Among our favorite modern kitchen gadgets is the air fryer. Not only can it impart food with that crave-able, crispy texture with just a tablespoon of oil, but it also cuts cooking time in half compared to using your regular oven. And the best part? It’s not just for making French fries and one-off treats. In fact, one of our favorite things to whip up in the air fryer is an everyday dinner staple: chicken.
Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
Here are 12 of our favorite recipes that will make dinner and lunches easier and tastier than ever before. Add a veggie side dish to the menu, and you’ll have restaurant-worthy dinners every night of the week.
(P.S. If you’re wondering if you can use raw chicken, the answer is: absolutely.)
1. Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu
Looking for a weeknight dinner that feels a little fancy? Cordon bleu fits the bill, and it’s much easier than it sounds. If you need a refresher, cordon bleu—French for blue ribbon—is chicken breast, pounded thinly, wrapped around ham and Swiss cheese, lightly breaded, and fried to perfection. Cooking this in an air fryer gives this decadent dish a healthier upgrade without compromising flavor.
To make this scrumptious chicken, place the breasts between parchment paper and pound them thin with a meat mallet. Place thinly sliced deli ham on top of the chicken along with Swiss cheese, then roll the chicken, securing with toothpicks. Coat the chicken in an egg wash, dip in breadcrumbs, and air fry for about 18 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve with dijon mustard and mayo.
2. Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
What’s better than crispy, golden-brown chicken, slathered with marinara sauce, and covered in melted cheese? If chicken parmesan is a favorite Italian indulgence, then you’ll love this recipe—it’s far less oily than its traditional counterpart yet retains all the flavors that you know and love. And while you may think of chicken parm as a laborious endeavor better suited for a weekend dinner, this recipe is easy enough to make on a Tuesday, thanks to the air fryer.
Start by cutting the chicken breasts in half and pounding them so they’re equal in thickness. In one bowl, mix together breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese, and in another, whisk two eggs. Dip the chicken in the egg wash and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. Cook the chicken in the air fryer for 6 minutes, flip, top with marinara and mozzarella, and cook for another 3-4 minutes (or until the it is cooked and the cheese is melty and bubbly). Serve over pasta with more marinara for an easy, hearty meal.
3. Air Fryer Classic Chicken Breast
If it’s been a long day, keeping dinner simple is the way to go. Enter the classic air fryer chicken breast recipe. This recipe yields juicy, moist chicken that’s packed with flavor and ready in no time. One of the advantages of making air fryer chicken breast is that you don’t run the risk of it tasting dry or over cooked. If you make enough for leftovers, you’ll have endless sandwich and chicken salad options at your disposal for tomorrow’s lunch.
To get going, simply mix together the spice blend—all common pantry staples—rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and the spice blend, and pop them into the air fryer for around 20 minutes, flipping about halfway through. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting to ensure juicy results.
4. Air Fryer Buffalo Wings
Air fryer chicken wings are just as satisfying as their deep-fried counterparts and a cinch to make. Buffalo wings are a crowd-pleasing party food, and this recipe is easy enough to whip up for a last-minute get-together. It’s truly a win-win.
To get started, pat your wings dry to remove any excess moisture—this will ensure an ultra-crispy bite every time! Season your wings with salt and pepper and put them in the air fryer for 10 minutes. To maximize crispiness, make sure not to crowd them. Flip and cook for another 6 minutes.
While they’re cooking, whisk up your sauce—a blend of hot sauce, melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Once the wings are cooked, coat them generously in the sauce. Add some blue cheese or ranch dressing into the mix for dipping, plus carrots and celery sticks for crunch, and you’ve got yourself a full game night-inspired spread.
5. Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken Wings
If you want to shake things up from classic air fryer buffalo wings, opt for teriyaki. This rendition features a deeply savory, slightly sweet sauce that perfectly compliments the crispy skin of the air fryer wings. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own teriyaki sauce, or keep it easy with a jarred version (no judgment here).
Pat down your wings so they’re nice and dry (this helps the skin get super crispy). Toss them in cornstarch (another trick for extra crunch) and salt and pepper. Cook them in the air fryer for 18-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
While your wings cook, bring your teriyaki sauce to a light simmer in a saucepan. In a bowl, mix in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with water, making sure to emulsify until there are no lumps. Pour this mixture into the sauce on the stove and cook until it has thickened to a glaze-like consistency. Once the wings are cooked, coat them in the teriyaki sauce and garnish with chopped green onion for some extra bite.
Other Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
Looking to whip up a quick, delicious dinner that tastes like you spent hours on it? Enter this recipe for air fryer chicken thighs. In 30 minutes and with just about five ingredients, you’ll have juicy, crispy chicken thighs that won’t make you miss your grill.
