These Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets are quickly coated in breading and fried in the air fryer with very little oil to make a crispy, juicy piece of chicken that only take about 20 minutes to make.
Air fryer chicken cutlets are wonderfully crispy on the outside, but the chicken stays nice and juicy on the inside. The best part about using an air fryer to make them is how much less oil they will absorb, yet they’re still just as crispy.
I like to eat these chicken cutlets as is right when they come out of the air fryer, with a quick side dish. So simple, and so tasty. But I also make them to put on a crispy chicken salad or to use in chicken wraps. The breading adds a little extra crunch that’s so good.
Ingredients You Need
You can buy already breaded chicken cutlets and just put them in the air fryer to cook. That’s a perfectly reasonable way to do it. However, I usually like to bread my own chicken, because then I know that no extra oil has been added. Choose whichever way suits you.
- Frozen store-bought breaded chicken cutlets
- Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken breast works best in this recipe because you can flatten them easily, but chicken thighs can be used, too. Make sure you slice the chicken breast in half down the middle and pound them slightly so they’re even throughout.
- Egg – Egg acts as a binding agent to help the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken better.
- Flour – All-purpose flour will give the best results.
- Breadcrumbs – What breadcrumbs you use really depends on your personal preference. I like to use panko breadcrumbs, but I grind them up slightly so they aren’t such big pieces. You can also use a finer breadcrumbs or you can add extra flavor by using Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Salt & Ground Black Pepper – The chicken should be seasoned on both sides before you dredge it in the egg and flour, for the most flavor.
- Seasonings – You can use any seasonings you like in the breadcrumb mixture. I like to use garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and paprika.
- Cornstarch – Adding a bit of cornstarch helps the breading stick to the chicken and will make it turn out more crispy.
Why Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets
You’ll want to start out by slicing the chicken breast in half lengthwise to make a thinner piece. A full chicken breast is often quite thick and it will take a long time to cook. To make a cutlet, slice each breast in half. It’s often easier to do this if the chicken is still slightly frozen when you cut it.
Then you’ll want to lightly pound the chicken to make sure it’s all a fairly similar thickness. I cover the chicken with a piece of plastic wrap, then use a meat mallet to pound it just a little bit to even it out.
Next, season the chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. It’s important to season the chicken before putting it through the egg, because this will ensure the chicken itself is nicely seasoned and not just the breading.
Whisk the egg in a bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs, flour, cornstarch, and seasonings on another plate.
Dredge the chicken cutlets in the egg, shake off the excess. Lay the chicken in the breadcrumbs, then drag it and flip to fully coat the chicken. Flip it over a couple of times to make sure it’s fully coated.
Spray the chicken with a generous amount of cooking oil. Place it, oiled side down in the air fryer basket. Spray the top side too.
Cook the chicken at 385˚F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. The chicken is done when it reaches 165˚F internal temperature. If you find that you’re needing to cook it past the 165 internal temperature to get the outside crispy, you might need to adjust your cooking temperature up to 400 degrees. Every air fryer is slightly different.
Air Frying Tips & Suggestions
- The easiest way to get all the chicken breaded quickly is to make a breading station. Have all of the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs ready in their own bowls or plates. That way you can easily and quickly bread each chicken cutlet.
- Measure the internal temperature of the chicken cutlets using a meat thermometer. Each air fryer is built differently, so your model may take more or less time to cook the chicken. Chicken should reach a temperature of 165°F.
- Wear gloves while breading the chicken to prevent cross contamination.
- Air fryer: I use this 4-quart basket-style air fryer. It’s large enough to fit 2 Chicken Kiev pieces. Give each piece of chicken Kiev enough space in the air fryer basket, so they cook evenly.
- Kitchen tongs: It’s very easy to remove food from your air fryer with kitchen tongs. I use these kitchen tongs that are silicon coated so they don’t scratch the interior.
- Meat thermometer: The only way to tell if meat is fully cooked to the right temperature is to use a meat thermometer. I use this Instant Read thermometer. It’s so quick to open the basket and check the temp.
- Meat mallet: To pound the chicken down to an even thickness, I use this Kitchenaid meat mallet.
Questions About the Recipe
How can I store leftovers?
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. They should last in the freezer for about 2 months. To reheat the chicken cutlets, place them in a preheated air fryer at 350°F for about 5 minutes.
What can I do with leftover air fryer chicken cutlets?
Are there any other seasonings I can add to the breadcrumbs?
Of course! There are many different seasonings that can be added to the breadcrumbs. Some seasonings you could add are garlic powder, paprika, or Italian seasoning.
Can I pile a lot of cutlets in the air fryer at once?
It’s best not to stack or pile food in the air fryer. Doing this will prevent the cutlets from cooking evenly and crisping up. If you are cooking a lot of chicken cutlets, then work in batches rather than cooking it all at once.
What Side Dishes to Serve?
There are some really easy side dishes you can serve with your main dish cooked in the Air Fryer. In some cases, you can even cook them together in the air fryer to make it even faster.
Some of our favorite side dishes to serve include air fryer cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and corn on the cob. We love these crispy smashed potatoes and cottage fries because they go with just about anything. Other quick options are to make a side garden salad or some macaroni and cheese.
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Easy Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast cut in half and lightly pounded
- Salt and pepper
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup fine bread crumbs or panko
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon flake salt
- Season the chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Whisk the egg in a bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs, flour, and seasonings on another plate.
- Dredge the chicken cutlets in the egg, shake off excess. Lay the chicken in the breadcrumbs, then drag/flip to fully coat the chicken.
- Spray the chicken with a generous amount of cooking oil. Place it, oiled side down in the air fryer basket. Spray the top side.
- Cook the chicken at 385˚F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. The chicken is done when it reaches 165˚F internal temperature.
All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.
Super Useful Air Fryer Accessories
Once you’ve started using your air fryer more regularly, you’ll find there are so many other ways you *could* be using it, if you had a few extra useful accessories. Here are a few favorites that we use almost every day.
- 12-piece accessories kit for 3.7-5.8 quart air fryers – includes silicone cake pan, cake barrel, pizza pan, toasting/warming rack, skewer rack, silicone mat, bread rack and more
- Thermopen instant read thermometer for checking the internal temp of your meats
- Evo Oil Sprayer Bottle – BPA, latex, and dehp-free plastic, won’t clog or shatter, reusable, refillable, recyclable
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes over at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, and you’ll find Instant Pot recipes at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.