Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Breasts that are tender, juicy, and delicious every time. Make this easy, foolproof recipe for a fast and simple weeknight dinner, or use it in your favorite meal prep recipes.
Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe
If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in my 34 years on this earth, it’s that usually when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But sometimes I’m proven wrong.
Say hello to juicy, perfectly cooked, non-breaded boneless chicken breasts cooked and ready to enjoy in just about 20 minutes.
Too good to be true, right? Wrong! But I couldn’t do it without my air fryer.
You may have seen my previous post for air fryer Brussels sprouts and how they turned out perfectly tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Well, given the success of this challenging vegetable, I thought why not try boneless skinless chicken breasts?
Oh my gosh, you guys/gals. They turned out so juicy. Much juicier than any Instant Pot chicken breast recipe and they cook so much faster.
Like, lightning speed fast. I could hardly believe it myself.
Air fryers are similar to convection ovens, using circulating hot air to cook food. But air fryers, unlike regular convection ovens, are much smaller. This makes for an instant, focused heating.
Anyway, enjoy these yummy, perfectly seasoned, versatile air fryer chicken breasts just like you would any other chicken breasts – in salads, on sandwiches, with pasta, or dipped in ranch dressing, serve in wraps, or enjoy with rice and veggies. They’re low-carb, gluten-free, and keto-approved.
How to Cook Chicken Breasts in the Air Fryer
- Brine and bring to room temperature – add the chicken breasts to a bowl filled with lukewarm salted water. This is called brining. It’s a recommended step for leaner meat (like chicken breasts), but not completely necessary. I do, however, highly recommend allowing your chicken breasts to rest at room temperature for at least 20-30 minutes before cooking (but no longer). This will ensure more even cooking and juicier chicken breasts overall.
- Pat dry each chicken breast with paper towels.
- Meanwhile, combine the spices in a small bowl. Feel free to add additional spices or use your favorite pre-made spice mix if preferred.
- Rub the seasoning all over both sides of each chicken breast.
- Lightly spray the inside of your air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray (I used olive oil spray) and add the chicken breasts in a single layer. You will probably have to cook your chicken breasts in two batches.
- Set temperature to 380 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for approximately 8-12 minutes, opening the basket and flipping about 5 minutes into cooking.
- After about 6-8 minutes, being checking the internal temperature of your chicken breasts by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of each chicken breast. You know it’s done cooking when it registers between 160-165°F.
Check out these other delicious chicken breast recipes,
Have you tried cooking chicken breasts in the air fryer?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
- Air Fryer
- Fill a large bowl or pot with 6-8 cups of lukewarm water. Add approximately 3-4 tablespoons of kosher salt and mix well until dissolved. Do not add warm or hot water as it will start to cook your chicken.
- Add the chicken breasts to the water. Let them rest for approximately 20-30 minutes. Remove from the water and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the salt water and set the chicken breasts aside.
- In a small bowl combine the paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (if using). Lightly spray the chicken breasts with nonstick spray (you may also brush with a light coat of oil) and season both sides with your homemade seasoning - use your fingers to rub the seasoning all over the entire surface.
- Lightly spray the inside of your air fryer basket with nonstick spray and preheat your air fryer (if necessary). Add the chicken breasts (work in batches, you don't want to stack the chicken breasts on top of each other). Set temperature to 380°F and cook for approximately 8-12 minutes total, flipping halfway through cooking.
- After approximately 6-8 minutes, use a digital read meat thermometer to check the doneness of your chicken. You know it's done cooking when it registers between 160-165°F.
- Remove chicken breasts from the air fryer to a clean plate and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing or serving. Enjoy!
- The overall weight and thickness of your chicken breasts will greatly influence the overall cooking time. To make your life easier, try to purchase chicken breasts that are about the same weight (anywhere from 6-8 ounces each). If one end of your chicken breast is especially thick (as is sometimes the case with chicken breasts) you may wish to pound the thicker end between plastic wrap so that the two ends are equal thickness. This helps ensure that the whole chicken breast cooks evenly.
- Bring your chicken breasts to room temperature. I did this by adding them to a bowl filled with lukewarm water and salt and letting them rest, at room temperature, for about 20-30 minutes. This will not only help them cook in less time, but also help them cook evenly (preventing the outside from cooking faster, and drying out when compared to the inside).
- I own this Cosori XL Air Fryer. So far, it's been great. Please note that different air fryers may cook differently from each other.
- I also line my air fryer with these silicone liners for easier clean-up.
- Keep leftover chicken stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)