There’s simply no better – or easier – way to cook frozen chicken breast than in the air fryer! With this method you’ll go straight from frozen to fully cooked chicken breasts, perfectly seasoned (with SO much flavor) and super, super moist. Best of all, they cook up fast with no defrost time, so you’ll have a meal on the table before you know it!
This method & recipe were developed & perfected for cooking frozen chicken breast in the air fryer. Already took the time to defrost your chicken? Head over to my recipe for air fryer chicken breast.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- Knowing how to cook frozen chicken breast in the air fryer is absolutely game-changing. How many times have you dug through your fridge and freezer looking for something – anything – to cook that’s easy, fast, AND tastes good, only to realize that you could have chicken if you’d just remembered to thaw it earlier? Same. Well, you’re in luck, because the air fryer totally solves that problem. With this method, you can throw your frozen chicken breast in the air fryer without any defrosting time whatsoever and end up with perfectly moist and flavorful chicken in practically no time at all.
- The light oil rub acts as a marinade, giving the chicken an incredible flavor without adding to the cook or prep time at all. What’s really nice, too, is that you can use any flavors and spices you like, so you’re never bored. I kept it easy with seasoning salt (or salt and black pepper) but you can absolutely use Tony Chachere’s, smoked paprika, garlic powder, dry rub, taco seasoning… SO many possibilities!
- How long to cook frozen chicken breast in the air fryer all depends on the size and thickness of the chicken breast. Essentially, the thicker the frozen chicken breast, the longer it’ll take to cook, so keep that in mind when you’re scrambling for dinner. I tested several sizes and thicknesses, and my total cook times ranged anywhere from 12 minutes up to 28 minutes. If your chicken breasts are thinner than 1″, they’ll need less time in the air fryer.
- Your cooking experience may differ from mine based on a variety of factors. Every air fryer behaves differently, even two of the same make and model sitting side-by-side in the same kitchen. The age of your air fryer (and the age of the frozen chicken breasts) can also have an effect on the results. Check the chicken often and use an internal meat thermometer to ensure they’re fully cooked before serving. Also, please note that I developed this recipe using a basket-style air fryer and can’t say what changes, if any, would need to be made to adapt it for an air fryer function on an oven.
Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Keep on Repeat
- Air Fryer Sweet Potatoes
- Frozen Onion Rings in the Air Fryer with Bloomin’ Onion Sauce
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets
- Air Fryer Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Frozen Salmon in the Air Fryer
- 3 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts evenly sized
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil olive oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil, etc.; see Notes
- 2 tablespoons seasoning salt or salt and black pepper to taste
- Air fryer
- Small bowl
- Basting Brush
- internal meat thermometer
- Cutting board
- Preheat air fryer to 380° Fahrenheit. Place frozen chicken breasts top (smooth side) down on plate.
- Add oil and seasoning salt (or salt and pepper) to small bowl. Whisk until ingredients are incorporated.
- Generously brush oil mixture all over chicken breasts. Flip chicken over and brush remaining oil mixture all over other side.
- Place marinated chicken breasts in air fryer basket. Place basket in preheated air fryer and cook 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove basket and check chicken with internal meat thermometer. If needed, return basket to air fryer and continue cooking, checking temperature of chicken every 4 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 161° Fahrenheit. Alternately, check chicken every 4 minutes, cooking until chicken is firm with not much give when pressed in meatiest area. Note: actual cook times will depend on size and thickness of chicken breasts. See Notes for recommendations.
- Carefully remove chicken breasts from air fryer basket and set aside on plate or cutting board. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then slice chicken and serve with desired sides.
- Neutral Oil: If you’d rather use spray oil, spray both sides of each chicken breast with oil then sprinkle seasoning salt (or salt and pepper) over both sides to taste.
- This recipe was tested & perfected using a basket-style air fryer. I can’t say what changes, if any, would be needed to adapt the recipe to work in an oven with an air fryer function.
Estimated Cooking TimesActual cooking times will vary depending on size and thickness of chicken breasts, age of air fryer, and make & model of air fryer.
- 4oz, 1″ Thick: 12 minutes
- 6oz, 1″ Thick: 13-14 minutes
- 8.5oz, 1″ Thick: 14 minutes
- 8oz, 1 ½” Thick: 20-22 minutes
- 9oz, 1 ½” Thick: 24-26 minutes
- 10oz, 2″ Thick: 26-28 minutes
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.