Air Fryer Chicken Breast

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5 from 685 votes
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This air fryer chicken breast takes less than 8 minutes to make and turns out perfectly juicy and tender every time- it’s truly the best!

Love air fryer recipes? Try air fryer salmon, air fryer pork tenderloin, air fryer chicken tenderloins, and air fryer steak.

air fryer chicken breast.

As someone who enjoys chicken breasts weekly, I used to cook them the same way. I’d marinate them for several hours, then pan-fry or bake them in the oven. The downside was how time-consuming it was.

Enter- cooking chicken in the air fryer. It’s been a game changer in many ways, and I’ll never cook chicken breasts any other way again.

Why I love this recipe

  • No marinating needed. Or brining either. Most air fryer chicken breast recipes need the chicken to be brined or marinated beforehand, but not this one!
  • Ready in 8 minutes. Air fry the chicken for 4 minutes on each side, and you are done.
  • Easy to customize. Keep it simple with some salt and pepper or jazz it up with more intricate and flavorful spices or some fun sauces.
  • Perfect for meal prep. I love to whip up a batch of this chicken on a weekend and enjoy it for quick and healthy lunches during the week.
  • Amazing texture. It’s juicy and tender, and cooking it in the air fryer guarantees consistent and perfect results every time.

Ingredients Needed 

Besides the chicken and some seasonings, there isn’t much else that goes into making this recipe. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast– I recommend choosing equal-sized chicken breasts so they cook evenly. Frozen chicken breasts will work, but you’ll need to thaw them completely and pat dry any excess water/moisture before seasoning.
  • Olive oil- A touch of oil keeps the chicken juicy and moist in the middle, while crisp and tender on the outside.
  • Spices- Smoked paprika, cumin, and onion powder add a delicious smokey and umami flavor. 
  • Salt and black pepper- To taste.

How to make air fryer chicken breast 

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Prepare the chicken. Start by pat drying the chicken, add it to a bowl and rub olive oil on each fillet. Mix the spices in a bowl and rub them on each side of the chicken breast. If desired, let the chicken sit for 10 minutes for the spices to absorb. 

seasoned chicken breast.

Step 2- Preheat the air fryer. Next, preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F and lightly grease the basket with cooking spray. 

raw chicken breasts in the air fryer.

Step 3- Cook the chicken. Place the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket and cook for 4 minutes, flip, and cook for another 4 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Repeat the process until all chicken breasts are done. 

cooked chicken breasts in air fryer.

Air fryer chicken cooking time

he basic time for a standard 8-oz portion of chicken is 8 minutes. However, the size of your chicken breasts determines the exact cooking time.

  • Small breasts (5-7 ounces): 6 to 8 minutes
  • Medium breasts (8-10 ounces): 7-10 minutes 
  • Large breasts (11 ounces or more): 10-14 minutes

Remember, the best way to check if the chicken is cooked is to use an instant-read thermometer (meat thermometer). As per the FDA recommendations, fully cooked chicken should have an internal temperature of 165F.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Ensure there is enough space between the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket. The air fryer cooks the protein by circulating the hot air, so it is important.
  • Flip the chicken halfway through the cooking time so both sides cook equally and yield a juicy chicken breast.
  • Always use room temperature chicken so the cooking time is accurate and consistent.
  • I know that often with air frying meat, the air fryer basket turns out a little dirty, and it’s tempting to line it with parchment paper or tin foil. For this chicken, try to avoid this. The chicken cooks more evenly and tastes better.

Ways to serve air fryer chicken

Once your chicken breast is ready, here are some delicious ways to enjoy it: 

How to store leftovers

To store: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days. 

To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to two months. 

Reheating: Microwave the chicken for 20-30 seconds or in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes. 

air fried chicken breast with fresh herbs on top.

More air fryer recipes using chicken

air fryer chicken breast recipe.

8-Minute Air Fryer Chicken Breast

5 from 685 votes
The best air fryer chicken breast recipe that takes less than 8 minutes to make and turns out perfectly juicy and tender every time! A secret trick guarantees the chicken never dries out! Watch the video below to see how I make this in my kitchen.
Servings: 4 chicken breasts
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 9 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

  • 4 medium chicken breast fillets 4-6 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F. 
  • Pat dry the chicken breasts then add them into a bowl and rub the oil generously over them all. 
  • Add the spices in a bowl, then rub on both sides of the chicken breast fillets. If desired, let the chicken sit for 10 minutes.
  • Place the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket and cook for 4 minutes, flip, and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
  • Remove the chicken from the air fryer basket and serve immediately.

Notes

TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days. 
TO FREEZE: Place the cooked and cooled chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to two months. 
TO REHEAT: Microwave the chicken for 20-30 seconds or in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken breastCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 24gFat: 7gSodium: 425mgPotassium: 467mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 541IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 1g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published April 2022, updated March 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Whoa! A MUST TRY. I tried this recipe using my Ninja Foodi and it was unbelievably good. My chicken breast was soft, juicy and tender. Not at all like the dry, undercooked or overcooked pan-fried chicken breasts I was making previously. Also loved your method of marinading the chicken in a bowl — it took me too long to discover this method. I was previously seasoning my chicken on a chopping board and it was messy and hard to distribute the spice rub evenly.

    Can’t wait to cook this again!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! I actually made this recipe at the same time as the air fryer salmon recipe to accommodate different preferences in my family and it worked perfectly. The chicken was moist and flavorful. Great recipe to have on hand!

  3. 5 stars
    This is the ONLY way to fix chicken. My husband and I both loved it. Such an easy way for a fabulous meal. I love using my airfryer. Keep those recipes coming.

  4. 5 stars
    So flavorful and juicy. Thank you for a recipe that is easy to make and so tasty. I love recipes that use spices I always have at home~

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is perfect for a flavoursome and low calorie, low carb noodle dish. I finished off the air fried chicken in my griddle pan for 30 seconds a side to get a nice browning, sprinkled on sesame seeds and served over konjac noodles and tender broccoli cooked in chicken stock.