Best Air Fried Chicken Breasts
Jun 27, 2023, Updated Oct 06, 2023
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The Best Air Fried Chicken Breasts Recipe – tender, juicy chicken breasts exploding with flavor right from your air fryer!
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Easy Juicy Air Fried Chicken Breasts
If you love delicious, flavorful, juicy chicken – but don’t want to hassle with the grill or heat up the house with the oven – you need this crazy easy and totally delicious Air Fried Chicken recipe!
This chicken is full of flavor, and is perfectly juicy and tender.
You can use these air fried chicken breasts in salads, wraps, sandwiches, tacos, and more – and this recipe was designed to work with marinades or seasonings you love.
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
How To Air Fry Chicken Breasts
To make this easy recipe, we will need the following ingredients:
- Chicken Breasts: The main protein source in this recipe. When cooked properly, chicken breasts can be incredibly juicy and tender. Removing the rib meat and extra fat helps ensure even cooking.
- Olive Oil: Used to help the seasoning stick to the chicken breasts and to add moisture, preventing the chicken from drying out in the air fryer. It also aids in achieving a nice golden color on the chicken.
- Garlic: Whether you leave the peels on for a milder flavor or remove them for a more robust taste, garlic adds a distinct savory note that pairs wonderfully with chicken.
- Lemon Juice: The acidity from lemon juice helps to tenderize the chicken and adds a tangy flavor that brightens up the dish.
- Italian Herbs: This blend of herbs, typically including basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme, provides aromatic and earthy notes that enhance the flavor of the chicken and give it a Mediterranean twist.
- Celtic Sea Salt: Known for its coarse, moist texture and briny taste, it brings out the natural flavors of the chicken and other ingredients.
- Pepper: Adds a bit of heat and complexity to balance out the flavors of the dish.
Air frying chicken breasts is incredibly easy – just marinate, season, and cook – but this process will help you get tender, moist, and delicious chicken!
- Add ingredients to a bowl or plastic bag, covering chicken in marinade. Let sit at least 30 minutes, up to overnight (skip marinating if using frozen chicken breasts, though you can add frozen chicken to marinade to defrost overnight.)
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (Also can air fry at 350, for 4-7 minutes longer cook time.)Add chicken to air fryer basket that has been lightly greased with a nonstick cooking spray, or lined with foil.
- Air fry, flipping every 5 minutes, until chicken reaches 160 degrees at the thickest part when using a digital meat thermometer – about 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from air fryer and lest rest 10 minutes before cutting.Serve and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Air Fried Chicken Breasts
How To Air Fry Chicken Without Drying It Out: The two most important tips to baking perfect chicken are pretty simple – marinate first, and monitor cook time with a digital thermometer.
Marinate first: Marinating chicken helps to lock in juices, tenderize meat, and give a great flavor – we’re not only marinating, but baking our chicken in the marinade, for even more flavor!
Use a thermometer: Using a digital meat thermometer is essential for baked chicken to ensure you’ve reached a safe temperature, and to make sure you don’t overcook your chicken breasts. We love using a Ninja Air Fryer and Grill to cook chicken since it has a temperature probe you can keep in the food, so you know exactly when your food is done! It even shuts off for you when you’ve reached the right temp.
Cook to 165: Chicken is cooked at 165 degrees – which means removing from the oven at 160 degrees. Chicken will carryover cook to 165 if you remove from the oven at 160.
Rest chicken: Always let chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting to help the juices recirculate and lock in.
Easy Chicken Breast Marinade: For any marinade you make, aim for 1 oil (olive oil, avocado oil), 1 acid (lemon juice, vinegar), and herbs. Dry herbs will work best – but you can use fresh if you’d like – add a bit more than dried.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning or Italian herbs seasoning mix
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
How Long To Air Fry Chicken Breasts: Chicken breasts will take about 25 minutes to air fry at 350 degrees – 40-50 if air frying from-frozen. One tip to get extra juicy chicken is to cook it for less time at a higher temperature – around 15 minutes at 400 degrees. We recommend cooking at 350 instead of 400 if air frying frozen chicken breasts – or air fry to 130 degrees at 350, then finish chicken at 400.
