Ready in less than a half hour, these really delicious air fryer chicken breasts are tender, juicy, and flavorful. 

Cut cooked and seasoned chicken breast on a cutting board.

You’ll be amazed at how tasty plain ol’ boneless skinless chicken breasts can be. With just a minimal amount of seasoning and very little prep time, low calorie chicken breasts can be transformed into a really delicious meal. 

When you slice into an air fried chicken breast, expect to see juicy meat with a perfectly done exterior. It’s almost surprising. There’s no breading or fancy tricks.

I don’t know why I would be surprised because pretty much everything I’ve tried in my air fryer has been very, very good. If you haven’t tried air fryer salmon yet, don’t wait, it’s a total game changer. Or try air fryer breaded pork chops — so juicy and tender, you won’t believe it. My family loves these lightly breaded air fryer chicken nuggets, too.

About this recipe

Air fryer chicken breasts are so versatile. In just a minute, I’ll show you how to season them to your hearts’ content. But the versatility doesn’t end there. The chicken can be marinated before cooking. Try one of these 9 great recipes for Chicken Marinades. If the chicken is marinated, skip the olive oil and seasonings in this recipe.

This perfectly cooked chicken can be used in so many ways. Keep reading for lots of ideas. It can easily be made ahead and frozen for meals later on.

Overhead view of a cooked chicken breast in a black air fryer basket.

What you need

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Additional seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried parsley

How to make them your own

The easiest way to make air fryer chicken breasts your own special recipe is by changing up the seasoning. Choose the seasoning, homemade or purchased, that best complements the meal you’re preparing. If you’re going Mexican, try seasoning the chicken with taco seasoning or fajita seasoning. Thinking of pasta tonight? Season the chicken with Italian seasoning. Having a salad? Try ranch seasoning or a dry bbq rub

If you prefer dark meat, try Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks or Air Fryer Chicken Thighs.

Close up of sliced cooked chicken.

FAQ

How long do you cook chicken breast in an air fryer?

The answer depends on the size of the chicken breasts. If you’re cooking two six ounce portions, plan on around 18 minutes. If the portions are closer to eight ounces, air fry time will be about 20 minutes

Not sure how much your chicken weighs? The internal temperature of the chicken on an instant read thermometer should be close to 165°F. The juices should run clear, not bloody or pink. 

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. The temperature will continue to rise a bit. Don’t overcook the chicken because it will get dry and tough.

How do you prevent chicken from drying out?

Most importantly, don’t overcook it! Use an instant read thermometer to make sure you don’t cook it too long. You can also marinate your chicken. We love balsamic chicken marinade, honey mustard chicken marinade, and Italian chicken marinade.

Two chicken breasts in an air fryer basket, overhead view.

Make-Ahead Ideas

Air fryer chicken is great for meal prepping. Buy a large pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts and air fry the whole pack, in batches of course. Cool and freeze or refrigerate the meat in resealable bags for easy meals later on. The chicken is really perfect sliced on a salad, and works great for tons of other meals, too. 

If you are making a vegetarian meal but have that one person who needs his meat, you have him covered with a perfectly cooked chicken breast.

Storage Tips

Cooked chicken can be stored in the fridge, well-wrapped, for up to 4 days. Store in the freezer for up to one month.

Reheating Suggestions

If the chicken is frozen, thaw it overnight in the fridge. Reheat gently in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. It’s great cold, too! 

What goes with chicken breasts

While these chicken breasts are perfectly good on their own, they also are wonderful used in other recipes. Slice the chicken and put it on a bun with your favorite toppings. Try:

Cooked chicken breast in the basket of an air fryer.

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

Ready in less than a half hour, these really delicious air fryer chicken breasts are tender, juicy, and flavorful. 

Ingredients

  • 2 (6 oz. each) boneless skinless chicken breasts (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 375°F for 5 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together oil and seasonings. Rub all sides of the chicken with seasoning mixture.
  3. Place in air fryer and cook for 10 minutes, flip, and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165ºF when checked with an instant read thermometer. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • For 8 oz chicken breasts, cook for 10 minutes, flip, and continue to cook for 9-11 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165ºF when checked with an instant read thermometer.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 657mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 53g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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