This air fryer chicken breast recipe is the ultimate no-fuss mid-week dinner recipe. It is easy to prepare and quick to cook in the air fryer, for a simple yet satisfying dinner that’s ready in no time.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Air fryer chicken breast is a healthier alternative to traditional fried chicken.
- It is quick and easy to make, making it a great option for busy weeknights.
- The air fryer gives the chicken a crispy and flavorful crust, making it taste delicious.
It is so quick and easy to cook chicken breast in the air fryer, this is one of my all time favorite quick and easy mid-week dinners.
A hands-off recipe for juicy chicken breast that is ready in under half and hour? That’s my kind of recipe!
>> Related recipe: Air fryer chicken breast and potatoes
Chicken breast is naturally low in saturated fat, making it a healthy option, and cooking chicken breast in the air fryer means that you only need to add a tiny bit of oil to get perfectly cooked results.
Scroll down for the printable card for this chicken breast air fryer recipe, or read on for all the details.
What do you need?
Quantities given in the recipe card below.
Boneless skinless chicken breast is a great option for air frying, but you can also use skin-on if you prefer (the air fryer will get the skin really crispy).
You can also use bone-in chicken breast, however the cooking times will be longer than specified in the recipe below. Start by adding an extra five minutes, and ensure your chicken breast is cooked properly by using an instant read thermometer (more details in section below).
You can also cook frozen chicken breast in the air fryer, however the cooking times are around 1½ times longer (see air fryer frozen chicken breast for more details).
The recipe below uses light olive oil, but any cooking oil with a high smoke point will do (try avocado oil or vegetable oil).
When air frying, choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point to reduce the chance of your air fryer smoking.
For seasoning, I often use store-bought chicken spices*, but you can easily make your own. Here are some that I often use:
- kosher salt, ground black pepper, paprika and garlic powder or onion powder
- basil pesto – spread a teaspoonful on the top of each chicken breast
- rosemary, thyme and a little salt if you want traditional style roasted chicken breast. This is great if you are using skin-on chicken breast.
How to cook chicken breast in an air fryer
This recipe is very simple to make, there are just a few key steps to getting it just right:
- To prepare, pat the raw chicken breast dry, drizzle with a little cooking oil, then add the seasoning and flip the chicken breast over and oil and season the other side.
- Preheat air fryer to 360°F/ 180°C, then place the chicken breast in the air fryer basket. If you are cooking more than one, ensure they are not touching. Note: if your air fryer is prone to sticking you may want to brush the basket with oil before you add the chicken breasts.
- Air fry chicken for around 20 minutes until golden brown and 165°F/ 74°C in the center of the thickest part. If required for your air fryer, flip the chicken breasts over halfway through the cooking time (check your manual if you are unsure if this is required).
- Remove chicken breast from the air fryer, cover with kitchen foil, and leave to rest for at least 5 minutes.
How long to air fry chicken breast?
The exact cooking time for chicken breast in the air fryer depends on a few factors, including how large the chicken breast is (in particular how thick it is), and how powerful your air fryer is.
Expect it to take around 20 minutes, with a smaller thinner chicken breast being closer to 15 minutes, and a large chicken breast needing 25 minutes or more in the air fryer to cook through.
If you are cooking bone-in chicken breast, it will take around 30 minutes to cook, with the exact cook time again depending on how large it is.
The best and safest way to tell how long to cook a chicken breast in the air fryer is to use an instant read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
With chicken you are aiming for an internal temperature of 165°F/ 74°C or higher to know that it is safely cooked.
Use an instant read thermometer to measure the temperature in the center of the thickest part of the meat for an accurate temperature reading.
For a super easy light dinner, serve this air fryer chicken breast with a side salad or some easy vegetable sides like these microwave steamed vegetables.
Also want to air fry sides?
Or, for sides with a longer cooking time you can use this process:
- First prepare the side dish ingredients and air fry for the cooking time minus 10 minutes. Prepare the chicken breast while it is cooking.
- Then remove partially cooked side dish from the air fryer to a bowl and cover with aluminum foil.
- Air fry the chicken breast, then cover to rest for 10 minutes.
- Finally, return the side dish to the air fryer to cook for a final 10 minutes while the chicken is resting.
Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- 1 chicken breast boneless, skinless
- 1 teaspoon chicken seasoning [Note 1]
- 2 teaspoons light olive oil
- Preheat the air fryer to 360°F/ 180°C.
- Pat chicken breast dry. Place in a bowl, drizzle with oil, add the seasoning, then toss to coat.
- Place chicken breast in air fryer basket. If cooking more than one, ensure they are not touching.
- Air fry chicken breast for 15-20 minutes at 360°F/ 180°C until it has reached at least 165°F/ 74°C in the center of the thickest part [Note 2]. Note: Flip the chicken breast half-way through the cooking time if required for your air fryer.
- When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the air fryer and rest covered with foil for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- For a simple homemade mix try: ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Check temperature with an instant-read thermometer. The cooking time will depend on how thick the chicken breast is, and will also vary depending on the type of air fryer you have.
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.