I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier

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I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
I made five different side dishes in my air fryer. Chelsea Davis
  • I made five popular Thanksgiving side dishes in my air fryer, and three of them were incredible.
  • The green beans and stuffing turned out great, but I wouldn't make the mashed potatoes again.
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Cooking a proper Thanksgiving feast is almost always stressful since making sure everything is timed properly is crucial to the happiness of your guests.

As someone who's obsessed with their air fryer, I tried using it to make five traditional holiday side dishes.

Here's what I'll be using the appliance for on Turkey Day.

I started off by making seasoned green beans

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
These beans couldn’t be any easier to make. Chelsea Davis

The basic recipe I found from Kitchn couldn't have been simpler to follow.

After cleaning and trimming the tips off the green beans, I poured a splash of olive oil and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and a saltless seasoning blend.

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I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
They came out perfectly cooked. Chelsea Davis

I placed the string beans in a preheated air fryer at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes.

Depending on how crowded the basket is, I'd add a couple of minutes if you like your beans more on the cooked/ blistered side.

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
The beans had great texture. Chelsea Davis

Verdict: I would absolutely make these again for any reason.

They were tender, but not too soft, and ever-so-slightly blistered.

Next up, I tried an air-fryer stuffing recipe

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
Normally I don’t even like stuffing. Chelsea Davis

Stuffing can be hit or miss, but the recipe I followed from Air Fryer Eats intrigued me because it called for both soft and dried bread chunks.

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I started by dicing the leeks, carrots, and celery and sautéing the mix in butter until it was cooked down.

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
I added more vegetable broth than what the recipe called for. Chelsea Davis

After, I added the spices and the two types of bread. I bought the dried chunks, which were seasoned and meant for stuffing, and I cubed up a fresh ciabatta loaf for the soft ones.

I stirred everything and continued to slowly add a decent amount of broth. After getting it moistened, but not completely soupy, I placed the mixture directly into the air-fryer bin.

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
I cooked it until the top got golden brown. Chelsea Davis

Verdict: This recipe came out super flavorful, but I'm glad I added extra broth — any less and it would've dried out too much.

The stuffing had a rich flavor and the right texture. It tasted like I spent triple the time preparing it.

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I continued my experiment with mashed potatoes

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
This recipe didn’t work great. Chelsea Davis

The recipe by Fork to Spoon instructed me to place my potatoes in a foil packet before air-frying them for 25 minutes at 400 F.

It said "time will depend on the type of air fryer you have and how big your potatoes are," so I started with 35 minutes for my bigger russet potatoes.

After I checked them, they were pretty underdone, so I decided to throw them in the microwave for another five or six minutes, turning them halfway.

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
This really needed milk. Chelsea Davis

Once I got the potatoes soft enough to mash, I added the cream cheese, chives, and seasonings.

It was way too dry and chunky to get the right mashed-potato consistency, so I slowly added whole milk until the texture was more fluffy and creamy.

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I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
I loved the freshness from the chives. Chelsea Davis

Verdict: I wouldn't make this recipe again, but mostly because I don't need a recipe for mashed potatoes.

The addition of the chives added a great fresh quality to the potatoes. The cream cheese gave it a richer taste that I loved, too. I also added garlic seasoning, which paired perfectly with the butter.

But the microwave does the trick for cooking. Add a splash of milk, a few tablespoons of butter, and whatever seasonings and herbs you like, and that's all you really need.

I moved on to the second potato dish, candied yams

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
Candied yams are one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Chelsea Davis

Food blog Dad Got This's candied-yam recipe is ridiculously easy and can be done in an oven or an air fryer.

I started by opening a can of yams and reserving a little bit of the liquid. Then I placed them directly into the air-fryer bin.

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I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
The sugary, spiced liquid makes this dish delicious. Chelsea Davis

In a small pot, I heated the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and yam juice over medium heat until it started to bubble.

Then I poured it over the yams and cooked everything in the air fryer at 350 F for 15 minutes.

When it was done, I topped everything with large marshmallows and browned them for a few minutes in the air fryer at 400 F.

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
Toasting the marshmallows is a must. Chelsea Davis

Verdict: I'd totally make this again.

Using canned yams made a usually time-consuming dish a piece of cake, and it didn't impact the flavor or texture.

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The last side dish I tried was an air-fried pull-apart bread

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
I was excited to try this one out. Chelsea Davis

I've never baked bread with yeast before, let alone in an air fryer, so I was a bit skeptical.

To top it off, I accidentally had the recipe from Recipe This set to "imperial," so the measurements didn't make a ton of sense to me (15.18 ounces of flour, 1.17 cups of milk).

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
Kneading the dough was super satisfying. Chelsea Davis

I rubbed the butter into the flour as directed, and I warmed the milk and oils in a pan.

Then I added the yeast, heated mixture, and flour together, and kneaded it for five minutes. The directions said to place the dough in the air fryer for 10 minutes at 140 F to "proof" or rise, but neither my air fryer nor my oven goes that low.

Instead, I left it in a propped-open oven at 170 degrees Fahrenheit for eight minutes.

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I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
I added minced garlic for extra flavor. Chelsea Davis

I proceeded to spray the air-fryer basket with oil and placed the individual balls of dough into it. I made sure that each ball touched and gave them an egg wash.

I finished it off with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and I added a little minced garlic for extra flavor.

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
The bottom was doughy after 15 minutes. Chelsea Davis

The instructions said to air-fry for 15 minutes at 360 F. Unfortunately, the bottoms of the rolls were still quite doughy after that.

I cooked them an additional 10 to 12 minutes and they still had somewhat of a doughy consistency. But the tops were very golden and crunchy, and I didn't want to risk burning them.

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
The taste was great, but the texture was a bit undone. Chelsea Davis

Verdict: These were generally good, but I need to make some adjustments if I ever try them again. The texture was too doughy on the bottoms.

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I think I should've kept the air-fryer basket attachment in the bin so the air could circulate underneath.

But the tops had a nice golden color to them and a great, crunchy texture.

Overall, the air fryer made all of the dishes easier, but only 3 of the recipes were winners

I made 5 Thanksgiving sides in my air fryer, and it made 3 dishes so much easier
The air fryer did its job, and I'd give it an A+. Chelsea Davis

All in all, making these sides in the air fryer was significantly easier than if I made them in a traditional oven.

It shortened the cooking and clean-up times and allowed me to make two things at once because of my double-basket model. Not to mention, once you put your dish in the air fryer, you don't really need to monitor it past a shake or two mid-way through.

Of all the recipes, the green beans, stuffing, and candied yams were definitely winners. But I wouldn't make the mashed potatoes again, and I'd make a few adjustments to the pull-apart bread.

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This story was originally published on November 15, 2021, and most recently updated on November 21, 2023.

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