How to make air fryer chicken breast- a healthier crispy breaded chicken that is ready in minutes and can be prepped ahead! Very little oil required.
Another air fryer post!
We purchased our air fryer in December and it has quickly become one of our favorite kitchen appliances. With very little oil, we can get nice, crispy food. It pre-heats so much quicker than an oven, and cooks food quicker, too!
We use it to make side dishes like ‘roasted’ potatoes, parmesan cauliflower, and crispy asparagus.
And it makes a mean chicken breast, too!
Don’t forget to pin this post to save it for later!
How to bread your air fryer chicken
For this recipe, I was aiming for something a bit like ‘KFC’ in flavor. Bear in mind that air fryer chicken is NEVER going to have the same texture as actual deep fried food, however it does get crispy.
I tried three different options for breading:
- all purpose flour ended up kind of soggy and not great in texture
- panko gave the crispiest texture, but all the seasonings sank to the bottom of the bowl, so it was lacking in flavor
- regular bread crumbs is the winner in this recipe as it gave the best compromise between crispy texture and great flavor
How to make air fryer chicken breast
Rather than traditional flour/egg/breading, I went simple with this recipe.
- Start by cutting each chicken breast in half so you have two thin slices
- Next brush all sides with olive oil.
- Using tongs, dredge in the breading. Dredge it several times until you get good coverage.
- Cook in the air fryer for 6 minutes, or until cooked through, then serve right away.
This air fryer chicken breast is perfect served on its own, served with a dipping sauce (how about this creamy cilantro lime dressing?) or maybe served on top of a salad.
It is slightly crispy, and with a ton of flavor in each bite. I haven’t eaten KFC in years but to me it reminded me of what you’d get there (flavor-wise, not texture-wise!).
And the best thing is that each serving is under 200 calories, making this air fryer chicken a healthy dinner option!
Tips for perfect air fryer chicken breast
- This is the air fryer model I have
- to make this recipe even easier to prep, assemble the breading ahead and store in an air tight container in the pantry
- looking for more air fryer recipes? Check out these air fryer chicken tenders and these air fryer chicken wings!
Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Heat air fryer to 390°F / 200 °C.
- Slice chicken breasts in half to make two thin chicken breast halves from each.
- Brush each side lightly with olive oil.
- Stir together the breading ingredients. Dredge the chicken breasts in the breading mulitple times until they are thoroughly coated.
- Shake off excess breading, and place in the air fryer (2 chicken breast halves at a time).
- Cook for 4 minutes, flip, then two more minutes. Cook time will depend on the size and thickness of your chicken breasts, so cut one in half to see if they are done.
To prepare ahead
- These air fryer chicken breasts may be cooked 2-3 days ahead and stored in the fridge. Place them back in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes until heated through and breading is crispy again.