This recipe for air fryer frozen chicken breast is for anyone who loves tender juicy chicken breast, but isn’t always organized enough to thaw their chicken ahead of time. You can cook frozen chicken breast in the air fryer without thawing it first, for a hassle-free way to make a tasty meal.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Cooking frozen chicken breast in the air fryer is quick and convenient way to prepare a meal. It takes less time than thawing the chicken and then cooking it in the oven or on the stove.
Because you can air fry frozen chicken breast without needing to thaw it first you can always have the ingredients for a healthy, tasty meal on hand.
For more details on cooking chicken from frozen, see: Can you Cook Chicken From Frozen?
Scroll down for the printable recipe card for air frying frozen chicken breast, or read on for all the details.
Quantities for all ingredients are given in the recipe card below.
Frozen chicken breast
This recipe uses boneless skinless chicken breast. You can also use skin-on chicken breast if you prefer.
I don’t recommend using this recipe to cook bone-in chicken breast from frozen, as the bone can make the chicken thaw unevenly while cooking, and it is more difficult to get the cooking times just right.
The recipe belows calls for chicken seasoning. Your favorite store-bought mix is a great toption, but you can easily make your own. Try this simple recipe:
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon soft brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Alternatively, you can use any other seasoning blend that you like with chicken. Choose one that contains salt, or add ½ teaspoon salt.
The recipe below uses light olive oil, but you can use any other liquid cooking oil that you usually use in your air fryer. Choose one with a high smoke point like vegetable oil, corn oil or avocado oil.
When air frying, choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point to reduce the chance of your air fryer smoking.
How to cook frozen chicken breast in the air fryer
This recipe is very simple, but there are a few key steps to getting it just right:
- Use a preheated air fryer. Preheat to 360°F/ 180°C ahead of putting the chicken breast in.
- Oil and season the chicken. Drizzle the chicken with oil and sprinkle with seasoning. Press the oil and seasoning on to the chicken breast to make sure it is well coated as it won’t stick as easily as with unfrozen chicken breast.
- Place frozen chicken breasts in the air fryer basket in a single layer, and make sure they are not touching. They need space around them so that the hot air can reach all sides so that they cook evenly.
- Air fry frozen chicken breasts for 22-30 minutes. The exact time needed will vary depending on your air fryer (see section below for more 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.
- Check the temperature. Use an instant-read thermometer to confirm that the chicken breasts are cooked to at least 165°F/ 74°C thw whole way through (see section below for more details).
- Rest the chicken. Once you have finished cooking the chicken it needs to be rested to allow the juices to reabsorb into the meat, and ensure that it is juicy. Remove it from the air fryer, cover loosely with kitchen foil, and leave for 5-10 minutes.
How long to air fry frozen chicken breast
The exact cook time needed to air fry frozen chicken breast will depend on a few factors including the exact size and shape of your chicken breasts, how cold your frozen chicken breast is, and how powerful your air fryer is.
When cooking chicken from frozen it is vitally important to make sure that it is properly cooked before you consume it.
The easiest way to ensure that your chicken breasts are fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature to make sure it has reached at least 165°F/ 74°C (the safe temperature for chicken recommended by the USDA).
Make sure you test the temperature in a few places to make sure that it is thoroughly cooked all the way through (frozen chicken can sometimes cook unevenly).
Serve air-fried chicken breasts as a main dish with fries and a simple salad or a side of steamed vegetables (see microwave steamed vegetables for a quick and easy way to cook them).
Or cut chicken breasts into strips and serve as an appetizer with your favorite dipping sauce.
Tip: If you want to cook sides in the air fryer as well as the chicken, start with the sides and subtract 10 minutes from their cooking time. Remove them from the air fryer and cover with foil, cook the chicken, then finish the sides in the air fryer for 10 minutes while the chicken breasts are resting.
Alternatively, choose a side that will air fry in ten minutes or less like:
Prepare them while the chicken is cooking, then air fry them while the chicken is resting.
Leftovers and reheating
Store any leftover chicken breast in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 3 days. Do not refreeze leftover chicken breasts.
You can reheat chicken breast in the air fryer. Air fry at 360°F/ 180°C for 5-10 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F/ 74°C.
How to cook frozen chicken breast in the air fryer (without thawing it first).
- 1 frozen chicken breast, approx. 6 oz (boneless, skinless)
- 2 teaspoons chicken seasoning mix [Note 1]
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- Preheat air fryer to 360°F/ 180°C.
- Remove frozen chicken breast from packaging and place in a large bowl or on a plate. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle over the seasoning. Press the oil and seasoning on to the chicken breast to make sure it is well coated.
- Place chicken breast in air fryer basket. If you are cooking more than one, place in a single layer, and ensure they are not touching.
- Air fry frozen chicken breasts for 22-30 minutes at 360°F/ 180°C until the internal temperature reaches 165°F/ 74°C the whole way through [Note 2].
- Remove chicken breasts from the air fryer, cover with foil and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Choose one that contains salt, or add ½ teaspoon salt per chicken breast.
- Test the internal temperature in the center at the thickest point and in several other places to ensure the chicken breast is 165°F/ 74°C the whole way through.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 405Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 53g
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.