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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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What to serve with air fryer chicken breasts
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
- Instant Pot Green Beans
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Instant Pot Salt Potatoes
- Instant Pot Broccoli + FAQ
- Air Fried Green Beans
- Instant Pot Long Grain White Rice
- Instant Pot Brown Rice
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
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- 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
- 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.
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.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 1103mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 19g