Air fryer parmesan crusted chicken features tender, juicy chicken breasts coated with Italian bread crumbs and cheese and cooked to golden perfection.
We use our air fryer to get deliciously crispy crusts on all kinds of dishes, and we particularly love it for this one because of how wonderfully it comes out.
This chicken is perfectly juicy and crunchy every single time, and it's so easy even beginners can make it with ease. That's the perfect combo.
Air Fryer Parmesan Crusted Chicken
This was inspired by my recipe for parmesan crusted chicken, air fryer directions were all that was needed. I reworked the recipe a bit to make it air fryer friendly. It's absolutely delicious when paired with a nice vegetable side.
Why You Will Love this Recipe
- It only uses a few simple ingredients.
- It's an easy recipe that's perfect for weeknight dinners.
- It's loaded with delicious Italian flavors and a crispy coating.
Gently tap the chicken to remove excess coating while dredging. This ensures an even coating.
This recipe only uses a few basic ingredients that you'll easily find at the store. The major ingredients are listed here, but you'll find the complete list of ingredients along with amounts in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Chicken breasts
- All purpose flour
- Red pepper flakes
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs - or you can use unseasoned breadcrumbs and add italian seasoning
- Parmesan cheese
- Sauce, if desired
Substitutions and Variations
- Spicy - Add a teaspoon of chili pepper flakes, jalapeno powder, smoked jalapeno powder, or chipotle powder to the crumb mixture to imbue heat into the dish. I will also occasionally add a teaspoon of our homemade hot pepper sauce, or use your favorite hot sauce, to the egg mixture.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - Use cutlets, tenderloins, or boneless skinless chicken thighs instead.
- All purpose flour - Use gluten-free flour, almond flour, or ground almonds instead
- Kosher Salt - Use sea salt instead.
- Black Pepper - Use some cayenne pepper instead if you enjoy the heat.
- Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs - Use unseasoned breadcrumbs or panko bread crumbs and add Italian seasoning instead.
- Parmesan cheese - Use pecorino, romano, or cotija cheese instead
- Marinara sauce - Alfredo sauce, pesto sauce, and even barbecue sauce work well.
- Mozzarella - Try provolone, bel paese, gouda, edam, fontina, monterey jack or white cheddar.
- Parsley - Chervil, chives, cilantro, or celery Leaves work as garnish
- Add Flavor - Add a teaspoon or two of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, sage, or thyme to your crumb or flour mixture.
- Add Vegetables - Saute some mushrooms, onions, and sweet peppers and add them on top of your chicken.
- Make a Sandwich - Grab a crusty bun to serve your chicken on
- Vegetarian - Use zucchini, eggplant slices, or your favorite vegetables instead
This is a basic recipe that only takes a few minutes to make. The highlights are listed here, but you'll find the exact instructions in the recipe card at the end of the post.
1: Combine flour coating ingredients in one shallow bowl, add whisked egg to another bowl, and a bread crumb parmesan cheese mixture in a third bowl.
2. Dredge the chicken in the flour, eggs, and parmesan. Then air fry until golden brown on both sides. Flip the chicken at the midway point.
3: Top with sauce if desired, along with mozzarella cheese. Then, air fry until the cheese is melted.
Serve air fried chicken with a side salad or over rice or pasta.
Refrigerator: Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Store in an air-tight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Reheat: Air fry for 2 to 3 minutes at 350 degrees until heated through.
Make Ahead: Coat the chicken and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
What to Serve with Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Serve this chicken with a side salad or over noodles. It's also delicious with your favorite steamed or roasted vegetables.
- Combine all of the dry ingredients together before beginning to dredge each piece of chicken in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.
- Be sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket when placing the chicken inside so everything gets cooked through properly without being under or overcooked.
- If using frozen chicken, make sure you thaw it completely prior to cooking for the best results and cooking time accuracy.
- Use a thermometer to check that your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F before serving for food safety purposes.
- If you want an extra crunchy crust, try spraying some additional cooking spray over each piece after coating them in the crumb mixture and before air frying.
- For the best results, cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise, then pound flat for even cooking.
- I recommend using freshly grated parmesan and not the kind in the jar.
Yes! Panko and plain breadcrumbs will both work just as well when making this dish. However, keep in mind that Italian seasoned breadcrumbs will add more flavor to the dish overall compared with plain or panko varieties.
Absolutely! Feel free to get creative by adding a teaspoon or two of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, sage, or thyme to your crumb or flour mixture.
While not required, adding sauce adds extra flavor and moisture to your dish so I encourage you to try using your favorite sauce. Alfredo, Marinara, Pesto, or BBQ sauce will work beautifully.
It is best to use fresh chicken for this recipe but if you have frozen chicken on hand you can thaw it overnight in the refrigerator so it's defrosted before using.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
Do you like air fryer recipes? Here are some recipes you may also like to try
Air Fryer Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Ready to get cooking? Remember that you can print this recipe if you would like.
Air Fryer Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- 2 large chicken breasts boneless skinless
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese divided
- 1 cup sauce alfredo, marinara, pesto or barbecue sauce, if desired
- 1 cup mozzarella shredded
- Parsley for serving optional
- Cut the chicken pieces in half widthwise to create 4 thin pieces of chicken.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs well. In a third bowl, combine the bread crumbs and ½ cup parmesan cheese.
- Dredge each chicken piece in the flour, then the eggs, then finally in the breadcrumbs.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and place the chicken pieces in the basket, making sure not to overcrowd.
- Place the basket in the air fryer and set the air fryer to 400° for 5 minutes, flip over and fry for another 5 minutes.
- Spread your sauce of choice on top of chicken, if using, and top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Fry for another 3 minutes until the cheese is melted. A meat thermometer should reach 165° when the chicken is fully cooked.
- Serve with a side salad, in a bun or over rice or noodles.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
This recipe is definitely good. I’m excited to try it with different sauces to Today we made it without sauce and it tasted so good Everyone commented how much they liked it and I was lucky to have one left to make the best looking sandwich for my lunch tomorrow. I’m so happy we made a double batch Thx for another amazing recipe KD ❤️
Karin and Ken
I love this recipe too! So glad you’re trying it with/without different sauces. I think you’ll find you’ll enjoy some sauces more than others but the chicken always tastes great! Thank you for taking the time to comment and let me know. You made my day. All the best. Karin
WOW. BEST CHICKEN IVE EVER MADE IN MY AIR FRYER. I HOPE YOU ALL TRY IT. MADE THIS WITH BARBECUE SAUCE, TOMATO SAUCE AND NO SAUCD AND YOUR CHICKEN TASTES INCREDIBLE EVERY TIME. WE LOVE IT THANK YOU KD FOR ANOTHER WINNER 💕
Karin and Ken
You’re most welcome. Thank you for your kind words! You made my day. I’m so happy you love this easy recipe as much as we do. Hopefully you find some other recipes on this site that you enjoy just as much. All the best. Karin