High Protein Healthy Fried Pickles

Give us a share 💪

Well, howdy there, pickle pals! Are you ready to take your snacking game to the next level? You should be!

Today we’re talking about a snack that’s both healthy and deliciously crispy: high-protein air fried pickles! That’s right. We’re taking this classic appetizer and giving it a nutritious twist. So grab a jar of your favorite pickles, and let’s get to it.

This recipe can also be used to make fried pickle chips, but I prefer spears for a higher pickle to breading ratio and more pickle crunch. However, since this is a high-protein breading, you can’t go wrong either way.

High Protein Air Fried Pickles

At only 52 calories and under 1g fat per pickle, including 5.8g of protein, you can enjoy these anytime, anywhere, without the guilt. Dip them into a Greek yogurt based sauce for even more protein, or just some sugar-free ketchup to keep the macros as-is.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 9 pickle spears
Calories 52 kcal


  • 9 pickle spears
  • 50 g egg (half will be leftover)
  • 50 g pickle juice (or milk)

Flour Mixture

  • 10 g all-purpose flour
  • 10 g collagen peptides
  • 10 g casein protein
  • 1.5 g baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder

Breading Mixture

  • 40 g panko bread crumbs
  • 20 g collagen peptides
  • 10 g parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder

Dipping Sauce

  • 90 g fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 22 g light mayonnaise
  • 15 g ketchup
  • 30 g fat-free milk
  • 1/4 t cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 t horseradish


  • Place pickle spears on a plate or tray lined with paper towel and let the juice drain for a little while. Then pat dry with extra paper towel to remove some additional moisture.
  • In a mixing bowl (large enough to easily fit your pickle spears), whisk together egg and pickle juice. (I used pickle juice for more pickle flavor, but milk works just as well).
  • In a second mixing bowl (or plate), sift together Flour Mixture ingredients
  • In a third mixing bowl (or plate), sift together Breading Mixture ingredients. (If your panko bread crumbs are very large, I would recommend pulsing them in a blender or food processor. You want them larger than regular breadcrumbs, but small enough to uniformly coat the pickles).
  • First flour coating: Add pickles to egg mixture with wet hand, pick one up, allow excess egg to drop off, drop into flour mixture, coat with dry hand, place on wire rack. Repeat for all pickles.
  • Second flour coating: Return each pickle back to the flour mixture to pick more up. Repeat until most of the flour mixture is gone then dump the leftover into breading mixture. (This step is optional for the final result, but recommended for accurate macros).
  • First breading: One at a time, add pickle to egg mixture with wet hand, pick up and let excess drip off, drop into flour mixture and coat with dry hand. Place on wire rack and repeat for all pickles.
  • Second breading: Return each pickle back tot he breading mixture to pick more up. Repeat until most of the breading is gone. You can add the last bits onto the pickles by hand. (This step is optional for the final result, but recommended for accurate macros).
  • Lightly spray air fryer basket with oil, add as many pickles as you can fit, then lightly spray the tops of them with a little more oil. Air fry at 390F / 200C for 9-10 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  • Let cool slightly and enjoy with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add more seasoning to taste.



  • Nutritional info accounts for all of the breading, half of the egg mixture, and a little bit of spray oil. Dipping sauce not included.
Keyword Air Fryer, Pickles

Why This Recipe Works

A Deliciously Healthy Pickle Snack

Pickles are a very low (almost no!) calorie food, but frying them means you’re adding all fats and carbs. Our high-protein air-fried pickles will solve that for you!

Breading Full of Flavors

The breading mixture is where things really get interesting! We’ve swapped out traditional bread crumbs for panko for less oil and fat retention. The parmesan cheese and collagen peptides complete the breading base to boost protein, crunch, and flavor. This mixture is seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to amp up the taste.

Additionally, aside from being an excellent binder, eggs are also a good source of protein and fats that are good for the heart.

Tangy and Healthy Dipping Sauce

No fried pickle is complete without a delicious dipping sauce, and our recipe doesn’t disappoint.

