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Chicken Breast

It’s the chick’n you’ve been missin’: Air Fryer Chicken Breast.

Healthy air fryer chicken breast on a plate

Seasoned outside and tender inside, this juicy chicken breast defies the (often justified) stereotypes that come along with boneless, skinless chicken breast—namely that it is rubbery, dry, bland, and something to be eaten out of an obligation to be “healthy,” versus actual craving.

As I shared with my go-to, melt-in-your-mouth tender Baked Chicken Breast, Grilled Chicken Breast, and Baked Bone In Chicken Breast, it doesn’t have to be this way!

With one simple tip, you can transform your chicken breast into a juicy, versatile protein that is ideal for keeping on hand for fast, healthy meals throughout the week.

  • This guide will tell you how to make sure your air fryer chicken turns out juicy, not dry.
  • You can rub the chicken with any of your favorite herbs and seasonings (I’ve included my go-to blend below).
  • This is air fryer chicken with no breading (but if you prefer a crispy breading texture, try Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast). It’s my favorite to meal prep, because it is so versatile. You can add it hot or cold to salads, wraps, sandwiches, and more.
Two chicken breasts in an air fryer

Using the Air Fryer for Chicken

Ever since getting my air fryer a few months ago, I’ve become hooked.

An air fryer is a high-powered, countertop convection oven that blows hot air down and around the food to cook it. It’s more versatile than I expected!

You can use an air fryer to…

  • Make healthy versions of fried favorites (Air Fryer French Fries; Air Fryer Chicken Wings; Air Fryer Grilled Cheese).
  • Roast extra crispy vegetables in a fraction of the time (Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts).
  • Cook juicier proteins (Air Fryer Pork Chops; Air Fryer Tofu; Air Fryer Salmon; today’s air fried chicken breast!).
  • View a full list of air fryer recipes here.

Since chicken breast is lean, it benefits from high-temperature baking for a shorter period of time, and the air fryer offers it in spades.

After testing a variety of temperatures, I found that 375 degrees F is the best temperature for air frying chicken.

Because the air fryer uses convection heat, you do not need to set it as high as you would an oven (in a regular oven, 425 degrees F is best for baking chicken, like Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast).

A sliced air fryer chicken breast

How to Cook Juicy Chicken in the Air Fryer

My #1 secret to juicy chicken breast is brining.

Even just 30 minutes of brining can make a massive difference in your results.

Tip!

  • Brining is the process of salting meat and letting it rest prior to cooking.
  • During brining, the meat absorbs extra liquid and salt. The salt flavors the meat all the way through, so your chicken tastes completed seasoned, versus seasoned outside and bland inside. The liquid helps keep it moist.
  • You can use a wet brine (saltwater solution) or a dry brine (sprinkling the meat with salt). Personally, I prefer a dry brine because it is less messy.

My other secret to juicy chicken is DO NOT OVERCOOK THE CHICKEN BREAST. I really cannot overstate this.

If your air fryer chicken breast is dry, it is mostly likely because you overcooked it.

  • Use an inexpensive instant read thermometer to check for doneness.
  • Chicken is considered cooked at 165 degrees F.
  • I typically remove my chicken around 155 to 160 degrees F. During the resting period, the carryover cooking will bring the chicken to temperature and make it safe to eat.

How Long to Cook Chicken in the Air Fryer

The amount of time it takes to cook chicken in an air fryer will vary based on the size of your chicken breasts.

  • Small Breasts (5 to 7 ounces): 7 to 10 minutes
  • Medium Breasts (8 to 10 ounces): 10 to 12 minutes
  • Large Breasts (11 ounces or more): 12 to 16 minutes

You do need to flip the chicken halfway through cooking to ensure it cooks evenly.

Chicken Cuts

If you prefer the darker meat of chicken thighs while wanting that juicy-inside, crispy-outside texture, definitely try this Air Fryer Chicken Thighs recipe!

Two air fryer chicken breasts with seasoning

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken

Ready to make the melt-in-your-mouth tender chicken? Let’s do it!


The Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts. Despite their reputation for being dry and boring, chicken breasts can truly shine when prepared correctly. Not only are these air fryer chicken breasts tender and succulent, but they’re also packed with lean protein and vitamins.
  • Olive Oil. A little olive oil helps the seasonings adhere to the chicken breasts and keeps them moist.
  • Seasoning Blend. While there are endless options for how to season your chicken breasts, my favorite mixture is paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. It’s flavorful, versatile, and delish!

