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This thing about fried chicken. I LOVE IT. I’m also exceptionally, unapologetically picky about it. You should be too! This crispy, juicy Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast is up to our standards.

air fried chicken breast with no flour from the air fryer on a plate

With fried chicken, to me even mediocre isn’t worth it.

  • It needs to be crunchy outside with well-seasoned breading that is present but not overpoweringly thick.
  • The meat must be juicy.
  • It must never be greasy. In fact, you should almost forget that it is fried.

While I love tackling homemade versions of my favorite indulgent foods, deep frying is a line I haven’t crossed.

no flour fried chicken breast from the air fryer on a plate

It sounds like a hot mess and a splurge I prefer to save for when I’m out to eat. (Hence we are a Baked French Fry kind of household).

Thanks to the air fryer (this is the model I own and would recommend), “fried” foods are now easy and healthy to create at home!

Add an easy seasoned breadcrumb coating and you have a knock off air fryer fried chicken even The Colonel would approve!

crispy air fryer fried chicken breast and green beans on a plate


Love a classic cornflake coating, looking for buttermilk fried chicken, or don’t have an air fryer? Check out this Baked Fried Chicken.

How to Make Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast

Thanks to the convection power of the air fryer, hot air crisps the outside of the chicken, while keeping the interior moist. Air Fryer Chicken Thighs certainly agree!

The Ingredients

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast. The ultimate versatile and family-friendly lean protein! As this list of healthy chicken recipes proves, there’s about nothing chicken can’t do. The key is to keep it juicy, and the air fryer does just that.


Pound the chicken into an even thickness to ensure it cooks evenly; if you skip this step, by the time the thick middle part is cooked, the thinner ends will be dried out.

crispy air fryer fried chicken breasts in the air fryer
  • Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs. For breaded air fryer chicken breast, I prefer to use more finely ground breadcrumbs (vs. larger panko breadcrumbs) because they adhere to the chicken more easily. If you’d like to use panko, you’ll need to dip the chicken in egg first so that the breadcrumbs adhere (see this Baked Chicken Parmesan or Chicken Katsu video for a step-by-step). I also like that using regular breadcrumbs means I can make this air fryer fried chicken without flour, saving myself an ingredient.
  • Parmesan. Using half grated Parmesan and half breadcrumbs ensures the chicken tastes satisfying.
  • Breadcrumb Seasoning. Paprika, garlic powder, thyme, and a pinch of cayenne mimic many southern fried chicken recipes.

Substitution Tip!

  • For a hot air fryer chicken, up the amount of cayenne to 1/4 teaspoon, plus a pinch. Or, try serving your air fried chicken with hot sauce.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil. One perk of air fryer cooking is that very little oil is needed. I use 1 teaspoon of oil per 1/2 pound of chicken.

The Directions

chicken breasts tossed with oil in a bowl to be air fried
  1. Cut and pound the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil then toss.
breadcrumbs in a bowl for air fryer fried chicken breast
  1. Add the breading ingredients in a bowl.
chicken breast in a bowl of bread crumbs before being air fried
  1. Coat each chicken breast in the mixture.
breaded chicken breasts in the air fryer to make fried chicken breasts
  1. Preheat the air fryer and arrange the chicken in a single layer (you may need to cook two batches depending on the size of your air fryer).
chicken breasts in the air fryer
  1. Air fry on the first side for 4 minutes, flip, then continue for 2 to 5 additional minutes (until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees F). 

What to Serve with Air Fryer Fried Chicken

crispy air fryer fried chicken breast with no flour on a plate

Storage Tips

  • To Store. This recipe is best enjoyed the day it is baked, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Leftover chicken can be reheated in a lightly greased pan over medium heat and is also good served at room temperature on top of salads.
  • To Freeze. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Leftover Ideas

Dice up your leftover air fryer fried chicken and add it to Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad, BBQ Chicken Salad, or turn it into a tasty wrap with Edamame Hummus.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Chef’s Knife. It’s special high-carbon blade and ergonomic handle make this a kitchen essential!
  • Cutting Board. Thicker materials limit cuts and the built-in juice grove makes clean up a breeze.
  • Glass Mixing Bowls. This durable, 10-piece set will last and cover all of your cooking needs.

