Air Fryer Chicken Breast

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This air fryer chicken breast is an essential recipe for the air fryer. The results are incredibly tender and juicy — all from a quick 10-minute cooking process!

Air fryer chicken breasts on a plate with a fork
Photo by: Gayle McLeod

Because my baked chicken breast has become such a reader favorite, it was about time I tweaked the recipe to work perfectly in the air fryer! I might even admit that this is my new favorite way to cook chicken breast (amongst the many chicken breast recipes on my website).

It requires less cooking time and creates immaculate results. Who doesn’t love that? So if you’ve got an air fryer, this is a staple recipe (along with my air fryer salmon) that you should keep in your back pocket to make healthy dinners a breeze.

Ingredients for air fryer chicken breast on a table

Air Fryer Chicken Breast Ingredients

Here are a few notes on what to look for in your chicken breasts and what you’ll need for the seasoning.

  • Chicken Breast: The key to this recipe is making sure you buy the right size of boneless, skinless chicken breasts — about 7 ounces. Larger breasts will take an additional 1 to 4 minutes to cook.
  • Seasoning: A simple mix of paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper does wonders for plain chicken. You could also use other dried herbs such as oregano or parsley!

Helpful tip: If you’re using frozen chicken breasts, make sure to let them defrost in the fridge overnight or at least 4 to 5 hours before cooking. Then, let them come to room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before seasoning.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Air Fry Chicken Breast

I know there’s some recipes that say you can cook chicken breasts in 8 minutes, but trust me, that only works if you pound the chicken super flat like a pancake. And then you get thin, dry chicken. If you want juicy chicken, lightly pound it and then air fry for 10 to 14 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken breasts). Here’s all the steps:

Mix together the spices. Stir this all together in a small bowl and set it aside.

Seasoning in a bowl for air fryer chicken

Pound and season the chicken. Lightly pound the chicken to flatten the thicker side. Then, coat the chicken in some oil and sprinkle the seasoning on both sides. Rub it in good with your hands!

Seasoning chicken breasts before adding to air fryer

It’s time to air fry! Add the chicken breasts to the air fryer and cook smooth side down for 7 minutes at 375°F (190°C). Flip the chicken over and cook an additional 3 minutes (or more for larger chicken breasts) before pulling it out of the air fryer.

Here’s a cooking guideline to use:

  • 6 to 7-ounce chicken breasts: about 10 to 11 minutes total
  • 8 to 9-ounce chicken breasts: about 11 to 12 minutes total
  • 10-ounce or larger chicken breasts: about 13 to 14 minutes total

Do you need to preheat the air fryer? I don’t recommend preheating the air fryer for this recipe. Preheating the air fryer is most beneficial when you want a crispy outside, like on my air fryer chicken wings. But preheating the air fryer for chicken breasts can result in the outside cooking faster than the inside (and drying out).

Chicken breasts in air fryer

Helpful tip: If you’re not sure if your chicken is cooked through, use an instant-read thermometer to see if the internal temperature has reached 160°F (71°C).

A plate with air fryer chicken breasts and mashed potatoes

Storage Tips

  • Store leftovers: The chicken will keep for about 4 to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Perfect to enjoy throughout the week!
  • Freeze for later: To make the reheating process easier, slice, dice, or shred your chicken before freezing. The chicken will keep for several months in the freezer.
  • Reheating tips: Chicken breasts can get a bit dry when you reheat the following days. So here’s a little tip. Add a teaspoon or so of water to the top of your chicken, then cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic-wrap before reheating in the microwave. It will steam a little, helping the chicken absorb some of the moisture, and bring it back to life!

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

Say goodbye to dry chicken breasts with this air fryer chicken recipe! Once you make it, I’d love to know how your chicken turned out in a comment below.

A plate of air fryer chicken breasts

Air Fryer Chicken Breast

4.93 from 42 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This easy air fryer chicken breast recipe is a healthy dinner essential with results that are incredibly tender, juicy, and delicious! And for some visual guidance – watch the video below!

