A quick but flavorful air fryer chicken breast recipe that is ready in just 20 minutes! With a super simple breading that gets crispy and delicious in the air fryer.
The air fryer is such a great appliance to get crispy food quickly! Some of my favorite recipes to cook in the air fryer are roasted chickpeas and air fryer shrimp, as well as this air fryer chicken breast!
With deliciously seasoned breading and juicy meat, this air fryer chicken breast is a breeze to prep.
My kids go nuts for it, and I feel better serving this to them (or these air fryer chicken tenders), than a processed bag of chicken nuggets.
And the best part is that it can be on your table in just 20 minutes!
Reasons you’ll love this air fryer chicken breast recipe
- you don’t need to turn on the oven
- it cooks the chicken through in just 6 minutes
- you get a delicious crispy texture to the breading without the need for a ton of oil
Don’t forget to pin this post to save it for later!
I bet you’ve never made a breaded chicken recipe that is this simple before! We are skipping the traditional flour/egg/breading routine in favor of a simpler and faster way of getting things done.
Here’s how to cook chicken breast in air fryer:
- slice chicken breasts in half across to make 2 thin slices per breast
- brush with olive oil
- mix up breading: bread crumbs, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and a tiny bit of cayenne
- coat chicken all over in the breading, shake excess off
- cook 2 slices at a time in a single layer in your air fryer basket (see *): 6 minutes total, flipping partway through. You can test with a digital thermometer to make sure your chicken reaches 165°F or cut one open.
* depending on your air fryer model you may be able to fit more in the basket.
Which breading works best in the air fryer?
When it comes to the breading, the details are important.
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
So make sure that you use regular breadcrumbs for best results with this chicken breast air fryer recipe.
Prep ahead and reheat later
Surprisingly, this recipe reheats really well, which is super handy for busy nights.
Cook as directed in the recipe card, then cool and store in an air tight container. Reheat in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes, until heated through and breading becomes crispy again!
Breading swaps- keto + gluten-free options
Keto- Some readers have had success with this recipe by swapping the breadcrumbs for pork rinds! I have not personally tried.
Gluten-free- I feel confident that you could swap the breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs, but again, I have not personally tried this. Leave us a comment if you try this air fryer chicken breast with GF breadcrumbs!
What to serve with this chicken
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it is so versatile! Here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with it:
- Roasted vegetables– our current favorites are these Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
- Side salad– like this Staple Kale Salad or a leafy salad tossed in this Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Potatoes– roasted in the oven, grilled like these Ultra Crispy Grilled Potatoes, or mashed like these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Cauliflower– this Fluffy Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower might just be better than mashed potatoes!
More air fryer recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- 36+ Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- Air Fryer Tofu
- Air Fryer Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos
Air Fryer Chicken Video
Wondering how this all comes together? Watch the 1-minute video below. It’s so easy! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
This post was originally published in 04/2018. It was rewritten and republished (with a new video) in 09/2019. Same great recipe!
20 Minute Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (roughly 2 large)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs (see *)
- 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 horizontally 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 a single layer 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 either check with a digital thermometer that chicken has reached 165°F or cut one in half.
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.