These quick and easy extra-crispy, parmesan-coated air fryer pasta chips make for the perfect appetizer, side dish, and snack. Use regular, protein, gluten-free, whole wheat, or chickpea pasta. No oven is required!
Extra crispy air fryer pasta chips
Forget about boring tortilla chips, potato chips, and popcorn; say hello to these crispy, parmesan-coated air fryer pasta chips. It’s shocking how fun and delicious these air fryer pasta chips are. They make for the best appetizer, snack, and side dish. Plus, you will be in and out of the kitchen in under 20 minutes.
Air fryer pasta chips are perfect for all ages and very customizable, and made with four simple ingredients. You can use any shape and kind of pasta. I have made this recipe dozens of times with whole wheat, chickpea, gluten-free, lentil, and protein pasta. That’s what makes this the best recipe.
Let’s not forget that this recipe that doesn’t call for breading. These air fryer pasta chips are so crispy without coating them in an egg wash and bread crumbs. That’s why it is the best!
Anyways, I cannot wait to hear what you think about this easy air fryer recipe. You can make this recipe gluten-free and vegan with one ingredient swap too!
Why you’ll love this air fryer recipe:
- Air-fried in less than 15 minutes.
- The pasta chips are crispy on the outside and cheesy.
- They have the best crispy parmesan coating.
- No oven is needed!
- No bread crumbs or panko needed!
- This recipe calls for 4 ingredients.
- Great appetizer, snack, and side dish.
- Serve them with marinara sauce, pesto, ranch, or your favorite dipping sauce.
- This recipe can be made 100% gluten-free.
- Use whole wheat, regular, protein, chickpea, lentil, or gluten-free pasta shapes.
- Try this super popular air fryer gnocchi or this air fryer tortellini next!
Ingredients needed & substitutions
This is seriously the best-ever pasta chip recipe because it’s so customizable, and you can use any type and shape of pasta. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
- Pasta: You can use the pasta of your choice – I love rigatoni or farfalle (bow-tie). Also, feel free to use regular, chickpea, gluten-free, whole-wheat, protein, or lentil pasta.
- Olive Oil: This is super important and makes the pasta chips extra crispy on the outside. You can also use avocado oil, or if you want to make this recipe oil-free, you can use olive oil cooking spray.
- Seasonings: You need a combination of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, sea salt, and a little black pepper to season the pasta chips.
- Parmesan Cheese: My favorite ingredient! Parmesan adds so much flavor to this recipe. Once air-fried, the cheese gets crispy, giving the pasta chips a no-breading crunchy coating. You can also use Romano cheese or pecorino cheese.
How to make air fryer pasta chips
These air fryer pasta chips are made without breading and take under 20 minutes to air fry! It will be your new favorite way to eat pasta and make for the best Game Day appetizer, snack, or side dish. Here are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference so any level cook can make them; make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe and ingredient measurements.
First, boil a large pot of salted water and add the rigatoni. Cook al dente according to the package. When done, strain the pasta and add it directly to a mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, preheat your air fryer to 380°F.
Then, toss the cooked pasta with olive oil, seasonings, salt, and parmesan cheese.
Finally, add it to the preheated air fryer basket and cook for 10 – 14 minutes until golden brown and crispy. The cook time depends on the size of your pasta – I cooked rigatoni for 13 minutes and farfalle for 10. I recommend shaking the basket at the 6-minute mark since all air fryers are different.
Lastly, I recommend enjoying your air-fried pasta chips immediately! Garnish with extra parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Serve as a side with your favorite main dish or as an appetizer with marinara sauce or pesto for dipping.
Expert tips for homemade air fryer pasta chips
- Boil your pasta first. This is my #1 tip for the best air-fried pasta chips. It’s essential to boil the pasta first before air frying them. If you add uncooked, hard pasta directly to the air fryer, your pasta will dry out. Boiling the pasta first softens the shell before crispening it up.
- Don’t use spaghetti or long pasta. It will not work for this recipe!
- Use any kind of pasta. I love using regular wheat, chickpea, or protein pasta. You can also use lentil, gluten-free, and whole-wheat pasta. That’s why it is the easiest and best recipe on the internet.
- Different shapes of pasta air fry at different times. I air-fried rigatoni for 13 minutes and farfalle for 10 minutes. The air fry time might dip below 10 minutes if you have a smaller, thinner pasta shape like cavatappi, elbows, or fusilli. Just remember to check the basket at the 8-minute mark.
- Shake the basket at the 6-minute mark. This ensures that the pasta chips are air fried evenly and one side is not crispier or browner. Every air fryer is different, so it is important to also check how they are cooking. No one wants burned pasta.
- Don’t skip out on the olive oil. The olive oil (or avocado oil) ensures the pasta is crisp. If you skip out on the olive oil, the pasta will turn a darker brown and not be as golden crisp.