Using fat-free Greek yogurt as the base provides tons of volume and added protein for our dipping sauce. It also contains a delicious blend of low-fat, high-protein mayo, ketchup, and fat-free milk, with a touch of Cajun seasoning and horseradish for a little kick.

This sauce is the perfect complement to the tangy, crispy pickles, and of course, it’s guilt-free!

Effortless Cooking

With only a handful of ingredients and a short cooking time in the air fryer, this recipe is quick and easy to make. It’s an excellent option for a healthy and satisfying snack that you can whip up in no time.

Toppings and Customizations for Healthy Fried Pickles

Different Pickle Varieties

While our recipe calls for pickle spears, you can also use other pickle slices or varieties such as pickle chips, bread and butter pickles, spicy pickles, or dill slices. Try different types to see which ones you like best!

Pickle Fries

Instead of cutting the pickles into spears, you can slice them into thin strips to create pickle fries. These are perfect for dipping and make a great snack or appetizer.

Dill Pickles Dip

Are you a fan of dill pickles? We all have our favorite dipping sauce! Try a healthy dill pickle dip version by mixing some fresh dill, pickles, lemon juice, and Greek yogurt.

Customized Seasonings

Feel free to mix up the seasonings in the flour blend and breading to suit your taste preferences. Try adding different herbs and spices, such as paprika, cumin, or rosemary, to create unique flavor combinations.

Different Breading

While our recipe calls for panko bread crumbs, you can use different bread crumbs, crushed-up pretzels, or cornflakes for a crunchy breading. You can also mix in different types of protein powders, such as whey or pea protein, to increase the protein content even further.

Make ‘Em Gluten-Free

If you’re gluten intolerant, you can easily swap the all-purpose flour with any gluten-free mixture, like buckwheat or almond flour. Meanwhile, you can replace the breading with gluten-free bread crumbs or blended corn cereal.

Make ‘Em Dairy-Free

For a dairy-free version, substitute the casein protein with an unflavored plant protein like pea, rice, or a blend. You can also try egg white protein powder.

You can omit the parmesan cheese or use a finely grated dairy-free cheese. Then use any dairy-free sauce of your choice to dip the air fryer-fried pickles in.

Expert Tips for Air Fryer Pickles

Choose the right pickles

Go for firm and crunchy pickles to get the best results. Our recipe uses pickle spears as they’re easier to hold and eat. You can use either dill or bread and butter pickles, but make sure they are not too thin or too thick.

Drain excess pickle juice

Before starting the breading process, drain or pat dry the excess juice off your pickle spears. This makes it easier for the batter to stick to the pickles and prevents the breading from becoming too soggy.

Add pickle juice for extra flavor

For extra pickle-y flavor, try adding some pickle juice to the egg mixture used for breading. This will infuse the pickles with an even more delicious taste. Trust us, it’s worth it!

Use larger bowls to avoid messy coating

When it comes to breading your pickles, bigger is better. Use larger bowls for easier, more even coating and less mess.

Pulse the bread crumbs for uniform coating

If your bread crumbs are too coarse, pulse them a few times in a blender or food processor. You want them small enough to uniformly coat the pickles without having empty spots between them.

You also need to mix the breading mixture well to ensure that the protein powder and flour are evenly distributed.

Drip excess egg to avoid clumping

To get the best out of the breading process, keep one hand for the wet ingredients (the egg mixture) and the other for the dry ingredients (the flour mixture or breading.)

You must also let the excess egg drip off of the pickles before adding the breading mixture to coat them in batches to avoid clumps of breading in your bowl.

Spray light oil on the air fryer fried pickles

Before air frying your pickles, lightly spray them with cooking oil to make them crispy and golden brown. We also suggest you preheat the air fryer first to ensure uniform cooking.

Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket

Leave enough space between each pickle. Overcrowding the air fryer basket can prevent the pickles from cooking evenly and getting crispy.

You can also flip the pickles halfway through cooking to ensure the pickles are cooked on both sides.

Bulk Prepping and Storage Tips

Cool your pickles

These healthy air fryer pickles are best served immediately, but what if you have remaining pickles to munch on? Easy — just store them!

