I LOVE my Ninja airfryer and I have used it almost every day since I got it in 2020. Despite having a hobbit sized kitchen, it lives on the counter. Frankly, I almost never turn on my oven anymore. If I have to make a full baking tray of roasted veg or a whole chicken, but thats it.
When Ninja offered to give me the new Ninja Speedi Rapid Cooker & Air Fryer, it was a no brainer. It takes up more counter space than my air fryer and I wasn’t sure I would want to sacrifice even more precious counter space. Getting me to swap out my air fryer for this machine was also going to be a hard sell. I vowed to use the Speedi exclusively for a month and see how I felt. So I don’t repeat what Libby has already said about the actual cooker, read here to get a great overview.
I will share my own recipes and experiments over the next month or so. For now, I’m just starting to venture outside of the recipes and meal combos that Ninja has provided.
This thing is, quite simply, the bomb.
It has 12 cooking features and allows you to bake bread, make desserts, cook just about any grain and protein. Throw rice, pasta or a grain with broth/water in the bottom, put your protein/veg on the rack and walk away. When the timer beeps, you have an entire meal waiting for you. I was suspicious, but it works. It works really well, in fact.
I have been using the chart provided with cooking times and methods to roast beets, bake potatoes and roast/air fry a ton of veg. What I like over straight up air frying is that steam and crisp method. Sometimes air frying can dry out longer cooking veggies like beets and brussells sprouts but the combined steam/crisp results in a well cooked, soft middle but you still get the crispy outside that the air fryer provides.
To get you started, Ninja has a growing list of recipes for you to try on their website. You can find everything from Salted Apple Caramel Cake and Pizza Dough Pretzel Buns to Chicken Parmesan with Penne. I have made a couple of things from this list and they have been solid, sound recipes that work.
On the website, you can use the Meal Builder to get a basic recipe plan based on what you want to cook. Plug in the elements you want to use for your dinner and Ninja will spit out a recipe based on your choices.
First you choose your base – variety of rice, grains, pastas and legumes to choose from
Next you pick your protein, including tofu and some plant based products
Choose your spices – they let you choose two max
Pick your veggies(up to 3)and finally, your toppings (as many as you like)
I plugged in ingredients I had in my fridge because I didn’t feel like going out for groceries. This meant white rice, tofu, tikka masala, curry, onion, carrot and mushrooms, topped with herbs, yogurt and toasted nuts or seeds.
Speedi Meal Builder in Action
Here is the recipe that was generated for me. Using that as my base, I made some alterations. First, I sautéed the onions and mushrooms in a bit of ghee before adding the rice and 2 cups of chicken broth. I added a bit of oil to the spices and rubbed my that all over my tofu instead of just coating them in the dry spices. Carrots were sliced into 1/2″ coins and I tossed those in a bit of oil oil and salt so they could be cooked on the crisper tray alongside the tofu.
I turned the yogurt into raita by adding some finely diced cucumber, red onion, cilantro, salt, cumin and lemon juice. This resulted in a tasty rice bowl, topped with crispy tofu, drizzled with raita and topped it all with some toasted almond slices for crunch.
This is a great little tool for the nights when you really only have a handful of ingredients on hand. Just punch them in and you will get an easy meal laid out for you with instructions and cooking times. Once you get comfortable with the Speedi, you can start to freestyle more and start using your own favourite recipes, adjusted to the machine.
So I joined a facebook group dedicated to the Speedi and am finding it really helpful. People share their successes, their failures, time and temps for things they have made. There are a couple others you can check out as well. Again, its all about getting comfortable with timing/function/temperatures and reading other people’s experiments can help that along.
I always like to find things that make these machines even more useful. For my Instant Pots, I have a cupboard full of trivets of varying heights, a 7″ cake pan that I use all the time, stainless strainers on feet etc.
So here are some things I have ordered to use with my Speedi:
200 perforated parchment liners allow the air to circulate but helps things to not stick and makes clean up easier for messy things
a 2 piece air fryer rack so I can fit more into my machine. This will allow me to cook twice as much in one go when the tray is in the bottom position.
This set of 7″ accessories has it all – a cake pan, a pizza/pie tin, a silicone cupcake pan, a grabber thing so you can get these out of the machine
It’s always handy to have a decent Spray Bottle for oil. This one is the cheapest but I think it’s one of the better ones.
My Ninja Speedi was gifted to me so that I could try it out and possibly review it. As always, my opinions are absolutely my own. This post also contains affiliate links