Can you air fry salad? Absolutely! Learn to make a variety of air fryer salad recipes in this ultimate guide to air fryer salads! You can make salads that are low calorie, low carb, keto, gluten free, vegan, or vegetarian. You'll love making air fryer chicken salad, air fryer Caesar salad, and other delicious flavor combos! Air fried salad is also super for weekday lunch meal preps.
I was watching some videos for air fried salad recipes on TikTok the other day, and I am loving the trend! There’s a TikToker named Alexa Rae Lobel that has delicious-looking air fried Brussel sprout salad and other air fryer recipes for salad. It’s such a super idea.
Air fried salad is something really easy you can make at home. There are so many air fryer recipes that can work. Pick your favorites, add veggies, and you’ll have a healthy weeknight meal.
In fact, you could even air fry romaine lettuce and other salad greens. Air fryer kale salad, anyone?
Today, I’m going to give you lots and lots of ideas for air frying salads at home. Then we’ll finish up with a recipe for the best air fryer salad. It has air fryer chicken, sweet oranges, refreshing raw fennel, peppery arugula, and some salty olives.
I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
😋 Air Fryer Salad Recipes
What are some different salads you can make? How about these:
Air Fryer Chicken Breast for Salad
Air fryer chicken breast offers a high-quality protein boost and is an obvious choice. In the recipe below, I’m cutting my Marinated Chicken in Air Fryer recipe into chunks for salad.
You could also cut it into air fryer chicken strips for salad. You can use this air fryer chicken for Caesar salad or a fajita salad. Alternatively, make a chicken Caprese salad using this air fried chicken in my spinach Caprese salad recipe. For smokier flavors, grill the chicken after air frying before assembling your salads.
So far, I’ve only discussed salads with lettuce. However, after air frying, you could chill this chicken and make a mayo-based chicken salad as well!
Air Fryer Potato Salad Recipe
For potato salad in the air fryer, make Air Fryer Baby Potatoes and let them chill. Chop the chilled and seasoned potatoes, and use them in your favorite potato salad recipe. Yummy!
Air Fryer Taco Salad
To make taco salad in the air fryer, make this Air Fryer Taco Meat recipe. Then follow the directions on that post to make easy air fryer taco bowls!
Air Fryer Salad Brussels Sprouts
Learn to air fry frozen Brussels sprouts in my Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables article, and put them in your favorite salads! This Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Zig Zags recipe would also be good in air fried vegetable salad.
Air fryer Chickpeas for Salad
For a vegan air fryer salad, I highly recommend adding these Air Fryer Chickpeas. They are a delicious and flavorful way to enjoy plant-based protein.
Air Fryer Tofu for Salad
Speaking of vegetarian protein, Air Fryer Crispy Tofu was pretty much made for salads! Head over to that recipe to learn to make the tofu and turn it into tofu salad bowls.
Air Fryer Shrimp for Salad
Shrimp is another obvious choice for salads. Make Frozen Shrimp in Air Fryer and add this lean protein to your next salad bowl.
Other Air Fryer Salad Recipes
Did you think that was all the ideas you’re getting? No, of course not! Here are some other air fryer recipes you can use:
- Frozen Salmon in Air Fryer (just skip the cream sauce)
- Marinated Tempeh (Air Fryer)
- Air Fryer Kielbasa
- Ground Chicken in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Onions
- Air Fryer Rib Eye Steak
So now you have lots and lots of ideas to make salad with an air fryer. How do you decide which ones to use? Here’s what you should include (IMVHO):
- Crunchy Toppings (and/or garnish)
If your goal is weight loss, I would choose lean protein and go light on the dressing. Those on a low carb or keto diet can choose non-starchy veggies and a low carb dressing.
Basically, just take the formula above and choose foods that fit your tastes and diet preferences. You could have a new salad every day if you wanted to!
🥘 Toppings for Air Fryer Salads
How do you top a salad? Here are some salad topping ideas for you:
- Vinaigrette (or another salad dressing)
- Buffalo sauce
- Sour cream
- Keto Pesto Sauce
- Dried fruit
- Fresh chopped herbs (e.g., parsley, cilantro, basil, chives)
- Shredded cheese
- Air Fryer Turkey Bacon (crumbled)
- Scallions or other veggies
Obviously, you should not try to put all of the above on a salad at once. Haha
🔪 How to Make Salad Recipes (Air Fryer)
To make salad recipes in an air fryer, you need (wait for it...) an air fryer. I use a 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven. However, you can use a Ninja Foodi, Philips, Nuwave, Pampered Chef, Actifry, Instant Pot Vortex, Cosori, Breville, or another air fryer instead.