Once the pickles are cooked and crispy, allow them to cool completely before storing them. This will prevent excess moisture from building up and making them soggy.

Store in an airtight container

If you plan to eat them within a day or two, store the air-fried pickles in an airtight container in the refrigerator. A plastic container or a zip-top bag will work well. They will still retain their crunchiness and flavor for up to 3 days.

Freeze the pickles

For an extended period of storage, you can freeze the pickles. Arrange them on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer until completely frozen. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag and store them in the freezer.

Reheat the pickles in the air fryer

When you’re ready to eat the pickles, pop them in the air fryer for a few minutes until they’re heated and crispy again. This is a great option if you want to have a quick and easy snack on hand.

You can also heat them in the oven or toaster oven. Note: Avoid using the microwave, as it can make the pickles soft and soggy.

Store the flour and breading mix

Another tip is to store the flour and breading mixture separately in airtight containers. This way, you can quickly bread and air fry pickles whenever you’re in the mood for a healthy snack.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can fried pickles be healthy?

Yes, fried pickles can be healthy depending on the cooking method and ingredients used. (Just like our recipe!) Air frying instead of deep frying and using healthier breading ingredients like collagen peptides and casein protein increase protein and decrease fat and calorie content. Additionally, serving with a healthy dipping sauce like fat-free Greek yogurt can also make the dish more nutritious.

What’re healthier, fried pickles or french fries?

In general, fried pickles are a healthier option than French fries as they are typically lower in calories and fat. However, despite potatoes being relatively calorie dense, the healthiness of both options depends on the method of preparation, the ingredients used, and portion sizes.

Air frying or baking can make both options healthier than deep frying, and using whole grain breading or swapping regular potatoes for sweet potatoes can increase the nutritional value.

How do I make fried pickles crispy?

The most critical factors in making fried pickles crispy are the type of breading, using a little oil, and the cooking method.

We use panko as it’s already very crispy to begin with. But it’ll need some oil to crisp up in the air fryer. Our recipe also takes advantage of an air fryer as it heats quickly and evenly on all sides. By comparison, the bottoms of the fried pickles will not get crispy if you bake them on a sheet in the oven.

How long do you heat up fried pickles in an air fryer?

For our air fryer fried pickle recipe, we recommend heating the snack for 9 to 10 minutes or until golden and crispy. There’s not too much risk if you overcook them since the pickles have a ton of moisture. Just keep an eye on them and adjust the cooking time as needed to achieve the desired level of crispness.

Can you put a pickle in an air fryer?

Yes! And that is exactly what we’ve done in our pickle spears recipe.

It’s a healthier alternative to traditional deep-fried pickles, and it results in a crispy texture with less oil. Just make sure to drain excess moisture from the pickles and use a cooking spray before placing them in the air fryer.

Do fried pickles taste good?

We absolutely think they do! But that’s just us, and we love pickles. Combining crispy breading and tangy pickle flavor creates a unique and satisfying taste experience. If you like pickles, then you will love them fried, too!

Why are my fried pickles soggy?

Air-fried fried pickles may turn out soggy if not cooked long enough or if the air fryer temperature is too low. Additionally, using too much batter or not draining the excess liquid from the pickles before breading can also cause them to turn out soggy. Another reason could be overcrowding the air fryer basket, which can lead to uneven cooking and excess moisture buildup.

How many calories are in fried pickles?

The calorie count for fried pickles can vary depending on the breading and frying method, but a deep-fried pickle spear usually has 174 calories, 30 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fat.

Our air-fried pickles are only 52 calories each, with 4.5 grams of carbs and only 0.6 grams of fat.


Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the article, and now you’re probably craving some delicious, crispy, and healthy high-protein air-fried pickles. With this recipe, you can indulge in a tasty snack with your favorite dipping sauce without guilt and even get some extra protein in your diet. This snack can be served fresh or for later. Plus, with all the customizations and expert tips we provided, you’ll be an air frying pro in no time!

About FitHackr

Building a collection of high protein, macro friendly recipes so you can get and stay fit while eating your favorite foods.

Developing, testing, and shooting new recipes every week. Follow the social media pages below for new recipes as they’re released.