Air Fryer Hush Puppies

air fryer hush puppies
Photo: Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist:Christine Keely Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

If there is one thing Southerners are truly great at, it's frying. We'll fry any and everything, from okra to pickles. Then, of course, there are a few fried mainstays that Mama has perfected—hush puppies being one of them. But fried food can be heavy, and frying can be a whole production—fit for special occasions, but maybe not your average weeknight. What if we told you that you could enjoy a lightened-up version of classic Hush Puppies any day of the week, no frying required? Meet our Air Fryer Hush Puppies.

We're not exaggerating when we say that these Hush Puppies, made entirely in the air fryer, are absolutely dynamite. These Air Fryer Hush Puppies have everything you love about the traditional Southern side—with none of the oil.

This recipe is simple and straight-forward, easily doable on weeknights or weekends alike. The batter for these puffy cornbread bites comes together entirely in one bowl. Buttermilk lends a tenderness to the hush puppies, while hot sauce adds a hint of spice and chives bring a pop of color.

Typically, if you were deep-frying, you wouldn't need to refrigerate the batter beforehand, but with air-frying the 10-minute trip to the fridge is essential—the batter firms up in the fridge, which helps it hold its shape in the air fryer. These Air Fryer Hush Puppies are great with tartar sauce, white BBQ sauce, or comeback sauce (or a trio of all three). If you're feeling indulgent, you could even serve these hush puppies with melted butter for dipping.


  • 1 ¼ cups (7¼ ounces) fine plain yellow cornmeal

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion (from 1 small [5 ounce] onion)

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

  • ½ cup whole buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce

  • 1 large egg

  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet, and set aside. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in onion and chives until combined. Whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, hot sauce, and egg in a small bowl. Stir buttermilk mixture into cornmeal mixture until just combined. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat air fryer and fry basket to 400°F for 10 minutes. Remove fry basket; carefully line with aluminum foil, and lightly coat foil with cooking spray. Working in 2 batches, scoop half of chilled batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into prepared basket, spacing hush puppies about ¼-inch apart. Lightly spray tops with cooking spray. Cook in preheated air fryer until puffed and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer cooked hush puppies to wire rack on baking sheet, and keep warm in preheated oven. Repeat with remaining half of batter. Serve immediately.

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