Air Fryer Pickles are a crunchy appetizer that only take a few minutes to make in the air fryer. They're dredged in a seasoned flour mixture, then dipped in a crispy Panko breading.
Fried pickles are a common appetizer choice on many restaurant menus. Most of the time, they're sliced, bite-sized, and batter dipped.
Those are really tasty, but my favorite kind are fried pickle spears. Unfortunately, they're harder to come by, so I decided to make my own.
John and Kale love our homemade chicken tenders, which uses a dry-wet-dry base, so I thought I'd play off that same concept for the air fryer pickles.
They start with a seasoned flour mixture, then get dipped in a buttermilk mixture with egg and hot sauce, and finally the pickles are coated in a crunchy Panko breading.
Pop them in the air fryer for a few minutes, serve with a side of spicy ranch dressing, and you've got a tasty appetizer perfect for sharing!
How to make air fryer pickles:
Scroll to the recipe card below for full instructions and ingredient amounts!
This recipe makes enough breading for 4 large, whole pickles. I prefer to use whole pickles, and cut them into spears rather than use pre-cut pickle spears.
They seem to be less soft and soggy in the center, since they haven't been exposed to the pickling agents and liquid for an extended period of time.
- Slice 4 large dill pickles into quarters, then pat each spear dry with paper towels. Set aside.
- Grab 3 shallow bowls or dishes to make the dry and wet mixes. For the first dry mix, combine flour, seasoned salt, paprika, and garlic powder. Set aside.
- For the wet mix, whisk together buttermilk, 1 large egg, and hot sauce. Place 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs in the last bowl. Set aside.
- Take a pickle spear, and dip it into the flour mixture. Shake off the excess, then dip it in the buttermilk mixture, and allow the excess to drip away.
- Last, roll the pickle in the breadcrumbs and press to ensure the breadcrumbs stick. Transfer the breaded pickle to a waiting plate, and repeat with the remaining pickles.
- Preheat the air fryer according to the manufacturer directions. If necessary, work in batches and place the pickles in an even layer in the basket of the air fryer.
- Using the "air fry" function, cook the pickles on 350°F for 6 to 8 minutes or until they reach the desired crispiness. Carefully remove them from the basket, and serve with your favorite dressing or dipping sauce.
How do you keep air fryer pickles from getting soggy?
When you’re prepping the ingredients, make sure to pat the pickles dry to remove as much moisture as possible. This will keep the breading from getting soggy and soft.
What’s the best way to reheat fried pickles?
Place the pickles in an even layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven on 250°F for about 10 minutes or until the pickles reach the desired temperature.
Another option is to use a toaster oven, and reheat the pickles in it. We do not recommend using a microwave, because it will make the breading soggy.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 4 large pickles, cut into spears
Dry Mix #1:
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
Dry Mix #2:
- 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
- Pat the pickle spears dry with paper towels, and set aside. Gather 3 shallow bowls to prepare the mixes.4 large pickles
- In the first bowl, whisk together the flour, seasoned salt, paprika, and garlic powder.½ cup all-purpose flour1 teaspoon seasoned salt½ teaspoon paprika¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- For the wet mix, combine the buttermilk, egg, and hot sauce until well incorporated.½ cup buttermilk1 large egg2 teaspoons hot sauce
- In the third dish, distribute the Panko breadcrumbs evenly. Set aside.1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
- Dredge a pickle spear into the flour mixture, and shake off the excess flour. Then, dip it into the buttermilk mixture. Let any excess buttermilk drip back into the bowl. Place the pickle into the Panko breadcrumbs, and coat each side in an even layer. Pat the breadcrumbs to ensure they stick.
- Preheat the air fryer according to the manufacturer directions. Lightly spray the basket with avocado oil spray or cooking spray. Place the pickles in the basket, and cook using the "air fry" function on 350°F for 6 to 8 minutes or until brown and crispy.
- Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.