bagels to develop the characteristic malty color and flavor. However, with only two ingredients and your handy air fryer, you can have bagels ready in no time.

You should consider making bagels in your air fryer because it eliminates the need to boil them. You'll just need to combine Greek yogurt with self-rising flour in a bowl before kneading it on a clean, flat surface. Once you've preheated your air fryer, add an egg wash and toppings, and bake your bagels until they're perfectly brown and crisp on the outside. They're great with a schmear of cream cheese or a piece of lox.

Tater Tots

Tater tots in food basket
Tater tots in food basket - Rob Byron/Shutterstock

While tater tots are not exclusively a breakfast food, they are a fantastic side dish option for other morning staples like omelets, eggs, and frittatas. And regardless of the time of day you eat them, they're only really good crunchy. For extra crispy results, cook your tater tots in an air fryer rather than your oven. For most recipes, 14 to 15 minutes in the air fryer should suffice, but you can also give your batch a couple of extra minutes to maximize the consistency.

The key to improving tater tot texture in an air fryer is to use no more than two cups of tots. You'll want to create surface area so that all sides of the tots can crisp up perfectly. In addition, you should also toss the tots every five minutes to ensure equal heating.

Poached Eggs

Poached egg on avocado toast
Poached egg on avocado toast - artem evdokimov/Shutterstock

Poached eggs are a bit of a culinary anomaly. It takes a lot of patience to swirl your egg in hot water and cook it just until the white has set and the yolk is still soft. But your air fryer will replace all of the gimmicky tools you'd otherwise need to help you make this egg style at home.

To cook poached eggs in your air fryer, add two or three tablespoons of water to a ramekin and warm it up in the air fryer for a few minutes. Then, gently crack your egg into the ramekin and bring down the temperature. In four to seven minutes, your eggs will be ready to eat. Just be sure to express caution when removing the egg from the ramekin to prevent it from cracking.

Fried Eggs

Four fried eggs
Four fried eggs - Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Fried eggs are more difficult to prepare than at first glance. Plus, some people avoid making the eggs because they require excess cooking oil to get the perfect lacey texture on the white. But air fryers can provide a remedy to these cooking woes and make your breakfast a little bit healthier, too.

It's possible to make fried eggs in an air fryer, and it only requires the eggs, a liner (optional), and the preheated kitchen appliance. You'll want to grease the foil liner (or pan) before carefully adding your eggs to prevent sticking. If you like your eggs soft, cook them at a lower temperature for less time, and inversely if you like the firmness of a well-cooked egg. Air fryers vary in efficiency, so it's best to keep an eye on your egg to prevent overcooking it.

Pancakes

Pancake stack on board
Pancake stack on board - NataliaPopova/Shutterstock

Some like it short, some like it tall ─ and we're not talking about boozy beverages. We're talking about carby stacks of pancakes, which are a great, filling way to start the morning.

It is possible to make pancakes in your air fryer, but you need to express caution. Some outlets argue pancakes are the one breakfast food you should never cook in an air fryer because the batter more easily spreads out in the pan and results in a flimsy consistency. Moreover, plate-sized pancakes are so potentially wide and thin that you would have to make many batches to get enough pancakes to feed everyone at your table. But if you're using small aluminum tins, you can keep your batter from spreading and minimize the amount of cleanup afterward.

Frozen Breakfast Sandwiches

Hand holding Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich
Hand holding Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich - Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

Prepackaged frozen breakfast sandwiches are super convenient and easy to heat up in the break room microwave. But although the microwave is a tried-and-true way to reheat these sandwiches, the air fryer is a much better option. Cooking a Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich in the air fryer ensures your bread (or muffin) is perfectly firm and toasted, and the filling isn't limp and soggy.

You may have to deconstruct your breakfast sandwich into pieces to get the best result, or cook the whole thing directly from frozen. This will allow each layer to crisp up and curb the steaming. You should also always be sure to keep the cheese away from the bottom of the air fryer, as it tends to stick and burn on every surface it touches.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal in bowl with spoon
Oatmeal in bowl with spoon - Alvarez/Getty Images

Oatmeal is always a wholesome, nutrient-dense way to start the morning. And making a bowl just became so much easier with this air fryer hack. The appliance will give your oatmeal a texture similar to if it was baked in an oven. Plus, you won't have to worry about standing over your stove and constantly stirring your oatmeal to get the perfect consistency. It's an easy way to make breakfast for many eaters, too.

Start by preheating your appliance and greasing an oven-safe dish or ramekin. Pour in your oatmeal ingredients (the milk, oats, and seeds), set a timer for 15 minutes, and watch your breakfast be transformed. Once you've removed your bowl from the air fryer, garnish your oats with your favorite toppings like peanut butter, banana, and berries.

Frozen Breakfast Pastries

Cheese danish with icing
Cheese danish with icing - Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Frozen breakfast pastries, like apple turnovers or pain au chocolat, should always be crisp rather than limp and soggy. Heating them up in your microwave won't do the flaky layers any justice, while an oven may be impractical if you're craving a single pastry. Instead, pop your baked goods into the air fryer straight from frozen to get the perfect shell. The exact cooking time will depend on your pastries; set aside 10 minutes for croissants and around 16 for pastries like turnovers. You can also use your air fryer to revive stale pastries ─ in just a few minutes, your croissants will taste like they're straight out of a bakery case.

