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Air Fryer Chicken Breasts Recipe – Tender & Juicy Every Time

Once you learn how to cook chicken breast in your air fryer you will want to make it over and over again. Not only is it simple and easy to do, the chicken turns out moist and delicious every time!

Many of us purchased or were gifted an air fryer with the intention of making traditionally fried foods a little healthier. Instead of cooking French fries, chicken wings, and onion rings in a pool of hot oil this small appliance allows you to cook and enjoy them without the extra calories. 

That alone is enough of a reason to use an air fryer in your kitchen. However there are so many other food items that can be made in this popular cooking device.

air fryer chicken breast sliced

In fact, I use my air fryer for traditionally baked food items even more than fried foods. 

For instance I use it to make both baked potatoes and sweet potatoes. The potatoes are light and fluffy on the inside and the skin becomes perfectly crispy on the outside. 

In addition it is now my preferred cooking method for salmon, cod, pork chops and of course chicken breast. Not only does the meat turn out moist and tender on the inside, they cook up much quicker than if they were cooked in an oven.  

Why You Will Love This Recipe

1. Healthier Than Pan Seared Chicken

Although you could cook chicken breast in a skillet, it still requires oil to be placed in the bottom of the pan so that it doesn’t stick. However, once you use an air fryer to cook the chicken breast, this oil is not necessary. 

Instead, all that is required is to spray the air fryer basket with non stick cooking spray. Or even better, line the air fryer basket with parchment paper or an air fryer silicone baking mat. 

The less oil you use the less calories that you will consume. 

2. Takes Less Time Than Oven Baked Chicken 

Another great, low calorie cooking method to make chicken breasts is to put them in the oven to bake. Although this is a fantastic way to get a large amount of chicken cooked at the same time it is quite a lengthy process. 

First you have to wait 10-15 minutes for the oven to preheat to the correct cooking temperature. Then once the chicken is in the oven you have another 20-30 minutes to wait until the chicken is cooked through to a safe temperature for consuming. 

However, when you use an air fryer, the chicken can be ready on the table in less than 20 minutes, from start to finish!

dry rub seasoning
Although I have listed the ingredients for my favorite chicken dry rub, feel free to use whatever seasoning that you would like.

3. Very Versatile Recipe 

Another benefit to this recipe is that it is very versatile. You can easily switch up the dry rub seasoning or marinate the chicken before it goes in the air fryer to give you a completely different taste each and every time. 

This is a great way to still eat healthy without getting bored with eating the same foods over and over again. 

4. Easily Adjust The Amount of Servings

One of the reasons that I love cooking in my Nu Wave Air Fryer Oven is that I can easily adjust the amount of servings that I want to make. For example, when cooking for the entire family I will use two baskets to cook 4-6 chicken breasts. 

However, when I am cooking for myself, I can make a single chicken breast in the same amount of time without heating up the entire kitchen. Although because there are so many different sizes of air fryers the amount of chicken that you can cook at a single time will depend on the size of your specific air fryer basket. 

How Does An Air Fryer Cook?

To fully understand the benefits of cooking with an air fryer, let me first explain the cooking process. As mentioned in my Air Fryer Tips & Recipes For Beginners Article an air fryer is a small countertop convection oven. 

This means that food is cooked using both a top heating element and a small fan that circulates hot air around the food. This allows the food to cook evenly and at a more rapid rate than when placed in a large, standard size convention oven.

seasoned chicken breast in air fryer
Place the chicken breasts in the air fryer and allow the heat element and hot air cook it to perfection.

Therefore, if you have a dual functioning oven that has the option for a convection setting, essentially you already own an air fryer. However, this is a much larger air fryer than the popular countertop appliances. 

So you may wonder why you need the smaller version of an air fryer. If you want to cook food fast, the countertop appliance is your answer. 

The food cooks much faster in these devices because it is in a smaller space. So now that you know how an air fryer works, let’s get to the actual recipe. 

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, approximately 6 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Optional Homemade Dry Rub Seasoning Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dry Italian blend
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat air fryer to 370°F (188°C). *Even if your brand of air fryer doesn’t have a preheat setting, preheat it for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the spices to make the dry rub. Or pick out your favorite dry rub seasoning. Set aside.

