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21 Air Fryer Fast Food Copycat Recipes That Are (Almost) As Good As The Real Thing

From McDonald's to Chick-Fil-A, here's how to get all the flavor without all the calories.

If you don't already own an air fryer, these recipes might make you change your mind about that.

New Line Cinema, Michelle No/BuzzFeed

The air fryer is an interesting kitchen contraption that circulates super hot dry air so that your foods taste fried but without all the grease. As an added bonus, they're way less messy than deep fryers and will work on frozen foods as well as fresh. You can find a very positively reviewed one for $60 on Wal-mart. If you're interested in purchasing one, be sure to read our in-depth review.

1. Copycat McDonald's French Fries / Via Brittany Baxter/

This recipe utilizes beef pan drippings to get that McDonald's french fry je ne sais quoi but without the hard-to-pronounce ingredients like "sodium acid pyrophosphate."

Recipe: Air Fryer McDonald's Copycat French Fries

2. Copycat Chili's Boneless Buffalo Wings

A promising review of the recipe: "This is the first recipe I tried in my new air fryer and it was wonderful. So much easier and cleaner than frying."

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Chili's Boneless Buffalo Wings

3. Copycat KFC Buttermilk Biscuits

If you haven't tried baking in your air fryer yet, this is the perfect recipe to experiment with.

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat KFC Buttermilk Biscuits

4. Copycat Subway Meatball Sub

The recipe creator calls this one of her "all-time favourite copycat air fryer recipes."

Recipe: Copycat Subway Meatball Sub

5. Copycat Taco Bell Crunch Wraps

Hot tip from the creator of this recipe: "To reheat, just toss it back in the air fryer for a few minutes making sure to flip it half way through."

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Taco Bell Crunch Wraps

6. Copycat KFC Potato Wedges

These wedges taste just like the real thing, and go through a similar process of breading using flour, eggs, and milk.

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat KFC Potato Wedges

7. Copycat Outback Steakhouse Bloomin' Onion Petals

Eating fried onion petals is exactly what I want to do this quarantine.

Recipe: Copycat Outback Steakhouse Bloomin' Onion Petals

8. Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

If you weren't already convinced that you need to make this recipe, the recipe creator says: "This copycat Chick-Fil-A nuggets recipe came out amazing, and was done in less than 20 minutes!"

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

9. Copycat Auntie Anne's Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

A great pro-tip from the recipe creator: "If your house is split like mine you can always make half of them with salt and the other half with the cinnamon sugar mixture" to satisfy both sweet and savory tooths in your household.

Recipe: Copycat Auntie Anne's Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

10. Cheesecake Factory Avocado Southwest Egg Rolls Dupe

Shockingly, these rolls are only 126 calories apiece. Be sure to make the dip because according to the recipe creator "what really puts these egg rolls over the top is the dip. Seriously, it is SO GOOD. Made with cool, smooth California avocados, sour cream, and nonfat Greek yogurt, this is a dip that really delivers."

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Cheesecake Factory Avocado Southwest Egg Rolls

11. Copycat Popcorn Chicken

Quite possibly the most kid-friendly thing you can make in an air fryer.

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Popcorn Chicken

12. Copycat Texas Roadhouse Fried Pickles

Make sure your pickles are as dry as possible before cooking them.

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Texas Roadhouse Fried Pickles

13. Copycat Wingstop Fries

This recipe contains a great tip about how to cut your fries in preparation for the air fryer: "Start by washing the potatoes and drying off with a paper towel. Then cut one end (just the tip) of the potato off so you can stand it up vertically without it rolling all over the place. After the potato is upright, slice from top to bottom 4-5 times depending on how thin you’d like your fries to be."

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Wingstop Fries

14. Copycat Applebee's Mozzarella Sticks

From Fork To Spoon: "This was one of great Superbowl (Super Bowl) Snacks that we had this past Sunday, they were amazing, and they do require some hands-off time, freezing, but they are so worth the extra time, if you have been purchasing the TGIF’s one in the freezer case, save some time over the weekend, and make these. You will not be disappointed with the results."

Recipe: Air Fryer Applebee's Copycat Mozzarella Sticks

15. Copycat Starbucks Blueberry Muffins

Make 'em while blueberries are still on sale.

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Starbucks Blueberry Muffins

16. Copycat Popeye's Fried Chicken

This recipe results in surprisingly crispy chicken skin with that cajun spice we all know and love from Popeye's, thanks to the Old Bay seasoning.

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Popeye's Fried Chicken

17. Copycat Five Guys Cajun Fries

Secret to this recipe: you want to season before cooking to really bake in the flavor.

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Five Guys Cajun Fries

18. Copycat Chipotle Burrito Bowl

According to the recipe creator, "The easy secret ingredient to achieving a copycat Chipotle meal is Chipotle Adobo sauce, also known as Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. It comes in a small, 7-ounce can, and is easily found at any grocery store."

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Chipotle Burrito Bowl

19. Copycat Olive Garden 5-Cheese Lasagna Fritta

The recipe creator says, "This is an air fryer version of Olive Garden’s Lasagna Fritta that is very tasty! You can also fry them in a pan if you do not have access to an air fryer. Air fryer five cheese lasagna fritta is fried lasagna with creamy ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, and asiago cheese spread in between rolled lasagna noodles that are then dipped in batter and fried golden crispy. Serve with marinara and/or alfredo sauce."

Recipe: Copycat Olive Garden 5-Cheese Lasagna Fritta

20. Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp

Bang Bang shrimp is a dish served at various restaurants like Bonefish Grill. The secret is in the sauce, and making it with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise to lower the calories and fat without sacrificing taste.

Recipe: Air Fryer Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp

21. Copycat Pizza Express Pizza Dough Balls

Pizza Express is a UK chain so it's possible that if you're in the US, you've never had the original — these look delicious all the same.

Recipe: Copycat Pizza Express Pizza Dough Balls