From my Yankee kitchen, a healthy fried chicken rendition. I hope it hits the spot for you too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Frozen Chicken Breast?

While you can place frozen chicken breast in the air fryer, when making breaded air fryer chicken, I don’t recommend it as the breadcrumbs won’t adhere to frozen breasts.

How About Chicken Tenders?

Absolutely you can make air fryer fried chicken tenders! Pound them VERY lightly and check several minutes early, as they will cook exceptionally quickly.

Can I Make this Gluten Free?

Certainly! Simply use gluten free breadcrumbs and you are good to go.

Do I Have to Cook this in Batches?

This depends on the size of your air fryer. When placing the chicken inside of it, it is important that the pieces do not touch so that air has room to circulate. In my basket-style air fryer, I was able to fit in half the chicken without it overlapping.

How Do I Keep the Chicken Warm Between Batches?

No one wants cold chicken. Keep early batches warm in a 250 degree F oven while you finish air frying the remaining chicken breast.

Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast

4.58 from 89 votes
This air fryer fried chicken breast recipe without flour is ultra crispy thanks to whole wheat breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan, and little oil.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 7 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Servings: 3 to 4 people


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs or plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional to taste


  • Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise so that you have 6 long, narrow pieces total. Pound each piece to an even 1/2-inch thickness (I like to stretch a piece of plastic wrap over the top first to keep things tidy). Place the pounded chicken in a bowl.
  • Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil and toss to coat.
  • In a wide, shallow bowl (a pie dish works well), combine the whole wheat breadcrumbs, Parmesan, paprika, garlic powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, and salt until evenly blended.
  • Coat each chicken breast in the breadcrumb mixture, patting as necessary so that it adheres.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F. Coat the basket with nonstick spray, then arrange the chicken in the basket in a single layer (you will likely need to cook the chicken in two batches. If desired, keep the first batch warm in a 250 degree F oven while you finish the second).
  • Air fry the breaded chicken breast on the first side for 4 minutes. Slide out the basket, flip the chicken, then continue cooking for 2 to 5 additional minutes, depending upon the size of your chicken and your air fryer model. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the crumbs should look golden brown (I typically remove my chicken at 160 degrees F, as the temperature will continue to rise as it rests). Enjoy hot.


  • TO STORE: This recipe is best enjoyed the day it is baked, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Leftover chicken can be reheated in a lightly greased pan over medium heat and is also good served at room temperature on top of salads.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1of 4Calories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 28gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 78mgPotassium: 449mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 465IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 1mg

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Related Recipes

Thanks to its versatility and ease, you can do so much with chicken breast. Here are some of my favorite chicken breast recipes:

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Ehh. Just so so. Crispness was great. I used 6 oz each, 2-6 oz, chicken breasts. I cooked 1 at a time in my small air fryer and cooked at 375 for 6 min each side. I used the seasoning recommendation what I think needed more red pepper. I also did not add salt and pepper which I think would have helped with the flavor. I am also not a fan of white meat chicken, I will try thighs next time.
    I consider this first attempt a flop but I am willing to try again.
    I made up something similar with a thick cut pork chop a while back but used pork type spices.4 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that, Susan. The amounts, flavorings and timing have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too! I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it not turn out for you.

  2. I actually love this recipe! I think it needs a little more salt but that may just be a personal preference. Otherwise the chicken turned out so juicy and delicious!! Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  3. Chicken was perfectly cooked using your instructions. Substituted panko and Italian bread crumbs and spritzed with a little olive oil upon turning chicken over . Served with honey mustard dip. Excellent!5 stars

  4. I tried your recipe this evening and I used fish frying batter on my Chicken breast and they turned out good. Thank you5 stars

  5. I’ve made this recipe twice so far and both times came out delicious.
    The first time I sliced the chicken into strips after air frying and made crispy chicken wraps with avocado..,so yummy!
    Tonight I made it as a chicken schnitzel and again, delicious.

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