Spice Things Up!

For a spicy air fryer chicken, add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper to your seasoning blend.

Chicken Marinade

If you prefer a different flavor profile to your chicken, you could try a marinade. For a more in-depth look at the importance of marinating and the different components of a marinade, see my best-ever Chicken Marinade post and recipe.

This Chicken Thigh Marinade is another favorite that you could use to marinate the chicken in this recipe too.

The Directions

  1. Lightly pound the chicken on a cutting board.
  2. Season the chicken with salt, then refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Let the chicken come to room temperature.
Two raw pieces of meat in a bowl
  1. Stir the spice mixture together.
  2. In a bowl, combine the chicken, olive oil, and spice mixture.
Two raw pieces of meat in a basket
  1. Cook the chicken (smooth side down) at 375 degrees F for 6 minutes.
  2. Flip the chicken over. Cook for 2 to 8 more minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then ENJOY!

Using Frozen Chicken Breast

Yes, you put raw frozen chicken in the air fryer!

You won’t be able to brine it first or pound it to an even thickness (so the results are not *as* juicy) but if you forget to thaw your chicken, it’s a great option to have on hand.

  • To Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees F. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season as desired. Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick spray then air fry the chicken for 18 to 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Air fryer chicken breast on a plate with broccoli and rice

Ways to Use Air Fryer Chicken Breast

Once you’ve made your chicken in the air fryer, here are some tasty ways to use it:

  • Salad. Top your favorite salad recipe with this air fryer chicken. We love adding ours to Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing.
  • Pasta. Pack extra protein into a veggie pasta dish by adding chicken. It would be tasty tossed in this Brussels Sprouts Pasta with Brown Butter.
  • Pizza. Use your air fryer chicken to make this scrumptious Buffalo Chicken Pizza.
  • Stir Fry. Vegetable Lo Mein would be delicious with some air fryer chicken.
  • Sandwiches or Wraps. Use the chicken to make this Chicken Caesar Wrap, or add it to this Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Herbed Goat Cheese and Garlic for extra protein.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate chicken breasts in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm chicken in the air fryer or oven at 350 degrees F. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Leftover Ideas

Dice air fryer chicken breast to serve over your favorite green salads, like this Spinach Strawberry Salad, fold it into a wrap (like these Thai Peanut Wraps), or shred it to fold into a simple Crustless Quiche.

Air fryer chicken breast with rice and broccoli

What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Breast

Pastas

Eggplant Pasta

30 mins

Side Dishes

Moroccan Couscous

15 mins

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Air Fryer. The one I own and love!
  • Non-Slip Cutting Board. This cutting board won’t slip away from you while you’re prepping ingredients.
  • Instant Read Thermometer. The #1 way to ensure your meat is cooked through.

The Best Air Fryer

This larger size is great for cooking batches of crispy French fries, chicken, salmon, veggies, and more!

Healthy air fryer chicken breast on a plate

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Buh-byeeee bland. Hello, crave-worthy air fryer chicken breast!

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  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with a large sheet of plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, meat mallet, or your palm, lightly pound into an even thickness.

  • To Dry Brine*: Place the chicken on a plate and sprinkle all over with the kosher salt. Place in the refrigerator uncovered for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day—if you will not be dry brining, skip this step.

  • When ready to air fry: remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

  • In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper (if you did not dry brine the chicken, add the salt now)

  • Place the chicken in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the top. Toss to coat the chicken, ensuring you rub the spices evenly over both sides.

    Two raw pieces of meat in a bowl

  • Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F (my model takes 3 minutes to heat). Place the chicken presentation side (smooth side) down in the air fryer and let cook 6 minutes.

    Two raw pieces of meat in a basket

  • Remove the air fryer basket, then with tongs, carefully flip the chicken over. Continue cooking until the chicken registers between 155 and 160 degrees F, 2 to 8 minutes more. Chicken is considered safe to eat at 165 degrees F, but I like to remove mine a few degrees early, then let the carryover cooking finish the job. The total cook time will vary based on your model and the size of your chicken. Smaller breasts (about 6 ounces each) will need only around 8 minutes total; larger ones may need 14 or more. Check the chicken often towards the end to monitor its progress. DO NOT overcook or it will be dry.