To get started, put your chicken thighs—bone-in and skin on—into a large bowl or plastic bag and coat with salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and onion powder. Feel free to get creative with the spices, adding or subtracting anything you’d like. Place the thighs into the air fryer, skin side down, and cook for 12 minutes. Then, flip them and cook for another 10 minutes (or a little longer if you like them extra crispy). Serve with your favorite salad, potatoes, or veggie dish.
It’s understandable why chicken legs, or drumsticks, are many people’s favorite part of the chicken: they’re crispy, tender, and frankly, fun to eat. This recipe for air fryer chicken legs, featuring an aromatic and slightly sweet flavor profile, produces all your favorite things about this delectable piece of chicken in half the time. No stovetop oil splatter or laboring over a hot grill needed!
First, pat the chicken dry to ensure that signature crispy skin. In a bowl, combine paprika, Italian seasonings, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Rub the drumsticks down with olive oil and toss them in the spice mixture until they are nicely coated. Cook for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, and let them go until they reach your desired crispiness.
Craving Classic Comfort Food?
Perfect Southern Fried Chicken and Biscuits
You don’t have to be a kid to love chicken tenders—especially this grown-up version. Not only are these tenders far healthier than their greasy peers, they are a cinch to make. And for anyone out there who’s avoiding gluten and missing this pub food classic, know that you can easily swap the breadcrumbs in this recipe for a gluten-free variety.
To get started, season your chicken strips with salt and pepper. In one bowl, whisk together eggs, and in another, mix regular breadcrumbs with panko. First, dredge the strips in the egg wash and then coat them with the breadcrumb mixture. Cook the strips in batches for 5-6 minutes on either side or until they are crispy and golden. Serve with your favorite sides—an obvious choice being French fries.
Think of this recipe like a one-pan dinner but the air fryer version: you conveniently cook your meat and veggies in one fell swoop. And while chicken is a non-negotiable ingredient, you can use pretty much any leftover veggies you have in your refrigerator—onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and more.
To make, start by making a marinade of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chili powder, and honey. Pour this over your cubed chicken and let marinate for at least 15 minutes (if you remember ahead of time, marinating overnight will add even more depth of flavor). While the chicken marinades, cut and prep your veggies. Alternate skewering the chicken and veggies. Make sure your skewers fit into the air fryer before you put in the work. Cook the skewers for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Your grill may miss you, but we assure you, you won’t miss it back once you try this recipe.
This recipe requires slightly more patience than other air fryer recipes, but the results are well worth it. While a grocery store rotisserie chicken is satisfying, this version takes things to the next level. And if cooking a whole chicken is intimidating, this is the recipe for you.
Simply combine your seasonings—garlic powder, smoked paprika, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper—with oil to make a paste. Slather this paste all over and place it in the air fryer basket breast side down. Cook the chicken for 50 minutes, flip it, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Your cooking time may vary depending on the size of your chicken, but no matter what, you’ll have plenty of time to whip up your favorite sides while the chicken is getting juicy and crispy.
When the craving strikes for the wonderfully sweet and tangy flavor of BBQ sauce, this recipe is perfect to whip up. And despite what the name implies, BBQ chicken doesn’t require a grill.
To get going, start by creating a dry rub of paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Pat this onto your chicken breasts and place them into the air fryer. Cook for about 16 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once the chicken is cooked through, generously brush the chicken with BBQ sauce to let it warm up and caramelize. Serve with your favorite sides, like coleslaw, potato salad, or baked beans.
It doesn’t get any simpler than this, folks. This air fryer roast chicken recipe requires a mere three ingredients and consists of essentially two steps. This recipe is perfect for an easy dinner or for prepping chicken to be used for other purposes, like chicken enchiladas or chicken salad. However you decide to eat it, you can be sure you’ll have juicy meat and deliciously crispy skin.
To make, wash and pat your chicken dry. Rub the entire chicken with salt or a premixed dry rub and place it into the air fryer for 30 minutes, breast side down. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes. Let the chicken rest before cutting into it, maximizing its potential for juiciness, and serve to your liking.
If what to make for dinner is ever a stressful decision, these recipes will save you tons of time and mental energy. And the best part? They’re all tasty and healthy, thanks to the air fryer. If you don’t already have one, investing in a meat thermometer is helpful, as it can be challenging to tell if the chicken is cooked without cutting into it. Otherwise, you don’t need anything more than your air fryer to whip up something delectable.
Ready to Amp Up the Flavor?
Spice Blends + More: Elevate Your Everyday Chicken Dish