- 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees
- 14-18 minutes at 400 degrees
- As always, please go by your thermometer temperature, not your clock, to gauge when chicken is done cooking.
When is Chicken Breast Done Cooking: No matter how much time has elapsed, chicken is considered fully cooked and safe to eat at 165 degrees. While our cook times are good for a guide to plan getting dinner on the table, please always go by temperature – not by time – when judging your chicken’s doneness.
Chicken breasts are fully cooked and safe to eat at 165 degrees.
Air fried chicken breasts take 15-20 minutes to bake.
This recipe can last up to four days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to four months.
The cooking time for chicken breast in an air fryer depends on various factors, including the thickness of the chicken and the temperature setting of your air fryer. On average, boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be cooked in an air fryer at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Preheating is not always necessary, but it can help ensure even cooking. Preheat the air fryer for 3-5 minutes before placing the chicken breast inside.
Marinating the chicken before cooking can add flavor and moisture. You can marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours in the refrigerator before air frying.
Yes, you can cook frozen chicken breast in the air fryer. However, it will take longer to cook than thawed chicken. It’s recommended to thaw the chicken first for more even results.
To prevent dryness, you can brine the chicken breast in a saltwater solution before cooking. Additionally, avoid overcooking the chicken, and consider basting it with a little olive oil or butter to help retain moisture.
Chicken breast can be seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices, such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, rosemary, or a simple salt and pepper seasoning. Experiment with your favorite flavors to suit your taste.
Yes, you can use a light batter or breading on chicken breast before air frying. Just be sure not to make it too thick, as excessive breading may not cook evenly.
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safely cooked. Alternatively, you can make a small cut in the thickest part of the chicken; if the juices run clear, it’s done.
Yes, you can cook bone-in chicken breast in the air fryer, but it may require a slightly longer cooking time than boneless chicken breast.
Air-fried chicken breast can be served with a variety of sides, such as steamed vegetables, rice, or a fresh salad. It’s also great for sandwiches, wraps, or as a protein in pasta dishes.
What To Serve With Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
If you are looking for delicious side dishes that are awesome alongside chicken breasts, check out some of our favorites below:
For more of our delicious easy side dishes, please visit our side dish recipe index.
The Best Air Fryer Chicken Breasts Recipe
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- 4 chicken breasts, rib meat and extra fat removed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6-8 cloves garlic (with or without peel)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Italian Herbs
- 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Add ingredients to a bowl or plastic bag, covering chicken in marinade.
- Let sit at least 30 minutes, up to overnight (skip marinating if using frozen chicken breasts, though you can add frozen chicken to marinade to defrost overnight.)
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add chicken to air fryer basket that has been lightly greased with a nonstick cooking spray or lined with foil.
- Air fry, flipping every 5 minutes, until chicken reaches 160 degrees at the thickest part when using a digital meat thermometer - about 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from air fryer and lest rest 10 minutes before cutting.
- Serve and enjoy!
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Maldon Salt, Sea Salt Flakes, 8.5 oz (240 g), Kosher, Natural, Handcrafted, Gourmet, Pyramid Crystals
Hibabe Oil Sprayer Bottle, 100ml Oil Spray Versatile Glass,Olive Oil Sprayer Mister,Olive Oil Spray for cooking, Salad, BBQ, Kitchen Baking, Roasting
365 by Whole Foods Market, Extra Virgin Mediterranean Olive Oil, 33.8 Fl Oz
Ninja FD302 Foodi 11-in-1 Pro 6.5 qt. Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer that Steams, Slow Cooks, Sears, Sautés, Dehydrates & More, with 4.6 qt. Crisper Plate, Nesting Broil Rack & Recipe Book, Silver/Black
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer that Crisps, Roasts, Reheats, & Dehydrates, for Quick, Easy Meals, 4 Quart Capacity, & High Gloss Finish, Black/Grey
Ninja OG751 Woodfire Pro Outdoor Grill & Smoker with Built-In Thermometer, 7-in-1 Master Grill, BBQ Smoker, Air Fryer, Bake, Roast, Dehydrate, Broil, Ninja Woodfire Pellets, Portable, Electric, Grey
Morton & Bassett Italian Herbs 0.8 ounce
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 366Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 137mgSodium 649mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 47g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.