Savoring a plate of my air fryer chicken parmesan always feels like a small triumph. This is my go-to dish for those days when I crave a tasty yet fuss-free meal.
What I love about this recipe is its quick execution and incomparable taste. This isn't your typical chicken parmesan, deep-fried to oblivion. It's lighter, crisper, and perfectly moist, all thanks to the air fryer.
So, strap in as I share the secrets to this air fryer delight that will make your taste buds sing with joy!
- 1 chicken breast
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil for garnish (optional)
Kitchen Tools and Equipment Needed
- Air fryer
- Cutting board
- Three bowls or containers for breading
- Side plate
- Serving dish
Slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise to create two thin chicken cutlets. If the chicken breast is too thick, you can gently pound it with a meat mallet.
Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (200ºC). Take one chicken cutlet and coat it in flour, dip it into the egg, and coat it in the breadcrumb mixture.
Make sure the chicken is evenly coated with breadcrumbs on all sides. Repeat this process with the second cutlet.
Arrange the chicken cutlets in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Place the basket in the air fryer and cook for approximately 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. The chicken should become golden and crispy.
Remove the air fryer basket and top each cutlet with a small amount of tomato sauce and some shredded mozzarella. Return the chicken to the air fryer and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.
Remove from the air fryer and let it cool slightly. Garnish with fresh basil before serving.
Your air fryer chicken parmesan is ready! Serve it with pasta or a salad of your choice.
- With pasta: When serving this air fryer chicken parmesan, I like to plate it over a bed of perfectly cooked spaghetti. I find the pasta soaks up the robust marinara sauce beautifully and complements the chicken well.
- With a green salad: For a touch of color and freshness, I often pair it with a simple green salad tossed in a light vinaigrette. The crunch of the lettuce provides a wonderful contrast to the chicken.
- With fresh herbs: Don't forget a generous sprinkle of fresh basil or parsley right before serving. The freshness of the herbs cuts through the richness, creating a well-balanced dish.
- A little bit spicy: Add a little spice to the dish by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the marinara sauce. The subtle heat adds another dimension of flavor that I thoroughly enjoy.
- Healthier twist: Swap out the traditional spaghetti for zoodles (zucchini noodles). It's a great way to add more vegetables to your plate while still enjoying your beloved chicken parmesan.
- With different cheeses: While I love the classic parmesan and mozzarella combo, trying it with provolone or fontina cheese is also a great option. These cheeses melt beautifully and give a different flavor profile.
- Chicken thighs: If you don't have chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs. They'll need a bit longer in the air fryer, but the result is equally delicious.
- Crushed cornflakes or panko: Out of breadcrumbs? Don't worry; crushed cornflakes or panko will do the job just fine. They provide that all-important crunch we all love in a good chicken parmesan.
- Almond flour or gluten-free breadcrumbs: For a gluten-free version, use almond flour or gluten-free breadcrumbs for the coating. Remember also to ensure your marinara sauce is gluten-free.
Pro Tips for Success
- For flavor boost: To take this air fryer chicken parmesan to the next level, I recommend adding a pinch of dried red pepper flakes or Italian seasoning to the breadcrumb mixture. These little flavor enhancements can make a world of difference.
- Checking for doneness: One of my kitchen essentials is an instant-read meat thermometer. It's the best way to ensure your chicken is safely cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) while avoiding any guesswork that could lead to overcooked, dry chicken.
- Marinating: For extra flavor that penetrates deep into the chicken, marinate the breasts in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice for 30 minutes to an hour before breading and air frying. This simple step infuses the chicken with delicious aromatics that shine through in every bite.
- Crumbs: To make sure the breadcrumbs stick well to the chicken, press them firmly after the egg wash. This results in a more even, crispier coating that doesn't fall apart in the fryer.
- Sauce: When adding your marinara sauce, try to spoon it onto the center of the chicken and spread it out, leaving the edges bare. This helps keep the chicken crispy while still providing that delicious tomato sauce flavor.
- Cheese melting: To achieve that perfect, bubbly, and lightly browned cheese on top, switch your air fryer to the broil setting for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.
Storing and Freezing Leftovers
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
If you opt to freeze the chicken cutlets, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or use freezer-safe containers. They should stay good for up to two months.
When reheating, thaw them in the refrigerator before using an air fryer or conventional oven.
Overcrowding could be the problem. Make sure to leave enough space for air to circulate around each piece of chicken for even cooking.
The breadcrumbs may not be sticking properly. Try pressing the breadcrumbs firmly onto the chicken after the egg wash to ensure a solid coating.
Try switching your air fryer to the broil setting for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time to achieve bubbly, slightly browned cheese on top.
Your air fryer may not have been preheated enough. Always preheat your air fryer before adding the chicken for a perfectly crispy exterior.
Overcooking could be the culprit. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) but isn't overcooked.
There you have it, folks—my irresistible air fryer chicken parmesan recipe! A delightful twist on a beloved classic, it's a testament to how the humble air fryer can elevate our cooking experiences.
I invite you to try this recipe for your next meal and share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you're curious about more recipes, air fryer tips and tricks, or ingredient swaps, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.
Dive into the world of air frying with me, where we'll turn ordinary ingredients into extraordinary meals.
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Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
- Air Fryer
- Cutting board
- 3 Bowls or containers for breading
- Side plate
- Serving dish
- Slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise to create two thin chicken cutlets. If the chicken breast is too thick, you can gently pound it with a meat mallet.
- In a large bowl or container, mix together the panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. In two separate bowls, prepare beaten egg and breadcrumbs.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (200ºC). Take one chicken cutlet and coat it in flour, dip it into the egg, and coat it in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Make sure the chicken is evenly coated with breadcrumbs on all sides. Repeat this process with the second cutlet.
- Arrange the chicken cutlets in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Place the basket in the air fryer and cook for approximately 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. The chicken should become golden and crispy.
- Remove the air fryer basket and top each cutlet with a small amount of tomato sauce and some shredded mozzarella. Return the chicken to the air fryer and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.
- Remove from the air fryer and let it cool slightly. Garnish with fresh basil before serving.
- Your air fryer chicken parmesan is ready! Serve it with pasta or a salad of your choice.
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