This Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe is super healthy, full of flavour and very versatile. Made with pantry staples you can indulge in the deep-fried classic taste without the guilt.
Modification available to make this suitable for Gluten-Free, Low Carb and Keto dieters. Post includes Weight Watchers points.
These are perfectly cooked succulent Air Fryer Chicken Breasts complete with crispy breading and absolutely no pan frying involved. Yeap, no-guilt eating for us all.
And this recipe ends up with crispy meat. Not “maybe it’ll crisp up in the oven” crispy. It is real deal “how did they get this so crispy but moist and juicy on the inside” crispy. #result. Exactly like my easy Air Fryer Chicken Wings, Air Fryer Whole Chicken and Air Fryer Chicken Tenders.
What is great about boneless chicken breasts is that these are very versatile. Bring them out during a bbq or backyard party, make a batch for your weekly meal prep, thrown in a salad, sandwich or serve shredded over some soup and more.
Cooking with the air fryer is so amaaaaaaaazing. Especially as your food isn’t cooking in a big pot of hot oil. The air fryer will ‘fry’ your food with a small amount of oil.
Table of contents
- Can I Marinate / Brine My Chicken Ahead Of Time?
- How About Buttermilk?
- Why You’ll ♡ This
- Top Pick For Air Fryer Accessories
- Tools Needed
- How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Breast Halves
- How To Cook Whole Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer
- Recipe Tips
- Delicious Variations
- Make Ahead and Storage
- How To Bread Chicken Breasts
- How To Make Sure Your Breading Is Crispy?
- Prefer No Breading
- How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in Air Fryer?
- How To Check If Your Meat Is Done
- Do You Need Oil?
- Weight Watchers Points
- Get the Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe:
Can I Marinate / Brine My Chicken Ahead Of Time?
Whilst you don’t need to, brining the chicken before hand will help you keep it juicy and moist. Brine meat between 1-2 hours.
A simple brine recipe => Mix together 4 cups of water, 3 Tbsp sea salt , 2 Tbsp sugar, half a lemon sliced, and 2 bay leaves, 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, 2 smashed garlic cloves and a Tbsp of peppercorns. Combine over medium heat until both the sugar and salt dissolve, switch off the heat and let cool completely before brining.
How About Buttermilk?
Aternatively, you can soak the meat in buttermilk before cooking.
Why You’ll ♡ This
- This Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Breast Recipe is sooooooo versatile. You can swap out the coriander for Cajun spices or Creole seasoning. I love to create a little heat by adding a pinch or cayenne or some red chilli flakes.
- If you’re not on a calorie-controlled diet you can use olive oil instead of a no-calorie cooking spray.
- The whole family will love it. Devour every last bite of the without any guilt over eating a plate of fried food.
- Use up those pantry items. You can customise based on what is already in your pantry and still end up with perfectly cooked flavourful meat every time.
Top Pick For Air Fryer Accessories
Much less olive oil gets absorbed into your food which means less fat and calories for you. Winner winner air fried chicken dinner.
We are all eating healthy crispy chicken from now on and no one will ever know the difference.
- Your Air Fryer.
- Handy mixing bowls.
- Measuring spoons and cups.
- A handy meat thermometer.
- Best ever sea salt flakes.
- A spray bottle.
I am going walk you through the perfect AirFryer chicken breast recipe along with a gazillion tips and tricks that will have you whipping up this recipe aaaaaaaaaaaaaall year long.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Breast Halves
- Preheat the air fryer to 350F / 180C.
- Mix together breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, paprika, Italian Seasoning,, ground coriander and the best sea salt.
- Lightly spray both sides of the halved chicken breasts with a calorie-controlled cooking spray.
- Then cover both sides of the chicken breast halves with the coating mixture and place them in the air fryer basket. It is important to make sure the two halves of chicken breast are not touching.
- Cook time for the first side will be between 4-5 minutes. Check the meat for doneness, then flip over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
How To Cook Whole Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer
The process for cooking whole chicken breasts in the air fryer is the same as cooking the halves. You’ll just need to allow for more cook time.
- First, preheat air fryer to 350F / 180C.
- Then in a mixing bowl combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, paprika, Italian Seasoning, ground coriander and the best sea salt.
- Lightly spray both sides of the whole chicken breasts with a calorie-controlled cooking spray.
- Coat both sides of the chicken breasts with the breading mixture and place in the air fryer basket, making sure they do not overlap.
- Cook the first side for 10-12 minutes then turn over and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes (checking for doneness half way through), depending on the size of the meat.
Here are a few tips to help you make the best air fried chicken breast.
- Don’t overcrowd the fryer. Make sure the chicken breasts are not touching each other to allow for maximum air circulation so that they cook nice and evenly. I got between 2 and 3 breasts into my air fryer basket without touching.
- For this recipe, I used a light low-calorie cooking spray but you can also use a small amount of olive oil.
- As with all meat it is best to let the meat rest for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing.
