Air Fryer Classics: Easy Ideas For Weeknight Dinners

February 15, 2024 – 3 min read

What’s for dinner? Whether you’re short on time or can’t find the energy to cook after a long day, an air fryer is the answer. Our love affair with air fryers is still going strong! An air fryer can save you money, be your oven’s ultimate sidekick for streamlined catering, or be a standalone benchtop appliance for creating healthy and speedy meals.

“Air fryers cook with circulated hot air instead of heated oil, so you can put a healthy, homemade spin on your favourite takeaway dinners,” says Tracey Ellis, The Good Guys Buyer – Portable Appliances.

Feeling inspired? We’ve served up air fryer ideas to jazz up midweek mealtimes, plus two delicious air fryer recipes destined to become family favourites.

A whole chicken cooked inside an air fryer with roast potatoes in an oven tray on the bench to the side

What Type Of Air Fryer Is Right For You?

From the perfect size for couples to roomier models geared to hungry families, there’s an air fryer to suit every household.

Roast a whole chicken in a family-sized, 8L air fryer, or cook fried chicken and chips at the same time with a double-chamber air fryer. First-time home leavers will love a compact 4.2L model to share with flatmates, without it taking up too much room in shared kitchen cabinets.

Tight on bench space? Upgrade to an oven with an air fryer function!

“Whether you’re feeding hungry teens or entertaining regularly, an oven with a built-in air fryer is ideal because it means you can make big batches of crispy, golden treats,” says Tracey Ellis.

“Air fryers cook with circulated hot air instead of heated oil, so you can put a healthy, homemade spin on your favourite takeaway dinners.”
Front on image of a NUTRIBULLET XXL 7 Litre Digital Air Fryer

Easy Air Fryer Meals

Put down the take-out menu – these easy ideas for air fryer meals have weeknight dinners sorted!

#1 Salmon Fillets

Fancy a tender and juicy salmon fillet in just 10 minutes? Preheat your air fryer to 200℃, then season your salmon with garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook for 7-9 minutes, depending on fillet thickness, then serve with rice and salad or, may we suggest, air-fried veggies.

#2 Hot Pockets

Wrap your favourite fillings in a pastry sheet, coat with egg wash then cook in your air fryer at 190℃ degrees – simple! After 4-5 minutes, you’ll have a crunchy exterior and a steaming, flavourful centre. Try spinach and feta, ham and cheese, or chicken and avo, or use pepperoni, mozzarella and tomato sauce for a pocket pizza. For a healthy air fryer recipe, try seasoned veggies instead.

#3 Zucchini Fritters

Start with a batter of 100g self-raising flour, two eggs and two grated zucchinis, then spice up with haloumi or feta and corn. Scoop mixture into the air fryer drawer, cook at 200℃ for 8 minutes or until crispy, and enjoy a tasty veggie-based dinner that even the kids will love.

Hot Tip: Refrigerate leftovers to serve for tomorrow’s lunch.

#4 Burgers

Pop patties in the air fryer at 180℃, then cook for 8-12 minutes and flip halfway for an even result. Cook bacon rashers at 200℃ for 6-10 minutes or until your desired crispiness. Finally, toast burger buns buttered side up 175℃ for 1-2 minutes.

A woman prepares French fries in a black air fryer

#5 Chicken Schnitzel

Pound out a chicken breast, crumb with breadcrumbs and parmesan, then hit up the air fryer for a healthier, golden crust. Cook at 200℃ for 12 minutes, flipping halfway, then serve the schnitzels with your favourite air-fried sides – you’d be surprised at the possibilities!

#6 Fried Rice

For a speedy and scrumptious serving, cook 300g of chicken tenderloins and four rashers of bacon in the air fryer at 180℃ for 8 minutes. Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger to a dish of heated microwave rice. Add cooked chicken and bacon, then place the dish in the air fryer for 5 minutes at the same heat. Stir through an egg and a cup of peas, and finish with a final 3 minutes in the air fryer.


#7 Recipe: Air Fryer Sausage Rolls

For a quick dinner or meal on the go, create this crowd-pleasing classic recipe with the Sunbeam Multi-function Oven & Air-fryer.

Golden sausage rolls stacked on a timber board. Image courtesy of Sunbeam

Prep time: 25 mins

Serves: 8


1 tbsp olive oil

60g bacon, finely diced

1/2 brown onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely grated

350g sausage meat

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 egg

1 tbsp parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed, cut in half

1 egg, lightly whisked

2 tsp sesame seeds


1. Heat oil in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Sauté bacon, onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside in a bowl.

2. Add sausage meat, breadcrumbs, one egg and parsley to the bacon mix, and season to taste.

3. Brush the whisked egg down one long side of each pastry half. Divide meat filling evenly and shape into a log along the middle of each pastry piece. Make sure the meat is tightly packed, without any gaps. Roll the pastry over to envelop the meat, finishing with the seam facing down.

4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut each log into eight equal pieces. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

5. Load in the air fryer basket and air fry at 180℃ for 20 minutes or until golden.


#8 Recipe: Air Fryer Roast Chicken

A roast chicken isn’t just for special occasions – using an air fryer can make it the weeknight regular. The Russell Hobbs 8 Litre Satisfry Extra Large Air Fryer has 8L of space, so there’s plenty of room for big birds.

Golden roast chicken on a white plate with caramelised lemon slices, herbs and red onion, on an orange background. Image courtesy of Nutribullet

Prep time: 50 mins
Serves: 4

2kg chicken
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 bunch thyme
1 medium onion, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
6 cloves garlic

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp minced herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
Salt, to taste
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil


1. Unpack the chicken and remove any giblets from inside the cavity. Season inside and out with salt and pepper.

2. Stuff the cavity with thyme, onion, lemon and garlic.

3. Prepare the olive oil and herb mixture, and distribute evenly under the chicken skin.

4. Combine the rub spices and olive oil, then cover the outside of the chicken with the rub.

5. Select the poultry setting on your air fryer or set it to 180℃ and adjust cook time to 45 minutes. Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil before placing chicken inside, breast side down. Cook chicken, flipping halfway. Spray the top of the chicken with oil once flipped, and cook for the remaining time. With a cooking thermometer, check for internal temperature in the thickest part of the chicken at 75°C.

6. Allow the roasted chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.


What’s on the menu? Whether you’re after an easy weeknight dinner for the family or cooking for two, let an air fryer do the work! Grab all your benchtop appliances at The Good Guys in-store and online for extra convenient cooking.

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