Air fryer pickle spears are a delicious tangy snack with a satisfying crunch. Air frying these pickle spears turns the Panko breadcrumbs the perfect crispy golden brown without the hassle of deep frying. The perfect game day snack or appetizer with just 10 minutes of cooking time.
I am a pickle fan. Pickles are great as they are but cover them in breadcrumbs and air fry? Crispy golden perfection.
Air fryers make everything better, from breaded paneer to portobello mushroom fries to avocado fries. Hot air in a mini oven is the perfect way to add crisp and crunch to your favorite foods. And you can't go wrong with coating things in Panko bread crumbs, right?
For this easy recipe, you'll take some pickle spears, or cut pickles into spears yourself, dry them off well, and then coat them in a batter which will help the breadcrumbs stick. Bake and eat. It's that quick.
If you can't find a jar of pickle spears at your grocery store, like me, then you can just quarter whole pickles.
The breading process is egg-free making this the perfect recipe for those with allergies or following a vegan lifestyle.
In my recipes that include breading I try to mix it up a bit and use the classic pané process of flour, egg, and breadcrumbs about half the time, and this egg-free flour batter the other half of the time.
A reader with an egg allergy once commented on a recipe that included my eggless breading process that they were happy they had found it and were able to eat it, and I think about that a lot when I'm creating recipes.
You can usually switch up the breading process, according to what you'd rather do. Like for this recipe, you could use the classic breading technique.
Either way I'm sure you'll love these tangy crispy air fryer pickles. They are the perfect easy appetizer for game day or a happy hour.
See the recipe card for exact amounts.
- pickles: I bought a jar of pickles and sliced them into spears myself. You can also buy pickle spears if you can find them.
- flour and cornstarch: this is like the glue of the batter. Use all-purpose flour. The cornstarch helps lighten the batter and add to the crispiness but you can skip it if you don't have it on hand.
- hot sauce: for a bit of added tang and spice to the batter. Skip it if you'd rather.
- spices: salt and pepper to season, garlic powder for more flavor, and dried dill to really bring home the pickle vibes.
- breadcrumbs: Panko bread crumbs are my favorite - they are ultra-light resulting in an extra crispy texture.
- spices: keep the salt and pepper, but feel free to change up the rest of the spices if you'd prefer.
- breadcrumbs: you could use regular breadcrumbs I'm sure but they don't bring the same crunch factor.
- Cut the pickle in half.
- Cut each half in half.
Dry off the pickle spears well so that the batter will stick to them. I use paper towels. You can use a clean kitchen towel instead.
To make the breading station, set out two shallow bowls.
- In the first bowl, combine the ½ cup of flour with the spices.
- Whisk the seasoned flour mixture and then add the cold water and hot sauce. Whisk until you have a well-combined thick batter.
Add the breadcrumbs to the second bowl.
- Dip each pickle spear in the batter and let the excess drip off.
- Place them in the breadcrumbs bowl.
- Use your other hand to coat the pickle in breadcrumbs.
- Place the pickles in a single layer on the air fryer basket or tray. (Mine has two trays).
Serve the pickles while they're hot, alongside your favorite dip.
Tips for making Crispy Pickles
What to serve with Air Fryer Pickles
Serve your pickle spears with your favorite dipping sauce. I like my ranch dressing recipe (savory and creamy), honey dill sauce (what's wrong with even more dill?), or honey sriracha sauce (spice!) for these pickles.
These are best right when they're made. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two. Reheat in the air fryer at 350°F (180°C) for a few minutes.
Air fry breaded pickles at 400°F (200°C) for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway for even browning.
Air Fryer Pickle Spears
- Cut whole pickles in half lengthways, and then cut each half in half lengthways again. You'll end up with 4 quarters. These are your pickle spears.
- Preheat the air fryer too 400°F (200°C)
- Mix the flour, cornstarch, spices, water, and hot sauce in a small bowl.
- Place the breadcrumbs in another small bowl.
- Bread the pickles: It's best to keep a 'dry hand' and a 'wet hand'. With your wet hand, dip a pickle spear into the flour batter and let the excess drip off. Place the spear in the bowl of breadcrumbs.
- With your dry hand, roll each dipped spear into breadcrumbs.
- Place the breaded pickle in a single layer on the air-fryer baking sheet. Leave space between the pickles for airflow.
- Air fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway for even cooking. Rotate baking sheets if needed. (Mine has a top rack and bottom rack for the trays. This won't apply to basket style air fryers.)
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
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