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Air Fryer Fried Pickles

Crispy, crunchy, spicy, tangy, salty—these air fryer fried pickles are everything you want in a snack. And the best part is, you don’t have to mess up your kitchen deep frying them. Well, okay, the best part is YUM, but not having to spend an hour cleaning the kitchen is a serious bonus.

Horizontal shot of 2 small plates of air fryer fried pickles and a bowl of ranch dressing with a hand dipping a fried pickle slice into the dressing

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I only recently discovered fried pickles. I mean, I knew they existed, but didn’t have my first taste until just about a year ago. It was at a local bar/restaurant here in Berkeley, but I sort of assumed this dish had a Southern or Midwestern pedigree.

I mean, batter-fried pickles sounds more Southern or Midwestern than Californian, doesn’t it? Turns out I was wrong, but more about that later.

Anyway, these fried pickles with ranch dressing were so good. I happened to have some vegan ranch (long story) and some buttermilk leftover from making Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp. And I had my air fryer out (because Bang Bang Shrimp).

So, obviously, you see where I’m going with this. I decided to create a recipe for air fryer fried pickles; an easy version of this delectable snack that I can have at home any time I want.

Plated fried pickles with ranch dressing on the side.

So where did fried pickles come from?

When I sat down to write this post, I started, as one does, by googling the history of fried pickles. This is the first thing I found (from Wikipedia):

“The first known printed fried pickle recipe was in the Oakland Tribune on November 19, 1962, for ‘French Fried Pickles,’ which called for using sweet pickle slices and pancake mix.”

Air fryer fried pickles on a plate with a hand dipping  a fried pickle into a bowl of ranch dressing

Aside from the sweet pickle/pancake combo sounding … um … gross, that means that fried pickles originated in the same town where I was born.

Well, maybe that’s more exciting for me than for anyone else, but I don’t understand how I could go through so many years of my life unaware of this delicious treat when it was created in my home town.

Maybe sweet pickles coated in pancake mix weren’t such a huge hit after all. According to the same Wikipedia entry, “Fried dill pickles were popularized by Bernell “Fatman” Austin in 1963 at the Duchess Drive In located in Atkins, Arkansas.” So there you go.

Air fryer fried pickles on a small plate with a bowl of ranch dressing for dipping, shot from a low angle

Are air fryer fried pickles easy to make?

Yes! Air fryer fried pickles are super easy to make. I’d argue that they are easier to make than traditional deep fried pickles—and there’s way less mess to clean up, too.

I dredged my dill pickle slices in flour first, then buttermilk mixed with hot sauce. Finally, I coated the pickle slices with a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.

I popped them in the air fryer and ten minutes later I was munching away on crunchy, salty, spicy fried pickle rounds dunked into a zesty (vegan) ranch dressing. Yum.

Air fryer fried pickles on a plate with turquoise leaves with a bowl of ranch dressing for dipping

Can you make these fried pickles ahead of time?

Yes! You can make a big batch of these fried pickles and store them in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator. Before serving, put them back in the air fryer and heat at 400ºF for about 3 minutes per side, until they’ve crisped up again.

A plate with air-fried pickles, a bowl of dipping sauce, and a fork.

Air Fryer Fried Pickles

Robin Donovan
Crispy, crunchy, spicy, tangy, salty—these air fried pickles are everything you want in a snack. And the best part is, you don’t have to mess up your kitchen deep frying them.

4.60 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer Recipes
Cuisine American
Calories 150 kcal


  • 1 24-ounce jar dill pickle slices
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons hot sauce Frank’s Red Hot, Crystal, or sriracha
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • If you are using a metal air fryer basket, spray it well
    with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Drain the pickle slices on a double layer of paper towels.
  • Place the flour in a small bowl. In another small bowl,
    combine the buttermilk and hot sauce and stir to mix. In a third bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and cheese and stir to mix.
  • Dredge each pickle slice in the flour, then dip it in the
    buttermilk mixture, coating well, and finally coat it with the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Arrange the coated pickle slices in a single layer in the
    air fryer basket.
  • Cook in the air fryer at 400ºF for 5 minutes. Using tongs,
    gently turn each pickle slice over and then cook on the second side at 400ºF for 5 minutes. When done, the pickles will be browned and crispy.
  • Serve hot with ranch dressing or another dipping sauce.



1. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute 2 large eggs whisked with the hot sauce.
2. I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce because I am addicted to it, but you could use Crystal, Tabasco, sriracha, or whatever hot sauce you like. Or leave it out if you’re not into spicy.


Serving: 1Calories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 6gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 465mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
air fryer fried pickles pinterest pin
By on October 9th, 2019


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 50 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners5 Ingredient Cooking for TwoSushi at HomeThe Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. → More about Robin

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