Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breast rubbed with a simple seasoning and air fried to perfection. This easy and quick baked chicken breast recipe is perfect for meal prep, salads, and sandwiches!
We love to air fry instead of deep dry our favorite foods! Our most popular Air Fryer recipe are these extra crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings which are made with no oil and get so many rave reviews but my personal favorite are our Air Fryer Onion Rings which are just perfect – crunchy outside and tender inside.
Air Fryer Chicken Breast
Chicken Breasts made in the Air Fryer make a great basic to have in your fridge for a quick lunch or dinner! Chicken is probably one of my favorite meats because it is so versatile but often chicken breasts lack juiciness when they are cooked too long and taste a bit like shoe soles. That’s because lean chicken breasts are low in calories but that also means that they dry out quickly during cooking.
But not this Air Fryer chicken breast recipe! Cooking chicken breast in the Air Fryer at a high temperature for just long enough to reach the perfect internal temperature guarantees juicy, flavorful meat that is tender and has just the right amount of caramelization on the outside. I love using my Air Fryer for making chicken breasts because I only need a tiny amount of oil compared to using a skillet, I don’t have to preheat it which saves time, I don’t need to flip the breasts and it is the perfect size for making 2-3 breasts.
Below I share my basic recipe for baked chicken breasts in the Air Fryer which makes a great base for salads but by playing with different spices you can transform simple chicken breasts into flavor bombs! Here are a few of my favorite seasonings for Chicken:
Chicken Breast Seasoning
- Lemon Pepper Chicken: 2 tsp Lemon Pepper in addition to salt and pepper
- Italian Chicken: 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, a pinch of garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper
- Mexican Chicken: 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, and 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Spicy Chicken: 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp chili flakes, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Greek Chicken: 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil 1/4 tsp dried dill, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper
Tips for Making Chicken Breast in Air Fryer
- If your chicken breasts are really large cut them in half horizontally to form two thin steaks for a shorter cooking time
- Pounding the breasts makes them cook more evenly and tender.
- My Philips Air Fryer basket is big enough to cook 2 chicken breasts at the same time, if you want to cook more you can use a rack or cook in batches for the best results.
- You can use different spices or herbs depending on your taste in this recipe (see seasonings above for inspiration)
- For a slightly crispy crust dredge the breast in flour seasoned with spices. Shake to remove excess flour before cooking.
- To make breaded chicken breasts you can use ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs combined with 1 Tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp garlic powder (optional). Brush chicken with oil, then dredge in bread crumb mixture
- Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
- Depending on your Air Fryer and the size of the chicken breasts the cook time might be longer or shorter! I always recommend using an Instant Read Thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, this way you get the juiciest, perfectly done results
How long to cook chicken breast
Timing is very important when cooking lean meat like chicken breasts. If you cook them too long they will come out dry. You want to hit the cooking time perfectly so the meat is cooked all the way through but still juicy, the easiest way to do this is using an Instant Read Thermometer. The chicken breast is done when it has reached an internal temperature of 165F (75C) in the thickest part of the breast. Let the meat rest before cutting it to allow all of the juices to reabsorb into the chicken keeping your chicken breast moist and juicy!
What temperature to cook chicken breasts
Baking chicken breasts at a higher temperature like 390F seals the juices in while it cooks and makes the best chicken!
What to do with Baked Chicken Breasts
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
- Chicken Salad
- BLT Chicken Chopped Salad
- Chicken Caesar Pinwheels
Tools used for Making this Air Fryer Oven Baked Chicken Recipe
Air Fryer: This is the model I own. I really like it and would recommend it for smaller families. It came with a rack which doubles the space in the basket. Before buying this model I had the older XL Air Fryer which was bigger but took a lot more space to store.
Air Fryer Oven: This oven is on my wishlist! I saw it at Costco and it has great reviews. It has a lot more functions then an Air Fryer!
Instant Read Thermometer: A must have that every cook should have in their kitchen! It’s super affordable and makes it so easy to check the internal temperature of roasts, steaks, creme brulee, etc.
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Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 1-2 tsp olive oil, or melted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Optional: Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness of about 0.8 inches (2cm) with a meat tenderizer or the bottom of a wide jar.
- Brush chicken with olive oil or melted butter and season it with salt and pepper from both sides.
- Put the chicken breasts in one single layer in the Air Fryer basket.
- Cook for 12-16 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breast at 390 F until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut and it has reached an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C).
- Remove from Air Fryer and transfer to cutting board. Let sit for 2-3 minutes before cutting or serving.
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