This air fryer chicken breast recipe is the ultimate in no-fuss quick mid-week dinners. It is quick and easy to cook, perfectly succulent, and as a bonus is paleo, gluten free and keto.
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How to cook chicken breast in an air fryer
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!
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.
Quantities given in the recipe card below.
- Chicken breast: I usually buy boneless skinless chicken breast for air frying, but you can also use skin-on if you want more traditional roasted chicken breast with crispy skin. If you use bone-in chicken breast the cooking times will be longer than for boneless chicken breast, so please take the time to check your chicken breast is cooked 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 Can You Cook Chicken From Frozen? for more details).
- Oil: I use light olive oil in my air fryer, but any cooking oil with a high smoke point will do (try avocado oil, vegetable oil).
- Seasoning: 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.
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), 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.
How do you know when its cooked?
You can tell when chicken is cooked because the juices run clear when you stick a knife in the thickest part. This is not something that you want to get wrong, as under-cooked chicken can be dangerous. So if you are at all unsure slice the chicken breast before serving to ensure it is cooked through (it should be white the whole way through, with no pink or translucent bits remaining).
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.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, please consider getting one, it is the easiest and safest way to know that your chicken is cooked safely.
My favorite meat thermometer is the Meater* – this is a truly wireless meat thermometer. It is like a skewer that you stick in the chicken and then it uses Bluetooth to tell your phone when the meat is ready.
What to serve with air fried chicken
For a super easy light dinner, I often serve air fryer chicken breasts with a side salad or some easy vegetable sides like these microwave steamed vegetables.
You can also cook sides in the air fryer as well as the chicken. This is the process I use:
- Pre-cook the vegetables ahead of the chicken, minus 5 minutes
- Remove vegetables from the air fryer, place in a bowl and keep covered with kitchen foil while you cook the chicken
- When the chicken is finished air frying, remove to a plate to rest covered with foil (reuse the foil from the vegetables)
- Toss the vegetables back in the air fryer and finish cooking for five minutes while the chicken rests.
>> Related recipe: Air fryer chicken breast and potatoes
Here are some of my favorites to go with chicken breast:
- Air fryer roasted vegetables
- Air fryer sweet potato fries
- Air fryer french fries
- Air fryer roast potatoes
- Air fryer roasted cauliflower
Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe Card
How to cook chicken breast in an air fryer.
- 8oz 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, and cook 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]. Flip the chicken breast half-way through the cooking time if required for your air fryer.
- When the chicken is done remove it from the air fryer and rest covered with foil for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with salad or fresh steamed vegetables.
- 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.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 458Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 70g
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.
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