Did you know you can cook frozen chicken breasts in air fryer without thawing? This simple recipe for juicy, delicious chicken breasts requires just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time.
It's been a year since I got my Air fryer. First, I was hesitant if I ever gonna use it. Now, I cook in it at least 3 times per week. I like how fast you can make a variety of foods with less oil.
Frozen foods are my favorite ones to cook in air fryer as you do not need to defrost anything. Frozen chicken breast is one of them I always recommend to try.
I always keep a bag of chicken breasts in my freezer for easy weeknight meals, especially at the end of the week when we use all freshly bought meat.
Being the most popular cut of chicken, breasts are super versatile and can be seasoned and prepared in countless ways.
Air fryer frozen chicken breast can be a healthier alternative to traditional fried chicken. Pair it with a side of roasted veggies or a simple salad, and you'll have a healthy meal. Plus, leftovers can be easily stored and reheated for lunch the next day.
Please, see the recipe card for the ingredient quantities at the bottom of this post.
Frozen chicken breasts: I usually buy a bag of already frozen skinless chicken breasts. They often come in small or medium sizes, perfect for air frying.
Salt: I add salt to a frozen chicken before cooking.
Oil: Olive oil or avocado oil works well.
Dried herbs and spices: I used a simple combination of spices, such as paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, and black pepper. You can also use a store-bought seasoning blend.
Remove the needed quantity of frozen chicken breast from the bag. Sprinkle each side with some salt on frozen meat. You can add more to taste after the chicken is cooked. Prepare the seasoning mix by combining paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, and black pepper in a small bowl.
Preheat the air fryer for at least 4 minutes. Spray the bottom of the pan with some cooking spray. Place chicken breast in the air fryer basket and back into the unit.
Air fry at 375°F for 10 minutes, flipping the meat once halfway through. Air frying frozen meat first without oil and spices at lower temperatures allows the chicken to thaw.
Next, remove the chicken on a plate and rub it with the oil and the spice mix.
Put it back in the air fryer and cook for another 10-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
Note: The cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken breasts, you can see the cooking time breakdown chart below.
How long to cook frozen chicken in the air fryer
Chicken breasts come in different sizes, depending on the size of the bird and the cut itself. Whether you bake, boil, grill or air fry the meat, the cooking time will differ depending on the size and the thickness of your chicken breasts.
I strongly encourage you to use an instant-read thermometer. This is not only the best way to tell whether the chicken is fully cooked, but also prevents the meat from overcooking. And as you may know, chicken breasts are the toughest and driest when overcooked. It is really impossible to know the exact time you need to air-fry frozen meat. So below is the estimated range for total cook time depending on the size of the breast.
Small (4-5 oz, 113 to 142 g) - 20 minutes
Medium (6-8 oz, 170 to 227 g) - 25 minutes
Large (10-12 oz, 283-340 g) - 30 minutes
- add the seasoning only before the last round of cooking to prevent it from burning.
- do not overcrowd the air fryer and always arrange the meat in a single layer. Ninja air fryer basket will fit 2 medium chicken breasts at a time.
- use a meat thermometer to check if the chicken is fully cooked.
If on Sunday night you realize that you have not got anything to meal prep your lunch for tomorrow, that bag of chicken in your freezer comes to the rescue. Cook with your favorite seasonings, cut into strips and pack it in airtight container with a side of veggies, salad, or rice.
Store cooked chicken in the fridge for up to 3 days.
After cooking the raw chicken from frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked meat.
Favorite chicken seasonings
We cook chicken quite often at home, and as you know it is easy to get tired of eating the same stuff. That's why I like to season the meat with a wide range of different herbs and spices to create new flavors. Below are the ones we always enjoy the most:
- Taco seasoning
- Italian seasoning
- Cajun seasoning
- Jamaican jerk
Favorite side dishes
There are so many side dishes that pair well with chicken breast. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
- Salad: simple lettuce, cucumber, and tomato salad or classic Caesar salad.
- Potatoes: mashed potatoes or air fryer baked sweet potato.
- Rice: pain steamed rice or try our Mediterranean rice with veggies.
- Vegetables: we often enjoy it with roasted green beans and carrots or steamed broccoli.
Other frozen foods to try in your air fryer
Frozen Chicken Breasts in Air Fryer
- 1 Air fryer I used Ninja XL
- 1 measuring spoons
- 1 meat thermometer
- 2 ea frozen chicken breasts
- ¼ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Remove frozen chicken breasts from packaging. Preheat air fryer for 3-4 minutes.
- For now, season both sides of each chicken breast with only salt.
- Place two chicken breasts in preheated air fryer basket. Air fry frozen chicken at 375°F for 10 minutes, flipping it half way through.
- Now, the breasts are fully or almost thawed. Remove the meat from the basket and rub with olive oil and spice mix. Place it back into air fryer to finish cooking.
- Depending on the size of the breast, air fry for another 10-20 minutes at 400°F or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Use a meat thermometer to enure the chicken nus fully cooked.
- You can experiment with different seasonings.
- The cooking time may differ depending on the thickness and weigh of the chicken.