Air fryer breaded chicken breasts are magically moist with a secret ingredient, not only do they turn out perfectly crisp but they're super tender juicy on the inside too. Air fried boneless chicken breasts with a crispy breadcrumb parm crust make a fast dinner that takes less than 3o minutes.....It's a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
Serve the air fryer boneless chicken breast with potato wedges air fryer recipe and our frozen asparagus in air fryer recipe to make a hearty complete meal everyone will love.
And if you're looking for more ways to air fry chicken, be sure to try our air fryer chicken tenders (no breading), air fryer chicken drumsticks, or crispy air fryer chicken wings.
Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Breast
"Magically moist" breaded chicken breast in an air fryer is a recipe variation my mom was making for us back in the days (many many days ago). Magically moist chicken was a popular recipe published by Best Foods mayonnaise that became known as an easy and tasty breaded chicken recipe to bake in the oven.
If you haven't guessed it by now, it's mayo that is our secret ingredient in this delicious yet easy air fryer boneless skinless chicken breast recipe.
Why You'll love This!
- A secret ingredient turns the chicken magically moist by locking in flavor and juices
- The Air fryer boneless chicken breast are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside
- Using pre-seasoned breadcrumbs makes this a 3 ingredient main dish
- Air fried chicken cooks in half the time compared to an oven!
- You can make the recipe GF or low carb by swapping for gluten-free and/or keto breading
The air fried breaded chicken breast recipe is dairy-free and nut-free; to make it gluten-free, you'll want to be sure to use gluten-free breadcrumbs. You can also swap the bread crumbs for panko crumbs if you're looking for a low carb keto-friendly recipe. Resources for the swaps are included down below!
- chicken breasts, we used chicken breasts that were 7-8 oz each
- mayo (high quality!- Best Foods, Hellmann's, Dukes, or homemade)
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (gluten free option)
- grated parmesan cheese
When you're cooking recipes with just a few ingredients, the end result is only as good as the quality of ingredients that you're using. We highly recommend buying a "high quality" mayo brand that uses real ingredients and either comes low in sugar or doesn't include sugar at all.
While freshly grated parmesan cheese is best, we've found that a good brand of pre-grated parm works great too. We don't recommend substituting shredded parmesan for the air fryer breaded chicken breast since shredded cheese doesn't coat as well as grated.
An air fryer- For making the breaded boneless chicken breast in the air fryer, we used our small 3.2L Farberware basket style air fryer. A small basket air fryer will hold 2 chicken breasts, if you're cooking more than that at one time I'd recommend using a larger air fryer like the other model we have.
How to Make Breaded Chicken Breast in Air Fryer
To make air fryer breaded chicken, you'll be mixing a seasoned breadcrumb and parmesan mix and then shaking it in a plastic bag to get it to stick to the "secret ingredient" mayo that you'll brush on the chicken.
Prep the Ingredients
Remove the boneless skinless chicken breasts from the fridge 15-30 minutes before cooking, if you're able to. Bringing meat up to room temperature for a safe amount of time helps cook the dish evenly and
Preheat the air fryer to 360F for 3-5 minutes.
Brush the mayonnaise on both sides of the chicken breasts.
In a gallon-size plastic bag add the chicken, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese. You can add salt and pepper to taste.
When breading chicken, shake the bag to make sure the chicken gets evenly coated with bread crumbs and cheese.
Bake the breaded chicken breast in the air fryer for 10 mins and then flip the chicken over and continue cooking the chicken for 12-16 more minutes. You just want to cook the recipe until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit and highly recommend using an instant-read meat thermometer to help with that.
Let the chicken rest 3-5 minutes before serving.
Serve and enjoy! Either serve the chicken breasts whole or sliced. Eat as is or top sliced alongside pasta, your favorite sauce, or rice.
This recipe serves 2+ people using just 2 8 oz chicken breasts. You can add more chicken breasts if desired.
- Let the chicken breast sit out for 15-30 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat the air fryer to get more consistent cooking.
- Using a gallon-size bag, makes it easy to coat the breading on the chicken breasts, but you can also coat it by first adding the crumb mix to shallow bowls and pressing the chicken into the mix on both sides.
- Cut the gluten or carbs by switching to gluten free or low carb breadcrumbs.
- If your chicken breasts are smaller than 7-8 oz each, take a couple of minutes off of the cooking time.
