Crispy, delicate and flavorful make for the perfect snack. Who knew Air Fryer Crispy Spinach could be so snack-worthy!?
Last year for our middle daughter, Sadie’s birthday, we took a trip at her request to Branson, Missouri. While I was not sure I’d be super enthused at her choice, I decided to dive right into food options so I could have some things to look forward to (for grownups).
Before any travel, I always sniff out the best gluten free options, so I know what our choices are in advance. Sometimes I even plan what I am going to order, a little over the top I know.
To my surprise, in little ol’ Branson, Missouri, I found a restaurant that not only had a gluten free menu, they had gluten free fried shrimp, fried chicken, loaded mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. Comfort food at it’s finest.
But one of the more surprising treats, was their deep fried crispy spinach. What is this and why have I never had it in over 40 years of existence!? Well, I’ll tell ya, to this day, my son – the one who chooses carbs over anything else ever – has talked about that spinach.
So now that I am a hardcore air fryer enthusiast, I figured, why the heck not! Let’s do this spinach thing.
I dove in. And I burned a lot of spinach. Trial and error. So much error. That’s ok, we got this; stay focused. After lots of brown leaves, I nailed it. And the family gave me a standing ovation. No, they didn’t. But they ate it and did tell me it was really good and we should definitely top it with some parmesan like they did in Branson. So I did. More rave reviews.
I’m actually pretty pumped about this recipe because honestly raw spinach leaves make me a little sad sometimes. So this is a perfect way to up our veggie game and also not be bored to tears.
Make sure you read my favorite air fryer post HERE to see why I chose this one and how I am using it every week like a LOT lot. Burgers, chicken, meatballs, wings, you name it. Oh and my Ranch Gnocchi, duh. I love it so much.
Air Fryer Crispy Spinach
- Baby spinach leaves (I used about half a bag at a time)
- Olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil SPRAY
- Garlic sea salt blend (use sparsely)
- Parmesan (if tolerated – you could also use plant based parmesan)
- Lemon juice
- If you notice, I did not use exact measurements because it will depend on your air fryer and palate. But you begin by spreading out the raw spinach leaves in your air fryer basket. They do not need to be single layer, they will still crisp up, just don’t make the layers of leaves too thick
- LIGHTLY spray your spinach with oil. You want to go with the less is more philosophy here.
- LIGHTLY season with garlic sea salt. And I mean lightly. You can always add more later but a scant pinch is more than enough in most cases or it will taste over-salted.
- Slide the basket into your air fryer and cook on the air fryer setting at 300 for 10 minutes. There will be a few darker stems and smaller leaves but less than 10 did not get enough leaves crispy and dried out for me. Also keep in mind different air fryers will require different temp and cook times. This is based on my personal air fryer.
- Once the cooking has completed, remove the air fryer basket carefully and sprinkle with parmesan if desired and give a little lemon juice squeeze.