Chicken breast cooked in the air fryer sliced on a platter

A couple weeks ago Lincoln and I decided it was a perfectly good day to learn how to snowboard, so we went snowboarding. “How hard could it be?” we asked ourselves.

Turns out: HARD. Sooooooo hard!

It took a good three days afterwards to walk fully upright, and an entire week to turn my head to the right without feeling a twinge of pain. As I told a friend, I’m not a quitter but I’m also old af and will probably stick to skiing. YOLO though! I’m so glad I can say it’s crossed off the ol’ bucket list. ?

Something so easy it’ll make you cry too – but in a good way? Air Fryer Chicken Breast! Oh yes you CAN use your Air Fryer for more than just chicken nuggets and tater tots, as I’m about to show you!

Close up photo of chicken cooked in an air fryer

Honestly I’m not chicken breast’s biggest fan. Sorry chicken breasts. They’re just not super exciting and well, cheese exists. You know? That said, I’m totally into throwing chopped chicken into big salads, tossing it into casseroles, and dropping it into soups, and the Air Fryer makes cooking chicken breasts a CINCH. It’s almost completely hands off and the chicken comes out super tender and juicy.

Is Air Fried Chicken Breast Healthy?

Yes! Simply brush chicken breasts with extra virgin olive oil or mist with nonstick spray then season with salt and pepper (or any seasonings you like) and pop into your Air Fryer. Light and lean.

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Should I Marinate or Brine My Chicken Breast?

Yes and no, respectively. If you want to give your chicken breasts extra flavor, then a marinade is great. Read below for my favorite chicken breast marinade. As far as brining your chicken breasts before Air Frying, it’s a NO – not necessary! Your chicken breasts will still be tender and juicy without brining first, so save yourself a step.

Overhead photo of air fryer chicken on a plate

Can You Put Raw Chicken in an Air Fryer?

You sure can. The first time I did it felt strange because all I’d ever cooked in there was vegetables and pre-cooked foods like chicken nuggets, tater tots, etc. As long as you cook your chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, it is perfectly safe to put raw chicken in an Air Fryer.

How Long Do You Cook a Chicken Breast in an Air Fryer?

The chicken breasts I typically use are 8oz and, once pounded to an even thickness, they cook in 15 minutes at 360 degrees. In testing this recipe, I learned the cooking time remains the same whether you Air Fry one chicken breast, or as many as will fit in the Air Fryer basket without overlapping.

Fork digging into a piece of air fryer chicken

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

Start by preheating your Air Fryer. Mine is a couple of years old (vintage, baby!) but here is the latest version > You’ll want to set it to 360, or a comparable temperature if your Air Fryer doesn’t have the 360 temperature setting. I’d do 350 if that’s the closest temperature available to you.

Next, pound your chicken breasts to an even thickness. Again, I use 8oz chicken breasts and place them onto a cutting board with a piece of plastic wrap on top. Gently pound with a meat mallet until the chicken breasts are an even thickness. This will ensure the chicken cooks evenly and stays juicy throughout.

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts are honestly phenomenal with a dash of homemade seasoned salt and pepper, but if you have even 10 minutes to marinate them, they do come out extremely flavorful. My favorite chicken marinade is Italian Dressing! Use about 2 Tablespoons dressing per chicken breast.

After marinating, gently pat the chicken dry with paper towels to ensure it doesn’t drop to the bottom of the Air Fryer and burn.

Last step is to spray the basket of the Air Fryer with nonstick spray then arrange the chicken breasts in an even layer in the bottom, ensuring they don’t overlap.

Cook for 15-17 minutes – depending on the size of your chicken breasts, and the temperature setting – or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, flipping halfway through. As I mentioned, the cooking time should remain the same whether you’re cooking one chicken breast, or as many as will fit in the bottom of the basket.

Let the chicken cool for 5-10 minutes before serving, slicing, or chopping to ensure the juices don’t run out. Either serve with a big helping of vegetables, or stash in the fridge for when you need it! I hope you love this EASY, totally tasty Air Fryer recipe – enjoy!

Tender air fryer chicken on a plate

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Air Fryer Chicken Breast

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Description

Air Fryer Chicken Breast are juicy, tender, and - most importantly - HANDS OFF! Serve this healthy chicken recipe for dinner, or chop for salads, soups, and casseroles.

Ingredients

serves 1

  • 8oz chicken breast, pounded to an even thickness
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • seasonings (seasoned salt, pepper, spice blend, etc)

Directions

  1. Preheat Air Fryer to 360 degrees. Meanwhile, brush then season both sides of the chicken breast with extra virgin olive oil and seasonings. Spray the basket of the air fryer with nonstick spray then add chicken and cook for 15-17 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, flipping the chicken breast half way through. I do not find that cooking more than 1 chicken breast at a time requires additional cooking time to be added on.
  2. Let chicken breast rest for 5-10 minutes then serve.

Notes

  • Here is the updated version of my Air Fryer >
  • I like to marinate my chicken breasts in Italian dressing - even just for 10 minutes or so - before Air Frying to give them extra flavor. Use paper towels to pat chicken dry of excess marinade before Air Frying.
  • You can cook as many chicken breasts at a time as will fit in the basket of your Air Fryer. You just don't want them overlapping.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Photo collage of air fryer chicken