If you’re cooking Christmas dinner for one or two this year and don’t want to turn on your oven, an air-fryer may be the way to go. Although compact, these handy table-top cookers can cook a variety of foods and with a little plate juggling you can cook most of your Christmas dinner in one.


Read on to discover our top Christmas recipes that can be cooked in an air-fryer. For more on this on-trend gadget and how to use it, see our air-fryer recipe collection, plus our guide to what not to cook in an air-fryer and round-up of the best air-fryer accessories for boosting the capacity of your appliance.

Air-fryer Christmas centrepiece recipes

Air fryer turkey crown on a platter with roasted shallots in a bowl

For those cooking a classic turkey option and who want to have some leftover meat for another day, a crown or breast will be most likely to fit in your air-fryer.

For the air-fryer turkey crown you’ll need one of the larger air-fryers – we cooked ours in a 10-litre capacity air-fryer.

The benefit of a turkey breast is that it will fit in most air-fryers. Ask your butcher to tie it into a neat shape that will cook evenly.

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If you have a smaller air-fryer, a chicken is a good alternative. A small chicken will fit in most air-fryers, or you can cook air-fryer chicken breasts instead, but it’s better to buy breast meat with the skin on to prevent the chicken from drying out.

Try making our air-fryer turkey crown recipe and air-fryer rolled turkey breast

Air-fryer Christmas side dishes

Air fryer pigs in blankets on a navy plate

Almost anything you can cook in a conventional oven can be cooked in an air-fryer, space permitting. We had the best results with roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, stuffing balls, and roasted veg such as carrots, parsnips, and sprouts.

You won’t be able to heat up gravy or red cabbage in an air-fryer, you’ll need a microwave or hob for these. Find microwave red cabbage and more in our microwave Christmas recipe collection.

Air-fryer Christmas desserts

Broken mince pie on a plate next to several others shaped into a Christmas tree.

If you're going all out with an air-fryer Christmas dinner, why not round off your feast with a batch of these air-fryer mince pies? This smart air-fryer version will help you save energy and time in the kitchen, plus, you can cut corners by using ready-made shortcrust pastry. Perfect if you decide on a cheeky dessert last minute.

We have more air-fryer desserts for you to choose from, including our air-fryer brownies and air-fryer crumble.

How to cook Christmas dinner in an air-fryer

Follow our tried-and-tested, step-by-step air-fryer Christmas time plan to create your festive main meal from start to finish in less than two hours. Our plan is for an air-fryer turkey crown so you’ll need to adjust the timings if you’re using another cut or type of meat. Scroll down to see instructions for how to cook a turkey breast in an air-fryer.

Air-fryer Christmas dinner time plan

• Get your turkey in the air-fryer first. The timing will vary slightly depending on the weight of the turkey, ours took 1 hour in total. Use our air-fryer turkey crown recipe for more detailed prep and cooking instructions.

• While the turkey cooks prepare your pigs in blankets and peel and boil the potatoes for 5 mins. You can find the recipes here:

Air-fryer roast potatoes
Air-fryer pigs-in-blankets

• 12 mins before the turkey has finished cooking, place the pigs in blankets around the turkey and continue cooking, you can also add stuffing balls at this point but don’t overcrowd the basket.

• Use a meat thermometer to check the turkey and pigs in blankets are properly cooked. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the breast – it should read at least 65C. Once cooked, transfer the meat to a platter and wrap tightly in a few sheets of kitchen foil, then cover with a tea towel.

• After draining the par-cooked potatoes, toss in oil, season well, then tip into the air-fryer basket in a single layer. Set the timer for 30 mins but shake them around halfway through cooking.

• To cook carrots and parsnips for your festive dinner, peel them (one of each per person will do) and cut into slim batons. Mix the carrots and parsnips with the brussel sprouts, with a little oil and seasoning. Find the sprouts recipe here – we reduced the quantity by half to allow enough space for the carrots and parsnips.

• When the potatoes are cooked tip them onto a warm plate and cover loosely with foil to keep them warm. Don’t wrap them too tightly as they will steam and become soggy.

• Cook the veggies in a single layer in the air-fryer for 10-15 mins until cooked. If the potatoes are too cool, you can place them on top of the veg for the final 2 mins to heat them through. While the veg cooks, carve your turkey, heat the cabbage, bread sauce and gravy, then serve with cranberry sauce. If you prefer not to use your hob, try making our microwave red cabbage and microwave bread sauce.

Air fryer brussels sprouts topped with chilli flakes

How to cook a turkey breast in an air-fryer

To cook a turkey breast rather than a larger crown in an air-fryer, use these alternative cooking instructions and times:

• Heat up the air-fryer then set the heat to 180C
• Weigh the turkey breast and cook for 20 mins per kg, plus an additional 20 mins, until golden brown on the outside and hot in the centre
• Cook skin side down for the first 30 mins, then flip for the remaining time
• Check the internal temperature of the meat is at least 65-70C before removing from the air-fryer
• Wrap in foil and leave to rest for at least 20 mins before carving


More air-fryer inspiration and advice

The best air-fryers tried and tested
Air-fryer recipe ideas
What shouldn't you cook in an air-fryer?
Why are people buying air-fryers to cut energy costs?
Are air-fryers healthy?

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