Want your Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Breast juicy and tender? Let me teach you a foolproof method that works every time! 🤯 Fry it, to believe it!
When we tested frozen chicken wings in the air fryer, they always ended up dry and with the bone marrow oozing out.
I expected the same result with the air fryer frozen chicken breast recipe, but to my surprise, it turned out as juicy as a fresh one.
So, if you want to air fry frozen chicken breasts, it’s safe to do so.
With chicken wings, you really need to crisp the skin, so you have to cook them for a longer period. Frozen chicken wings will take 25-30 minutes to fully cook, while frozen chicken breasts will reach 165°F (74°C) in just 18-20 minutes when air frying at 400°F or 204°C.
Please note that there are a few things that aren’t possible with frozen chicken breasts such as breading or stuffing them with cheese or herbs. Your best bet would be to buy pre-breaded and pre-stuffed frozen chicken breasts from brands like Tyson.
I’ll leave the suggested air frying time and temperature for those types of processed poultry products down below.
🍀 Bonus: I’ll share a secret on how to keep your frozen chicken breast tender and juicy while locking in all those flavors before serving.
Let’s get started!
- Air Fryer Roasted Frozen Chicken Breast Ingredients
- Recipe Video: Air Fried Frozen Chicken Breasts
- How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer?
- How to Thaw Frozen Chicken Breasts?
- How to Air Fry Frozen Breaded Chicken Breasts?
- How to Air Fry Frozen Stuffed Chicken Breasts?
- Suggested Cooking Time & Temperature
- Frozen Chicken Breasts in Air Fryer FAQs
- Tender & Juicy Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Breast (+Video)
Air Fryer Roasted Frozen Chicken Breast Ingredients
Here are a few simple ingredients that you need for this easy frozen chicken breast recipe.
- Frozen chicken breast filets, boneless skinless
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
- Neutral cooking oil
📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.
Since it’s not a good idea to season a frozen chicken breast, we’ll be using the basting method. Before adding in the flavors, we had to remove the layer of ice.
You can make a spicier version of this dish by adding cayenne pepper or your choice of spicy sauce.
If you want to save even more time, you can go for pre-made frozen chicken breasts. Your local supermarket will likely have a variety of options including breaded, stuffed, marinated, and other processed poultry products.
Recipe Video: Air Fried Frozen Chicken Breasts
Don’t have time to read? We made this short recipe video just for you. 😉
*You can find the exact amount of ingredients and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below.
How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer?
Making any chicken breast recipe in the air fryer is a quick and straightforward process. From making the basting sauce to roasting it to perfection, you’ll only need around 30 minutes.
1. Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).
If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400ºF (204ºC) and then let it cook for 5 minutes without food.
For a more accurate and faster cooking time, preheating your air fryer is highly recommended.
2. Prepare the basting sauce.
Prepare the basting sauce in a small bowl by combining neutral high-heat cooking oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Make sure to have a food-safe brush ready to use.
3. Air fry frozen chicken breasts for 18-22 minutes, basting occasionally.
This part can be a little tricky, so let me break it down for you minute by minute:
After 5 minutes – baste the chicken breasts.
After 10 minutes – flip and baste the chicken breasts.
After 15 minutes – flip and baste them again, then start checking for the internal temperature.
Note: Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on several factors such as the number of frozen chicken breasts your cooking, their thickness and your air fryer. Smaller air fryers are hotter than larger ones due to the air fryer basket’s proximity to the heating element.
😋 Flavor Booster: Collect any leftover juices from the basting sauce and pour it over the cooked chicken breast before serving to enhance the flavors.
4. Allow the air fried frozen chicken breast to rest for 10 minutes.
The secret to juicy and tender chicken breast is to always have a meat thermometer on hand, and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Nothing beats this method for accuracy. Once the temperature reaches 160°F, immediately remove the chicken from the air fryer, place it on a cutting board, and let it rest for 8-10 minutes.
While the chicken is basking in its mouth-watering glory, the residual heat will continue to cook the chicken, and the internal temperature will eventually reach 165°F. Resting time allows the tense muscles to relax and trap all the juices and flavors in the chicken. 😉
At this point, you can prepare your favorite side dish.
5. Slice and serve the air fried frozen chicken breasts. Enjoy!
Smoky chicken breast pairs well with a variety of sides and complements.
If you’re looking for a vegetable side, roasted vegetables like carrots, zucchini, or bell peppers are a great option.
Alternatively, a fresh salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and avocado can provide a light and refreshing contrast to the smoky chicken.
For a grain-based side, consider serving rice or quinoa. You could also add some grilled or sautéed mushrooms for extra flavor.
If you want something simple, a side of steamed broccoli or green beans can work well. For added carbs, garlic bread or rolls are always a classic choice.
Additionally, a refreshing cucumber or tomato salad with a light dressing or grilled or roasted asparagus can be great options to complement the smokiness of the chicken. Yum!!!! 🤤
Now, all that’s left is for you to enjoy your hearty air fryer frozen chicken breast meal.
How to Thaw Frozen Chicken Breasts?
If you want a different recipe other than basting your chicken breast with a savory sauce. It’s best to thaw your chicken breasts.
To do so, place your frozen chicken breasts in a zip-top bag or container to prevent it from leaking. Leave it in the fridge for 24 hours or until it’s fully defrosted.
If you need to thaw your frozen chicken breasts quickly, a useful method is to put them in a leak-proof bag and submerge them in cold water. Change the water frequently and wait for 1-2 hours until they are fully defrosted.
It’s important to note that thawed poultry products should be cooked within 1-2 days to ensure its freshness and safety for consumption.
