Easy Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan

This easy Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan is a crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, dinner that has everything you want in this classic Italian dish.  It’s healthier, with no frying in oil, has almost no cleanup and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes! Serve with a side of pasta and a salad for a dinner that is bound to become a new family favorite. 

Closeup of plated chicken parmesan dinner.

Are you a chicken parmesan lover? When you go to an Italian restaurant is that always something that you want to order? Well, that’s me in a nutshell! And I just found the easiest way to fix this delicious entrée – in an air fryer! This Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan is always just a dip away then a short time in the air fryer and dinner is on the table.

Bite of air fried chicken showing stretchy cheese.

Air frying makes a healthier Chicken Parmesan

What’s so special about fixing it this way in lieu of the oven? Well, the prep is basically the same, with the dip in flour, then egg and finally in a Parmesan-panko mixture, so it’s not that. However, from there it gets quicker and easier in the air fryer. In the classic version, the chicken breasts are fried to a crisp in a bath of oil, covered with sauce and cheese, then baked for a half hour.

In this air fryer version, all you need to do is place the breaded chicken in the air fryer, spray with a little olive oil nonstick spray, and cook for 10 minutes. When the chicken is nice and browned, dollop a little sauce on top, place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top and pop it back into the fryer for 2 minutes. This creates a much crisper and healthier piece of chicken without losing all the flavors everyone loves. I actually think it’s better than the original! 

Tips and tricks

  • Use good quality chicken for the best results. I like to use organic chicken.
  • For a crisper chicken breast, use panko instead of seasoned breadcrumbs.
  • Always preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes so that the chicken cooks evenly throughout. If your air fryer doesn’t have that function, just turn on to the appropriate temperature for the dish for 5 minutes then proceed to cook as normal.
  • Usually chicken breasts are quite large. In order to cook in uniformly, slice the chicken lengthwise into 2 portions.
  • In this Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan recipe,  it is not necessary to turn the chicken halfway through. However, it won’t hurt the outcome if you prefer that method.
  • DO NOT overcook the chicken. If you are unsure if the chicken is done, use a thermometer. It is done when the temperature reads 165 degrees.

How to make chicken parmesan in an air fryer

Prep steps 1-4 for air fryer chicken parmesan.

  1. Gather all the ingredients. This is a great time to see if you have everything you’ll need prior to starting dinner.
  2. Prepare all your dipping stations. Start with the flour in a wide-mouthed bowl. Dredge chicken in flour.
  3. Combine the egg with water in another bowl and dip flour-coated chicken in egg.
  4. Lastly, mix panko and Parmesan cheese on a flat plate and coat chicken with crumbs. Now it’s ready for the fryer.

Finishing steps to cook and top chicken with sauce and cheese.

  1. Preheat the air fryer at 360 degrees for 5 minutes. Spray the basket with olive oil nonstick cooking spray then place breaded chicken in basket. I had 3 pieces of chicken since only one of my breasts was large enough to cut in half lengthwise. 
  2. Cook for 10 minutes. I didn’t turn mine and cooked perfectly on both sides. Feel free to turn yours if you want, it certainly doesn’t hurt it.
  3. Place your favorite salsa on top of each chicken breast then top with mozzarella slices. You can also use shredded mozzarella. I feel that the slices stay on the top of the chicken much better.
  4. Cook chicken for 2 more minutes and it’s ready to serve. Doesn’t that look mouthwatering?

Plated dinner of chicken parmesan with pasta and salad.

On a busy weeknight, this 30-minute dinner is a lifesaver. Not only that, it has become a favorite in our house. Just make sure to have some chicken breasts on hand and, when you’ve run out of time to make dinner, think of this easy Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan. Serve with a side of pasta topped with your favorite pasta sauce and a side salad or vegetable. Enjoy!

More air fryer recipes

Air Fryer Tuna Patties are a simple and easy 20 minute dinner. All you need is a can of tuna and some vegetables and you’re all set.

Air Fryer Filet Mignon is a great way to get your steak fix when it’s too cold to grill. Tender, juicy and simply delicious!

Air Fryer Pork Chops just take a little seasoning and 10 minutes cook time for a healthy dinner with little to no cleanup.

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Closeup of plated chicken parmesan showing crispy chicken, layer of sauce and melted cheese.

Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan

Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan is a healthier, easier version of this classic. Crispy, juicy and tender with no deep frying and ready in 30.
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Preheat Air Fryer: 5 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 3 -4 servings
Calories: 274kcal
Author: Linda Warren

Ingredients

  • 2 8-oz chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise if too thick
  • 1/2 cup Italian style panko
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg with a little water beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 2-3 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • Garnish: additional marinara and parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees and press start (if yours doesn’t have a preheat cycle, just set to 360 for 5 minutes)
  • Prepare an assembly line of ingredients to make coating the chicken easier.
  • Put flour in bowl or small plate.
  • Beat egg with a little water in a large bowl.
  • Mix panko and parmesan on a large plate.
  • Now dredge chicken breasts in flour, then dip into egg wash, then coat with panko/cheese mixture.
  • Spray heated basket of air fryer with nonstick spray.
  • Place breaded chicken in basket and spray top of chicken with nonstick spray. I like to use olive oil but vegetable oil would work too.
  • Cook for 12 minutes.
  • During last 2 minutes, take basket out of air fryer and place on heatproof surface. Top chicken with a small amount of marinara sauce then a slice mozzarella cheese.
  • Return air fryer basket with chicken to air fryer and cook remaining two minutes.
  • Remove to serving plate and garnish with additional marinara and a sprinkle of parsley. Serve with pasta and a side salad.
  • Depending on the size of your chicken breasts, this recipe can serve anywhere from 2-4.

Notes

Tips and tricks

  • Use good quality chicken for the best results. I like to use organic chicken.
  • For a crisper chicken breast, use panko instead of seasoned breadcrumbs.
  • Always preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes so that the chicken cooks evenly throughout. If your air fryer doesn't have that function, just turn on to the appropriate temperature for the dish for 5 minutes then proceed to cook as normal.
  • Usually chicken breasts are quite large. In order to cook in uniformly, slice the chicken lengthwise into 2 portions.
  • In this Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan recipe,  it is not necessary to turn the chicken halfway through. However, it won't hurt the outcome if you prefer that method.
  • DO NOT overcook the chicken. If you are unsure if the chicken is done, use a thermometer. It is done when the temperature reads 165 degrees.

Nutrition

Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 667mg | Potassium: 484mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 409IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 236mg | Iron: 2mg
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan

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