This air fryer chicken breast takes less than 8 minutes to make and turns out perfectly juicy and tender every time- it’s truly the best! A secret trick guarantees the chicken never dries out.
As someone who enjoys chicken breasts on a weekly basis, I used to follow the same method of cooking them. I’d marinate them for several hours, then pan-fry or bake them in the oven. The downside to this was how time-consuming it is.
Enter- cooking chicken in the air fryer. Like air fryer salmon and air fryer chicken wings, it’s been a game changer in a plethora of ways, and I’ll never cook chicken breasts any other way again.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- No marinating needed. Most air fryer chicken breast recipes need the chicken to be brined or marinated beforehand, but not this one!
- Ready in 8 minutes. Air fry the chicken for 4 minutes each side and you are done.
- Easy to customize. Keep it simple with some salt and pepper to jazz it up with more intricate and flavorful spices.
Can we lament about how incredible the texture is? It’s juicy and tender, and cooking it in the air fryer guarantees consistent and perfect results every single time.
This simple recipe has just one key ingredient: chicken breasts. Everything else is optional, but there are a couple of staples we recommend for the most basic yet flavorful chicken. Here is what you’ll need:
- Chicken breasts- Skinless and boneless breasts. Get equal-sized chicken breasts so they cook evenly.
- Olive oil- A touch of oil keeps the chicken juicy and tender.
- Spices- Smoked paprika, cumin, and onion powder add a delicious smokey and umami flavor.
- Salt and pepper- To taste.
How to make air fryer chicken breast
This recipe is very simple, and the air fryer takes care of all the hard work!
Step 1- Prepare the chicken
Start by pat drying the chicken, then add it to a bowl and rub olive oil on each fillet. Mix the spices in a bowl and rub them on each side of the chicken breast. If desired, let the chicken sit for 10 minutes for the spices to absorb.
Step 2- Preheat the air fryer
Next, preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F and lightly grease the basket with cooking spray.
Step 3- Cook the chicken
Now, place the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket and cook for 4 minutes. Then flip the side and cook the other side for 4-5 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Repeat the process until all chicken breasts are done.
How long to cook chicken in the air fryer?
The basic time for a standard 8-oz portion of chicken is 8 minutes. However, smaller or larger cuts will have differing cooking times:
- Small breasts (5-7 ounces): 6 to 8 minutes
- Medium breasts (8-10 ounces): 7-10 minutes
- Large breasts (11 ounces or more): 10-14 minutes
Since chicken breasts are leaner compared to other proteins, it doesn’t take long to cook in the air fryer.
What temperature do you cook chicken breast in the air fryer?
The best temperature to cook chicken breast in an air fryer is 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is slightly higher than that of an oven, as the air fryer uses convention heat to cook.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Ensure there is enough space between the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket. The air fryer cooks the protein by circulating the hot air, so it is important.
- Flip the chicken breasts halfway through the cooking time to ensure both sides are evenly cooked.
- Do not line the air fryer basket with parchment paper or tin foil, as the basket-style air fryer basket cooks the meat evenly.
Ways to use air fryer chicken
Once your chicken breast is ready, here are some delicious ways to enjoy it:
Wondering what is the best way to store leftover chicken breast? Here are best practices for chicken storage:
- To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days.
- To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to two months.
- Reheating: Microwave the chicken for 20-30 seconds or in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes.
More air fryer recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
Adding olive oil (or any oil) to air fry the chicken will add more flavor and ensure. The spices will stick better, too.
You know when your chicken is fully cooked by checking its internal temperature and making sure it is at least 165F.
While fresh chicken is preferred, frozen ones will work. Be sure to thaw them out completely and pat them dry before rubbing the seasonings on them.
- 4 medium chicken breast fillets 4-6 ounces each
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F.
Pat dry the chicken breasts then add them into a bowl and rub the oil generously over them all.
Add the spices in a bowl, then rub on both sides of the chicken breast fillets. If desired, let the chicken sit for 10 minutes.
Place the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket and cook for 4 minutes, flip, and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
Remove the chicken from the air fryer basket and serve immediately.
TO FREEZE: Place the cooked and cooled chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to two months.
TO REHEAT: Microwave the chicken for 20-30 seconds or in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes.
Serving: 1chicken breast | Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 425mg | Potassium: 467mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 541IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg | NET CARBS: 1g