How to Air Fry Frozen Breaded Chicken Breasts?
Breaded chicken breasts typically have thinner or tenderized meat, and they are often precooked. That is why the air frying time for processed chicken breast is generally faster than for a full-sized, plain boneless, skinless frozen chicken breast.
When cooking a single layer of breaded chicken breasts in the air fryer, it will take 12-15 minutes at 400°F (204°C), flipping halfway through the cooking time.
Based on our test, frozen breaded chicken breasts will be cooked at around 12 minutes, but if you prefer them more golden, you can continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Here are some important tips for air frying frozen breaded chicken breasts which also applies to chicken tenders and chicken nuggets.
- Avoid overlapping them as it can result in a soggy and uneven crust.
- To prevent damaging the crust, flip the chicken breasts once the crust has set. If you flip them while they are still soggy, the crust may fall off and there’s no coming back from that.
How to Air Fry Frozen Stuffed Chicken Breasts?
Stuffed frozen chicken breasts have more volume than regular breaded chicken breasts. Thus, they will take a little bit longer to cook.
A frozen chicken cordon bleu will take about 14-16 minutes to cook at 400°F or 204°C based on our tests. Don’t forget to flip them halfway when the crust is no longer soggy.
As always, be sure to use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) before consuming.
Suggested Cooking Time & Temperature
As a general rule, always preheat your air fryer for a faster and more accurate cooking time. If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheat mode, simply run it without food for 4-5 minutes.
|½ inch thick plain chicken breast||14-16 minutes||400°F (204°C)||Flip halfway|
|1 inch thick plain chicken breast||16-18 minutes||400°F (204°C)||Flip halfway|
|1½ inch or thicker plain chicken breast||18-22 minutes||400°F (204°C)||Flip halfway|
|Breaded chicken breast, without stuffing||12-15 minutes||400°F (204°C)||Flip the chicken breast once the crust has set to avoid damaging it.|
|Stuffed chicken breast||14-16 minutes||400°F (204°C)||Flip the chicken breast once the crust has set to avoid damaging it.|
If you’re in doubt, having an internal thermometer will be the most accurate way to tell if your frozen chicken is cooked properly. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) or higher.
Cooking time may also be affected by the number of servings you are making and the specific air fryer you have. Compact air fryers tend to be hotter because of the proximity of the heating element to the air fryer basket.
Therefore, if you have a 4-quart air fryer at home or smaller, reduce the temperature by 10°F or 12°C.
The next time you’re cooking frozen chicken breast in the air fryer, you can always refer to this chart.
Frozen Chicken Breasts in Air Fryer FAQs
Can you air fry frozen chicken breasts?
Yes, you can air fry frozen chicken breast. It is a quick and easy way to prepare frozen chicken breast without the need for thawing. Just be sure to follow the appropriate cooking time and temperature guidelines for the thickness of the chicken breast and flip it halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking and prevent burning. Also, using a meat thermometer to check for doneness is recommended for the best results.
How long does it take to cook frozen chicken breast in the air fryer?
When cooking frozen chicken breast in an air fryer at 400°F or 204°C, the cooking time can vary based on the thickness of the meat and the number of servings you are making. As a general guideline a large 1½-inch thick chicken breast takes 18-22 minutes to cook. Adjust your cooking time accordingly. Or you can always take a look at this chart.
How to air fry frozen chicken breast?
To air fry frozen chicken breast, first preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C). Meanwhile, prepare your basting sauce. Place the frozen chicken breast in the preheated air fryer and cook it for 18-22 minutes while basting it occasionally. Cook until the temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) or higher.
Tender & Juicy Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Breast (+Video)
- 2 filets chicken breasts 1½-inch thick frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoons cooking oil
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (204°C).
- In a small bowl, prepare the basting sauce. Mix together the neutral cooking oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then have a food safe brush ready.
- Air fry frozen chicken breasts for 18-22 minutes, basting twice or thrice. Baste once 5 minutes has elapsed, flip them at the 10 minute mark and baste them again. Then after 15 minutes flip and baste it again with any remaining sauce.
- Using a meat thermometer, begin checking the internal temperature of the chicken breasts (at 15 minute mark). Once they reach 160°F (71°C), remove them from the heat source and place them on a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.
- Serve each air fryer frozen breast filet with your choice of vegetables. Enjoy!
- If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400°F (204°C) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes without food.
- Flavor booster: Save the leftover juice from the air fryer basket, as it’s full of flavor and can be served as a sauce later on.
- The most accurate way of testing your chicken breast for doneness is by using a meat thermometer. As per FDA, the safe internal temperature of any poultry is at 165°F (74°C) or higher.
- For a juicy and tender chicken breast, remove it from the air fryer once the temperature reaches 160°F (71°C) and let it rest for 10 minutes. This resting period will allow the chicken to continue cooking and reach a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
- I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus to test the air fryer frozen chicken breast recipe. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer, the thickness of your meat and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
- ½-inch thick frozen chicken breast – 14-16 minutes, 400°F (204°C), preheated, flipped halfway
- 1-inch thick frozen chicken breast – 16-18 minutes, 400°F (204°C), preheated, flipped halfway
- 1½-inch or thicker – 18-22 minutes, 400°F (204°C), preheated, flipped halfway
- Breaded chicken breasts – 12-15 minutes, 400°F (204°C), preheated, flipped once the crust has set to avoid damaging it
- Stuffed chicken breast with cheese – 14-16 minutes, 400°F (204°C), preheated, flipped once the crust has set to avoid damaging it Q/A
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