Air fryer boneless chicken breasts are an easy weeknight dinner that is brined in salted water, so it’s juicy every single time. We are using a simple dry rub that makes for flavorful chicken breasts that cook up in less than 30 minutes! These seasoned chicken breasts are perfect for topping salads, burrito bowls, or a variety of meal prep options.
Cooking chicken breast in the air fryer is so simple and hands-off! It’s the perfect dinner when you want something hearty and filling, but also a foolproof recipe that even picky eaters will love. While I love some good Southern fried chicken, using the air fryer wins every time, especially on busy nights!
Our favorite sides are bang bang Brussels sprouts, brown sugar honey glazed carrots, and instant pot corn on the cob. The seasoning on this air fryer chicken breast recipe can take on a great Mexican flavor, so pair it with some Mexican rice and some homemade salsa verde and wrap it up in tacos or make a burrito bowl.
You can also take this same seasoning blend and jazz up your herb-roasted chicken in the oven or make whole chicken in the air fryer, with this flavor combo. Want more of a barbecue sauce? Use our huli huli chicken recipe and cook in the air fryer instead of on the grill. In more of a beef mood? Do not miss our air fryer roast beef recipe!
What do I Need for this Recipe?
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts – when shopping, try to make sure they are similar in size.
- Olive oil – you can use any other oil that has a high smoke point such as avocado oil.
- Spices: garlic salt, ground black pepper, onion powder, paprika, and dried oregano.
- kosher salt and water – brining before cooking makes for juicy chicken breast and adds a little saltiness.
Garnish the chicken with fresh parsley and serve with your favorite sides. This chicken recipe is also excellent for making chicken salad, adding to soups or stews, and other recipes that call for cooked chicken.
Meat mallet – we are going to pound the chicken so that it cooks evenly, not to completely flatten it out. Be sure the size of the chicken breast is similar.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Turkey breast – use this same simple recipe to make turkey in the air fryer.
- Seasoning – swap our rub for your favorites such as Italian seasoning or make it spicy by adding chili powder or a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Tenders – swap the breasts for tenders. Use the same seasoning, but the cooking time may need to be reduced.
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – use this recipe to make chicken thighs in the air fryer.
PREP: Add room-temperature water and salt to a large bowl.
Step 1: Once dissolved, add the chicken and soak for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2: For standard chicken breasts, place them between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently with the thicker end of the mallet, so they are even in thickness.
Step 3: Transfer the chicken to a large bowl and drizzle with oil. Stir together the spices in a small bowl, sprinkle half over the chicken, and rub in.
Step 4: Grease the air fryer basket with a little non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in a single layer, two at a time, and air for 8 minutes at 380 degrees.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to use a meat mallet, buy the thin sliced chicken breasts and reduce the cooking time by 2-3 minutes.
Step 5: Flip each piece of chicken, sprinkle some of the remaining seasoning on top, and cook for another 8-9 minutes or until done.
Step 6: Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the inside is 165 degrees.
SERVE: Garnish and serve with your favorite side dishes or use them to make salads or burrito bowls.
- Letting the chicken rest before cutting is the best way to keep it juicy.
- Before serving, use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees F.
- Do not overcook the chicken, or else it will be dry.
- There’s no need to rinse the chicken after brining it; you might consider using a paper towel to wipe it off, but you really just need to pat it dry.
- If you skip the brining process, increase the amount of seasoning for more flavor.
Air fryers cook by convection. This means the hot air circulates around the food to heat it which explains why it’s a quicker cooking method most of the time compared to the oven.
Keep leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before cooking.
While frozen chicken can be cooked in the air fryer, we do not recommend it for this recipe. You cannot pound or brine the chicken first, which gives us the best results.
Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Breasts
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and stir in kosher salt until it dissolves.
- Add the chicken breasts to the salt water and allow to soak for 30 minutes up to an hour or two. Remove the chicken breast from the soak and pat dry with paper towels.
- If you are using standard chicken breasts, place each breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound the thicker end gently with a meat mallet to flatten the chicken breast to an even thickness.
- In a large bowl, drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil and toss to coat completely.
- Combine the spices in a small bowl and stir together. Sprinkle HALF* of the spice mixture over the chicken breasts and rub in.
- Spray air fryer with non-stick cooking spray.
- Working in batches of two chicken breasts at a time, place the chicken in the air fryer and cook at 380°F for 8 minutes.
- Flip the chicken breasts over and sprinkle some of the remaining seasoning over the top of the chicken breast to make a pretty finished presentation.
- Cook for another 8-9 minutes, until the internal temperature registers 165°F.