Video

Ingredients 
 

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, oregano, or other herbs
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (7-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil

Instructions 

  • Mix together the spices. In a small bowl, stir together the spices.
    Air fryer chicken breast seasoning in a bowl
  • Pound the chicken. Lightly pound the chicken to flatten and reduce the large bump on one end.
    Pounding chicken breast before air frying
  • Season the chicken. Drizzle the oil over the chicken and make sure the chicken is well coated. Sprinkle the seasoning blend on both sides of the chicken and rub it into the chicken with your hands.
    Seasoning chicken breasts for air fryer
  • Air fry the chicken. Add the chicken to the air fryer and cook smooth side down for 7 minutes at 375°F (190°C). Flip the chicken over and cook an additional 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C). Remove it to a plate and let it rest for a couple of minutes. The carryover cooking will increase the internal temperature by several more degrees while it rests.
    Seasoned chicken breasts in air fryer
  • Serve it up. Serve the chicken with your favorite sides and enjoy!
    Air fryer chicken breasts sliced on a plate

Lisa’s Tips

Nutrition

Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 812mg | Potassium: 753mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 311IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




81 Comments

  1. My husband was skeptical not sure if it would be dry , we were both pleasantly surprised it was moist tender and delicious. Making for the third time tonight thank you for this amazing recipe 😊😋5 stars

  2. First time using an Air Fryer. Breasts were abit larger, added 2 minutes. They came out so moist…will definitely use this recipe again! (Seasoning was very flavourful!)5 stars

  3. This was amazing !!! Thanks so much for the recipe my husband said it was the best chicken he has ever had tender and juicy 😋5 stars

  4. A simple chicken fillet? No. Not this. I followed this recipe and quite honestly I’ll never have to try another method of cooking again! I love how Lisa’s recipes are clear, concise and give me all the information I need to recreate her dishes perfectly. I’ve made many of her recipes but the humble chicken fillet in the air fryer is one of the best. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Carly – Thanks for leaving a comment and happy to hear you enjoyed this air fryer chicken!

  5. Made this recipe last week and it was delicious. One of my daughters had dinner with me that evening and said she thought it was the best chicken breast I had ever cooked and she ever had. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Valerie – Oh wonderful! I’m glad you found a winning air fryer chicken breast recipe.

  6. Hi Lisa, as a general rule when cooking meats in the air fryer do you put your items on the top of the bottom of the basket? I also have a Ninja and I can place the tray on the top of the basket or the bottom. Never sure which to do.
    Thanks, Denise5 stars

    1. Hi Denise – If I’m hearing this correctly, I believe I usually just place it at the bottom (as shown in the photos).

  7. This recipe is my new weeknight “go to” for a healthy family meal. Love cooking chicken in the Ninja air fryer. Quick. Simple. Delicious!

  8. I ended up having to up the temp to 400 as 375 didn’t cook it to 160F even after 20 mins. And the color wasn’t nearly like in the photo. And it was a bit rubbery.

    I will def try it again to see if maybe I made a mistake somewhere. Otherwise, not my fave.3 stars

    1. All air fryers cook a bit differently, so you might have to play around with it a bit to find the time that works best for you. :)

  9. Thank you for creating such great recipes. I have your book and really enjoy getting your emails with fresh ideas. Thank you for all your hard work and for sharing your passion.5 stars

  10. Same great taste as your baked chicken only quicker and less cleanup! Starting to like this air fryer business.

  11. Finally, I feel confident in using my air fryer to cook chicken breast. It actually came out great 👍 thank you no more dry chicken for me!5 stars

  12. You are sensational!
    I made your green falafel bread today. It was so out of my comfort zone but boy, I’m so glad I did.
    Thank you Lisa 🌟 🤩5 stars

  13. Loved it ! Curious what sauce you make for this? Im new to air frying and struggled with not having the chicken fond from the saucepan to use to make a sauce. Ended up make a lemon-garlic-honey sauce which was ok but a little too sweet. Thx5 stars