- Use a large air fryer if you want to cook more than 2 chicken breasts at a time. The crumb mix will coat up to 3-4 breasts.
- Replace the mayo for olive oil if you don't like or don't have mayonnaise.
- If you have a non-stick air fryer basket, cooking spray isn't necessary to add, but it can be used on an aluminum air fryer basket.
- Swap plain breadcrumbs for seasoned and add your favorite seasoning instead.
- Chicken thighs with bone in can be made with this same coating, just cook them for a total of 16 minutes, and flip the chicken halfway.
If you want a healthier non-gluten or low carb version of this recipe, here are our tips and tricks to make it easier to adapt the recipe.
Gluten free- use gluten free breadcrumbs, try to find a brand that is Italian seasoned since that's what was used in the recipe. If you use plain breadcrumbs, simply add Italian seasoning or other dried herbs to taste.
Low carb/keto.- Make sure you're using sugar-free mayo like Sir Kensington's. Some common low carb breading substitutes include swapping the breadcrumbs for seasoned crushed pork rinds, using almond meal or using a mix of crushed nuts and grated parmesan cheese. You can also make homemade bread crumbs from store-bought low carb bread. Some of the options might not stick as well as regular fine bread crumbs so be sure to press it into the air fryer chicken breasts before cooking.
How Can I Bake it in an Oven?
You can bake this recipe in an oven if you don't yet have an air fryer. Put the chicken on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake it for 40 mins in a 425F oven, or until cooked to 165F.
Can You Stack Chicken Breast in an Air Fryer?
We do not recommend stacking chicken breasts or overlapping them in an air fryer. We highly recommend they get cooked in a single layer with room on all sides. While some snack type foods can get stacked with a periodic shake of the basket, air fryer boneless chicken breasts is not one of those recipes.
Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Air Fryer?
We don't recommend making breaded chicken in an air fryer when the chicken is frozen, the coating won't still as well, it won't turn out as crisp and the breading could even get too brown before the chicken is done cooking.
In general, boneless skinless chicken breast can be cooked in an air fryer if it's not breaded. You'll need to add about 5-7 minutes to the cooking time and be sure to remove it from the unit once the internal temp reaches 160F.
What to Serve with Breaded Chicken Breasts?
Here's a handful of side dish ideas you can serve with the air fryer breaded chicken breast. In general, we'd recommend picking a simple grain or starch dish alongside a hot vegetable dish or salad.
- Hot mustard potato salad
- Roasted broccoli
- Healthy coleslaw
- Air fryer sweet potatoes or air fry baked potatoes
- A simple green salad
Is it Ok to Use Breading in an Air Fryer?
It is perfectly safe to use breading in an air fryer. While a little bit of breading might fall to the bottom, it shouldn't impact the recipe in any way. If you're making your own breading make sure to liberally dip the chicken in the batter before breading both sides and then let the extra breading fall back into the dish.
What Temperature Do You Cook Chicken Breast in an Air Fryer?
Common cooking temperatures of chicken in an air fryer range from 350 degrees Fahrenheit up to 400 degrees. As a general rule of thumb, when converting a favorite oven recipe to an air fryer, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
If you love your air fryer for cooking chicken then you'll definitely want to try our air fryer chicken recipes too.
- Air fryer chicken wings
- Air fryer frozen chicken wings
- Chicken Tenders in air fryer
- Chicken Drumsticks in the air fryer
- Air fryer bone-in chicken thighs
- Air fryer frozen chicken breast
- Air fryer boneless chicken wings (from frozen)
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Lisa Barlerin says
I've been making the oven cooked version of this recipe for years. A couple of things I've changed. I add a half teaspoon of garlic powder and a teaspoon of grated lemon zest to the mayonnaise mixture. I sometimes marinated the chicken in Wishbone Robusto Zesty Italian salad dressing, then I'll blot it dry before preceding with the breading step. I don't bread the bottom of the chicken breast because I find it just gets left behind more often than not when I go to serve it. I never use nonstick spray in my air fryer after reading an article that explained it's not the oil, but the propellant in most nonstick sprays that damages the non-stick finish of the air fryer basket. I now use an avocado oil spray that has no propellant. It's available on Amazon. It's pricey but a little goes a long way. I tried the most popular oil spray mister on the market and I found that they're just impossible to clean.