Air Fryer Chicken Breast
This perfectly tender and juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breast is fast, easy and loaded with flavor. This all-purpose chicken is great on salads, sandwiches or served with simple side dishes for a fast and easy dinner.
I’m nothing short of astounded at what an air fryer can do to boneless chicken breast. Just season it, press a couple of buttons and 15 minutes later you have crispy on the outside, exceptionally tender chicken that can be used for just about anything your heart desires. Skip the brine and fancy marinades. This method is fuss-free and fabulous!
While the chicken cooks in the air fryer, you have time to pull together a couple of simple side dishes for an almost effortless meal. As an added bonus, you’ll use less oil than you would if you cooked it in a skillet and no oil splatters to clean up. Low calorie, lean protein at its best!
I’ve been cooking up batches of this chicken for what I like to call “intentional leftovers” which is my old-fashioned way of saying meal prep. This is a recipe I could easily make on a weekly basis.
- Seasoned salt – I use Lawry’s Seasoned Salt but any all-purpose seasoning that includes salt will work. If it is salt free, you’ll want to add a little salt to the seasoning mixture.
- Oregano – Adds a fragrant, woodsy element.
- Smoked paprika – My favorite way to add great smoky flavor to recipes.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Boneless skinless chicken breast – You’ll need two 6- to 8-ounce pieces. For the best result, they should be no more than ½- to ¾-inch thick. See more on this in the Tips section below.
- Olive oil
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F for 5 minutes. Combine the seasoning mix in a small bowl. Set aside. Place the chicken on a cutting board or large sheet of foil and blot it dry with paper towels. Drizzle both sides with olive oil.
- Sprinkle the seasoning mix over both sides of the chicken.
- Transfer the chicken to the preheated air fryer basket and set cook time for 15 minutes.
- Flip the chicken after the first 8 minutes and continue cooking for the remaining time or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F when measured in the thickest portion with an instant read thermometer.
Tips for the Best Air Fried Chicken Breast
- Thickness – For the best result, chicken should between ½- to ¾-inch thick. If your pieces are thicker, place them between sheets of plastic wrap and use a mallet to lightly pound them as needed. Thicker pieces require a longer cooking time and are more likely to dry out.
- Internal Temperature – The chicken is ready when the internal temperature of the thickest portion reaches 165 degrees F. Use an instant read thermometer and begin checking the temperature a minute or two before the end of the cooking time.
- Resting Time – After cooking, transfer the chicken to a cutting board or plate and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing or serving. This will help the chicken retain its juices.
I’ve found 380 degrees to be the the optimal temperature for crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside chicken. For the most tender and juicy result, you don’t want to set the air fryer temperature too high or you can risk drying it out.
Larger cuts of chicken and turkey benefit from brining, but there is no need to brine chicken breast. Instead, this recipe adds great flavor with a seasoning blend and the fast cooking time ensures the chicken will be plenty tender and juicy.
This versatile air fryer chicken recipe becomes something completely different depending on the seasoning you use. Just substitute about 1 tablespoon of your favorite seasoning blend in place of the seasonings in the recipe. Here are my favorite variations.
- Homemade Taco Seasoning – Use the chicken for tacos, burritos, taco salad, and more.
- Kickin’ Cajun Seasoning Mix – This is hands down my favorite seasoning mix. I use it like an all-purpose seasoning and it is delicious for this air fried chicken. Try basting the seasoned chicken with a little BBQ sauce 2 to 3 minutes before the end of the cooking time for a real treat.
Easy Dinner Ideas
I most frequently serve air fried chicken breast with a potato or rice side dish and a simply prepared vegetable or salad. Here are some awesome choices.
- Almond Rice Pilaf – The rice pictured in this post.
- Lemon and Garlic Roasted Potatoes
- Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan
- Pesto Green Beans
- Sweet Chili Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Broccoli Salad
Meal Prep Chicken
Cook a batch of Air Fryer Chicken Breast on the weekend, slice it and refrigerate for easy meals through the week. This all-purpose chicken is delicious cold from the fridge on salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Promptly refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. For longer storage, transfer the cooled chicken to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen chicken overnight in the refrigerator before gently reheating in the air fryer or microwave, just until warmed through.
Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt like Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika can use sweet paprika, if preferred
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, (6 to 8 ounces each) no more than ½- to ¾-inch thick
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F for 5 minutes. Combine the seasoning mix in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board or large sheet of foil and blot it dry with paper towels. Drizzle both sides with olive oil and use your hands to coat well. Wash and dry your hands. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over both sides of the chicken.
- Transfer the chicken to the preheated air fryer basket and set cook time for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken after the first 8 minutes and continue cooking for the remaining time or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F when measured in the thickest portion with an instant read thermometer.
- Transfer to a cutting board or plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing or serving.