Forget about deep frying and make these air fryer chicken cutlets instead! Chicken breasts are coated in a parmesan and Italian seasoning bread crumb coating before being air fried to crispy perfection. Ready in around 20 minutes.
While I love traditional chicken cutlets, cooking them in the air fryer is much faster. This recipe is similar to my air fryer chicken parmesan, minus the toppings. Coated in an Italian seasoning and parmesan bread crumb coating, the cutlets come out of the air fryer with amazing flavors and all of their natural juices. They’re irresistible!
Table of Contents
- No oil needed. Did you know that this air fryer chicken cutlets recipe is 100% oil-free? Yet you still get golden, crunchy and delicious results!
- Foolproof. Any level of home cook can cook chicken cutlets in the air fryer. The instructions in this recipe are easy to follow, and the entire dish comes together in around 20 minutes.
- Versatile. I love serving chicken cutlets with a simple green salad, sliced on top of pasta, or lightening up my chicken parmigiana with it.
The chicken is, of course, the star of the show here but you need a handful of other easy ingredients to achieve the signature golden crunch that comes with classic chicken cutlets. This is what you’ll need:
- Chicken breasts. I used four boneless skinless chicken breasts, which was enough to feed the whole family. Feel free to buy pre-sliced chicken cutlets instead if you want to save on prep time.
- Salt and pepper. To season the chicken breasts.
- Eggs. Dipping the chicken breasts in eggs helps the dry mixes stick better.
- All purpose flour. When fried, the flour coating transforms into a golden brown crust around the outside of the cutlets.
- Panko bread crumbs. This recipe technically works with regular bread crumbs, but I love panko bread crumbs for their light and airy crunch.
- Parmesan cheese. For a salty and cheesy flavor in the crust.
- Italian seasoning. Because they wouldn’t be Italian chicken cutlets without the Italian seasonings!
How to cook Italian chicken cutlets in the air fryer
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- Slice and pound. Slice the chicken breasts lengthways until you have eight thin filets. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken filets on a cutting board lined with plastic wrap until they’re about ¼ inch thick.
Step 2 – Set up the dredging stations. Set up three shallow bowls on the kitchen counter. Add the flour to one bowl, the beaten eggs to another, and the panko, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings to a third.
Step 3 – Dredge. Season the chicken filets with salt and pepper. Dip them first in the flour, then the eggs, and finally the bread crumb mixture.
Step 4 – Air fry. Place the breaded chicken breasts in an even layer in the air fryer basket. Spray the tops with olive oil spray, then air fry until they’re golden and crispy on both sides.
Step 5 – Serve. Garnish the cooked chicken with fresh parsley and sliced lemons, then serve with simple side dishes or incorporate them into other meals. Enjoy!
Oven baked option
No air fryer? No problem! You can bake the cutlets instead:
Bake the breaded chicken cutlets on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 400ºF oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Recipe tips and variations
- Air fry in batches. It’s important to give the cutlets room in the air fryer basket because they won’t crisp as nicely if they’re crowded. Cook two or three at a time if they don’t all fit comfortably.
- Gluten-free chicken cutlets. This recipe works just as well with gluten-free flour and gluten-free bread crumbs.
- Use frozen chicken breasts. Make sure you completely thaw the chicken in the fridge first. This makes seasoning and breading the meat so much easier.
- Make them extra savory. Feel free to add more herbs and spices to the bread crumb dredge, like onion powder, garlic powder, red chili flakes, or dried parsley.
- Consider marinating the chicken. Marinating the chicken breasts in a simple Italian dressing for 30 minutes before breading can give them extra moisture and flavor. Remember to pat the chicken dry before breading and cooking.
- Instead of chicken. Try this method using veal cutlets or turkey cutlets instead!
To store: Wrap the leftover chicken cutlets in plastic wrap before storing them in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
To freeze: Once cooled, place the cutlets in a ziplock bag or airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. Remember to let them thaw overnight before reheating.
To reheat: It’s best to reheat the cutlets in the air fryer or oven at 350°F for 5 to 7 minutes or until they’re crispy again.
You’ll want to save the leftover cutlets for meal prep because they’re delicious, both hot and cold! You can stuff them into a sandwich with marinara sauce and mozzarella or chop them up and use them as a protein-packed topping on a salad.
More air fryer chicken recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast – The easiest way to cook juicy and tender chicken breasts every time.
- Air Fryer BBQ Chicken – Juicy chicken breasts dressed in an irresistible BBQ sauce.
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken – A fast and easy way to cook enough chicken for the whole family!
- Air Fryer Chicken wings – Always crispy and juicy.
Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets
- Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F.
- Slice each chicken breast lengthways until you have 8 thin fillets.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a chopping board, add two chicken fillets, then add another sheet of plastic wrap. Pound the chicken until around 1/4 inch in thickness. Repeat the process with all the chicken.
- Add the flour to one bowl, beaten eggs to another bowl, and in the final bowl, the panko, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings.
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Moving quickly, dip each chicken fillet in the flour, shake off excess, followed by the eggs, shake off any excess, then to the panko parmesan mix, ensuring all sides are well coated.
- Place a single layer of the breaded chicken cutlets in a greased air fryer basket. Spray the chicken cutlets, then air fry for 8 minutes, flip, spray more oil, then cook for another 6-8 minutes, until golden and crispy.
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