Air Fryer Pasta Fries

These garlic parmesan pasta fries are crunchy, flavorful, and super easy to make. And since they’re made with chickpea pasta, every serving has 9 grams of protein with just 16 grams of carbs!

I’ll walk you through the recipe below and cover ingredient notes as we go. You can also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. It’s a simple recipe but if you have questions about anything I don’t cover, drop a comment and I’ll help you out. 

All right, ready to learn how to make crispy fries from pasta in an air fryer (or oven—we’ll get to that in a minute)

pasta fries on a plate with dipping sauce

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Step 1: Partially cook 4 ounces of dry pasta. 

banza cavatappi in a glass bowl before adding water and microwaving

Similar to my Homemade Easy Mac recipe, I opted to cook my pasta in the microwave to cut down on time. Though you’re more than welcome to cook your pasta on the stovetop.

If you go the microwave route, just be sure to heed my advice on using a BIG bowl. I used a 1.5-quart and have yet to experience any overflow. The same can’t be said for anything smaller, however. If you don’t have a large bowl that’s microwave-safe, just go stovetop. 

banza cavatappi after microwaving for three and a half minutes

Pasta Notes

The recipe calls for Banza’s cavatappi pasta, which as you can see, look a bit like not-so-curly curly fries. While I haven’t tested every pasta shape under the sun, I’m guessing you could make pasta fries with just about any shape. I will point out, however, that different sizes will likely affect the cook time. Modify accordingly. 

As for chickpea vs traditional pasta, I only tested this recipe with chickpea pasta. Similar to shape, though, I’m guessing regular ol’ pasta will work just fine. I’ll report back once other readers have experimented. 

Step 2: Drain the pasta and toss with olive oil, grated parmesan, garlic powder, and black pepper.

microwaved pasta coated in olive oil, grated parmesan, garlic powder, and black pepper

Easy enough, right? 

If you’re looking for a dairy free substitute, nutritional yeast is usually a safe bet for a grated parmesan swap. I’m betting you can find a dairy free parmesan out there as well. Just grate it up yourself and roll with that. 

In terms of amounts used, I’ll mention the experiments I did with my air fryer carrot fries. Reducing the amount of olive oil and grated parmesan will still work, but it does impact the amount of diggity in the recipe quite a bit. So, I’d encourage you to stick to the script if at all possible. 

Step 3: Air fry at 400° for 12-14 minutes, shaking halfway through. 

coated pasta in the air fryer basket before air frying
Before air frying.

I used my 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi for this recipe. Cook times may vary with other air fryers so I’ve included photos of the starting point, halfway through air frying, and at the end of air frying. 

pasta after air frying for 7 minutes
Halfway through air frying.

At the halfway point, you may be able to shake the pasta enough to separate pieces. If not, use a spatula or tongs to carefully separate any chunks of pasta fries to get even frying in the back half. 

pasta after air frying for 12 minutes total
Finished pasta fries.

The pasta should be golden brown but not burned, and it should be slightly soft/chewy straight out of the air fryer. Don’t worry, it will get crispier in about 30-60 seconds. 

Step 4: Dig in!

You can get as creative as you’d like with your dipping sauces, but it’s hard to beat the classic—ketchup. Though I did mix a little Calabrian chili sauce for a spicy kick. I paired this combo with my air fried cauliflower gnocchi and fell in love!

If you’re wanting to make a meal out of it, you might try pairing your pasta fries with something like my Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers, Crispy Chicken Sandwiches, or Sloppy Joes. Or, and this might be crazy, you could make some loaded fries with a protein like my bbq pulled pork

Let me know what you come up with! 

What if I don’t have an air fryer?

To make these pasta fries in the oven, I would do everything the same and put them on a baking sheet with a wire rack. If you don’t have a rack, just flip them a time or two during cooking.

Since I haven’t tested them in the oven, I’m only guessing on time and temp, but I know several recipes come out great using the same time and temp. Start there and just keep in mind—the fries will be crispier after they come out of the oven. Don’t burn them to a crisp! 

That’ll do it. If you have any additional questions, don’t forget to drop a comment below. You can also join my free Facebook group to get some help from the nearly 13,000 home cooks there. 

Garlic Parmesan Air Fryer Pasta Fries

Garlic Parmesan Air Fryer Pasta Fries

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Crispy, crunchy fries made from pasta shells that come together in about 20 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Banza Cavatappi (or your choice of dry pasta)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 C Water
  • 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp (15g) Grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • Parsley Flakes and/or Crushed Red Pepper Flakes for Optional Toppings

Instructions

  1. Add the pasta, salt, and water to a LARGE bowl (I used a 1.5-quart glass bowl) and microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Stir and microwave an additional minute, watching for overflow. You can also cook for 3-4 minutes in a pot of boiling water. You don't want to completely cook the pasta in the water.
  2. Drain the water from the bowl before adding the olive oil. Stir to coat, carefully separating any clumps of pasta stuck together.
  3. Once the pasta is evenly coated in the olive oil, sprinkle the parmesan, garlic powder, and pepper over the pasta. Stir everything together to evenly coat the pasta.
  4. Add the pasta to an air fryer basket in an even layer. Air fry at 400F for 12-14 minutes, shaking halfway through. Be careful not to burn. The pasta should be golden brown and slightly chewy fresh out of the air fryer. It will get crispier as it cools so don't over cook in the air fryer.
  5. Top with red pepper, parsley flakes, and a pinch of salt. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce. I used a ketchup + Italian Bomba Pepper sauce mix.

Notes

1 serving of pasta fries has 4 WW SmartPoints (blue plan).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Servings Serving Size: 1 Serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 6gCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 9g

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4 thoughts on “Air Fryer Pasta Fries”

  • These were awesome! Loved the crunch from the air fryer. I added ranch powder to mind. It was a nice afternoon snack.

    • I just made these today using a box of chickpea penne I found in my cupboard! They were amazing! I added some white truffle olive oil to make it extra-gourmet and boy were these DELISH! I have to admit, I always am a sucker for crunchy things (and I always loved the crunchier edges of lasagna noodles and mac n cheese when baked!), and these were no exception!!! Great concept and execution once again!

  • I bought a 4 pack of Banza pasta when I found it at Costco. I wanted to try something different so decided to give this recipe a try. Wasn’t sure about pasta fries but you managed to do it again! Take an unusual approach to an unhealthy favorite. Loved the crispness and texture of the “fries”. Looking forward to trying these with different sauces and flavoring! Thanks!

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