  • Remove the chicken to a plate. Cover and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

  • *While dry brining isn’t 100% mandatory (the spices, cooking temperature, and cook times listed in this recipe are still correct for the best air fryer chicken breasts), brining works magic on meat. It improves its texture (it makes it juicy, plump, and meaty, not rubbery) and its flavor, because the meat will taste more seasoned all the way through, not just on the outside. If you have time for brining, I highly recommend it.
  • This is the air fryer I used for testing. Total cook time may vary based on your model.
  • No air fryer? Make my juicy Baked Chicken Breast instead.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken breasts in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm chicken in the air fryer or oven at 350 degrees F. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Serving: 1small, 6-ounce chicken breast (of 2)Calories: 237kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 36gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 109mgPotassium: 670mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 545IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I’m Erin Clarke, and I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that’s affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I’m the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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Frequently Asked Questions About how long chicken breast air fryer

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how long chicken breast air fryer, then this section may help you solve it.

How long does it take for chicken breast in air fryer?

How long to cook chicken breasts in the air fryer. Place in the air fryer basket and cook at 370-degrees for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 4-8 minutes cooking time, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160-degrees on an instant read thermometer

How long does a chicken breast take in an air fryer at 200?

Coat each chicken breast in bread crumbs, and transfer to your air fryer basket. Air fry in the air fryer at 390°F or 200°C for 10-12 minutes

How long does it take to fry chicken in my air fryer?

Spray all sides of the chicken pieces with olive oil spray, as well as the inner basket of the air fryer. Place 4-5 pieces of chicken in the bottom of the air fryer basket, or as many that fit in your air fryer basket or oven in a single layer. Cook for 15-20 minutes

How long do you cook chicken breast in the air fryer at 375?

Place chicken in the basket of your air fryer. Close, then cook at 375°F for around 12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F at the thickest part. Serve the chicken immediately for maximum juiciness

Does chicken cook faster in air fryer?

It takes less time to cook. We’re not talking tons less, but quite a bit less, especially for larger pieces. A whole chicken, for instance, can be done in 40 minutes in the air fryer but that same size chicken would be closer to an hour in a regular oven.

What temperature should chicken be in an air fryer?

But you’ll always want to make sure the internal temperature reaches 165ºF before removing the chicken from the air fryer. Don’t cook much past 165ºF or the chicken will be dry in texture.

Can u cook raw chicken in air fryer?

I like to cook my boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 10 minutes at 380?, then flip and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165?. Can you put raw chicken in the air fryer? Absolutely!

At what temperature do you cook chicken in an air fryer?

Place chicken in air fryer basket, standing against sides of basket if necessary. Set to 350°F; cook 15 minutes. Turn chicken; cook 5 to 8 minutes longer or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (at least 165°F).

Do you flip chicken when air frying?

The Best Air Fryers of 2022

This all may sound self-explanatory, but it’s an important fact to remember: Even if your air fryer has top-notch air circulation from its fan, you need to give most larger pieces of food (such as pork chops, burgers, and chicken cutlets) a turn about halfway through cooking.

Is it better to Bake chicken at 350 or 375?

Given the fact that drumsticks and thighs are dark meat and won’t dry out as easily as breasts, the range from 350 to 450 degrees is okay for baking them. 350 to 375 is generally best for breasts. The best answer to these questions? Simply check the chicken for doneness using an instant read thermometer.

Why is my chicken rubbery in air fryer?

What is this? Just follow the instructions and make sure you keep an eye in the temperature of the chicken in the final minutes. Since the Air Fryer works with convection heat, there is no need to cook chicken at very high temperatures, as it may quickly dry out and turn rubbery.

Is it better to cook chicken at 375 or 400?

If you want really juicy chicken breasts, you should cook them at a high temperature such as 400 F to seal in the juices but be careful not to overcook them. This post will show you how long to bake chicken breast at 400 F in the oven, in an air fryer, from frozen, and more.

Do I have to put oil on chicken in air fryer?

Yes, even air fryers need a little oil!

What temperature should I air fry my chicken?

After testing a variety of temperatures, I found that 375 degrees F is the best temperature for air frying chicken. Because the air fryer uses convection heat, you do not need to set it as high as you would an oven (in a regular oven, 425 degrees F is best for baking chicken, like Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast).

What Cannot be cooked in Airfryer?

Any food with a wet batter should not be placed in the air fryer. You also want to avoid putting food that has a wet batter, like corndogs or tempura shrimp, in air fryers.

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