If you’re looking for a quick and tasty dinner, this recipe for air fryer chicken schnitzel may be just the thing for you. The chicken is succulent, the crumb is perfectly crisp, and it cooks in no time in the air fryer.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Chicken schnitzel is a delicious, easy-to-make dish that can be made in an air fryer. This healthy, low-fat alternative to traditional fried chicken is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
This dish is made by coating chicken breast in breadcrumbs and then frying it in a small amount of oil in the air fryer. The result is a crispy and juicy chicken schnitzel that’s perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Scroll down for the printable recipe card for this air fryer chicken schnitzel recipe, or read on for all the details!
What do you need?
I use boneless skinless chicken breast for the easiest prep. You can also use ready-prepared chicken steaks or schnitzel-sliced chicken breast if they are available at your grocery store.
Use fine white breadcrumbs for a classic chicken schnitzel, or try panko crumbs for extra light and crispy breading. If you are going gluten free, try substituting pork rinds or almond meal.
Just use regular all-purpose flour, though bread flour (high-grade) will also work if that is all you have. You can also use gluten-free flour like almond flour if you prefer.
This helps to bind the crumb to the schnitzels. If you don’t have any eggs, you could use mayonnaise instead, substitute 3 teaspoons.
I like to use a little garlic powder, salt and pepper. However, you can substitute any spice blend or seasoning you like with chicken.
To get your chicken schnitzel really crispy it needs a little oil brushed on. I use light olive oil, but you can use another cooking oil with a high smoke point (like vegetable oil or avocado oil).
You can also use an oil sprayer if you prefer. However, 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.
When choosing an olive oil spray for your air fryer, look for the type that spritzes rather than an aerosol. The propellant in aerosol oil sprays can damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer.
How to make chicken schnitzel in an air fryer
Step 1: Prep schnitzels. 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 to cut it into two steaks.
Place the chicken steaks between slices of parchment, and roll them with a rolling pin until they are thin. Alternatively use a kitchen hammer/ meat mallet.
Step 2: Add breading to chicken schnitzels. Place the flour in a large bowl. Place the bread crumbs in a separate shallow bowl.
Add chicken into the flour 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.
This is a good time to preheat the air fryer (360°F /180°C).
Place each piece of chicken into the bowl with breadcrumbs, and turn to coat thoroughly. Transfer to a plate, and press the breadcrumb coating onto the chicken to help it stick.
Lightly brush the chicken schnitzels 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 schnitzels.
Step 3: Air fry chicken schnitzels. Arrange chicken schnitzels in air fryer basket in a single layer. Ensure they are not touching.
You may need to cook the schnitzels in batches or use a layer accessory depending on the size of your air fryer.
Note: If your air fryer basket is prone to food sticking, you can give it a spritz of olive oil before placing the schnitzels in it.
Air fry chicken schnitzel until golden brown and cooked through. This will take approximately 10-12 minutes (see below for more info on cooking times).
Some air fryers require food to be flipped over halfway through the cooking time. Check your manual if unsure whether this applies to your air fryer.
If you don’t have an air fryer you can also pan fry these schnitzels with a drizzle of oil, or cook them in a regular oven (place on a lined baking tray, and bake for 10-12 minutes at 430°F/220°C).
How long to air fry chicken schnitzel
The exact cook time will depend on how thick the schnitzels are and how powerful your air fryer is.
The best way to be sure that your schnitzel is cooked correctly is to check the internal temperature with an instant-read meat thermometer. It should read 165°F/ 74°C or higher. Air fry schnitzels for additional 2-minute intervals until done, if required.
This crispy chicken schnitzel makes a great weeknight dinner, and I love that it can be served so many ways. Here are some ideas to try:
- Pair with a side of slaw and wedges for a tasty family dinner
- Serve in a bun with salad and ranch dressing or lemon herb mayo
- Pile on slices of bread with slaw or salad for the most delicious crispy chicken sandwiches
- Thinly slice, and serve in tacos with salad, salsa, cheese and sour cream.
Storing and reheating
Store any leftover chicken schnitzels in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, and use within 3 days.
You can reheat the schnitzels in the air fryer, air fry for 3-4 minutes until 165°F/ 74°C in the center. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave (in a microwave-safe dish, cover with plastic wrap vented at one corner), for 2-3 minutes on high.
How to cook chicken schnitzel in an air fryer.
- 1 large chicken breast
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs [Note 1]
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Drizzle of light olive oil
- Pat chicken breast dry, then cut in half horizontally through the center.
- Place the chicken steaks between two pieces of parchment or baking paper, and roll them with a rolling pin until they are around ½ inch thick.
- Place the breadcrumbs in a large shallow bowl. Mix the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in another large bowl.
- Place chicken 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 piece of chicken schnitzel into the breadcrumbs, and turn to coat thoroughly. Transfer to a plate, and press the bread crumbs onto the chicken to help them stick.
- Lightly brush or spritz the chicken schnitzels with oil.
- Place chicken schnitzels in air fryer basket [Note 2]. Ensure they are not touching. You may need to cook the schnitzels in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Air fry chicken schnitzels until golden brown and at least 165°F/74°C in the center [Note 3]. This will take approximately 10-12 minutes. Carefully turn the schnitzels halfway through the cooking time if required for your air fryer [Note 4].
- Fine white breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs are ideal.
- If your air fryer tends to stick to food, spritz the basket with olive oil before placing the schnitzels in it.
- 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: 1006mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 30g
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.