Learn how to make Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breasts that are perfectly seasoned and adaptable for hassle-free dinner or weekly meal prep.
I feel like there are two types of people in the world: ones that love boneless skinless chicken breasts and ones that hate them. And then there's me – someone who once belonged to the latter group, but that was only until I realized I had only ever eaten overcooked, bland chicken breasts.
Since then, I've been on a glorious journey discovering all the wonderful ways to use blsl (boneless skinless) chicken breasts, such as in this Chicken Broccoli Ziti, these Garlic Butter Chicken Bites (or make 'em ranch).
And the reason why so many people love them? They are incredibly versatile, they serve as a canvas for so many different flavor variations and serve as a reliable and healthy source of lean protein.
It was when I started cooking them in the air fryer, it truly felt like I had unlocked a new level in the perpetual game of "what can I make for dinner that's quick and easy." Without a doubt, this is my favorite way to cook whole chicken breasts, because it's fuss-free and hands-off and it makes it easy to cook the chicken perfectly.
So let's get to making it! You can jump around the article using the menu below, or you can just head right to the bottom for the complete recipe.
Ingredients Needed and Substitutions
Here is a brief overview of the ingredients needed for this recipe. The truth is, chicken breasts are truly able to take on whatever flavor your heart desires. But I'm offering my go-to basic spice mix for chicken breasts in the recipe. Feel free to substitute in whatever spice mix you love.
- boneless skinless chicken breasts
- olive oil (or whatever oil you typically use)
- red wine vinegar (or another vinegar you like)
- salt and pepper
- spices: paprika, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
Step-By-Step Recipe Overview
This is a quick visual overview of the steps needed to make this recipe. If you are looking for the full recipe, keep scrolling!
Step 1: Coat the chicken with the oil, vinegar and spices.
Step 2: The chicken can be marinated ahead of time (up to 4 hours), or cooked immediately.
Step 3: Place chicken inside an oiled air fryer basket.
Step 4: Air fry until the chicken is cooked to the proper temperature (more on that below).
Tips for Making Chicken Breasts in the Air Fryer
There is one important thing you need to know when cooking chicken breasts--don't overcook them. Overcooked chicken is tough, dry, and just not good.
Chicken should be done actively cooking at around 160ºF, then it should be rested for about five minutes, which is when the chicken will inactively cook, or "carry-over cook", bringing the internal temperature up to 165ºF.
The best way to tell if your chicken is done is with an instant-read thermometer. If you don't have one already, it's worth the minor investment.
Keep in mind that the actual cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken. Chicken breasts can vary in size, ranging from 9 to 16 ounces. If possible, use chicken breasts that are of similar size for consistent cooking. Use a meat mallet to pound out any thicker chicken breasts if you want. Or you can remove the chicken from the air fryer in batches as they finish cooking.
Serving and Storing
After the chicken has finished cooking, and rested for five minutes, it is ready to serve! It can be sliced and served immediately, or used for meal prep later in the week.
Let it cool completely and then store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Cooked chicken can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Be careful when reheating the chicken so that it doesn't get overcooked.
More Chicken Recipes
What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
Making the recipe? Be sure to leave a comment with a star ⭐️ review on your experience! Have a question? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can!Print
- 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 3lbs)
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or other
- 1-½ teaspoons (5 grams) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat the air fryer to 425ºF (if your air fryer requires it).
- To a medium bowl, add chicken breasts, oil, vinegar, salt, paprika, italian seasoning, garlic powder and black pepper and mix together.
- Lightly coat the air fryer basket with oil (I use a non-aerosol avocado oil spray) then place the chicken breasts in it, evenly spaced apart.
- Cook the chicken for 14-18 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF.
- Remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for 5 minutes, while the internal temperature rises up to 165ºF with carry-over cooking.
- Serve immediately, or cool down and store for a meal prep option throughout the week.
Keywords: Air Fryer Chicken Breasts