Air Fryer Chicken Breasts


Author: Lisa Childs

Comments: 0

Category: Air Fryer Recipes

Published Date: November 18, 2021

Updated Date: January 12, 2023

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Air Fryer Chicken Breasts are the perfect weeknight meal: fast, healthy, and delicious, they’re perfect with some fresh veggies and rice. Plus, this recipe allows for so many seasoning variations that you can make them on repeat and they’ll never get old! 

Top view of Air fryer chicken breast sliced and whole topped with seasoning and next to parsley and carrots all on a wooden board

How long do chicken breasts take in an air fryer? 

Depending on how thick and cold your chicken breasts are, they will take between 20-30 minutes to cook in an air fryer. To cook them faster, pound the breasts into cutlets that are uniform in size. These smaller, uniform cutlets can take as little as 18 minutes to cook.

Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

Air fryer breaded chicken breast 

This recipe explains how to cook air fryer chicken breast with no breading. However, you can also make a breaded chicken breast in your air fryer. 

Bread the chicken breast by dredging it in seasoned flour, then dipping it first into beaten eggs, then into breadcrumbs (similar to my Air Fryer Cauliflower Bites). Spritz the chicken with oil and cook it as directed in this recipe. 

Close up of raw chicken breast with seasoning in air fryer

Can you put raw chicken in an air fryer? 

Yes! We usually use our air fryers to crisp up leftovers or to make pre-cooked foods, but you can definitely put raw chicken in an air fryer! The air fryer is just like an oven in that it can cook almost anything—even raw chicken. 

I also love making raw air fryer bacon, air fryer salmon, or even fresh air fryer hamburgers or frozen hamburgers in the air fryer

Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer? 

Yes, you can use aluminum foil in an air fryer, as well as parchment paper. You can also use any oven-safe container (such as a cake pan, casserole dish, or ramekin) so long as it fits into the air fryer basket. 

Air fryer chicken breasts bone-in 

Bone-in chicken breasts are usually much larger and thicker than boneless chicken breasts. If possible, pound the breast between two sheets of parchment paper to make it as uniformly thick as possible. 

Close up of Air fryer chicken breast sliced and topped with seasoning and next to parsley all on a wooden board

Cook the chicken as directed for this recipe but add about 5-10 minutes to the cook time. As always with chicken, the best way to check for doneness is to use an instant-read cooking thermometer. I swear by my Thermapen and use it every single day! 

Pierce the thermometer right into the thickest part of the chicken breast, taking care not to touch the bone. You’ll want to reach a minimum of 165º F for chicken, but try not to let the internal temperature get much higher than that to avoid dry meat.

How to make air fryer chicken breasts 

Step #1: Prep

Remove the chicken breasts from the refrigerator at least an hour before cooking. Allowing the chicken to reach room temperature will help it to cook more evenly and remain moist inside. Use a paper towel to dry the chicken breasts, then brush or spritz them with olive oil. 

I like to use an oil spritzer that I picked up on Amazon.

Read about my top 28 Amazon Kitchen Finds I actually use and LOVE.

To season the breasts, feel free to use your favorite seasoning. I like to use lemon pepper, cajun seasoning, Montreal Steak seasoning, butter seasoning, or just salt/pepper/garlic powder. This air fryer chicken recipe is a great one to make on repeat because it’s so easy to switch up flavor combinations just by using different spice sets! 

If you want some spice variation, you can also try snagging a premixed spice blend. Trader Joe’s has several spice mixes that are proven crowd pleasers—the 21 Seasoning Salute and the Chili Lime Seasoning Blend are two of their bestsellers.  

Air fryer chicken breasts in air fryer topped with seasoning and next to carrots
I added some baby carrots spritzed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper about halfway through cooking

Step #2: Cook

Preheat the air fryer to 360º F. Add the seasoned chicken breasts to the basket, and set the air fryer to cook for 30 minutes. Halfway through cooking, flip the chicken breasts over and brush or spritz them with additional oil. 

My chicken breasts were finished in the air fryer after 27 minutes (when they registered at 165º F on the thermometer). Remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for at least 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

One idea to serve may be to shred or cube the chicken, then use it in my absolute FAVORITE Chicken Salad Sandwiches.

What to serve with air fryer chicken breasts

Graphic of The Best Ever Air Fryer Chicken Breast with one picture of cooked chicken breasts.

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts are the perfect weeknight meal: fast, healthy, and delicious, they’re perfect with some fresh veggies and rice.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 128kcal
Author: Lisa Childs

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large chicken breasts fat trimmed off and raised to room temperature (remove from fridge 40-60 minutes before cooking)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil for brushing or spritzing
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the air fryer to 360º F.
  • Use a paper towel and dry the chicken breasts, then brush or spritz the chicken with olive oil.
  • Mix together the dry ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the chicken breast on both sides. Alternatively, season with your favorite seasoning blend. I like Montreal Steak Seasoning, BBQ Rub, Cajun Seasoning, or Lemon Pepper.
  • Add the seasoned chicken breasts to the basket and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature in the thickest part reaches 165º F.
  • Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

NOTES

My chicken breasts were finished in the air fryer after 27 minutes (when it registered at 165º). This time will only work when the chicken has been left to come up to room temperature. Cold chicken straight from the fridge will take much longer to cook, and will make the outside of the chicken dry and leave the inside raw.
If your chicken breasts are thinner or are pounded to a uniform cutlet, they will take between 15-20 minutes.
If the chicken starts looking a little dry, spritz or brush with more oil while cooking.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1g | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 1103mg | Fiber: 1g
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Hi! I'm Lisa!


I founded Tried, Tested, and True in 2019 to help moms like me develop confidence and joy in the kitchen.

Since then, I have taught millions of home cooks around the world through our tried and true recipes and Youtube tutorials.

In 2021, I wrote my first book called, “I Love My Instant Pot: Cooking for One”!

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