This recipe for air fryer chicken cutlets is a healthy and easy way to make crispy chicken cutlets at home. The chicken is coated in a light breading and cooked in the air fryer until golden brown. Serve with a side of steamed vegetables or a salad for a complete meal.
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How to cook chicken cutlets in the air fryer
Crispy chicken cutlets are a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table. And if you cook chicken cutlets in the air fryer then they are ready in less time than it takes your oven to heat up!
These breaded chicken cutlets are coated in a simple breadcrumb mixture and then air fried to perfection. Because the air fryer cooks them so quickly they come out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Serve them in a salad, wraps, or sandwiches, or add a veggie side dish and some fries and you’ve got a meal that the whole family will love!
Scroll down for the printable card for this air fryer chicken cutlet recipe, or read on for all the details.
Ingredients and substitutions
This recipe uses boneless skinless chicken breast, which is sliced in half horizontally. You can also use ready-prepared chicken breast steaks or chicken breast fillets if they are available at your grocery store or butchers.
I normaly use regular breadcrumbs, or fine panko breadcrumbs for this recipe. Both give a nice light crispy crumb on these chicken cutlets.
You can also use wholemeal breadcrumbs if you prefer, or try substituting pork rinds or almond meal for a gluten-free version.
All-purpose flour is fine for this recipe, though bread flour (high-grade) will also work if that is all you have to hand. You can also use a gluten-free flour like almond flour if you prefer.
An egg is needed to bind the coating to the cutlets. If you don’t have an egg, you can substitute 3 teaspoons of mayonnaise.
This recipe uses a simple seasoning made from Italian herbs (rosemary, basil, parsley, and oregano), salt and pepper. However, you can substitute any herb or spice blend you like with chicken. Try herbes de Provence, c’est delicieux!
To get your chicken cutlets perfectly crispy they need a little oil. You can drizzle, spray or gently brush this on. I use light olive oil, but you can use another cooking oil with a high smoke point (like vegetable oil or avocado oil).
If you are using an oil spray, choose the type that spritzes rather than an aerosol spray, and avoid using generic ‘cooking spray’, as these can both damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer basket.
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
You can add grated Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs for chicken Parmesan-style cutlets.
How to make the BEST chicken cutlets in the air fryer
This recipe is very straightforward to make, but here are a few key steps to getting it just right.
Step 1: Prep the cutlets
Carefully slice the chicken breast in half. To do this, place your hand flat on top of the chicken breast and use a sharp knife to slice through the chicken breast horizontally through the center to cut it into two cutlets.
Step 2: Add breading to chicken cutlets
- Mix the flour in a large bowl with the salt and pepper. Place the bread crumbs in a separate shallow dish or bowl with the Italian seasoning, and mix to combine.
- Add chicken into the flour mixture and toss to coat.
- Add the egg to the same bowl with the chicken, split the yolk, and toss to ensure each chicken piece is thoroughly coated.
- One at a time, transfer each chicken cutlet into the bowl with the seasoned breadcrumbs, and turn to coat thoroughly, pressing the breadcrumbs onto the chicken to help them stick.
Step 3: Air fry chicken cutlets
Preheat the air fryer to 360°F /180°C. Then lightly drizzle or brush the chicken cutlets with oil, or give them a quick spritz with an oil sprayer. This step is optional and can be skipped if you are trying to cut oil, but it really helps with getting extra crispy chicken cutlets.
Arrange chicken cutlets in air fryer basket in a single layer, ensure they are not touching. This allows them to cook evenly.
Note: If your air fryer basket is prone to food sticking, you can give it a spritz of olive oil before placing the cutlets in it.
Air fry chicken cutlets until they are golden brown and cooked through. This will take approximately 13-18 minutes (see below for more info on cooking times).
Note: Some air fryers require food to be flipped over halfway through the cooking time (check your manual if you are unsure whether this applies to your air fryer).
How long to air fry chicken cutlets
The exact cooking time will depend on a few factors including the thickness of the chicken cutlets and how powerful your model of air fryer is.
The best and safest way to tell that your chicken cutlets are cooked is to use an instant read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature in the center of the thickest part.
With chicken the internal temperature needs to be at least 165°F/ 74°C to be safely cooked.
Here are some of my favorite ways to serve these air fried chicken cutlets:
- Wraps – slice the chicken cutlets into strips and serve them in wtaps with lettuce or slaw and your favorite sauces.
- Serve with potato chips and salad or steamed vegetables like these microwave green beans, or Instant Pot steamed broccoli.
- Make a crispy chicken burger/sandwich, layer a chicken cutlet between two halves of a burger bun, top with a slice of cheese, tomato slices and your favorite burger sauce.
- Make a chicken Parmesan sub – slice the chicken cutlets and place in a subway roll, top with marinara sauce and mozzarella and melt under a hot broiler/grill for 2 minutes.
Storing and reheating
Store any leftover chicken cutlets in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 3 days.
Reheat your chicken cutlets in the air fryer. Place in the air fryer basket and air fry for 4-5 minutes until 165°F/ 74°C in the center.
How to cook chicken cutlets in an air fryer.
- 1 large chicken breast
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs [Note 1]
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Drizzle or spray of light olive oil
- Pat chicken breast dry, then cut in half horizontally through the center into two cutlets.
- Mix the breadcrumbs and herbs in a large shallow bowl. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper in another large bowl.
- Place chicken cutlets into the flour mixture and toss to coat.
- Add egg to the bowl with the chicken, split the yolk, and toss to coat.
- Preheat air fryer to 360°F (180°C).
- Place each chicken cutlet into the breadcrumb mixture, and turn to coat thoroughly. Transfer to a plate, and press the bread crumbs onto the chicken to help them stick.
- Lightly drizzle, brush or spritz the chicken cutlets with oil.
- Place chicken cutlets in air fryer basket in a single layer [Note 2]. Ensure they are not touching.
- Air fry chicken cutlets for 13-18 minutes, until golden brown and at least 165°F/74°C in the center [Note 3]. If required for your air fryer carefully flip the cutlets over halfway through the cooking time [Note 4].
- Fine white breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs are best.
- If your air fryer tends to stick to food, spritz the basket with olive oil before placing the cutlets in it.
- Cooking times are an estimate only. Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature in the thickest part to ensure it has reached the safe temperature of 165°F/74°C.
- Some air fryers require food to be turned halfway through cooking. Please check your manual if you are unsure whether this is required for your air fryer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 440Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 1005mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 30g
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.
You may also like:
- Air fryer chicken tenders
- Air fryer whole chicken
- Air fryer chicken breast
- Air fryer chicken nuggets
- Air fryer chicken thighs
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