Something important to know about air fryers is that some brands and models cook faster than others. Always check your food early and often the first time you try a new air fryer recipe. That way you can pull the food out if needed, before it burns.
In general, I would air fry the protein for salads first, then the veggies. If you are air frying the lettuce, you don’t want it to get soggy sitting around. You can chop raw veggies and do other salad prep while the protein is cooking.
After the foods for your salad have been cooked, you can assemble your salad bowl. Don’t add the dressing until right before serving time.
🌡️ Meal Prepping Salad
Wondering how to store salads? Most salads will last in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Here are some more tips for meal prepping salads:
- Don’t dress the salad until right before serving. (Use dressing cups with leak-proof lids to make the salads portable.)
- Keep dry ingredients, such as nuts and seeds, dry until serving. (Some salad containers have a section to keep wet and dry ingredients separate.)
- Don’t put wet ingredients on the lettuce, it will make the lettuce soggy. (Mason jar salads are usually constructed with the lettuce on top to keep it dry.)
Here are the salad containers that I use. They come with a separate lidded dressing cup and compartments to keep wet and dry ingredients apart. Here is a (partial) glass salad container set if you’re trying to use less plastic.
📋Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of the air fryer salad below has 499 calories, 39 grams net carbs, and 30 grams protein. The exact nutrition information for your salad will depend on the ingredients you use and your portion size.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Air fryer salads are a great way to make low-calorie, high-volume meals to help support your weight loss goals.
This salad is under 500 calories per serving, provides ample protein, as well as an abundance of high-volume, non-starchy veggies. I’d consider this recipe ideal for those who have a fat loss goal.
For those with higher energy needs, add a side of whole grain bread or crackers. You could also make this higher calorie with more low carb ingredients like nuts, seeds, olives, and olive oil.
This salad offers a lot of nutrition and is perfect as a summer or winter salad. The fennel is so refreshing, and using the air fryer means you won’t heat the house with the oven. The canned fruit in this recipe is great at any time of the year.
You can air fry romaine lettuce leaves for about 4 minutes at 400F (200C). Though I love the thought of making a charred romaine Caesar salad, I wasn’t overly impressed with the results. IMVHO, romaine turns out better on a stovetop grill.
Where there’s a will there’s a way- you can air fry just about anything you can cook in an oven. That said, foods that benefit from slow braising are not the best choice for the air fryer. Also, you don’t want to air fry foods that are best enjoyed raw or frozen.
Like other salads, air fryer salads can be healthy, or they can be a less nutritious option. You can make a salad with lean protein and lots of veggies. You can also make a salad loaded with mayo, high fat dressing, croutons, etc. Your air fryer salad is truly what you make it!
👨🏾🍳 Other Salad Recipes
Looking for more recipes for salad? Here are a few healthy salad recipes to enjoy:
You might also want to check out our collection of Air Fryer Recipes while you’re here!
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Salad Recipe (Healthy Chicken Salad in Air Fryer!)
- 1 lb. marinated chicken in air fryer (454 grams)
- 1 lb. fennel 454 grams; about 11 ounces (312 grams) after trimming and coring
- 20 ounces mandarin oranges, packed in juice (567 grams; canned)
- 10 ounces baby arugula (284 grams; also known as rocket)
- ½ cup kalamata olives, sliced
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
- ¼ cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
- 2-4 tablespoons fennel fronds, chopped (for garnish)
For the air fryer salad dressing:
- 6 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (use sugar-free syrup to keep it added sugar free)
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Make the marinated chicken in air fryer recipe, chill it, and chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Prepare your fennel bulb by removing the stalks and core. Slice the fennel into very thin half moons using either the slicing blade of a food processor, a mandoline, or a good knife.
- Drain the canned mandarin oranges.
- Divide the baby arugula between four salad containers or serving bowls.
- Top each bowl of lettuce with an even amount of sliced fennel bulb, oranges, cooked chicken, olives, pistachios, and sunflower seeds. Garnish with the fennel fronds.
To make the air fryer salad dressing:
- Put all the salad dressing ingredients in a jar, place a lid on the jar, and shake well.
- Drizzle the salad with the dressing right before serving. Enjoy!