Learn how to cook chicken breasts in the air fryer using this Air Fryer Chicken Breast guide! It’s a hands-off and quick cooking method that leaves you with crispy, juicy and flavorful chicken every time.
You won’t find any breading in this Air Fryer Chicken Breast recipe, but the outside is still crispy and well-seasoned, while the inside is incredibly succulent. It’s a perfect protein for dinner tonight, just like Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks!
There are 3 elements to this fail-proof chicken recipe:
- Chicken breasts
- A simple seasoning mix
Once seasoned, the chicken cooks in the air fryer for about 10 minutes, then is ready to eat! Just like that, you have juicy, tender, and downright delicious chicken breasts to pair with any side or use in healthy chicken recipes, like Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Buffalo Chicken Pasta, Chicken Pesto Pasta, Chicken Alfredo Pizza, and so much more.
- Never cook bland or dry chicken breasts again! Air fryer chicken breasts always turn out flavorful, super juicy, and without the added oil from pan-searing.
- It’s a simple, no-nonsense protein that’s easy to cook and pairs well with everything.
- You can use fresh or frozen chicken! I’ll show you how to air fry both.
Chicken breasts - This recipe calls for two chicken breasts, which most air fryers can fit (depending on the size of the chicken). However, if your air fryer has even more room, feel free to double or triple the recipe! Both fresh and frozen chicken breasts work here; head to the FAQs for more instructions.
Olive oil - Oil not only helps the seasonings stick to the chicken but also allows the outside to become golden while keeping the inside succulent. Avocado oil or another oil with a high smoke point would work well as a substitute.
Dry herbs and spices - You need a mix of garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, oregano, parsley, and black pepper.
Step 1: Blend the spices. Start by mixing the herbs and spices in a small bowl.
Step 2: Season the chicken. Season each chicken breast with a drizzle of oil, then the spices. Coat all sides.
Step 3: Air fry the chicken breasts. Transfer the seasoned chicken to the air fryer basket. Cook, flipping once, until the outside is crisp and the inside is cooked through (the internal temperature should be 165ºF).
Step 4: Rest, then serve. Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice once they’re done, then enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Are your chicken breasts on the larger side? I recommend pounding them with a meat mallet into an even thickness to help them cook evenly and quickly. To do so, lay the pieces between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to an even 1-inch thickness.
- Brining chicken breasts is the best way to tenderize and saturate the meat. To do so, place the chicken breasts in a pot filled with 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of salt. Keep it covered in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours, then remove, pat dry, and season as normal.
- Play with the flavors by customizing the seasonings. You can swap the listed herbs and spices for lemon pepper, Italian, Cajun, blackened, herbs de Provence, Greek, or dry BBQ rub seasoning.
- For a spicy version, use the seasoning blend from my pan-seared chicken breast recipe. It’s similar to this recipe but adds cayenne for a kick.
What temperature is best to cook chicken breasts in the air fryer?
I find that cooking chicken breasts in an air fryer preheated to 380°F is the sweet spot for juicy, tender chicken.
How long does it take to cook raw chicken breasts in the air fryer?
Cooking the chicken breasts for 4 minutes at 380ºF is a good place to start. From there, flip each piece and continue cooking for 2 to 6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
The cook time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts and the functionality of your air fryer. Use these cook times as a starting point:
- Small (5 to 7 oz.): 6 minutes
- Medium (8 to 9 oz.): 8 minutes
- Large (10+ oz.): 10 minutes
Can I cook frozen chicken breasts in the air fryer?
Yes. While thawing the frozen chicken breasts in the fridge overnight is usually the best way to go, you can also air fry them directly from frozen in a pinch.
First, cook the frozen chicken in the air fryer at 380°F until thawed (about 10 minutes). Next, pat the chicken breasts dry and coat them with the oil and spices. Return to the air fryer and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Why are my chicken breasts dry?
This likely means the chicken has been overcooked. You can avoid dry chicken breasts by checking for doneness with a meat thermometer.
Food safety guidelines recommend cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F, but remember that this temperature will continue to rise as the chicken rests after cooking. For that reason, remove the chicken once it’s between 160ºF and 162°F. Tent it with foil on a cutting board and let the residual heat continue cooking the chicken to temperature.
What can I serve with this chicken?
Air fryer chicken breasts are delicious for dinner and pair well with plenty of healthy side dishes, like easy weeknight broccoli, everything bagel green beans, or sauteed asparagus. They’re also great for slicing and serving on top of salads like winter kale salad or summer sweet potato salad.
Did you end up with leftovers? Repurpose the chicken for salads, soups, pasta, and more, such as mango chicken salad, chicken quinoa soup, chicken broccoli ziti, and whole30 chicken salad.
Refrigerator: Let the leftover chicken breasts cool to room temperature, then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: Once the cooked chicken has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for 3 to 4 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Reheating: You can reheat cooked chicken breasts in an air fryer at 350ºF until warmed through (about 5 minutes).
More air fryer chicken recipes
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Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- Air fryer
- 1 lb. chicken breast (2 chicken breasts)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon parsley
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Combine the garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, oregano, parsley, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil, then use your hands to smooth is over so the chicken is coated. Next, sprinkle the spice mixture over the chicken and again, use your hands to press it in so the chicken is coated.
- Preheat your air fryer to 380° (this should take about 3 minutes). Spray your air fryer with a little nonstick spray, then place the chicken smooth side down and cook it for 4 minutes. Use kitchen tongs to flip it over and cook for an additional 2-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165°F (allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing so it can continue cooking a bit). Slice and enjoy!
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