Love fried pickles? These healthier air fried pickles are coated with seasoned breadcrumbs, and are easy to make at home in your Instant Pot Air Fryer.
Last winter, my friend Jessica got me hooked on fried pickles.
I'd never tasted them before, and oh my word.
Guys, fried pickles are insanely delicious.
More recently, when I bought an Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid, I knew exactly what I wanted to try "frying."
Pickles, of course.
These crispy air fried pickles are made with an egg and seasoned breadcrumb batter, and air fried to crispy perfection.
They're perfect for late night snacking, and pair perfectly with your favorite cocktail. I vote for air fried pickles and a mint julep.
What Kind of Pickles Should I Use?
I recommend using dill pickle chips.
Yes, I'm a little biased because I don't care for bread and butter or sweet pickles. That said, fried pickles are normally made with dill pickles.
There's something delicious about the tangy dill with the rich breading.
Use store-bought or homemade dill pickles: either will work perfectly.
And make sure to go with the pickle chips (instead of spears or sandwich slices), because it'll give you that classic fried pickle experience.
What's the Best Breading for Air Fried Pickles?
Most fried pickle recipes use a flour batter, but for the air fryer I prefer a breadcrumb coating.
This recipe uses unseasoned breadcrumbs and mixes in some spices. If you've got seasoned breadcrumbs on hand, you can use those instead.
How to Make Air Fried Pickles
Start by patting the pickles dry.
I want to tell you to use a reusable towel here (for the environment), but I also realize that whatever towel you use might smell like pickles for all eternity. A paper towel might make more sense.
Use your best judgment.
To coat the pickles, simply dip the (dried off) pickles in egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture.
Set them inside the air fryer basket in a single layer.
Make sure to avoid squishing the pickles up against each other, and don't layer them on top of one another. For the air fryer to "fry," the air has to go around each pickle.
When you run out of room, add the Instant Pot air fryer shelf for a second layer of breaded pickles.
Set the air fryer for 11 minutes, and walk away.
While they cook, make the spicy yogurt sauce.
Don't feel like making your own sauce? You can also serve these air fried pickles with your favorite store-bought dipping sauce or dressing.
When the air fryer cook cycle ends, remove the lid to check out your tasty, crispy pickles.
Scoop out the top layer of pickles, and then remove the shelf.
I use my Lodge lid lifter (originally purchased to use with a cast iron dutch oven) to remove the hot metal shelf, but you could also use a fork, metal hook, or even your fingers (if they're not sensitive).
Scoop out the remaining pickles.
Just like regular fried pickles, these air fried pickles are the very best when they're hot and fresh.
When the pickles are done air frying, eat them right away!
Air Fried Pickles
Air Fried Pickles
- 12 ounces dill pickle chips (~half a 24oz jar)
- ¾ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- spray oil (or olive oil)
Spicy Yogurt Sauce (Optional)
- ½ cup plain yogurt (whole milk)
- 1 tablespoon pickle juice
- 2 tablespoon ketchup
- dash hot sauce
- If using panko breadcrumbs, blitz breadcrumbs in a blender or food processor. Set aside the breadcrumbs.If using regular (finer) breadcrumbs, skip this step.
- Lay pickles on a paper towel and pat dry.Don't skip this step. If the pickles are wet, the breading won't stick as well.Spray the air fryer basket with oil, or brush with olive oil.
- Mix together the breadcrumbs, cayenne, garlic, paprika, and salt.One by one, dip the pickle slices in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure to coat each pickle slice completely with breadcrumbs.Set the coated pickles in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Avoid squishing the pickles together, and do not layer them on top of one another.When the basket has one layer of pickles, add the metal shelf for a second layer, and continue adding coated pickles until the shelf is full.Note: The amount of breadcrumb and pickles are approximate. You may have leftover breadcrumbs, and you may not use exactly 12 oz of pickles (depending on the size of the pickle chips).
- Preheat the air fryer lid to 400°F. Set the timer for 11 minutes and press start.The display will read "on" while the lid heats up. When it beeps and reads "11 minutes / 400°F," open the lid and add the air fryer basket.About halfway through the cook cycle, the air fryer lid will beep and indicate that you should flip the food. You do not need to flip these pickles, and can ignore the "Turn Food" indicator.
- While the pickles cook, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce (if using). Taste the sauce. If it's too thick, add more pickle juice. Too thin, add more yogurt. For a spicier sauce, add extra hot sauce.
- The pickles are done frying when they're golden and crispy.Note that not all air fryers alike, so the exact cook time for your air fryer model may vary.Serve the pickles hot along with the yogurt sauce.