We’re all looking for ways to make Christmas dinner easier – and if you’ve got an air fryer, festive food could be a whole lot simpler.

Christmas dinner normally requires a lot of effort to pull together all the starters, turkey and side dishes, and chef Poppy O’Toole says she’ll “definitely” be using her air fryer to help everything come together.

Her air fryer will go into overdrive on Christmas day, “because I need all the space for everything”, the Worcestershire-based chef says, “I’m going to be feeding a lot of people”.

“There’s not enough space to do everything, but what it’s really good at is giving you the capability to do more stuff at the same time,” she notes.

“So you’re not just relying on the oven and the hob – you’ve also got this other piece of equipment, which is amazing at cooking things and it can be done quicker and more energy efficiently.”

Interested in using your air fryer this Christmas? This is what O’Toole recommends doing…


“I always like little nibbly bits on Christmas,” admits O’Toole – and these can be easily whipped up in the air fryer.

“It’s something a little bit different around lunchtime, because I have my Christmas dinner a bit late – I have it more as a dinner around three, so around 12 you’re getting a bit peckish. So I do some lovely little nibbles – like crispy wontons, spring rolls, samosas, that sort of thing. They’re really tasty and fill everybody up, without having to do much.”

The main event

For O’Toole, the best way to use your air fryer is for all the festive sides.

“It’s really good for roasted parsnips, roasted carrots, sprouts or chestnuts,” she says. You can cook the parsnips and carrots together. “And then they can be ready and waiting for when you want them – you can get them into a tray, and once they’re cooked, you can keep them at the bottom of the oven or in a tray that you can warm back up”.


While O’Toole doesn’t plan on making Christmas pudding in the air fryer this year, there are plenty of sweet treats you can do in there instead.

Her sister will be clamouring for a pecan and pretzel blondies recipe (or you can try any variation on brownies you like – even mince pies would work), and O’Toole adds: “Custard tarts – they’re so simple and something about doing them in the oven is always terrifying to me, but being able to put them in the air fryer for literally a few minutes is perfect.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Honey roast carrots


(Serves 4)

4 carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthways

Vegetable oil, for spraying

2tbsp runny honey

1tsp butter

Salt and ground black pepper


1. Heat the air fryer to 180°C/350°F.

2. Get the carrots in the air-fryer basket and spray them with the vegetable oil. Then cook them for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a microwaveable bowl, melt the honey and butter together for about 30 seconds, until liquidy, then season well.

4. When the carrots have been in the air fryer for 10 minutes, tip them into the honey and butter mixture and mix well so that they are all coated, then pop them back into the air fryer for a further 10 minutes, until sticky, glazed and tender. Depending on the size of your carrots, you may need to cook them for a little longer, so cook in five-minute intervals until tender.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Roast potatoes


(Serves 2-4, depending on greed)

4 Maris Piper, russet or red skin potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

2tbsp vegetable oil

1tsp fine salt


1. Heat the air fryer to 160°C/325°F.

2. In a mixing bowl, toss the potatoes in the oil and salt, and tip them into the air-fryer basket.

3. Cook for 30 minutes, giving them a proper aggressive toss every 10 minutes, and even poke them with a fork if you want to fluff up the insides further.

4. Increase the heat to 200°C/400°F and cook for a further six minutes, until golden and crispy.

Chestnut and bacon sprouts


(Serves 4)

50g butter, melted

500g fresh or frozen Brussels sprouts (if fresh, cut in half)

100g bacon lardons

50g pre-cooked chestnuts, chopped

Sea salt flakes and ground black pepper


1. Heat the air fryer to 180°C/350°F.

2. In a large bowl, mix the butter with the sprouts, season with salt and pepper and place in the air-fryer basket. Just chuck over the bacon lardons.

3. Cook for five minutes then add in the chestnuts. Cook for another five to 10 minutes, checking at five-minute intervals until cooked to your liking.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Poppy Cooks: The Actually Delicious Air Fryer Cookbook is published in hardback by Bloomsbury Publishing