These easy juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside air fryer chicken breasts (no breading) are the perfect quick dinner, ready in less than 20 minutes!
My goal with this recipe?
A get dinner on the table fast that tastes delicious but doesn’t require a lot of fuss to make.
I’ve made marinated chicken in the Air Fryer many times (my favorite is shawarma, but I also get the pre-marinated chicken from Costco). This time though, I wanted to see if I could take naked chicken breasts and use the Air Fryer to get them on the table in under 30 minutes. And if I did that, would they still taste delicious, or would they be dry and bland?
Well, I’m happy to report that the finished product was well received by everyone! We all LOVED it. No brining or marinating is required. As explained below, the key is flattening the chicken breast, so they are uniform in size. This allows even cooking and prevents overcooking. If you want to brine, you definitely still can. However, if you are out of time to get dinner on the table, it isn’t essential to make a delicious dinner!
Sometimes the less than perfect fast way is the best way. Ya know?
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
The first and arguably the most critical step is flattening your chicken breast. They don’t all have to be the same thickness, but each chicken breast must be the same throughout it. So you’ll be pounding down the fat side of the chicken breast to be as thin as the thinnest part.
They will cook faster and more evenly this way and retain more juiciness! PS I do not do this when I use marinated chicken breast because the marinade helps tenderize and lock in flavors. But, in this case, since we are not marinating, tenderizing is a cheat step to not marinating or brining. Is it as good as marinating and brining? No, sadly, no. But it’s still damn juicy and delicious and get dinner on the table in a hurry, which is a thing in my house. I don’t know about yours.
I use the same chicken seasoning I’ve used on all my air fryer chicken recipes, and my Mom said it was the best chicken she’s had in at least five years. She’s pretty traditionalist regarding food (nothing too healthy or too weird,) so I took it as a compliment. It’s pretty easy. You just rub some oil on the chicken (to help the seasoning stick and help brown the chicken) and then rub the seasonings all over it. Then it’s ready for the air fryer!
Tip: Try to cook similar size breasts at the same time. Otherwise, you may have to pull the smaller breast out and leave the larger one in to finish cooking.
How Long Do I Cook Chicken Breast In The Air Fryer?
Cook your chicken at 400F for 8-16 minutes. Small breasts (6-8 ounces) will take 8-10 minutes. Medium chicken breasts (8-10 ounces) will take around 10-12 minutes. And large breasts (11 ounces plus) will take 12-16 minutes. Flip chicken halfway through and always temperature check to ensure the thickest part of the chicken breast has reached 165F before removing it from heat.
Can I Use Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer?
Yes! Just follow the instructions for my Air Fryer Chicken Tenders No Breading.
Can I Use Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer?
Yes! Just follow the instructions for my Air Fryer Chicken Thighs.
Can I Swap Out The Seasonings?
Yes! You can swap out the seasonings! For more seasoning substitution ideas, check out this post.
How to Store And Freeze Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
Store: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days, and reheat on reheat mode on the air fryer or in the microwave.
Freeze: Freeze in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to three months. Defrost under refrigeration and reheat to 165F.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
They go with anything, but here are a few ideas!
- Bacon Roasted Green Beans
- Creamy Buttermilk Cauliflower Mash
- Perfect Roasted Broccoli
- Bacon and Peach Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Salad packs
- Roasted or Baked Potatoes
MORE FUN AIR FRYER RECIPES TO TRY:
- Air Fryer Tortilla Strips
- Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
- Air Fryer Quesadilla
- Air Fryer Cauliflower Gnocchi
- Air Fryer Sweet and Spicy Dry Rub Wings
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Chicken Nuggets
- Healthy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 20 Minute Air Fryer Fish Tacos
- Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders No Breading
- Air Fryer Tumeric Cauliflower
- Air Fryer Bone-In Chicken Thighs
Air Fryer Chicken Breast - No Breading
- Air Fryer - Basket or Rotisserie Style
- Preheat Air Fryer to 400F.
- Pat dry chicken breasts (especially if defrosted from frozen). Pound/tenderize chicken breasts so that they are evenly thick. They may not all be the same thickness, but the chicken breast must be the same thickness throughout each individual breast.3 lbs chicken breast, 1-2 tbsp avocado oil
- Brush each breast with avocado oil on both sides.
- Combine seasonings in a small bowl.1-2 tbsp avocado oil, 1/2 tbsp lemon pepper, 1.5 tbsp garlic powder, 1.5 tbsp onion powder, 1 tbsp dried parsley, 1.5 tbsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp salt*
- Coat each side of the chicken breasts with the seasoning. I sprinkled it over one side, rubbed it all over, and flipped them over to repeat.
- Cook your chicken at 400F for 8-16 minutes. Small breasts (6-8 ounces) will take 8-10 minutes. Medium chicken breasts (8-10 ounces) will take around 10-12 minutes. And large breasts (11 ounces plus) will take 12-16 minutes. Flip chicken halfway through and always temperature check to ensure the thickest part of the chicken breast has reached 165F before removing it from heat.