    1. Delicious, added an extra minute or two, and since I doubled down on the original recipe I added 1/4tsp cayenne pepper powder

      Thank you very much, this will become a weekly staple in our house

  14. I’m new to air frying, and this is one of the best recipes I’ve made so far – very tender, tasty, and juicy. Easy clean-up too!5 stars

    1. I’m happy you loved it Madeline! I have a bunch more air fryer recipes as well, if you’re looking for more ideas. :)

  15. I tried this recipe using a conventional oven and it turned out better than expected. The flavor combination was spot on. My family loved it. This recipe was also great for meal preps. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Looks like a really good recipe, but I cannot find the video mentioned anywhere – only My Latest Videos. Also, could you please specify which function to use on the air fryer? I have a number of different options and am only just starting to use it, so am a novice. Is it sauté? Pressure cook? Air crisp? Bake/roast? Grill?

  17. How could something so simple be so good? I’ve always been in search of a moist, flavorful chicken breast for those weekday nights when you’re hungry but there’s little time. This is a transformative recipe. My husband asked me to teach him how to make it so he can assist in the kitchen. Thanks so much. Your creativity and relentless pursuit of deliciousness helps so many of us.

    1. Simple is best is my philosophy! Glad you enjoyed this chicken recipe Judith and hope you continue to enjoy Downshiftology recipes to come :)

  18. I love how easy and simple it was to make and the best part, it was juicy just like what she had said on her YouTube.5 stars

  19. This recipe has been a game changer! It turns out so yummy everyone. So quick and easy. I put it on my salad and lots of other things. Thanks. Also, really enjoying your cookbook!

  20. So easy and so delicious! A quick recipe for weekdays and there are less dishes to clean as the air fryer is an easy catch when it comes to cleaning. We change the herbs and spices from time to time to have another flavor. 
    We recommend to try this recipe. 

  21. Outstanding. I used my Instant Pot air fryer setting for the first time with meat. This recipe is so simple yet delicious. Thank you for inspiring me to use my airfryer setting.5 stars

  22. Hello, I really like your healthy recipes that I find on your site and in your book.  My new purchase is an air fryer and I’m glad you’ve started posting recipes with it.  Do you plan to announce other recipes soon with pork tenderloin, cod, vegetables, etc.?  Thank you and good day.5 stars

    1. Hi Marie – I’m happy you got to try out your new air fryer with this chicken recipe! And yes, I’m always adding new recipes every week. Make sure you’re subscribed to my emails to be the first to know when new recipes post. :)

  23. I did this one with Chicken THIGHS. And it came out perfectly. I LOVE MY NEW AIR FRYER! Almost as much as your recipes. Thanks Lisa.5 stars

  24. Thank you Lisa. I can cook but for some reason baking chicken is not my forte. I am always afraid of it being undercooked and ended up with a dry piece of chicken breast. This recipe is so simple and looks delicious. I am going to give it a try! Thank you for your wonderful website and the delicious recipes. I’ve told my family and friends!

  25. instead of pounding the chicken I sliced them in half so they were not as thick, threw in some organic green beans with just a toss of salt, pepper and oil, into the airfryer with the Chicken. Turned out great. Thank you for the quick recipe. So easy!5 stars

    1. I just made this chicken recipe tonight in the air fryer and it was amazing. I added a few different extra spices and it came out so juicy and flavourful in 10 minutes and bonus… easy clean up. I will definitely make this again. Thank you Lisa… you are amazing!!! 5 stars

  26. I have made this and also a lebanese chicken dish they were both super
    .

    Also the beauty of this airfryer is no Teflon ;-)

  27. May I say EVERY recipe I try from Liz is delicious and usually very simple! This one is no exception – juicy chicken packed with flavor! 5 stars

  28. I am a bit confused, do I need to preheat the airfryer? You wrote you did not recommend preheating the air fryer for this recipe, then later, in the instructions it is written that preheat the airfryer to 190C…