This air fryer breaded chicken breast recipe is a healthier way to enjoy fried chicken without any deep frying in oil. The chicken comes out perfectly crispy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside and cooks in under 15 minutes, thanks to the air fryer.
You are going to become obsessed with this incredible air fryer breaded chicken breast. It is unbelievably golden and crispy, not to mention one of the juiciest chicken breast recipes ever. Plus, it is easily made gluten-free or dairy-free.
Getting any crispy chicken breast to result in juicy, flavorful chicken that is golden, crunchy, and moist is no easy feat. But, you are in the right place because cooking chicken in the air fryer is my specialty.
If you prefer parmesan chicken then you will love this healthy air fryer chicken parmesan.
- Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe
- Recommended Tools
- Ingredients You Will Need
- Other Optional Ingredients To Add More Flavor
- What Is The Best Method To Bread Chicken?
- How To Make Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast
- Tips For Juicy Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Breast
- How Long Should You Cook Chicken Breast In The Air Fryer?
- What size chicken breasts should I use?
- Do I Need To Use Oil To Air-Fry Chicken?
- How Will I Know When The Air Fryer Chicken Is Done?
- How can I Make Unbreaded Chicken Breast In The Air Fryer?
- Serving Suggestions
- Storing And Reheating Instructions
- More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
- Other Healthy Chicken Breast Recipes
- Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast
In this post, I am going to show you how to easily make healthy breaded chicken in the air fryer with minimal steps and ingredients.
Don’t have an air fryer? Try these oven-baked chicken cutlets. They take a bit longer to cook but will yield a similar result to this crispy breaded air fryer chicken. Also, you should 100% buy an air fryer, it is sort of life-changing.
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe
- Healthy and satisfying – One of the best aspects of this recipe is that it is a healthier alternative to fried chicken. By cooking the breaded chicken in the air fryer you get a nice juicy, golden chicken breast with less oil and fat.
- Easy and convenient – With the use of the air fryer, there is no need to heat the oven or deep fryer. Making this recipe straightforward and perfect for busy weeknights with minimal prep and cooking time needed.
- Versatile and customizable – This recipe is easily adaptable to any diet, make it spicy, gluten-free, keto, or dairy-free! It also works as a quick lunch or easy dinner.
- Crispy, juicy, flavorful chicken every time – The result of this recipe is irresistibly crispy air fryer chicken that is golden on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside every time! Which is why this recipe has been shared almost 300k times! It’s easy, so delicious, and pretty tough to mess up!
Here is a list of tools I recommend using when making this recipe.
- Air Fryer – I used the Ultrean air fryer when I created this recipe. Now I have the Instant Vortex 6-quart air fryer, which I recommend. It is a bit larger, easy to use, and clean!
- Measuring cups – accurately measure out the breadcrumbs and parmesan, if using.
- Measuring spoons – accurately measure the salt and pepper and any other spices you may want to add for even more flavor.
- Shallow bowls/trays – I love these for dredging any type of protein.
- Kitchen tongs – so you can easily remove the cooked chicken breasts from the air fryer.
- Air Fryer liners – this helps keep your air fryer cleaner when cooking foods coated in a breading, cutting down on cleaning time.
Ingredients You Will Need
- Chicken breast – try to find nice, plump boneless skinless chicken breasts that are organic and pasture-raised, if possible. I used 2 (6 oz) chicken breasts that I sliced in half to make cutlets. You can also buy thinly sliced chicken breast and use those in this recipe. It’s up to you.
- Eggs – you will need 2 large eggs to help the breading stick to the chicken. You can also use milk if you need to keep this recipe egg-free.
- Breadcrumbs – you can use any breadcrumbs mixture you like. Use parmesan breadcrumbs for the best results. I love gluten-free panko breadcrumbs that I turn into parmesan breadcrumbs. See the recipe tips below for how to make them yourself.
- Olive oil cooking spray – helps make the chicken super crispy and golden. Make sure to use non-aerosol cooking spray. You can also use a little bit of olive oil and just drizzle it over the chicken before you cook it.
