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If you’ve used an air fryer, you already know it helps take the stress out of mealtimes. Want a juicy chicken breast for dinner but don’t have time to bake it in the oven? Use the air fryer to make prep a breeze—you don’t even need to thaw the chicken first!
Read on for some great tips on how to cook frozen chicken in the air fryer and get a seriously delicious meal on the table in minutes.
Do You Need to Defrost the Chicken?
No! It’s a nice little trick that you can just pop in chicken directly from the freezer to the fryer once it’s been preheated.
You can cook any type of frozen chicken in the air fryer: whether it’s legs, breast, or wings, the method is the same. To make sure you’ve cooked the chicken to perfection (and food safety standards), you can use a meat thermometer to check if it’s done at 165ºF or higher. Remember that the chicken will continue to cook while it rests on the counter after you’ve removed it from the air fryer.
How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in an Air Fryer
It’s amazing how the air fryer makes chicken that’s tender and flavorful—you can leave dried out chicken behind when you use our method.
Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF. Take your chicken out of the freezer, remove it from the packaging, and pat it dry. Brush both sides of the chicken with some olive oil. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper and any extra seasonings like garlic powder, paprika, or whatever is to your taste.
You could also add a sauce to your air fryer frozen chicken, but wait until the last few minutes of cooking time so it doesn’t burn.
Air Fry the Chicken
Place the chicken breast in the air fryer basket and cook for 15-25 minutes, depending on the piece of chicken and how large it is. This is when your meat thermometer comes in handy—when the chicken looks done, check to make sure it has an internal temperature of 165ºF. You can cook it longer if you want, but this is the minimum.
Rest and Serve
Remove the chicken breast from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes. You’re all set! Air fryer frozen chicken breast is juicy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and makes the perfect complete dinner when served with rice, roasted veggies, or a salad!
Tips for Cooking Frozen Chicken Breast in an Air Fryer
- There’s no need to defrost the frozen chicken before cooking, but try to use pieces that are about the same size so that they will cook in the same amount of time.
- Brush on your favorite homemade or store-bought sauce during the last 4-5 minutes of cooking for extra flavor.
- Make sure to check on your chicken during the last few minutes of cooking since different sizes of chicken and different air fryers cook differently. Again, the meat thermometer is your friend here.
Storing Leftover Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Breast
If you have any leftovers, they can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for a few days. To freeze, place the chicken breast in a freezer bag and store in the freezer.
To reheat, you can put the chicken breasts back to the air fryer to let the hot air warm them up or just use your microwave.
What to Serve with Air Fried Frozen Chicken
Round out your meal by pairing your air fryer frozen chicken breast with an easy side dish like mashed potatoes, crispy Parmesan potatoes, roasted broccoli, or Southern-style green beans. Or, get even more use out of your air fryer and serve your chicken with air fryer Brussels sprouts or air fryer French fries!