Learning to make Air Fryer chicken breast is a foolproof way of cooking juicy succulent boneless, skinless chicken breasts without worrying about overcooked rubbery meat again! The results are perfectly seasoned and crispy on the outside without the need for breading or deep frying.
The process is effortless and the results are always tasty!
If you're a meat-eating family like mine, chicken breast is probably a staple in your dinner rotation.
And if your kids are anything like mine, you've probably heard “chicken again?!” more times than you can count!
It's not hard to get into a slump. It's quick, easy, and healthy, so it's a protein I tend to stock up on, especially when it's on sale. It goes with so many side dishes for easy weeknight meals as well as special occasions. Plus, you can meal prep for later on and use any leftover chicken breast in so many other recipes.
So, I use it a lot which is why using this recipe is exactly what we all need to shake things up!
Why This Recipe Works
- No breading: Skinless breasts are a lean source of protein but that doesn't mean we don't love a flavorful crispness on the outside. This happens without excess oil or breading, but of course, you can add breading if you'd like!
- So much flavor: I use a simple seasoning with just a handful of spices you've probably got on hand. The way I flavor my chicken is just a jumping-off point. Next time, try your own seasoning blend for a change!
- Quick and easy: A complete dinner can be ready in under 30 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, the oven or stove is free for making side dishes!
- Freezer-friendly: Meal prep is made easy! Quickly pop some chicken in the air fryer and once it is cooled, freeze them for dinners down the road!
How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer
The Air Fryer uses convection heat to circulate and cook what's inside. It's kind of like magic! We do need to consider the size of our meat to make sure we're cooking it for the right amount of time.
- Small breasts (5-6 ounces) - Cook for 8-10 minutes.
- Medium breasts (7-9 ounces) - Cook for 10-12 minutes.
- Large breasts (10 ounces or more) - Cook for 12-14 minutes.
As always, the best way to test for doneness is to use a meat thermometer.
How to Make This Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe
Step 1: Once you've cleaned your chicken breast and trimmed off any excess fat, pat them dry with a paper towel.
Step 2: In a small bowl, mix the seasonings. Drizzle olive oil onto the chicken and use your hands (you can use gloves if you want) to rub the oil all over the chicken. The bit of oil will help get a crispy exterior and will also help the seasoning stick to the meat.
Step 3: Sprinkle the seasoning blend onto both sides of the chicken, then place them in the air fryer basket. Make sure to not overcrowd the basket, and leave enough room in between each one for the heat to circulate.
Step 4: Air fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway. Once it is brown on the outside and 165°F on the inside, your chicken is ready!
- Use a scale. If you're unsure of the size of your chicken breast, use a kitchen scale for accuracy. That way you're not overcooking or undercooking anything.
- Cook in batches if needed. You want to leave enough space between each breast so that they cook evenly.
- Press pause if needed. The neat thing about this little convection oven is the ability to pause cooking to check on the temperature. Check sooner rather than later so you don't accidentally overcook the meat.
- Allow the chicken to rest. Once you remove the Air Fryer chicken breast, transfer it to a plate to rest for 5 minutes. This way, the juices will have time to settle and redistribute throughout the breast before cutting into it.
- If you slice the chicken too early, the juices will run out. Resting it prevents it from drying out.
Ways to Use Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
There are endless ways to use them and below are just a few ideas:
Use it as your main meal and serve it with a side of mashed potatoes or rice and veggies. Make some Instant Pot asparagus while you're using the Air Fryer or enjoy it with Air Fryer potato skins while you're at it!
Use cooked chicken for all sorts of recipes like casseroles, sandwiches, wraps, as a pizza topping, or in chicken noodle soup.
Absolutely! Just like you can put raw chicken in a conventional oven, it's how you cook chicken in the air fryer.
Yes, you can. This is a game changer when it comes to forgetting to take the meat out to thaw! You will need to cook it a little longer at 375°F for 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway. Keep in mind, the seasoning won't stick as well, so you may need to add a bit more seasoning halfway through. Make sure the internal temperature is 165°F before serving.
You don't need to, but if you have extra time beforehand, it never hurts! It's a way to penetrate even more moisture and flavor into the meat. The water also helps to even out the temperature inside the meat which helps with even cooking.
If you're going to brine the chicken in salt water, do it for a minimum of 2 hours to a maximum of 6 hours.
When making this recipe for Air Fryer chicken breasts, it takes into account the cooking time once the chicken is placed in the basket without any preheating. So no, you don't need to preheat it first. Can this be any easier?!
How to store leftovers
Once cooled, transfer Air Fryer chicken breast to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to freeze
When placed in a freezer-friendly container or zip-top bag, you can freeze chicken for up to 3 months. Even more, if you're using a deep freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge when you're ready to use it.
How to reheat
Pop it right back in the air fryer to heat through. You can also use the microwave if you're in a time crunch, but keep in mind, this way may lead you to drier meat.
Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- In a small bowl, mix together garlic powder, onion powder, ground paprika, salt, pepper, and dried oregano.
- Drizzle olive oil onto the chicken and rub all over. Sprinkle the seasoning blend onto both sides of the chicken.
- Place the chicken in the air fryer basket, you may need to cook in batches to avoid overcrowding. Air fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway, until brown on the outside and the internal temperature is 365°F.