Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan


5 from 25 votes
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This air fryer chicken parmesan recipe is a quick and easy way to enjoy crispy breaded chicken with a tomato and cheese topping. None of the deep frying is needed. 

crispy air fryer chicken parmesan.

Classic chicken parm is one of my all-time favorite dishes, so I’ve always been skeptical whether or not air frying it will live up to its potential. I mean, a signature feature of it is perfectly crispy and crunchy chicken.

Since I’ve air fried other crispy chicken recipes, like air fryer fried chicken and air fryer chicken nuggets, I was cautiously optimistic, and let’s just say I have a new favorite way to cook my favorite chicken dish. 

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make air fryer chicken parm
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. What to serve with this dish?
  6. Storage instructions
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. More air fryer recipes to try
  9. Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

This is essentially a healthier version of my chicken parmigiana, but in a fraction of the time. Here are some reasons why you’ll love this recipe:

  • It’s easy. Like air fryer chicken patties, this recipe comes together in less than 10 minutes and the prep time is minimal. 
  • Healthy. Compared to classic deep-fried chicken parmesan, this version has a fraction of the calories and fat.
  • Perfect texture. Similar to air fryer chicken cutlets, the chicken here is crispy and crunchy on the outside, moist and juicy in the middle, and topped with rich marinara sauce and melty cheese…what can go wrong?

What I love about this recipe is how authentic it tastes- It seriously reminds me of my parmesan crusted chicken, minus the toppings. You won’t be able to tell that no deep frying has been involved! 

Ingredients needed

For such a fancy-looking recipe, you’ll appreciate the simple ingredient list. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Chicken breast fillets. I like to use two large chicken breasts and slice halve them, but you can use four small ones if you prefer.
  • Panko breadcrumbs. For that golden and crunchy exterior. If you are following a gluten-free diet, gluten-free panko will also work. 
  • Egg. A room temperature egg will help the breading mixture stick to the chicken. 
  • Seasonings. I kept things simple with salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning (a spice mix featuring basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano). 
  • Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. The key to the perfectly golden and melted cheese topping is a combination of two cheeses. The parmesan gives it some sharp flavor with the mozzarella gives it some gooey, stretchy perfection. 
  • Marinara sauce. I used a store-bought sauce because it’s quick and convenient, but you can use a homemade sauce. Other Italian tomato sauces work well, too, like sugo or pomodoro sauce
  • Cooking spray. To grease the air fryer basket and prevent the chicken from sticking. You can also brush some butter or olive oil to the base instead. 

How to make air fryer chicken parm

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- Prep the chicken. Pound the chicken until they are around 1/2 an inch thick.

pounded chicken breast.

Step 2- Coat the chicken. In one shallow bowl, add the egg and in a second bowl, add the panko, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Moving quickly, dip the chicken breasts in the egg then the panko mixture. Discard any excess breading. 

Step 3: Air fry the chicken. Put a single layer of your crumbed chicken breasts in the greased air fryer basket and let them air fry for 9 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

how to make air fryer chicken parm.

Step 4- Add toppings. Pull out the frying basket and spoon a layer of marinara sauce onto the chicken breasts before topping it off with your grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese and air fry for another 2 minutes until the cheese melts and is golden. 

how to make air fryer chicken parmesan.

Can I bake this?

While this is an air fryer recipe, you can use a convection oven. Prep the chicken as instructed and place them on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Now, add the toppings and turn the broil setting on. Broil for 2-3 minutes. 

Recipe tips and variations

  • If you want less mess, line the base of the air fryer with parchment paper or air fryer liners. The chicken won’t be as crispy, but it will make clean-up a breeze. 
  • Keep an eye on the chicken to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Check the internal temperature of the chicken using an instant-read meat thermometer; once it reaches 165F, it is ready to enjoy.
  • Avoid over-crowding the air fryer basket to evenly cook the chicken breasts. If needed, cook in batches.
  • Use other cheeses for the topping, including pepper Jack cheese or boccoccini.

What to serve with this dish?

The best side dishes to pair with this chicken are salads, vegetables, pasta, or something fun, like potatoes. Because my air fryer has two baskets (I have a Ninja Dual XL), I like to whip up some air fryer french fries or air fryer brussels sprouts simultaneously.

Storage instructions

To store. Place leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to five days.

To freeze. Wrap it in foil or use an air-tight container and store the chicken parm in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Reheating. Reheat them in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is sizzling.

air fryer chicken parmesan in an air fryer basket.

Frequently asked questions

How do you keep breading from falling off the chicken in the air fryer?

To avoid this, make sure you pat the chicken breasts and let them sit for a minute or two after coating. 

How do you get panko to stick to chicken?

Before coating with panko, thoroughly dip your chicken breasts in beaten eggs or eggwash.

More air fryer recipes to try

air fryer chicken parmesan recipe.

Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan

5 from 25 votes
This air fryer chicken parmesan is just as crispy, juicy, and cheesy as you'd expect, but made in no time! Ready in minutes, it's convenient and healthy. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 11 minutes



  • 4 small chicken breasts or 2 large ones, halved
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


  • Preheat the air fryer to 190C/375F. Grease the air fryer basket.
  • Pound the chicken breasts until they are around half an inch thick.
  • In one bowl add the egg and whisk it well. In the second bowl, add the panko, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  • Dip the chicken in the egg then dip it in the dry mix until fully coated. Repeat the process until all four chicken breasts are breaded.
  • Add the chicken into the greased air fryer basket and air fry for 9 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Remove the air fryer basket and add 1/4 cup of marinara sauce on top of each chicken breast. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Place the air fryer basket back in the air fryer and air fry for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese melts.


TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to five days. 
TO FREEZE: Wrap it in foil or use an air-tight container and store the chicken parm in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
TO REHEAT: Reheat them in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is sizzling. 


Serving: 1chicken parmesanCalories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 37gFat: 8gSodium: 1436mgPotassium: 692mgFiber: 2gVitamin A: 555IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 354mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 14g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published December 2022, updated and republished February 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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Super easy recipe and tasty recipe. The chicken comes out crispy, but juicy on the inside. Love my air fryer. Thank you for all the recipes on your site!

  2. Looks delicious and is one of my favorite dishes. But I’m allergic to eggs and don’t have an air fryer. Do you have any suggestions for egg substitute? Can this be made in a conventional oven?