Perfectly Cooked Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

Juicy on the inside and a little crispy on the outside, the air fryer is our new favorite way to cook chicken breasts! Done in about 20 minutes with minimal effort, we’ll walk you through exactly how to cook chicken breasts in the air fryer.

Cooked air fryer chicken breasts on a plate with seasonings
Crispy outside with a juicy center. Perfectly cooked air fryer chicken breasts.

Cooking chicken breasts in the air fryer

With minimal prep and just a few simple steps, you’ll be ready to dig into some juicy air fryer chicken breasts. Here are some of our top cooking tips:

  • Pat the chicken dry to remove any excess moisture (this helps the outside get extra crispy)
  • Coat the breasts with a thin layer of cooking oil
  • Season the chicken with your favorite seasoning mix
  • If your air fryer requires preheating, preheat to 400° Fahrenheit
  • Don’t crowd the basket! make sure there is a little space between each piece of chicken so the air can circulate around it
  • Cook the chicken breasts for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway (more cooking time tips below)
Sliced chicken breasts in a bowl over greens and rice with avocado
Tender and juicy chicken breast made in the air fryer.

How long to air fry different sizes of chicken breast?

Since each chicken breast is a different size, it can be a little tricky getting a juicy, perfectly cooked chicken breast in the air fryer every time.

If you know how much your individual breasts weigh, you can follow the general cooking times below:

Times noted are for boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

  • 8 oz breast 400° for 16-18 minutes
  • 10 oz breast 400° for 18-20 minutes
  • 12 oz breast 400° for 20-22 minutes

Remember to flip the chicken halfway through the cooking time and monitor it closely after flipping. Use a meat thermometer if you have one and remove the chicken as soon as it reaches an internal temp of 165° in the thickest section of the breast.

Two cooked air fryer chicken breasts on a plate. One breast sliced up.
Perfectly cooked, tender and juicy air fryer chicken breasts.

Tips for cooking in batches in the air fryer

If you are cooking for more than two, you’ll likely need to cook your chicken in batches. Most air fryer baskets are small and can only fit 2-3 breasts in them at a time.

In order to avoid overcooking the first batch you have two options:

  1. Keep the first batch warm in the oven (set the oven at 200°)
  2. Cover the first batch with tin foil while the second batch cooks

If you use the oven to keep the chicken warm, I recommend pulling it out of the air fryer when it reaches 155°. It will continue to cook in the oven while the other batch cooks.

If you are covering the chicken in foil, remove it from the air fryer when it reaches 160°. It will continue to cook in the foil as it rests.

If necessary, you can always pop the first batch back into the air fryer for a few minutes to warm it up or finish cooking to 165° if needed.

Two bowls of sliced chicken breasts over greens and rice with avocado

The best seasonings for chicken breasts in the air fryer

We’ve included a very simple seasoning mix for this recipe, but you can really choose any of your favorites! We prefer making our own seasoning mixes, here are some options:

Close up angle image of two chicken breasts on a plate.
Perfectly seasoned air fryer chicken breasts.

Your turn to try this easy air fryer recipe

Once you cook chicken breasts in the air fryer, you won’t go back! It’s quick, easy, and delicious. If you try it, leave a comment and rating below to let us know how it goes. Don’t forget to take a pic to share and tag us @realsimplegood so we can check it out. We love to see what you’re making!


Chicken breasts on a plate with one sliced. Text at top for pinterest.

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Split image with text in middle. Close up of cooked chicken breasts on top and sliced chicken in a bowl with greens and rice at bottom.

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Calories: 393kcal
Author: Justin Winn
Juicy on the inside and a little crispy on the outside, we'll walk you through exactly how to cook chicken breasts in the air fryer.
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Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (See recipe notes for cooking different sizes of chicken breasts)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or other cooking oil of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning

Instructions 

  • Pat the chicken breasts with a paper towel to remove any water.
  • Rub or brush the breasts with avocado oil. Sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning (or other seasoning of choice).
  • Place chicken in the air fryer and cook at 400° Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Be sure to preheat your air fryer if required.
  • Flip the chicken breasts and cook on the other side for 10 more minutes, or until the thickest part of the breast reaches 165° Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the chicken from the air fryer. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later use.

Notes

If you know how much your individual breasts weigh, you can follow the general cooking times below. Times noted are for boneless, skinless chicken breasts:
  • 8 oz breast 400° for 16-18 minutes
  • 10 oz breast 400° for 18-20 minutes
  • 12 oz breast 400° for 20-22 minutes

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Fiber: 2g
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