Learn how to make the juiciest Air Fryer Chicken Breast recipe in 25 minutes. It is easy, tender and bursting with flavor!
And for last minute dinner, here is how to cook frozen chicken breast in air fryer.
Table of Contents
- Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Ingredients for Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in Air Fryer?
- Tips for Best Results
- What to Serve Air Fryer Chicken Breast With?
- How to Store and Reheat
- More Air Fryer Recipes to Try
- More Chicken Breast Recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe Recipe
Time for juicy air fryer chicken breast because we love chicken breast recipes around here! And we do not settle on dry and flavorless chicken.
Cooking chicken breast in air fryer results in juicy, tender chicken breast with a light, flavorful crust and tender, moist middle. Every single time!
My love for air fryer recipes began with crispy air fryer chicken wings, air fryer chicken tenders and juicy air fryer chicken drumsticks. Today we are making perfectly cooked air fryer chicken breasts!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- It’s quick: You can have air fryer chicken breast on the table in about 25 minutes.
- Super easy: This chicken recipe is more economical due to short cooking time and small appliance.
- The oil amount is minimal: Just enough to help the seasonings adhere and lock in the juices.
- Failproof results: You’ll get wonderfully tender, juicy and moist chicken breast every single time!
- You don’t have to brine chicken breasts in salt water!
Ingredients for Air Fryer Chicken Breast
One of the best things about this air fryer chicken breast recipe is that it is so simple and made up of entirely clean ingredients and pantry staples. You only need 6 basic ingredients.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: I use 8 – 9 ounces and around 2-inches thickness breasts. If your chicken breasts are larger or smaller, you may need to adjust the cook time. Please see below.
- Oil of choice: I use avocado oil or olive oil.
- Seasonings: I use a simple combination of onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, and smoked paprika. And salt and pepper.
Want a different spice blend? You can swap out the seasonings I’ve suggested with Italian seasoning, cajun spice, all-purpose spice or taco seasoning. For heat, add a little cayenne pepper or chili powder to the dry rub.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Breast
Here is a quick overview how to make air fryer chicken breasts. There is full recipe card below.
- Preheat the air fryer and prep chicken: Preheat it to 380 degrees F for 5 minutes. Add chicken breasts to a bowl and drizzle with oil. Then rub using your hands or toss with tongs to coat.
- Rub chicken with seasonings: Add the spice blend, salt and pepper, and then rub chicken breasts to make sure all sides of the chicken are evenly coated.
- Air fry chicken breast: Spray the basket of air fryer with cooking spray, place chicken breasts in air fryer in a single layer and cook chicken for 16 minutes. No need to flip chicken breasts or shake the basket.
- Check the temperature: Open and insert meat thermometer into the thickest part of your air fryer chicken breasts to make sure it has reached at least 150 degrees F.
How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in Air Fryer?
Size Changes Everything
How long to cook chicken breast in air fryer depends on the size of your chicken breasts. For average-sized chicken breast that’s around 2-inches thick, I recommend between 16-18 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the chicken breast reaches 150 degrees F.
Here is a handy timetable for quick reference:
|Small Chicken Breasts||5 to 7 ounces||14 minutes|
|Medium Chicken Breasts||8 to 9 ounces||16 minutes|
|Large Chicken Breasts||10 ounces or more||18 minutes|
Let It Rest
Make sure to allow air fryer chicken breasts to rest for 5 minutes to allow juices to redistribute and chicken to finish cooking.
As per food safety website, to be safe to eat, chicken must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. However, there’s no need to cook chicken breasts in air fryer until that point.
I recommend cooking the chicken until it’s 150 degrees F and the residual heat will then continue to increase the internal temperature while the chicken rests.
You get to avoid dry, overcooked chicken. It is my secret to juicy and not dry air fryer chicken breasts.
Air Fryer Chicken Breasts Came Out Undercooked
Thought you had the right time but your air fryer chicken breast came out undercooked? After checking with the instant read thermometer, if you see temperature is below 150 degrees F, cook the chicken breasts for extra 2 minutes.
It sure is a delicate balance and figuring out the cooking time based on size, your air fryer and personal preferences. It is a matter of practice.
Tips for Best Results
For the best air fryer chicken breast follow the below tips!
- No need to brine: Dry rub and optimal cooking temperature and method, will take care of juicy chicken breasts.
- Size matters: I recommend to pick the same size chicken breasts for even cooking when shopping. Also know the weight of each piece to select correct cooking time.
- Cook in a single layer: The hot air needs to circulate the chicken to get the job done. Overlapping or stacking chicken breasts in air fryer is not recommended.
