Air fryer chicken parmesan – breaded chicken fried in an Air Fryer for a healthier twist on the classic chicken parm recipe. Chunky marinara sauce and fresh melting mozzarella cheese toppings make this healthy chicken parmesan hard to resist.
This recipe is inspired by Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan which I published last year. After getting several positive feedbacks on this popular recipe on the blog, I thought to share a recipe for making chicken parmesan in the Air Fryer for those who are meat lovers.
Ready to give it a try?
Ingredients you will need
- Fresh chicken – use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Slice them into half lengthwise.
- Egg – whisk 1 large egg into a large deep dish.
- Bread crumbs – use regular bread crumbs.
- Parmesan cheese – use finely grated parmesan cheese.
- Garlic – mince it finely or use a garlic crusher for this job.
- Seasonings – such as salt, pepper, and Italian spice blend to flavor the chicken.
- Tomato sauce – use this homemade pizza sauce or marinara sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese – I prefer to use fresh mozzarella cheese.
- Fresh basil or parsley – chop it finely for topping and garnish.
- Oil Spray – I use Olive Oil spray to lightly oil the breaded chicken during air frying.
How to bread chicken breasts?
I prefer cutting chicken breasts into half along their length so that 1 chicken breast will give 2 even-sized slices or cutlets. It helps to cook them evenly and will also reduce the cooking time. And it tastes better than keeping it whole.
In a wide and deep round dish, whisk 1 large egg. In another similar dish prepare the breadcrumb mixture. Add parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings blend, finely minced garlic, salt, and pepper into the bread crumbs for some nice flavors. Find a detailed list of ingredients and recipe instructions below.
Coating the Chicken:
Now dip the chicken slices into the beaten egg and transfer them into the breadcrumb mixture. Lightly press the crumbs so that they stick on both sides more or less evenly. Keep it aside until all the chicken breasts are done with the coating.
How long to cook chicken parmesan in the Air Fryer?
Preheat your Air Fryer to 360 F. My Philips XL Air Fryer takes 3 mins to preheat. Then place the parmesan breaded chicken breasts in the Air Fryer basket. Spray some olive oil and cook them for 6 min at 360F. Flip the chicken, spray oil on the other side, and cook for another 2 mins. Top with some marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese, and then cook again until the cheese melts and is bubbly–this takes about 2 mins.
My Philips XL Air Fryer can hold two large pieces of chicken at a time. So, I cook this chicken in two batches in this recipe.
- Serve this healthy chicken parm with loaded greens salad or simple kale pasta, or toasted pea pasta or this vegetable pasta salad for a wholesome lunch or dinner.
- Or make this Italian-inspired quinoa risotto or Instant Pot healthy pumpkin risotto to pair with it.
- Even sauteed brussels sprouts or garlicky green beans would go well with this air-fried chicken parm.
- Buying chicken – buy organic pasture-raised chicken whenever possible. It is always better to consume chickens that are raised in a healthy environment. Also, try to get locally raised chickens to help local businesses.
- Chicken breast works best for making this air-fried chicken parm dish. However, you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Cooking times may vary slightly, though.
- Cut the chicken breast in half along its length to get thin slices of breast meat. It will cook evenly and will also reduce the cooking time. A sharp large knife will make this job much easier.
- Use fresh mozzarella cheese to top the fried breaded chicken for added deliciousness.
- Use whole-wheat bread crumbs for a healthier twist to this classic recipe. If you have panko bread crumbs, then pulse them in a food processor or blender for a few seconds to make them into regular crumbs. Panko bread crumbs are usually quite coarse in texture. However, if you prefer the coarse texture, then feel free to use them.
I would recommend storing breaded parmesan chicken pieces without adding any toppings in the refrigerator. For the next day, preheat your Air Fryer to 360F and then place leftover breaded chicken, top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, and cook for 2-3 min. This way, you can enjoy this dish fresh the next day.
Air Fryer cooks breaded chicken with way less amount of oil than is normally required for deep frying. You just need to lightly spray or brush oil on the chicken to get the desired color after cooking. This is why low-fat chicken parmesan is always healthy than deep-fried.
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Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
- ½ cup marinara sauce or homemade tomato sauce
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese
- Fresh parsley or basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese optional
- Whisk one large egg in a wide and deep dish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- In another similar dish combine bread crumbs, Italian seasonings, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, some more salt, and pepper; mix well.
- Pat dry chicken using a paper towel and then dip it in the beaten egg. Then transfer the breast to the bread crumbs mixture and press the crumbs to coat on both sides. Repeat for the remaining breast pieces and keep them aside.
- Now preheat the Air Fryer to 360 F with its basket.
- Place breaded chicken in the air fryer basket, spray some oil over it and cook for 6 min. Flip the chicken and spray oil to coat the other side and cook for 2 more mins.
- Then spread 1-2 tablespoon of marinara sauce over the chicken and top it with some shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese (optional) and continue cooking for 2 more mins or until the cheese is bubbly.
- Finally, garnish with some chopped fresh parsley or basil leaves and serve warm.
- Depending on the size of your Air Fryer you may need to cook all the chicken pieces in two batches.
- For the toppings, you can also use this homemade pizza sauce.