Crispy, crunchy, spicy, tangy, salty—these air fryer fried pickles are everything you want in a snack. And the best part is, you don’t have to mess up your kitchen
I only recently discovered fried pickles. I mean, I knew they existed, but didn’t have my first taste until just about a year ago. It was at a local bar/restaurant here in Berkeley, but I sort of assumed this dish had a Southern or Midwestern pedigree. I mean, batter-fried pickles
Anyway, these fried pickles with ranch dressing were so good. I happened to have some vegan ranch (long story) and some buttermilk leftover from making Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp. And I had my air fryer out (because Bang Bang Shrimp). So, obviously, you see where I’m going with this. I decided to create a recipe for air fryer fried pickles; an easy version of this delectable snack that I can have at home any time I want.
So where did fried pickles come from?
When I sat down to write this post, I started, as one does, by googling the history of fried pickles. This is the first thing I found (from Wikipedia): “The first known printed fried pickle recipe was in the Oakland Tribune on November 19, 1962, for ‘French Fried Pickles,’ which called for using sweet pickle slices and pancake mix.”
Aside from the sweet pickle/pancake combo sounding … um … gross, that means that fried pickles originated in the same town where I was born. Well, maybe that’s more exciting for me than for anyone else, but I don’t understand how I could go through so many years of my life unaware of this delicious treat when it was created in my home town.
Maybe sweet pickles coated in pancake mix weren’t such a huge hit after all. According to the same Wikipedia entry, “Fried dill pickles were popularized by Bernell “Fatman” Austin in 1963 at the Duchess Drive In located in Atkins, Arkansas.” So there you go.
Are air fryer fried pickles easy to make?
Yes! Air fryer fried pickles are super easy to make. I’d argue that they are easier to make than traditional
I dredged my dill pickle slices in flour first, then buttermilk mixed with hot sauce. Finally, I coated the pickle slices with a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. I popped them in the air fryer and ten minutes later I was munching away on crunchy, salty, spicy fried pickle rounds dunked into a zesty (vegan) ranch dressing. Yum.
Can you make these fried pickles ahead of time?
Yes! You can make a big batch of these fried pickles and store then in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator. Before serving, put them back in the air fryer and heat at 400ºF for about 3 minutes per side, until they’ve crisped up again.
Need ideas for using up leftover buttermilk? Try these recipes
- 1 (24-ounce) jar dill pickle slices
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 2 to 4 tablespoons hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot, Crystal, or sriracha)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- If you are using a metal air fryer basket, spray it well
with nonstick cooking spray.
- Drain the pickle slices on a double layer of paper towels.
- Place the flour in a small bowl. In another small bowl,
combine the buttermilk and hot sauce and stir to mix. In a third bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and cheese and stir to mix.
- Dredge each pickle slice in the flour, then dip it in the
buttermilk mixture, coating well, and finally coat it with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Arrange the coated pickle slices in a single layer in the
air fryer basket.
- Cook in the air fryer at 400ºF for 5 minutes. Using tongs,
gently turn each pickle slice over and then cook on the second side at 400ºF for 5 minutes. When done, the pickles will be browned and crispy.
- Serve hot with ranch dressing or another dipping sauce.
1. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute 2 large eggs whisked with the hot sauce.
2. I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce because I am addicted to it, but you could use Crystal, Tabasco, sriracha, or whatever hot sauce you like. Or leave it out if you’re not into spicy.
Amount Per Serving Calories 150 Total Fat 3g Saturated Fat 1g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 1g Cholesterol 7mg Sodium 465mg Carbohydrates 24g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 1g Sugar 2g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 6g