Hash Browns

Hash browns on plate
Hash browns on plate - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Diner-style hash browns are difficult to replicate at home, but making this side dish in an air fryer makes the whole process so much easier. Similar to other potato products, the heat from the appliance will perfectly cook the edges of the hash browns and render the taters nice and crisp. The time it takes to cook perfectly crispy hash browns in the air fryer depends on if you're using frozen or fresh hash. The former takes about 10 minutes longer to cook than the fresh stuff.

The secret to making fresh hash browns in an air fryer is to soak the raw, gratedpotatoes in cold water before cooking them. Not only will your potatoes have a better color than if you skipped the step, but you'll essentially wash away the starches that would otherwise make your spuds gluey. After the shreds are soaked, wring them out with a clean dish towel before shaping and seasoning the patties. We recommend using seasoned salt and a splash of avocado oil for extra crispy spuds.

Bacon

Raw bacon in air fryer
Raw bacon in air fryer - Nancy Salmon/Shutterstock

Bacon: The greasy, fatty, yet delicious cornerstone of breakfast food. Cooking these strips in your air fryer will moderate the oil splatter and ensure your slices come out perfectly crisp every time. You can also twist your bacon to fit more slices in the air fryer and encourage each slice to develop crispy edges with a soft center. You'll have the perfect meaty side for your pancakes, eggs, or omelet ready in under 12 minutes, and without having to clean up splatter around your stove.

However, there are some downsides to cooking bacon in your air fryer. The grease can cause smoke if you neglect to clean your appliance well enough after each batch. If you notice a burning smell while cooking your breakfast meat, shut off and unplug the appliance immediately.

Frozen Waffles

Frozen waffles cut in quarters
Frozen waffles cut in quarters - Linjerry/Getty Images

Frozen waffles scratch the itch if you don't have a waffle maker. Getting these carby treats perfectly crisp, though, is always a challenge ─ especially if you're using a microwave. You can cook frozen waffles in your air fryer instead. The circulating air will get into all the nooks and crannies of the waffle and ensure the outside is perfectly crisp while the inside stays soft.

Place your waffles directly on the air fryer grate and cook them for a few minutes. The exact time is dependent on the thickness of the waffle, so you'll want to keep track of how dark the waffles get to know when to pull them. You can top your toaster waffles with an array of different tasty accompaniments, including a pat of butter, maple syrup, or chocolate chips.

Donuts

Air fryer donuts in appliance
Air fryer donuts in appliance - Nicole Mulstay/Shutterstock

Air fryer donuts are the recipe that makes this sugary breakfast treat so much easier to make at home. Start with canned crescent roll or biscuit dough ─ no yeast, proofing, or mixing involved. Shape the dough with a hole in the center and pop it into your greased air fryer basket. The donuts should puff up in about 10 minutes, which gives you time to whip up a simple glaze or frosting to add once the donuts have sufficiently cooled.

You'll also love air fryer pumpkin donuts during the fall season. Although this recipe does require that you make your own pumpkin-infused dough, you'll find the cakey donuts coated in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar are well worth the hassle. Serve them with coffee or apple cider for a great autumnal breakfast.

Omelets

Omelet with cheese and tomatoes
Omelet with cheese and tomatoes - Cook Shoots Food/Shutterstock

An omelet is often our go-to breakfast if we stop by our local diner. It's customizable, protein-dense, and food that we can confidently say we struggle to make at home. If we ever try to make this eggy breakfast in our own kitchen, we're using an air fryer rather than cooking it on the stove.

Cooking an omelet in your air fryer is easier than you'd think. Preheat the appliance and pour your egg mixture into a lined pan nestled in the basket once it's perfectly hot. You'll have breakfast waiting for you from five to 10 minutes (depending on how hard you prefer your eggs cooked). The cleanup on this recipe is so much easier than having to cook it on the stove, and we think that it tastes pretty darn good, too.

Granola

Bowl of granola grey background
Bowl of granola grey background - Lazarenko Olha/Shutterstock

Granola is the perfect crunchy accompaniment to Greek yogurt or a smoothie. And while most people will opt to pick up a bag at their local grocery store, we're strong proponents of DIY granola. But instead of baking it in your oven, try to make granola in your air fryer instead. It takes much less time to preheat and is perfect for small batches.

Start by mixing all of your ingredients together in a bowl, including the oats, sweeteners, and oil. Pour the mixture into the parchment paper-lined basket and bake it for no more than 15 minutes. We recommend adding the dried fruit to the mixture after you've shut off the heat because the morsels would otherwise harden or burn. The mix will keep for a few weeks if you make sure it's stored in an airtight container ─ if, of course, you don't eat it all in one sitting.

Sausage Balls

Sausage balls in bowl
Sausage balls in bowl - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

Breakfast sausage is out, and sausage balls are in. These air fryer keto sausage balls are made with low-carb ingredients like breakfast sausage, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese to help keep them deliciously moist and protein-dense. Plus, they can be easily customized with extra herbs and seasoning.

After you've added all of your ingredients to a bowl, shape it into one-tablespoon spheres. The sausage balls will need to cook until browned and juicy, and should read an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit when they're done cooking. The appliance significantly reduces the amount of time these protein balls have to cook, and they're also a freezer-friendly recipe that you can make ahead for the week. Defrost them in the fridge the night before and pop them in your air fryer or microwave until warm when you're ready to enjoy them.

Static Media owns and operates Tasting Table, Mashed, The Daily Meal, and Food Republic.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.