Blistered shishito peppers are one of my favorite side dishes! They are cute little bite sized Japanese peppers that offer a nice burst of flavor.
Usually the peppers are mild, but every 10 or so is spicy hot, so eating them is adventure because you never know what you will get! Sprinkle them with a little salt for a fun appetizer that is addictive to eat.
And air frying shishito peppers is the perfect way to cook them. The high heat of the air fryer makes it simple to char the skin of the peppers.
Why You Will Love Air Fryer Shishito Peppers
- They are ridiculously easy to make. The only ingredients you need to add is a small squirt of oil and a little salt.
- These peppers make a simple, low effort appetizer, side dish or snack and are perfect for a game day snack,
- It is fun to eat them and see who gets the spicy peppers. Somehow it always seems like the one person who doesn’t love spicy food ends up with the spiciest individual pepper!
- This is a healthy side dish or appetizer since it uses almost no oil. And these peppers are low carb, keto friendly, dairy free and pretty much anything else you can think of!
What are Shishito Peppers?
These are small and skinny green peppers that come from eastern Asia. They are a type of mild chili peppers and are usually picked when they are bright green.
They will eventually turn red, but don’t make the mistake of thinking red ones will be hotter, they have just matured longer. You can find bags of them at many grocery stores, including Trader Joes and Wegmans.
How to Make Air Fryer Shishito Peppers
Rinse peppers in a colander and pat them dry. Then put them in a bowl and spray them with a little bit of oil. One of two squirts of oil are plenty.
Tip: It is best not to use a spray oil like Pam for cooking in the air fryer, because it can damage the finish on the basket. Get an inexpensive spray bottle and fill it with oil.
2. Air Fry Peppers
Put the peppers in the air fryer basket spreading them out so they are mostly in a single layer. My 5.8 quart Cosori air fryer can fit 16-20 peppers, which is a little bit over half of an 8 ounce bag. If you overcrowd the basket they will take longer to cook.
Set the air fryer at 390 degrees F and cook the peppers for 6 minutes, shaking the basket once halfway through the cooking time. How much char you want on the peppers is up to you.
I like mine to be wrinkled with some brown spots and the skin starting to peel off. If you want them more blackened cook return them to the air fryer for an additional 1-2 minutes.
How to Serve
Sprinkle the peppers with salt once they are cooked. You can serve these peppers with a dipping sauce or on their own. If you aren’t using a dipping sauce squeeze a little bit of lemon juice or lime juice over the top.
One of my favorite things to serve them with is to add spice to a simple grilled dinner like steak. They also go well with a spicy meal like tacos. And sometimes I just air fry them and eat them for a healthy mid afternoon snack!
Shishito Peppers Dipping Sauce
If you are using them as finger food a dipping sauce is always a nice touch! I like a cool sauce that contrasts with the spicy peppers.
A simple garlic aioli dip is my go to sauce. I can combine some mayonnaise with lemon juice and garlic while the peppers cook and have an easy sauce ready to go. I include a recipe for this simple sauce in the recipe card below.
Most shishito peppers are mild peppers with a sweet flavor, but occasionally one is hot. It is really difficult to predict how many hot peppers will be in a bag. Sometimes it is only 2 or 3, and sometimes it is half the bag. The uncertainty is part of the appeal!
Larger grocery stores or farmers markets frequently have shishito peppers. Trader Joe’s usually has them and my local Wegmans almost always does too. Check the fresh produce area of your local store. Spanish padron peppers are similar and can be substituted for shishito peppers.
You can reheat the peppers, just stick them back in the air fryer and heat them for 3-4 minutes. They keep for about 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They taste best the first time they are cooked though!
Find More Easy Air Fryer Veggies
- 15-20 shishito peppers (about 4 ounces)
- spray oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, optional
For Lemon Aioli Dip
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Rinse the peppers and pat them dry. Put them in a bowl and spray them with a little bit of oil.
- Put them in an air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry them at 390 degrees F for 6 minutes.
- The peppers should be wrinkled with the skin starting to peel and some brown spots. If you want them darker return them to the air fryer for 1-2 additional minutes.
- Sprinkle the charred peppers with salt and pepper if desired. Make a dipping sauce or serve them with lemon wedges and top them off with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Garlic Aioli Sauce
- Whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice and minced garlic together. Serve as a dipping sauce for the peppers.
It is not recommended to use commercial spray oils in the air fryer because they can damage the finish of the basket. Buy an inexpensive spray bottle and fill it with oil for best results.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 30Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 5g
Nutrition facts are estimates and doesn't include dipping sauce.