When you need an easy side dish the whole family is guaranteed to love, these air fryer fingerling potatoes are perfect. These potatoes show off crisp skin with a soft, fluffy and creamy interior, and they cook up in just 20 minutes. Don't be surprised if these favorite fingerling potatoes become your go-to side dish for just about any occasion.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Perfect potato texture: Everyone loves that crisp potato skin, and the air fryer is a pro at delivering the perfect exterior. The air fryer rapidly circulates blazingly hot air all around the food, which is a highly effective method for developing a crispy crust without relying on a large vat of oil.
Frees up oven space: When hosting, oven space can become an issue, but we don’t have to worry about that since the air fryer takes care of the work.
Quick and simple: If you roast fingerling potatoes in the oven, it typically takes about 40 minutes, but the air fryer cuts that time in half. Plus, it takes no advanced cooking skills to serve up restaurant-quality potatoes — this is one easy recipe. You’ll never want to bother with oven-roasted potatoes again.
Fingerling potatoes: As you can see, I used a mix of white, red and purple potatoes. My local grocery store sells them combined in one bag, but you can use a single variety if that’s what’s available to you. They all cook up the same.
Olive oil: This helps us get that crisp skin everyone loves, and it adds a rich flavor.
Spice mixture: We use a combination of dried rosemary, dried thyme, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. Another reason to love this recipe — you more than likely already have these simple ingredients in your spice cabinet.
Step 1: Our first step is to prepare the potatoes. After washing and drying, we slice the potatoes in half like so (photo 1).
Step 2: Now we toss them with the olive oil and seasonings in a large bowl so that they’re well-coated (photo 2).
Tip: While you’re seasoning the potatoes, this is a great time to preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees F for two to three minutes to create a hot environment.
Step 3: Just like that, we’re ready to transfer the potatoes from the mixing bowl to the air fryer. If you have a unit that uses an air fryer basket, place the fingerling potatoes in a single layer to avoid overcrowding. My unit uses a wire air fryer tray, so I simply lined the potatoes on the rack (photo 3).
Step 4: After air frying for 10 minutes, we stir the potatoes and cook for another five to eight minutes (photo 4). Keep in mind, every air fryer is different, so this time recommendation is just a guideline. The potatoes are done when a fork can easily pierce the flesh.
Now enjoy these crispy fingerling potatoes! I like to add a little fresh parsley before serving, and some grated Parmesan cheese is a great addition. Aren’t these potatoes the perfect side dish?
Additional Serving Ideas
Now that you have your new favorite side dish, you might be interested in some main course ideas. These are all delicious options to go with those potatoes.
- Smoked tri tip
- Braised red wine short ribs
- Creamy apple-stuffed chicken thighs
- Orange-ginger roast chicken
- Smoked corned beef
- Prime rib
- Smoked lobster
- Stuffed flank steak
And if you need more side dish ideas, I have you covered. Here are some of our family favorites.
- Baked beans
- Croissant stuffing
- Fresh green bean casserole
- Smoked mac and cheese
- Coconut rice
- Air fryer cubed sweet potatoes
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
If you have extra potatoes, you can absolutely store leftovers and reheat them for another meal. Keep the potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. With proper storage, they should last for two to three days.
When you’re ready to reheat the potatoes, these are the steps I like to take.
- Remove the potatoes from the refrigerator 30 minutes before reheating. This takes off the chill and allows for more even cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F for a few minutes.
- Place the potatoes in the preheated air fryer and cook for about four to five minutes. Test the potatoes. If they need more time, stir the potatoes and cook for another few minutes.
These are small, oblong-shaped potatoes. That funny shape resembles actual fingers, hence the name. This potato variety has a mild flavor, which makes it great for all different types of seasoning blends. You’ll also notice these small potatoes have a thin skin to make it even easier to achieve that crisp bite.
While some potato recipes benefit from soaking, it’s unnecessary for air frying fingerling potatoes. Soaking is recommended to remove excess starch for a crispier texture, but these potatoes come out great without that extra step.
This can happen for two reasons: one is the potatoes were not thoroughly dried before cooking, and the other is you put too many potatoes in the air fryer. We need room for the hot air to circulate to get crispy potatoes.
Yes, you want to wash your fingerling potatoes with a good scrub before cooking, whether you use this or another recipe. Potatoes can still have a bit of dirt and grime from the farm, so you can run into both sanitary and food safety issues if you don’t wash your potatoes first.
If you’d like to air fry the potatoes whole, you do not have to cut them in half. That said, they’ll be double the size, so you may have to give the potatoes extra time.
Variations and Substitutions
Fingerling potatoes work nicely as a culinary canvas. You can absolutely make your own tweaks. For a different take, try these tasty variations.
- Serve with a dipping sauce, such as pesto, garlic aioli, ranch dressing or marinara.
- Try a different spice blend — Cajun seasoning, za’atar spice, jerk seasoning, curry powder, Italian seasoning or a BBQ dry rub are all flavorful options.
- Drizzle with a little garlic butter and lemon juice before serving for a decadent touch.
- Toss with Parmesan before air frying for an even crispier outside.
Don’t overcrowd the air fryer: For the air fryer to work its magic, it needs room for the air to circulate. Otherwise, the skin won’t crisp up. You can always cook the potatoes in batches and keep them warm on a baking sheet in a 250-degree F oven.
Dry the potatoes well: Like above, you’ll miss out on that crispy skin if you air fry wet potatoes. You need to thoroughly dry them before tossing them with olive oil. If possible, I like to wash the potatoes ahead of serving to ensure they have plenty of time to dry, but you can just wipe them well with a paper towel if you don’t have a chance to take care of this step early.
Add fresh herbs after cooking: I like to use dried herbs before cooking because they aren’t as likely to burn in the air fryer. If you’d like to add some fresh rosemary, parsley or basil, sprinkle the herbs right before serving.
Adjust cooking time as needed: As mentioned, all air fryers are a bit different, and cook times can vary. If the potatoes aren’t quite ready at the listed time, just add a few more minutes.
Of course, you want to consider your main dish for pairing, but as a general guide, you’ll love a bière de garde with these potatoes. This French farmhouse ale has strong malt notes that work well with the caramelized potato skin, and its earthy backbone is great with herbal dishes. It’s truly one of the best all-purpose beers for serving with a big dinner.
For a wine, you can’t go wrong with pinot noir. Like the bière de garde, this wine is known for its earthy quality that makes it food friendly. It also has a nice acidity to add a little brightness to those dried herbs.
When you need the perfect potato side dish, look no further than this family-favorite recipe. These potatoes are sure to become part of your regular dinner rotation for any occasion.
Get More Favorite Potato Side Dishes
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Easy Air Fryer Fingerling Potatoes
- Air fryer
- 1 ½ pounds fingerling potatoes washed and dried well
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- After washing and thoroughly drying, cut potatoes in half.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F for a few minutes. Meanwhile, toss the potatoes with olive oil, garlic powder, dried rosemary, dried thyme, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper in a mixing bowl.
- Add the potatoes in a single layer to a 400-degree F air fryer. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir the potatoes. Cook for another five to eight minutes. The potatoes are done when a fork can easily pierce the flesh. Serve while hot. Enjoy!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two to three days.
- For crisp skin, make sure the potatoes are completely dry before tossing, and don't overcrowd the air fryer.
- All air fryers cook a bit differently, so add more cooking time if necessary.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.