The Viral TikTok Pasta That’s Not Worth It (and What to Make Instead)
Published on July 18, 2021
Last updated March 9, 2022
Have you heard about the air fryer pasta chips that are all over TikTok and Instagram? You basically boil up some pasta, drain it, and season as though you were going to eat it. But instead, you throw it in the air fryer for about 10 to 12 minutes. And then you eat it (with or without dipping sauce).
We wanted to see if it was worth all the fuss, so we tried it. Here’s what we thought.
We Tried Air Fryer Pasta Chips
As mentioned above, the basic recipe for air fryer pasta chips seems fairly straightforward. Boil, drain, season, fry. As it turns out, there’s a fine line among unevenly crispy pasta, perfect evenly-crisped air fried pasta, and burned pasta. I knew right away I was not up for sussing it out.
I air fried our first batch of cooked penne, seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and Parm, for 10 minutes. Some pieces were crunchy; some just tasted like overcooked pasta that got stuck to the bottom of the pan. I popped it back in for a couple more minutes, which seemed to help cook the ones that weren’t done yet. However, I still wasn’t totally enamored of the result.
The second batch, I put it in straight away for 12 minutes. The whole batch was basically burnt. Go figure.
Could I have tried other pasta shapes besides penne? Yes. I also could have used coconut oil or avocado oil instead of olive oil. But, it was hard to see the point. It just didn’t seem worth the effort of going through a couple of pounds of pasta to hit some kind of pasta chip jackpot. Honestly? It feels like an affront to pasta to treat it this way.
My son Desmond, who is adventurous and helped me put this together, did like the pasta chips despite their shortcomings. My other son, Miles, came running downstairs when he smelled what was going on. Then he picked up a piece of air fried pasta, dipped it in the marinara, proclaimed, “This pasta isn’t cooked,” and ran back upstairs.
What to Make Instead of Air Fryer Pasta Chips
In my opinion, you’re better off slicing up beets, potatoes, or zucchini, or chopping up broccoli or Brussels sprouts, and tossing them in the air fryer for a crunchy and healthy snack. Feel free to season it to your heart’s content with Parm, some herbs, salt, and pepper, nutritional yeast, or whatever you like. Or, if you’re going to make pasta, make pasta!