This recipe for Air Fryer Chicken Breasts is a great way to have healthy, juicy and tender chicken! All you need is a few ingredients, a little time and you will have the most deliciously moist and flavorful chicken. Enjoy it with your favorite sides, top a crisp salad or tuck into your favorite sandwich or wrap. This recipe makes 2 breasts but can easily be halved for 1 or doubled for 4 or more.
Is crazy that I’m not ready to jump into the holiday season quite yet?
People on Instagram are already decorating their mantles and I’m over here still enjoying salads while sneaking a piece of Halloween candy here and there (and here and there). It’s literally November 1st (as I type) and I can’t fathom this?!
With that said, I thought before I start filling your feed with all the Thanksgiving recipes I have planned, I wanted to share with you an easy way to have juicy chicken in minutes. To say I make this recipe a lot, is an understatement. We have it for dinner, or I’ll make a double batch, chop and eat it on salads, in a panini or wrap. Once I even made Malloree a quesadilla using this and she told me “It was the best chicken she’d ever eaten.” It was as if she handed me a dozen roses and gave me the mother of the year award.🥰
Seriously though, this chicken is so good! And if you don’t already have an air fryer… what are you waiting for??
To Make Air Fryer Chicken Breasts You Will Need:
- boneless skinless chicken breasts
- kosher salt
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- dried parsley
- black pepper
- cayenne pepper
Once your chicken breasts are pounded thin, add them to a bowl.
Sprinkle with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. These were large breasts so I went with 3/4 teaspoon. However scale back if your chicken breasts are smaller. Set this off to the side for 25 to 30 minutes or up to 1 hour (for boneless skinless chicken breasts). This method is call dry brining. I first learned of this quick magical trick when Pat and I smoked chicken breasts over the summer.
What Is dry Brining?
Dry brining is a quick way to brine meat without going through the whole rigamarole of making a wet brine. In a nutshell? It’s salting your meat and let it rest before cooking. Which is great when you’re short on time! It works by drawing out moisture, breaking down the salt and then the chicken reabsorbs the salty “brine”, not only seasoning it throughout but also tenderizing the meat. Dry brining does not dry your chicken out whatsoever. Instead, dry brining will yield juicy tender chicken every single time. That is, as long as you don’t overcook your chicken. 😉
While your chicken is dry brining, make the seasoning blend. This is my go-to seasoning for air frying chicken. It’s similar to my all-purpose season salt, just minus the salt (because we’re dry brining!) and with the addition of parsley for a pop of green.
However, you can use any seasoning that your heart desires. Making tacos? Fajitas? or maybe you want blackened chicken? Here is a list of my homemade seasoning and spice blends! Choose your own adventure.
Stir to combine.
Once the timer is up, drizzle the chicken with 2 teaspoon oil. I’m using avocado, but any light oil that’s good for high temp cooking will work here.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the seasoning and toss well to coat.
Meanwhile reheat your air fryer to 390°.
What Is Air Frying?
- An air fryer is a counter top appliance that requires less oil (anything from a few spritz to 1 tablespoon) yet produces crispy food that rivals most deep fried foods. By using circulating hot air, it moves at a high speed so the food tends to cook in a fraction of the time.
- There are a bunch of different makes and models of air fryers. My husband did the research (as he’s known to do) and found this air fryer [affiliate] to be one of the best. But do your research and purchase one that fits your lifestyle.
How is Air Frying Healthier?
- Air frying is healthier because only a thin layer of oil coats the food and when the hot air comes in contact it will crisp. Saving you a ton of fat and calories (without sacrificing any flavor!) because food is not being submerged in a vat of hot oil.
- Keep in mind, not all air fryers are equal. Some preheat and some do not. Some are smaller than others therefore you may need to work in smaller batches to air fry.
For more Air Fryer recipes, click here for my growing collection.
Once hot, place the chicken breasts smooth side facing down and air fry 5 minutes. Then flip and continue to cook 3 to 7 minutes until the chicken temperature is 162 or 163°.
How Long Should You Cook Your Chicken Breast?
Depending on the size of your breast will determine how long they will need in the air fryer. Smaller breasts usually take about 8 minutes total. Medium breasts about 10 to 12 minutes. While larger breasts take 12 to 14 or longer.
How To Get a Juicy Chicken Breast?
That’s easy! By not overcooking your chicken breasts! I know cooking (or the thought of undercooking) chicken can make people nervous. If this is the case, then I highly suggest using an instant read thermometer. It’s the best way to know when your chicken is fully cooked! All you do is insert it into the middle of thickest part and in seconds you will get a reading. Chicken is considered fully cooked at 165° so I pull it at 162 or 163° and transfer it to a small carving board and tent it with foil. While the chicken rests (for 3 to 5 minutes under the foil) and the carryover cooking will bring it up a few degrees until it is a perfect 165° and is juicy and tender.
Once the chicken has rested, serve and enjoy!
Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on size of chicken breasts
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil, or extra light olive oil
- Pat the chicken breasts with paper towel. Place 1 chicken breast at a time in a gallon size re-sealable bag or between to pieces of plastic wrap.
- Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken to even thickness. This step is important as it will help cook your chicken evenly.
- Transfer chicken to a bowl and sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and let sit for 25 to 30 minutes on the counter.
- Preheat your air-fryer to 360°.
- In a small bowl, combine paprika, garlic and onion powder, parsley flakes, black pepper and cayenne.
- After 30 minutes, toss the chicken breasts in 2 teaspoons oil and the seasoning until evenly coated.
- Once preheated, place chicken breasts in the air fryer (if using parchment paper, make sure it's meant for the air fryer and never preheat your air fryer with parchment paper inside) and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Flip and continue cooking 4 to 5 minutes or until fully cooked and no longer pink. An instant read thermometer should register 165° (see notes) when inserted into the thickest part.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for 3 to 5 minutes under tented foil.
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