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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.

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.

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Yield: Serves 8

Air Fryer Fried Pickles

Air Fryer Fried Pickles

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.

Cook Time 10 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. If you are using a metal air fryer basket, spray it well
    with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Drain the pickle slices on a double layer of paper towels.
  3. 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.
  4. Dredge each pickle slice in the flour, then dip it in the
    buttermilk mixture, coating well, and finally coat it with the breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Arrange the coated pickle slices in a single layer in the
    air fryer basket.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve hot with ranch dressing or another dipping sauce.

Notes

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.





Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 150Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 7mgSodium 465mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 6g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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