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Food & Recipes

Can You Make Salad In Your Air Fryer? (I Tried It and Here’s How It Turned Out)

Upgrade your usual salad.

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An air fryer cooks food to such crispy perfection, it’s practically a mealtime cheat code. Who wouldn’t want golden brown chicken and French fries without all the trouble of deep frying or preheating the oven? Another meal you can make with this handy appliance: a salad! It sounds strange, but air fried salads are the new “it” method of getting your greens in. I tried making a salad using lettuce cooked in my own air fryer, and was shocked by how delicious it turned out. 

Why You Should Air Fry Lettuce for Salads

Cold, crunchy lettuce and tasty toppings are what make salads great. But writer and recipe developer Lauren Haslett says that cooking lettuce actually maximizes its flavor, adding a caramelized taste to your salad. “It might sound strange if you’re used to eating fresh greens in salads (and most of us are),” Haslett writes for Delish.com. “But there is absolutely no reason not to grill or cook your lettuce. Heartier varieties — like romaine, escarole, and endive — stand up just fine to a little heat.” This might just be a sign to preheat the air fryer and assemble your best salad yet.

How To Air Fry Lettuce 

Food and lifestyle TikToker Alexa Rae Loebel (@alexaraeloebel) shares a simple recipe for air fried romaine lettuce. You can try this method on escarole and endive, but keep an eye on the lettuce to avoid overcooking it. Here’s what it takes.

Ingredients (makes 1 to 2 servings):

  • 1 to 2 heads romaine lettuce, thoroughly cleaned and halved 
  • Olive or avocado oil spray
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Arrange romaine lettuce on air fryer basket or tray in single layer. Lightly coat lettuce with oil spray. Season with salt to taste.
  3. Place lettuce in preheated air fryer and cook 4 to 5 minutes until slightly wilted and crisp. 
  4. Remove from air fryer and let cool 2 to 3 minutes. Slice into bite-sized pieces and toss with other salad ingredients. Serve and enjoy.
@alexaraeloebel

Reply to @hazeleyecreations should I release an e-book of recipes? Comment for yes! #fyp #tiktokfood #food #foodie #airfryer #airfryersalad #viral

♬ Forever – Labrinth

The Moment of Truth

My salad consisted of air fried romaine lettuce, cooked chicken, grated Parmesan cheese, herb croutons, and Kraft’s Green Goddess dressing (Buy from Amazon, $15.84 for a 6-count pack). After taking the first bite, I was immediately impressed. The cooked lettuce leaves had a mild, sweet flavor, which differs from its slightly bitter raw taste.

The tender lettuce complemented the crunchy croutons and tangy, creamy dressing. Also, the chicken made it a heartier meal — while the Parmesan cheese added a salty touch. In short, it checked all of my boxes for a satisfying dish, and I have my trusty air fryer to thank for helping out.

Green Goddess Salad Ingredients Arranged on Table
Alexandria Brooks

Wondering what else you can cook in the air fryer? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From breakfast to afternoon snacks, this appliance basically does it all!

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