Just because I love to cook meals from scratch does not mean I have the ability to resist mozzarella sticks or hash brown patties. Did you know that your air fryer is an absolute pro at cooking things like this? Having these normally restaurant foods at home on special occasions is such a treat! So I picked some of my favorite Trader Joe’s foods (hello orange chicken!) and threw them in the air fryer! Here are 10 Trader Joe’s Foods That Are Perfect for Your Air Fryer! Plus I’ve included my recommended temperature and time settings for everything I tried!
Move over slow cooker, this is the year of the air fryer! We snagged one a few months ago and we’re absolutely loving it. I didn’t think this level of crispness was possible without A LOT of hot oil. But *spoiler alert* – it SO is.
WHAT CAN YOU COOK IN AN AIR FRYER?
Our two favorite things to cook in the air fryer are my chimichangas and the hash brown patties from Trader Joe’s. I swear to all the food gods, these guys are crispier and fresher than anything the McDonald’s drive through could ever produce! You’ll just have to try it if you don’t believe me.
You can cook almost anything in the air fryer, but I like it most for these kinds of recipes:
- Foods that are usually deep fried, which can be air fried with just a small amount of spray oil (usually foods prepared at home like chimichangas, egg rolls, or french fries).
- Foods that are usually cooked in the oven, but take much less time to cook in the air fryer (usually prepared foods from the store, such as chicken nuggets, hash browns or sometimes raw veggies). The air fryer needs 1-2 minutes to preheat, while the oven usually requires 8-10 minutes.
I think it’s important to try new cooking methods at home, even if you didn’t fully prepare the food from scratch, to help keep food the boredom away. And it’s probably still cheaper than eating out, right?
The food doesn’t have to be from Trader Joe’s – any brand of frozen foods that are similar to the ones I’ve found at my local TJ’s should substitute just fine with the temps and times I’ve noted. But it’s also important to remember that all brands of air fryers are different and you may need to adjust for your specific air fryer.
The air fryer isn’t just for “usually fried” foods – think about trying some air-fried broccoli with nutritional yeast, or homemade crispy sweet potato fries!
WHICH KIND OF AIR FRYER DO YOU HAVE?
I own the Philips 2.75 qt Viva Air Fryer (affiliate link!), and I absolutely love it! Frozen things that are normally baked or fried come out crispier than I’ve ever tasted. Plus you almost always save time by not having to heat up the oven, so that’s definitely a win.
If you’re air frying for more than 2 or 3 people, I would suggest going with the bigger size air fryer. It looks large, but most foods require air frying only a single layer of food at a time.
10 TRADER JOE’S FOODS THAT ARE
PERFECT FOR YOUR AIR FRYER
Below are 10 Trader Joe’s foods that are perfect for your air fryer! Now, of course you could cook these items in your oven or the microwave, but then they wouldn’t be crispy AF and incredibly impressive. I’ve tested all of these foods in the air fryer personally, and included my preferences on time and temperature!
All instructions are assuming the air fryer is preheated for about 2 minutes, and none of the frozen foods were thawed. My air fryer is analog, and the temperatures noted are approximate. You’ll see ‘spray oil’ referenced a lot – I like to use Chosen Foods Avocado Spray Oil (affiliate link!), but any spray oil will work. Avocado oil has a high smoke point which is good for frying (especially air frying!).