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Air Fryer Chicken Breast

The key to juicy, flavor-packed chicken every single time? Cook it in the air fryer! This air fryer chicken breast recipe is so easy and delicious, it’ll quickly become your new weeknight dinner staple.

Sliced air fryer chicken breast on a white plate.

Simplify busy weeknights with my chicken breast air fryer recipe

I’m all about hands-off cooking, and this recipe for air frying chicken breast is about as hands-off as you can get. Just season the chicken, pop it in the air fryer, and let it do its thing. You get perfectly cooked, juicy chicken with barely any effort.

But what I love is how versatile this recipe is. Switch up the seasoning and create a whole new dish in no time – use a smoky rub and serve with fries for a bbq-style meal, use Mexican seasoning and slice to make chicken tacos, or season with aromatic garam masala, and serve over rice with your favourite curry sauce.

More air fryer chicken recipes

For some other quick and easy air fried chicken recipes try: air fryer chicken thighs, air fryer chicken tenders, air fryer chicken wings, or air fryer roast chicken.

What do you need?

  • Chicken breast – I usually use boneless skinless chicken breast, but you can also use skin-on if you prefer (the air fryer will make the skin really crispy!). Note: you can also air fry chicken breast from frozen, see air fryer frozen chicken breast for more details.
  • Oil – I used light olive oil to make this recipe, but any cooking oil with a high smoke point will do (try avocado oil or vegetable oil).
  • Seasoning – For seasoning, I often use a store-bought seasoning rub, but you can easily make your own (see the recipe card for a simple homemade rub made from paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder). Or for classic roast chicken breast, use rosemary, thyme and a little salt – this is particularly good if you are using skin-on chicken breast.

How to cook chicken breast in the air fryer

1

Preheat.

Preheat the air fryer to 180°C/ 360°F. If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheat mode, just set it to air fry for 3-4 minutes.

2

Prepare.

Prepare the chicken breast by patting it dry, drizzling it with a little cooking oil, then adding the seasoning and tossing to coat the chicken breast evenly.

Seasoned chicken breast in a glass bowl.

3

Pop it in the air fryer.

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 breast.

Uncooked chicken breast in air fryer basket.

4

Air fry.

Air fry the chicken breast for 20-25 minutes, flipping over halfway through cooking, until cooked through.

Remove chicken breast from the air fryer, cover with kitchen foil, and leave to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Air fried chicken breast in air fryer basket.

How long to cook chicken breast in the air fryer

Chicken breast should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F/ 74°C or higher in the center of the thickest part.

A medium-sized chicken breast (150g/ 5-6oz ) should take around 20 minutes to cook. A small, thin chicken breast fillet will take closer to 15 minutes, and a large chicken breast will likely need 25 minutes or more to cook through.

Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature in the centre of the thickest part to ensure it is cooked through to at least 165°F/ 74°C.

Air fried chicken breast on a plate with salad and potatoes.

Variations and serving ideas

  • Use BBQ seasoning and serve with potato wedges and classic coleslaw.
  • Use Mexican seasoning, slice the chicken breast, and serve in tacos with crisp lettuce, salsa, and guacamole.
  • Season with garam masala, then serve with basmati rice and a creamy curry sauce.
  • Use Greek-style seasoning, and serve with a cucumber-tomato salad, tzatziki, and pita bread.
  • Marinate in a teriyaki sauce and serve with rice and stir-fried vegetables.
  • Season with lemon zest, garlic, and herbs, then serve with roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli.
Sliced air fryer chicken breast on a white plate.

Air Fryer Chicken Breast

4.8 from 14 votes
The key to juicy, flavor-packed chicken every single time? Cook it in the air fryer! This air fryer chicken breast recipe is so easy and delicious, it'll quickly become your new weeknight dinner staple.
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time22 minutes
Serves2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning rub (see Note 1 for a homemade mix)
  • 2 teaspoons light olive oil

Directions

  • 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 breasts in air fryer basket, ensuring they are not touching.
  • Air fry chicken breast for 20-25 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 over halfway through the cooking time.
  • When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the air fryer and rest covered with foil for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  1. For a simple homemade mix try: 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
  2. 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

Serving: 1  Calories: 458kcal  Carbohydrates: 1g  Protein: 70g  Fat: 17g  Saturated Fat: 4g  Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g  Cholesterol: 193mg  Sodium: 168mg

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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Also want to air fry a side dish?

If you also want to cook side dishes in the air fryer, you can pre-cook them for part of the cooking time before the chicken, then put them back in the air fryer to finish cooking for 10 minutes while the chicken breast is resting. For more details, check out my guide on how to cook a meal in the air fryer here.

Or try this recipe to air fryer your side dish along with the chicken: Air fryer chicken breast and potatoes

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