Are air fryers good for gluten-free?

What are air fryers?

Air fryers are small countertop appliances that use hot air and convection to cook food. They are designed to mimic deep frying and produce crispy, crunchy results using little to no oil. Air fryers have a basket inside that food is placed in. A heating element and powerful fan circulate hot air around the food at high speed, cooking it thoroughly on all sides. This allows you to get the delicious taste and texture of fried foods without submerging them in unhealthy oils. Air fryers have become popular in recent years as a healthier way to enjoy traditionally fried foods like french fries, chicken wings, and more.

What is gluten and the gluten-free diet?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. For people with certain conditions like celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten triggers an abnormal immune response that damages the small intestine. This can cause gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain when they eat gluten. The only treatment for gluten-related disorders is following a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. This means avoiding all foods and products that contain gluten. With a gluten-free diet, the small intestine can heal and symptoms will resolve.

There are many grains, starches, and foods that are naturally gluten-free such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat, corn, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and seeds. Gluten-free specialty products made with these alternative grains and flours have also become more widely available. Reading labels carefully and looking for a “gluten-free” label can help identify safe foods. Cross-contamination from gluten sources is also a concern, so awareness when preparing and cooking food is important.

Benefits of Air Fryers for Gluten-Free Cooking

Using an air fryer can provide several benefits for those on a gluten-free diet:

Avoids oils cross-contaminated with gluten

Deep frying often relies on breading or batter to get a crispy coating. Typical breading ingredients like flour or breadcrumbs contain gluten. Frying battered and breaded foods in shared oil means there is high risk for cross-contact. Air fryers allow you to skip the batter and breading altogether and focus on the gluten-free ingredients. This avoids any issues with contaminated oils sticking to food.

Helps make naturally gluten-free foods crispy

One challenge with gluten-free cooking can be replicating the crispy, crunchy texture in foods like fried chicken, french fries, and fish. Gluten-free flours and breading don’t always crisp up the way wheat flours do. With an air fryer, you can take gluten-free foods like potatoes, chicken, and fish and achieve a crispy exterior without gluten-based coatings.

Allows for easy gluten-free snacks and sides

Craving gluten-free versions of fried finger foods like chicken tenders, fries, or potato chips? An air fryer lets you make gluten-free baked versions of these snacks conveniently right at home. Things like fries come out crispy with just a spritz of oil rather than being dunked in a shared deep fryer.

One less gluten cross-contamination risk appliance

Deep fryers used for gluten-containing foods can become easily cross-contaminated. Hot oil is difficult to fully clean and leftover breading remnants may stick. Having a separate gluten-free dedicated air fryer eliminates this cross-contact risk in your kitchen.

Tips for Using an Air Fryer Gluten-Free

Here are some tips to get the most out of using an air fryer on a gluten-free diet:

Read all labels carefully

As with any gluten-free cooking, it’s essential to read the labels on any ingredients or seasonings used. Double check that they are certified gluten-free before using in your air fryer. Even oil spray, seasoning mixes and flavor powders could contain hidden sources of gluten.

Focus on fresh, whole foods

Stick to fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and gluten-free grains. Combine these with oil and gluten-free herbs/spices for flavor. This allows you to control all the ingredients for gluten-free cooking.

Use parchment paper or liners

Lining the air fryer basket with parchment paper or silicone liners can help prevent any loose crumbs or batter from contaminating the fryer. Change liners between each use to avoid any gluten cross-contact.

Spritz oils instead of batter

You can achieve crispy results by spraying or brushing just a bit of oil onto the exterior of foods. Avoid wheat-flour based batters and stick to spritzing olive, avocado or coconut oil instead.

Scrub appliance thoroughly after use

Give the air fryer basket, tray, racks, etc. a thorough scrub with hot soapy water after each use. This prevents any hidden crumbs left behind from gluten exposure.

Designate fryer gluten-free

Rather than trying to share an air fryer, keep one dedicated to only gluten-free cooking. This guarantees no cross-contamination for those with celiac disease or on a strict gluten-free diet.

Delicious Gluten-Free Air Fryer Recipes to Try

Here are some tasty ideas for gluten-free meals and snacks you can make in an air fryer:


  • Air fried egg muffins with vegetables and cheese
  • Hash browns loaded with sauteed peppers and onions
  • Cinnamon apple gluten-free oatmeal muffins

Lunch & Dinner

  • Thai chicken lettuce wraps with peanut sauce
  • Black bean quesadillas with salsa and guacamole
  • Coconut shrimp with mango dipping sauce
  • Greek chicken kebabs with lemon and oregano
  • Beef and broccoli stir fry with cauliflower rice

Side Dishes

  • Crispy seasoned potato wedges
  • Sweet potato fries with spicy aioli
  • Zucchini chips with buttermilk ranch
  • Brussels sprouts with balsamic and cranberries

Snacks & Appetizers

  • Chickpea veggie falafel bites
  • Sweet chili cauliflower “wings”
  • Pizza potato skins
  • Quesadillas with beans, salsa, and guacamole


  • Baked cinnamon sugar churros
  • Lemon blueberry hand pies
  • Glazed apple donut holes
  • S’mores brownies

Gluten-Free Air Fryer Recipe Inspiration

To get you started, here are two delicious gluten-free air fryer recipes to try:

Easy Air Fryer Falafel

Falafel is a classic Middle Eastern dish that can easily be made gluten-free. Chickpeas are naturally gluten-free and make a perfect base for flavorful falafel patties. This easy recipe turns them into crispy bites in the air fryer.


  • 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp black pepper


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until a coarse meal forms, being careful not to over process.
  2. Using clean hands, form mixture into 1 inch balls and place on parchment lined air fryer basket.
  3. Air fry at 380°F for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Flip falafel over halfway during cooking.
  4. Serve immediately with desired gluten-free toppings like hummus, yogurt sauce, tomato salsa or crispy lettuce wraps.

Crispy Coconut Shrimp

This tropical inspired recipe uses coconut flakes for a crispy, gluten-free breading on juicy shrimp. The coconut complements the sweet chili dipping sauce.


  • 1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 1⁄2 tsp chili powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Gluten-free sweet chili sauce, for dipping


  1. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels.
  2. In shallow bowl, mix together coconut, potato starch, chili powder, garlic powder and salt.
  3. Place beaten egg in a separate shallow bowl. Dip each shrimp first in egg, then press into coconut mixture to fully coat.
  4. Place coated shrimp in air fryer basket sprayed with oil. Air fry at 380°F for 5 minutes.
  5. Flip shrimp and air fry 5 minutes more, until shrimp are pink and coating is crispy.
  6. Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce for dipping.


Air fryers provide a quick, convenient and healthy cooking method that works very well for those eating gluten-free. The circulating hot air crisps up foods for a delicious fried texture without the need for batter, breading or shared oils that pose cross-contamination risks. Focus on fresh ingredients, read labels carefully and enjoy crispy gluten-free favorites at home. With an air fryer, snacks, main dishes and even desserts can all be gluten-free.

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