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I’ve always made either pan seared or baked chicken breast recipes, but recently I decided to try my hand at an easy air fryer chicken breast recipe. And I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner! Not only does chicken breast in the air fryer cook in a fraction of the time (10 minutes!), thanks to the circulating hot air, but it comes out juicier than ever.
You can season this air fryer boneless chicken breast simply or with some of the ideas below, so that you can use it for a quick dinner, meal prepped lunch, or even to use it over salads, sandwiches, wraps, or in casseroles.
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe
- Perfectly cooked, juicy chicken breast
- Simple, common ingredients
- Easy to make with just a few simple steps
- Cooks in only about 10 minutes (and no need to flip!)
- Healthy main dish for dinner, lunch, or meal prep
- Naturally gluten free and low carb
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for cooking boneless skinless chicken breast in air fryer, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Chicken breasts – This recipe makes boneless skinless chicken breast in the air fryer, but technically it would work with bone-in as well; I just haven’t tested the cook time for bone-in, so you’d need to use a probe thermometer (which I recommend anyway!) to check when it’s done. For boneless, I love this organic brand that gets delivered right to your door.
- Brine – You’ll need water and sea salt to make the brine. You’ll need enough water to submerge the chicken (about 4 cups in a large bowl) and a tablespoon of salt per cup of water. That may seem like a lot, but not nearly all the salt will make it into the chicken, and this ratio helps ensure that osmosis takes place to get as much of the water into the chicken as possible, for the best air fryer chicken breast. (I promise, the chicken won’t taste overly salty, and you’ll rinse the excess brine from the chicken before cooking.)
- Olive Oil – Brushing the chicken with oil helps prevent it from drying out. Any neutral oil, such as avocado oil, would also work.
- Spices – The basics I used are garlic powder (onion powder also works great), sea salt, paprika, and black pepper. See other seasoning options below.
- Lemon Pepper – You can use store-bought, or make your own with this lemon pepper seasoning recipe.
- Cajun – Making your own Cajun seasoning is super easy, or use your favorite store-bought brand.
- Mexican – Try my 5-minute fajita seasoning or taco seasoning blends.
- Ranch Seasoning – I love having homemade ranch seasoning mix on-hand at all times, but you can also use the ranch seasoning that comes in packets.
SEASONING TIP: A good rule of thumb is 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of seasoning (salt included) per pound of chicken breast. My homemade blends include salt, but if yours does not, also add about 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of chicken.
How To Cook Chicken Breast In The Air Fryer
This section shows how to make air fryer chicken breast, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Brine. In a large bowl, stir salt into water. Add the raw chicken breast and submerge in water. Let brine for 10 minutes at room temperature or up to a day in the fridge. (You can skip this step if you really want to, but it’s the secret to the most perfect, juicy air fryer chicken breast!)
- Dry. Rinse off the brine, then pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Oil. Brush both sides of the chicken with olive oil. (You can also spray with an oil mister if you have one.)
- Season. Sprinkle the chicken breasts evenly with the seasoning mixture: paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Air fry. Place chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket (I have and love this air fryer which has a really roomy basket!). Air fry chicken until internal temperature reaches 163-165 degrees F.
TIP: Leave space between chicken breasts. It’s important that the chicken breasts are only minimally touching, if at all, so that they cook evenly. Cook in batches if necessary.
- Rest. Remove the air fryer basket from the air fryer and cover with foil. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before enjoying! When ready to serve, slice against the grain.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long to cook chicken breast in the air fryer?
The boneless chicken breast air fryer cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts. The following chart shows a general guideline for how long to air fry them based on their size:
|Chicken Breast Size||Approx Weight Per Breast||Cook Time|
|Small||5-7 oz||7-10 minutes|
|Medium||8-10 oz||10-12 minutes|
|Large||11-12 oz||12-16 minutes|
This chart is a good guideline, but I recommend using a probe thermometer for perfectly cooked chicken breast (it will beep when ready!). An instant read thermometer will also work, but you won’t know until you check. The safest temp is 165 degrees F, but I prefer to cook until it reaches 163 degrees F, then let it rest for 5 minutes to reach at least 165. Internal temperature continues to rise while resting, so cooking until slightly less will ensure that the chicken does not come out dry.
What is the right air fryer chicken breast temperature?
Air frying chicken breasts at 400 degrees F produces the juiciest results, as the quick cook time prevents them from drying out.
Can you cook frozen chicken breast in the air fryer?
Yes, you can cook frozen chicken breast in air fryer. Thawing and brining it gives it better flavor and definitely keeps it juicy, but you can cook it directly from frozen. Cooking time will be closer to 18-20 minutes.
Can you use this method for other cuts of chicken?
Yes, you can air fry any cut of chicken. The cooking time will vary depending on cut. I have specific recipes for air fryer chicken drumsticks, air fryer wings, and air fryer whole chicken that you can use.
- Store leftovers: Keep leftover chicken in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Warm up the chicken in the air fryer again, or in a hot skillet, just until heated through. Be careful not to overcook, or it will be dry.
- Freeze: Freeze chicken breast in an airtight container in the freezer for 2-3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
What To Serve With Air Fryer Chicken Breast
For a healthy meal, pair air fryer chicken breast recipes with simple veggie sides:
- Roasted Asparagus
- Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts (or Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts if you want to use the same appliance!)
- Sauteed Broccoli (pictured above)
- Green Beans Almondine
- Zucchini Fries
More Easy Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
If you like this air fryer boneless chicken breast recipe, you might also like some of these other air fryer chicken recipes:
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Whole Chicken In The Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- Keto Fried Chicken In The Air Fryer
Find more healthy air fryer recipes here!
Tools To Make Chicken Breast In An Air Fryer
- Air Fryer – Obviously you need one to make chicken breast in an air fryer. This one (pictured above) is easy to clean and has a large basket size.
- Probe Thermometer – The best way to know precisely the right time when your chicken is cooked perfectly. (I also use this for all my steak recipes!)
- Instant Read Meat Thermometer – Another solid way to check doneness, if you don’t have a probe.
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe
Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe
Learn how to cook chicken breast in the air fryer, in just 10 minutes! It turns out juicy and tender every time with this easy air fryer chicken breast recipe.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Optional (but recommended) step: To brine the chicken breasts, stir the salt into the water in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts, submerging them. Let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature, or for up to a day in the refrigerator.
Rinse the brine from the chicken, then pat dry. (It's best to pat the chicken dry even if you didn't brine it.)
Brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with garlic powder, sea salt, paprika, and black pepper.
Place the chicken in the air fryer basket in a single layer (I have and love this air fryer for its roomy basket!), with the pieces not touching each other or at most barely touching. (If your chicken breasts are too large to fit, air fry them in batches. Don't crowd the basket.)
Air fry chicken breasts at 400 degrees F (204 degrees C), until the internal temperature reaches 163-165 degrees F (73-74 degrees C). (Internal temperature will rise another few degrees while resting in the next step, and should reach at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).) As a guideline, air fry 7-10 minutes for small chicken breasts (5-7 oz), 10-12 minutes for medium (8-10 oz), or 12-16 minutes for large (11-12 oz).
Remove the air fryer basket with the chicken from the air fryer and cover it with foil. Rest for 5 minutes before serving or slicing.
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Serving size: 1 chicken breast
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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