Rub both sides of each chicken breast with olive oil. Then sprinkle the homemade dry rub or seasoning of your choice over each chicken breast, coating both sides.

Place the chicken breasts in the air fryer in a single layer, working in batches if need, leaving 1/4 inch space between each one. Air fry for 10 minutes.

Flip each chicken breast over and cook an additional 6-10 minutes or until the thickest part of each chicken breast reaches 160°F when checked with an instant read digital thermometer.

Remove the chicken breasts from the air fryer basket and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.

checking air fryer chicken breast with thermometer
It is important to check the internal temperature of the chicken with a digital thermometer to cook the chicken to perfection.

How To Serve Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

Now that you have perfectly cooked chicken breasts, it is time to determine how to serve them. Although you could serve them with just about anything for a lunch or dinner meal, here are some of my favorite ways to use chicken breasts. 

1. Main Dish

There is nothing easier or more convenient than making chicken breast as the main protein for dinner. Simply pull the chicken out of the air fryer and serve it with a vegetable and a starch for a complete and balanced meal. 

If you want to make it a low carb dinner, serve it with Instant Pot Garlic Green Beans, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or Cauliflower Rice

2. Protein For Salad

Another great way to serve air fryer chicken breasts is to put slices on top of a garden salad. You can serve the chicken warm or make it ahead of time and take it to work the next day for an easy and healthy lunch option. 

3. Chicken Salad 

Although I most often make Chicken Salad using leftover rotisserie chicken, you can also use chicken breast instead. In fact, because of the additives that are most often used in store bought rotisserie chicken, it is often the healthier choice. 

4. Breakfast Options

You may not initially consider adding chicken breast to your breakfast options but in our house it is a great choice. Unlike processed meats, air fryer chicken breasts are a much healthier option. Bacon, sausage, ham and other traditional breakfast meats have a high sodium content. 

Therefore, when you add diced chicken to your omelet or serve it as thin strips of protein, you are consuming a healthier breakfast to start your day off right. 

chicken tacos
One of my favorite ways to use air fryer chicken breast is in tacos.

5. Tacos, Burritos, Enchiladas, Nachos

Instead of using the suggested dry rub ingredients below season the chicken with Taco or Fajita seasoning. Then slice, dice, or shred the meat and use it in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or on top of Nachos. All are great ways to get dinner on the table quickly!

6. Chicken Wraps

Another great way to serve air fryer chicken breasts are in chicken wraps. There are so many ingredients that you can use to make a chicken wrap, including my favorite Buffalo Chicken Wraps

However, use whatever you have on hand to make the wraps for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. 

7. Pizza Topping 

Over recent years chicken has increased in popularity in regards to becoming a pizza topping. From Chicken Alfredo pizza to Cajun Garlic pizza, these varieties have all become crowd favorites. 

However, I simply like to take my standard, red sauce pizza and add diced chicken, red onion and sliced banana peppers to the top. It is a delicious way to enjoy pizza.

As you can see, the choices are endless on how you can serve Air Fryer Chicken Breast. So be sure to follow the recipe and make it today!

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

air fryer chicken breast

How to cook chicken breasts in an air fryer so that they turn out moist and tender every time!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, approximately 6 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Optional Homemade Seasoning

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dry Italian blend
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 370°F.C (188°C). *Even if your brand of air fryer doesn't have a preheat setting, preheat for 5 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl combine the spices to make the dry rub. *Or use your favorite dry rub seasoning. Set aside.
  3. Rub both sides of each chicken breast with olive oil. Then sprinkle the homemade dry rub over each chicken breast, coating both sides.
  4. Place the chicken breasts in the air fryer in a single layer, working in batches if need, leaving 1/4 inch space between each one. Air fry for 10 minutes.
  5. Flip each chicken breast over and cook an additional 6-10 minutes or until the thickest part of each chicken breast reaches 160°F when checked with an instant read digital thermometer.
  6. Remove the the chicken from the air fryer basket and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

*The cook time listed is for 6 ounce size chicken breasts. Increase the time for larger breasts.

All air fryers cook at different rates. Be sure to check for doneness a few minutes before the suggested end of cook time.

If you use marinated chicken breasts, be sure to remove the excess marinade from the chicken breasts to prevent the marinade from burning.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 13g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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