- Salt and pepper – used to season the breading for even more flavor.
Other Optional Ingredients To Add More Flavor
- Parmesan cheese – if you are not using parmesan breadcrumbs.
- Parsley – dried or fresh will work.
- Red pepper flakes – for a nice spicy kick.
- Hot sauce – to sprinkle on after the crispy chicken is cooked.
- Lemon – another option to sprinkle on the chicken once it is done for a fresh, zippy finish.
*Get the complete list of recipe ingredients, detailed instructions and nutritional information in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.
What Is The Best Method To Bread Chicken?
Here are two main ways to bread chicken that I think work the best!
- Egg and breadcrumb method: Dip chicken pieces in beaten eggs, then coat them with breadcrumbs for a crispy outer layer before frying or baking. As I did in this recipe. See the steps, with photos below.
- Flour, egg, and breadcrumb method: Coat chicken pieces with flour, dip them in beaten eggs and finally coat them with breadcrumbs for a more substantial and textured breading before cooking. Like I did with these Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets.
How To Make Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast
Prep the chicken. Dry the chicken breast by patting it dry with a clean paper towel then slice it in half lengthwise with a sharp kitchen knife creating 4 chicken pieces that are even in size. Pound the chicken between some plastic wrap with a meat mallet if needed to make it more even.
Coat the chicken breast filets. Combine the breading ingredients in a shallow bowl and whisk the eggs in another separate shallow bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture then in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to press the breading into each piece of chicken as you coat it.
Place the breaded chicken into the air fryer. Lay the breaded chicken into the preheated air fryer in a single layer, and spray the chicken with a light coating of olive oil spray. Note: you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
Air fry the chicken breast. Cook it at 390° F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown where the internal temperature is 165°F. Per the recipe card below.
Slice and serve. Let the air fryer chicken breasts rest for a few minutes then sprinkle it with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon for more flavor. Slice and serve with your favorite quick salad or healthy side dish. I dressed some arugula with olive oil lemon and some parmesan cheese and topped it with the breaded chicken breast (as shown below).
Expert Tip! For extra crispy chicken, use parmesan breadcrumbs and spray the chicken generously with olive oil spray, flip, and spray again. It will get so golden and crunchy while maintaining that nice juicy, flavorful center.
This crispy chicken comes out incredible with almost no oil and even makes a great recipe for meal prep. See storing and reheating tips below.
Tips For Juicy Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Breast
- Choosing the right chicken: Select high-quality chicken breasts that are organic and free-range if possible since this can make a difference in the taste and texture of the chicken.
- Preparing the chicken breast: You want the chicken breasts to be thinner so they cook faster and stay nice and juicy, so I suggest slicing each one in half lengthwise to give you four even-sized chicken breasts. If they are uneven then place each piece of chicken between some plastic wrap and pound them out using a rolling pin or meat mallet so they are even all around.
- Breading tips: The secret to great breading is using good quality breadcrumbs that are seasoned well. I find that gluten-free breadcrumbs get crispier when air-fried, which is a nice bonus. My favorite brands of breadcrumbs are SCHAR and ALEIA’s brands. Then pressing the breading into each piece of chicken after dipping it in the egg is also key. If you can add some grated parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs or use parmesan breadcrumbs that also makes the coating super golden and crispy.
- Flip the chicken: The number one rule to juicy crispy chicken is the flip. Make sure the air fryer basket is nice and clean before you add the chicken. Halfway through the cooking time, use clean kitchen tongs or a spatula to flip each chicken breast over. Make sure to space the chicken out evenly about 1-2 inches apart in the air fryer basket, giving you room to flip it. Then it will get golden and stay nice and juicy.
- Timing is key: Since we cut the chicken breasts in half, they will take less time to cook. After making this recipe probably 100 times, I have found that 10-11 minutes was the perfect amount of time in several air fryers that I have tested this recipe in.
How Long Should You Cook Chicken Breast In The Air Fryer?
