Air Fryer Chicken Breast
See my guide on how to use an Air Fryer.
Air Fryer Chicken Breast is the best way to make juicy, tender, perfectly seasoned chicken breasts. This recipe is fast, easy and absolutely delicious!
Cooking chicken in the air fryer makes it perfectly tender and juicy, every time, thanks to the hot air that circulates in the air fryer as it cooks.
My love for air fryer chicken started with our favorite Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. Then we became enamored with this crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken and Air Fryer Chicken Tenders. Today we are singing the praises of perfect air fryer chicken breasts!
These chicken breasts are seasoned with a simple chicken rub, which is a variation of my all-time favorite Chicken Seasoning. They’re perfect for serving with your favorite side dish recipes, slicing and adding to salads, or making my easy Chicken Salad Recipe. This air fryer chicken breast has quickly become one of our go-to Air Fryer Recipes!
The Best Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- Juicy Chicken: This air fryer chicken breast is undeniably moist and juicy!
- Even Cooking: The edges don’t dry out while cooking, as can sometimes happen with baked or grilled chicken.
- Flavor! Every bite is so flavorful thanks to a simple seasoning rub.
- Easy Dinner Idea: This recipe is super easy – only 10 minutes of prep!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this air fryer chicken breast recipe:
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: This recipe calls for two chicken breasts to serve four people. You can cook more or less chicken by scaling the recipe up or down. If you are cooking more than two breasts, you may need to cook the chicken in batches if it won’t fit in a single layer in your air fryer.
- Olive Oil: Rubbing the chicken breasts with olive oil helps the seasonings to stick.
- Brown Sugar: I include brown sugar in the seasoning rub for the chicken because it caramelizes as the chicken cooks, helping to keep the outside of the chicken moist. It also adds a hint of sweetness, which is delicious counterpart to the savory spices in the rub. If you prefer a no sugar recipe, you can omit the brown sugar. In this case, you may want to double the paprika for additional flavor.
- Chicken Rub: The remaining ingredients in the chicken seasoning rub are paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
Recipe Variations: Add 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder to the rub for a bit of heat. Or use smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Breast
You are going to love how quick and easy this recipe is!
- Combine seasonings: Whisk or stir together the seasonings.
- Pound the chicken: Pat the chicken breasts dry. Place them in a zip-top plastic bag or between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap, to prevent splattering. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness.
- Season the chicken breasts: Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and then with the seasoning mixture.
- Cook in the air fryer: Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in the air fryer. Air fry at 400° F for 8 minutes, then flip the chicken over and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, about 5-12 more minutes.
How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in an Air Fryer
How long to cook chicken breasts in the air fryer can depend on a number of factors, including the weight and thickness of the chicken breasts, the cooking temperature, and which air fryer you use. I air fry chicken breasts at 400° F because a higher cooking temperature helps to sear the outside of the chicken, sealing in the juices.
Flipping the chicken over halfway through the cook time helps it to cook evenly. In my air fryer, chicken breasts usually take 13-20 minutes total to cook, depending on their size. If your chicken breasts are very small (less than 8 ounces each), they may cook faster than 13 minutes. Chicken is done when the internal temperature registers 165° F on an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast.
Cooking Frozen Chicken in the Air Fryer
If your chicken breasts are frozen, you do not need to thaw them before cooking in the air fryer. Just be sure that the chicken is frozen as individual breasts, rather than more than one breast frozen together in a large mass.
You won’t be able to pound frozen chicken to tenderize it and make it an even thickness, so it won’t cook quite as evenly or turn out quite as juicy, but it will still be flavorful. Brush the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle on the seasonings. Add about 5 minutes to the cook time, using an instant read thermometer to check that the chicken reaches 165° F for food safety.
Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe Tips
- Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness before cooking. This tenderizes the meat and helps the chicken breasts to cook evenly.
- Arrange the chicken breasts in an even layer in the air fryer basket so that they will cook evenly. This isn’t the time to stack as many chicken breasts as you can on top of each other. (If you’re cooking for a crowd, try Instant Pot Chicken Breast or Crockpot Chicken Breasts.)
- Flip the chicken over halfway through the cook time for even cooking.
- For variety, season the chicken with this Chicken Marinade instead of the seasoning rub.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing or serving. This wait time allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
We love to serve this air fryer chicken breast with healthy vegetable side dishes such as Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Sweet Potatoes or Sautéed Zucchini. It’s also delicious served with Potato Salad or Air Fryer Potatoes.
Storage and Meal Prep
You can cook these chicken breasts ahead of time to make prepping meals easier later on.
- Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: Once cool, slice or chop (if desired) and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To Reheat: You can reheat cooked chicken breasts in the air fryer at 350° F for about 5 minutes. Preheat the air fryer before adding the chicken. Or, reheat gently in the microwave or oven. To keep the chicken moist when heating in the oven or microwave, add a tiny splash of water to the dish with the chicken and cover to trap in the moisture while reheating.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Air Fryer Baked Potato
Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir or whisk until well combined.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place chicken breasts in a zip-top bag or between two layers of parchment paper and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound them to an even thickness.
- Rub the olive oil over all sides of the chicken breasts. Then rub the spice mixture on both sides of the chicken.
- Place chicken in a single layer in the air fryer. Cook at 400° for 8 minutes, then flip chicken over and continue cooking for 5-12 more minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165° F at the thickest part of the breast. (The cook time will depend on the size of your chicken breasts.)
- Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder to the rub for a bit of heat.
- Use smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.