- There’s no need to shake the basket: While flipping chicken can help to yield crispier results, this dry rub chicken breast isn’t intended to be super crispy. So leaving it alone will help avoid dry chicken.
- Allow it to rest: Once cooked, transfer the air fried chicken breast to a large foil covered platter and allow it to rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle and redistribute.
Over the years I have tried a few air fryers. There is a basket style air fryer, toaster oven air fryer and a lid attachment for an Instant Pot. They all work great and choice will depend on personal preference.
Are you cooking for 2 or 4 people? Do you have space for another appliance? Are you busy? Take these things into consideration when shopping.
I use a large 5.8 quart Cosori air fryer. I cook for 4 people. I say the biggest concern I hear is that air fryer is too small. The attachment lid or small basket would fit maximum 2 chicken breasts in air fryer and you would have to air fry chicken in batches. You can always pop it back in for a minute to reheat the first batch.
Also when air frying food, it needs some space in between to ensure roasted results we all crave from the air fryer.
Of course, you can cook raw meat in the air fryer. Just thoroughly wash your air fryer basket with hot soapy water between uses.
No, there is no need to use the brine when you air fry chicken breast. I can guarantee you will have juicy results and save a lot of time with this recipe!
No, there is no need to flip chicken breasts in air fryer. Thanks to the design of air fryer, hot air circulates on top and on the bottom of food, cooking it evenly. Plus we will be serving the breasts same side down anyways.
Making air fryer chicken breast means cooking with less oil. In my nutrition course, I learnt that healthy fats are good for you, in moderation. That’s why I love to use avocado oil in cooking. It also has a high smoke point.
Air frying foods means using even less oil. So, yes, air fried food is good for you. This is especially the case with fried chicken, where you can get amazingly crispy results with just a fraction of the oil!
What to Serve Air Fryer Chicken Breast With?
After resting, the air fryer chicken breast is ready to serve. I recommend slicing it against the grain.
- Roasted cauliflower
- Mediterranean quinoa salad
- Instant Pot mashed potatoes and garlic green beans
- Grilled vegetables
- Sauteed zucchini
Once you have the basic air fryer chicken breast method down, then you can experiment with different spices, marinades, and more.
- Sauces: Try it with Thai chili sauce or healthy BBQ sauce.
- Fresh garlic: If you have a little extra time, feel free to use fresh grated or minced garlic over the chicken breasts like I do in air fryer lamb chops!
- Add vegetables: If you have enough space in the basket, you can add some veggies directly in with the chicken breasts to cook simultaneously. You could include zucchini, brussel sprouts, red peppers, broccoli and asparagus.
- For even juicier results: You can marinate the chicken breasts using one of these 5 chicken marinades. When marinated, place the chicken breasts straight into the air fryer basket and cook. There’ll be a little more “cleanup” afterward of the basket but otherwise it couldn’t be more simple.
How to Store and Reheat
Make ahead: After rubbing the chicken breasts with spices, you can allow them to sit covered in the refrigerator overnight for up to 12 hours before cooking.
Storing: Refrigerate leftover air fryer chicken breast in an airtight container for easy meal prep for up to 1 week. Make sure to move it to the refrigerator within 2 hours for food safety and keep it whole for the juiciest results.
Freeze: Cool completely before transferring the chicken breasts to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. I recommend slicing or shredding the chicken breasts before freezing. That way, it’ll thaw faster and can be added to meals immediately.
You can thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before eating or reheating.
Reheat: I recommend to do so either in air fryer or a pot. Here is how to reheat chicken breast in air fryer.
Or reheat air fryer chicken breast in a lidded pot with a splash of water or broth to steam them until warm. This will keep the chicken tender and moist compared to trying to reheat them in the oven.
More Air Fryer Recipes to Try
More Chicken Breast Recipes
- Pan fried chicken breast
- Spinach stuffed chicken breast
- Cajun chicken breast
- Baked BBQ chicken breast
- Garlic butter chicken breast
Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe
- Preheat air fryer at 380 F degrees for 5 minutes. In the meanwhile, in a large bowl or dish, add chicken, drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray, add chicken breasts in a single layer and not touching.
- Air fry at 380 F degrees for 16 minutes, no need to turn or shake.
- Open the basket and make sure internal read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads minimum 150 degrees F.
- Transfer onto a platter, cover with tin foil and let rest for 5 minutes to allow juices to settle.
- Slice against the grain and serve along any side with a salad. Meal prep for the week, use in salads and casseroles.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Reheat in a lidded pot with a splash of water or broth to ‘steam’ them until warm.
- Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Small Breasts (5 to 7 ounces): 14 minutes
- Medium Breasts (8 to 9 ounces): 16 minutes
- Large Breasts (10 ounces or more): 18 minutes