- If you have really thick breasts you might want to flatten them up with a meat tenderiser so that they cook evenly across the whole surface
- Since these have been coated with breadcrumbs or flour, I recommend you spray the basket or rack with light cooking spray and then lay in your chicken breasts, making sure they are not touching.
- Once they are in, give another light spray just to coat the tops. The tiny bit of oil is essential to get your chicken crispy brown. Don’t overdo it though to avoid soggy food.
- Always check the internal temperature of your chicken breast using a thermometer. The meat is done and safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches at least 74C (165 F).
Chef’s Tip: Make sure to press the crumbs down firmly on the meat before placing in your air fryer. The fan is powerful, and if the coating is too loose and not adhered properly it will blow all that deliciousness right off.
- Vary the spices – You can swap out the coriander for Cajun spices or Creole seasoning.
- Add heat – create a little heat by adding a pinch or cayenne or some red pepper flakes.
Make Ahead and Storage
- Make Ahead – I don’t recommend letting the uncooked chicken sit in the breading to avoid soggy breadcrumbs. However you can brine the meat ahead of time.
- Store – Leftovers can be stored for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat – Reheat the meat in a preheated air fryer for about 3 minutes till warmed through and the breading becomes crispy again.
How To Bread Chicken Breasts
Breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs give really good results, aka crispy chicken breasts. Almond flour works well too.
One way to bread the chicken is to lightly coat it with low calories cooking spray or olive oil before coating it in your bread crumbs. This is the way I prefer. Alternatively, you can dip it in egg before coating it with the breadcrumbs. This changes the flavour very slightly, but not enough to make a big deal out of it.
Try both ways and see which you prefer. Also, make sure you let the excess egg drop of the fillet and it is as dry as possible before coating.
How To Make Sure Your Breading Is Crispy?
Getting the breading right can be the difference between crispy and soggy breaded meat.
- Don’t let the fillet sit in the coating mix or it will get soggy. Coat the fillets and then immediately place in the air fryer to cook.
- Coat both sides and then get it in the fryer ASAP.
- Also, you want to use a very small amount of olive oil spray or a brush a small amount of olive oil on the breasts before dipping. I really do mean light as if it is swimming in oil you will end up with a soggy coating (and loose the benefit of the air fryer aka cooking with minimal oil).
Prefer No Breading
If you prefer no breading then you can do that too. Simply spray the fillets lightly with some oil, season to your taste and cook as normal.
How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in Air Fryer?
- Wondering how long to air fryer boneless chicken breast? Cooking times depending on the thickness of the breast. Mine took 4 mins per side.
- When cooking these for the first time, I recommend aiming for 4 mins per side and then checking for doneness.
- If you’re cooking whole chicken breasts without slicing them in half , then cook for 5-8 mins per side.
How To Check If Your Meat Is Done
Please use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature. The meat is done and safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches at least 74C (165 F). Continue cooking for a few minutes more if needed.
If you dont have a meat thermometer then simply, remove the chicken breast from the air fryer and slice into the middle section. If the breast are white all the way through with no pinkness at all, then they are done.
Do You Need Oil?
Because you are cooking this with breading , it is worth spraying a smallest amount of oil so that they breading crisps up as well as turn golden.
One of my favourite ways to season breadcrumbs before using them is to use grated Parmesan. The important point is please try to grate/shred the cheese freshly from a block using an really good box grater, just before you need it. And do grate and/or shred it as finely as you can, as the finer grated cheese will encrust the chicken better.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken.
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs.
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings.
- Air Fryer Fried Chicken.
- Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks.
- Air Fryer Pork Chops.
- Crispy Air Fryer Fish.
Weight Watchers Points
There is just 2 Blue Plan SmartPoints and 206 calories in each portion.
Thank you for reading my Crispy Chicken Breast Air Fryer Recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.
(originally published Oct 2018)
Get the Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe:
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Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- 1 lb (450g) skinless boneless chicken breasts halved crossways
- ½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs or regular
- 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- salt optional
- cooking spray
- Preheat the air fryer to 180C / 350F.
- Mix together breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, paprika, Italian Seasoning, ground coriander and salt in a bowl.
- Lightly spray both sides of the halved chicken breast with a calorie-controlled cooking spray.
- Cover both sides of the chicken breasts with the coating mix and place chicken breast in the air fryer basket. Make sure the chicken breasts are not touching.
- Cook between 4-5 mins then flip over and cook for 4-5 mins on the next side. ” Cooking times depending on the thickness of the breast so maybe a little more or a little less. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 75 C (165 F).
- Air Fryers vary in their temperatures which is why I have added a cooking time range. When cooking this for the first time start with the lowest cooking times and adjust accordingly
- Don’t overcrowd the fryer. Make sure the chicken breasts are not touching each other to allow for maximum air circulation so that they cook nice and evenly. I got between 2 and 3 breasts into my air fryer without touching.
- Don’t leave your chicken sitting in the coating for too long as it can go soggy. Coat both sides and then get it in the fryer ASAP.
- Always check the internal temperature of your chicken breast. The meat is done and safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches at least 74C (165 F).