- Make it vegan. You can make this recipe vegan by omitting the parmesan cheese and substituting it with nutritional yeast.
- Make it gluten-free. Easily make gluten-free pasta chips by using your favorite gluten-free pasta. I love this one.
How to serve air fryer pasta chips
You can serve air fryer pasta chips as a side dish, appetizer, snack, or a “crouton.” Here are the best ways to serve air fryer pasta chips:
1. Serve it as an appetizer:
Serve this crispy air fryer pasta chips with your favorite dipping sauce at a super bowl watch party, family event, or friend’s party. I love marinara, pasta sauce, pesto, ranch, Caesar, and aioli.
2. Serve it as a side dish:
Serve this crispy air-fried pasta chips with one of these delicious main dishes:
- Greek Yogurt Chicken
- Balsamic Feta Stuffed Chicken
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Everything Bagel Crusted Salmon
- Cauliflower Potato Soup
- Homemade Tomato Soup
- Crispy Nashville Chicken Tenders
3. Serve it as a snack:
These crispy air fryer pasta chips make for the perfect snack. Pair it with your favorite dipping sauce – I love marinara, pasta sauce, pesto, ranch, Caesar, and aioli.
4. Serve it as a crouton:
I love adding crispy air-fried pasta chips on top of one of these delicious salads:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use leftover cooked pasta?
Yes! As long as the pasta has been boiled, you can use it.
What’s the texture of air fryer pasta chips?
Air fryer pasta chips have a crisp golden shell and a similar crunch to a tortilla chip. Air-fried pasta chips are not dry or hard to bite into. This recipe is made without breading or bread crumbs but has a crispy parmesan cheese coating.
Do I have to boil the pasta below air frying it?
You must boil the pasta before air frying to soften them. Boiling the pasta first softens the pasta and keeps the inside moist as it air fries. Don’t add hard, uncooked pasta directly to the air fryer will dry out, and the pasta shell will be tough to eat.
Can I use spaghetti or fettuccine?
No. I don’t reccomend that.
Can I use chickpea pasta?
Yes, you can use chickpea pasta; follow the preparation directions on the package to cook it al dente before air frying.
Can I use gluten-free pasta?
Absolutely! Feel free to use gluten-free pasta to make this recipe 100% gluten-free.
What’s the best pasta shape to use?
I love rigatoni or farfalle (also called bow tie) because they are the perfect finger-food-sized pasta chips and easy to “dip” into sauces. You can also try cavatappi and fusilli.
Can I make it vegan?
You can easily make this recipe vegan by omitting the parmesan cheese and substituting it with nutritional yeast.
What’s the best temperature to air fry pasta?
For best results, air fry pasta chips at 380°F. If the temperature is too low, the pasta won’t get crispy, and it will dry out and burn if the temperature is too high.
How long do I air fryer pasta at 380°F?
For best results, air fryer pasta chips for 10 – 14 minutes at 380°F. The cook time depends on the size of your pasta. Smaller, thinner pasta shapes will have a shorter air fry time.
What’s the best substitute for parmesan cheese?
You can substitute parmesan cheese with Romano cheese, Pecorino cheese, or nutritional yeast.
What’s the best substitute for Romano cheese?
Romano cheese is very similar to parmesan cheese. It is a hard Italian cheese that’s salty, grainy, and made from pasteurized sheep’s milk. The best substitution for Romano cheese is parmesan or pecorino cheese.
What’s the best substitute for pecorino cheese?
“Pecorino” in Italian means “of sheep.” Pecorino cheese is very similar to parmesan and Romano cheese. It is a hard Italian cheese that’s salty, grainy, and made from pasteurized sheep’s milk. The best substitution for pecorino cheese is parmesan or Romano cheese.
How to store leftovers:
Storing: Air fryer pasta chips are best enjoyed straight out of the air fryer. However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Air Fryer Tortellini
- Air Fryer Gnocchi
- Air Fryer Home Fries
- Air Fryer Bagel Bites
- Air Fryer Tortilla Pizza
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Air Fryer Pasta Chips
- 2 cups rigatoni or farfalle (bow-tie), regular, whole wheat, chickpea, or gluten-free
- 1 – 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the rigatoni. Cook al dente according to the package. When done, strain the pasta and add it directly to a mixing bowl.
- Meanwhile, preheat your air fryer to 380°F.
- Toss the cooked pasta with olive oil, seasonings, salt, and parmesan cheese.
- Add it to the preheated air fryer basket and cook for 10 – 14 minutes until golden brown and crispy. I recommend shaking the basket at the 6-minute mark since all air fryers are different.
- Enjoy immediately! Garnish with extra parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Serve as a side with your favorite main dish or as an appetizer with marinara sauce or pesto for dipping.
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