Cooking times will vary based on the size of the chicken breast that you use as well as the type of air fryer you have. I recommend checking the chicken after 8 minutes and then continuing to cook it as needed. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F then it is done. Here is a cooking chart guide for cooking breaded chicken breast in the air fryer:
- 4-ounce chicken breasts: 10-12 minutes
- 6-ounce chicken breasts: 12-14 minutes
- 8-ounce chicken breasts: 14-16 minutes (or longer if they are larger)
What size chicken breasts should I use?
I used 6-ounce pieces of boneless skinless chicken breast that I sliced in half before I breaded them. It took exactly 11 minutes for it to cook perfectly. Plus it yielded a good size portion for 4 people. See the cooking times chart above for helpful guidelines.
Do I Need To Use Oil To Air-Fry Chicken?
This is up to you, but in my opinion, if you are making this breaded chicken breast then olive oil spray that contains much fewer calories works out just as well and results in crazy crispy and delicious chicken that tastes fried.
If you are making non-breaded boneless chicken breast in the air-fryer then you will want to use a little bit of olive oil so the chicken doesn’t dry out but still results in a nice crispy outer layer.
How Will I Know When The Air Fryer Chicken Is Done?
Most air fryer breaded chicken will take 11-15 minutes to cook perfectly. The best way to tell if the chicken is done cooking in the air fryer is to check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer. Once it reaches 165 degrees F then it is done.
How can I Make Unbreaded Chicken Breast In The Air Fryer?
To make unbreaded chicken breast in the air fryer:
- Start by preheating the air fryer to the recommended temperature, usually around 400°F (200°C).
- Season the chicken breast with your preferred spices and herbs, such as salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place the chicken breast in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
- Cook the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Cooking times will vary based on the size of the chicken breast you are using. This cooking time is based on 4-5 ounce chicken breasts.
- Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. Enjoy tender and flavorful air-fried chicken breast!
This crispy air fryer chicken recipe goes well with several other dishes that will make it a complete meal. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Ranch Roasted Carrots – kid-friendly side
- Roasted Cauliflower Rice with Chickpeas – low-carb
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash – lower carb and low calorie
- Crispy Chickpea Kale Caesar Salad – for a fun healthy salad
- Air Fryer Broccoli – healthy and delicious
- Top it with some zesty romesco sauce or pesto sauce for a fancy twist!
How Do You Keep Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast Moist and Juicy?
Slice the chicken in half and make sure it is even all around. Check it at around 8 minutes and continue cooking as needed. The internal temperature should reach 165°F when it is done. You can check this using a meat thermometer. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.
How Do You Prevent Breading From Falling Off During Cooking?
To prevent the breading from falling off the chicken, make sure to dry the chicken breast very well using a clean paper towel before you dip it in the egg and breading. Season the breading and not the chicken. Use your hands to press the breading into the chicken breast as you dredge it. Also, space the chicken out in the air fryer and spray the coated chicken with olive oil spray to help the breading stick to it better.
Can I Use Chicken Thighs In This Recipe?
Yes, you can! I have made this recipe a few times using chicken thighs and they turned out great! If using chicken thighs, you will not need to cut the chicken in half. Boneless, skinless chicken works best.
Storing And Reheating Instructions
This crispy breaded chicken is best if eaten right away but you can store and reheat leftovers.
- Storing: allow the chicken to cool, transfer it to an airtight container keep it in the refrigerator, and eat within 3 days.
- Freezing: If you need to store the chicken for longer periods, let it cool, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap or foil, place it in a freezer-safe container, and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Reheating: From frozen – thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in the air fryer at 350°F until warmed through.
- Reheating from the fridge: Follow the reheating instructions above if heating from the fridge.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken and Vegetables
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Amazing Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Chicken Fajitas
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Air Fryer BBQ Chicken
Other Healthy Chicken Breast Recipes
- Easy Veggie Chicken Pizza Bake
- Instant Pot Shredded Buffalo Chicken
- Healthy Chicken Parmesan
- Chicken Taco Salad
Check out all of my easy air fryer recipes on PMG!
Did you make this air fryer breaded chicken breast recipe? If you did, then please leave a rating and comment below. I would love to hear how yours turned out!Print