How to Cook Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Breast

This post contains links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

Cooking air fryer frozen chicken breast is quick, simple, and a perfect plan when you forget to defrost your chicken! These chicken breasts cook up so easily in the air fryer and turn out tender and juicy every time. Serve them for dinner, in different chicken dishes (like this Creamy Enchilada Skillet) or they make a great meal prep option, too!

Sliced chicken breast cooked from frozen in the air fryer on top of a bed of rice.

If you are great plan-ahead’er and remembered to thaw your chicken breasts for dinner, you can use my method for cooking perfect chicken breasts in a pan. It’s fool proof!

But what if life got in the way and you for to thaw out your chicken?!! What if your boneless, skinless chicken breasts are FROZEN?! Not a problem at all! The air fryer to the rescue! With your air fryer, you can have juicy, tender chicken breasts in no time at all–straight from frozen to the air fryer!

This recipe is super versatile. It’s great paired with these Air Fryer Roasted Root Vegetables or this amazing (viral!) Green Goddess Salad for an easy, healthy dinner. Or you can make this chicken ahead of time and use it in other dishes like my Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl or this amazing Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta! This chicken is also great for meal preps–especially in make-ahead salads like this Chopped Thai Salad with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette!

So let me show you how to make these frozen chicken breasts quickly and easily!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • This chicken goes straight from frozen to the air fryer! A great option when you forget to defrost your chicken!
  • Cooking chicken breasts in the air fryer gets them tender and juicy every time!
  • Hardly any prep time!
  • Spices can be customized however you like.
  • This chicken is great for meal preps and using on salads and in other dishes.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need the following ingredients to make these delicious Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Breasts:

Ingredients needed to make frozen chicken breast in the air fryer.

INGREDIENT NOTES

Chicken Breasts: You can use any frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts you like. HOWEVER, I prefer buying the frozen bagged chicken breasts in the freezer section at my chain grocery store. In general, I find these chicken breasts to be thinner and flatter which allows them to cook evenly.

The Costco/Sam’s packs of chicken breasts are fine, too but they are usually super thick and take a lot more time to cook.

Spices: Sky’s the limit with spices here! You can use WHATEVER you like (I have included some ideas below). For this recipe, I kept it super simple. Salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder. I have found this blend to be great if you want to eat the chicken on it’s own OR put it in other dishes like this Easy Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl.

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE: STEP BY STEP

Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!

How to make frozen chicken breasts in the air fryer step by step.

Step 1: Whisk together olive oil and your spices.

Step 2: Rub frozen chicken breasts with olive oil/spice mixture.

Step 3: Air fry at 380 degrees using the time chart below (based on chicken thickness). Flip once about halfway through cooking.

Step 4: Remove chicken from air fryer and let rest for 3-4 minutes. Then serve it up…or shred/chop it for use in future recipes.

RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS

  • Try to find chicken breasts that are fairly even in thickness and roughly the same size. I find frozen chicken sold in the large bag in the freezer section (like these boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Safeway) to work best.
  • USE AN INSTANT READ MEAT THERMOMETER!!! This is the easiest way to tell if your chicken is done. Temperature should be 165°F when the thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
  • Use air fryer liners to minimize clean up! They are truly LIFESAVERS!! Make sure to get the size that matches the size of your air fryer.
  • It’s great to flip your chicken about halfway through cooking. However, if you somehow forget (not speaking from experience or anything…), it’s not the end of the world. The chicken still comes out just fine!

STORAGE & REHEATING

This air fryer chicken stores wonderfully for meal preps, salads and other recipes. You can keep the chicken breasts whole, shred or chop them. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To reheat chicken, warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes of 70% power until warmed through.

ADDITIONS & SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Oil: Vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil or any other type of unflavored oil works just fine in place of olive oil.
  • Spices: There are SOOOO many possibilities when it comes to spicing up these chicken breasts! Here are some of our faves:
    • Taco Seasoning: Great for chicken tacos, quesadillas, etc.
    • BBQ Rub: BBQ seasoning works great when serving your chicken with cole slaw or mac salad!
    • Salt and Pepper: Use plain salt and pepper if you want to use this chicken for other dishes like this Creamy Chicken Enchilada Skillet.
    • Cajun Seasoning: For a little spice!

HOW TO SERVE

There are a few great ways to serve/make use of these air fryer chicken breasts:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do you have to thaw chicken before air frying it?

Nope! You just rub the olive oil/spice mixture over the the frozen chicken and air fry!

How long to you cook frozen chicken breasts in the air fryer?

This will depend on the make and model of your air fryer and the thickness of your chicken breasts. For reference, I use the Cosori L501 Air Fryer. See this chart for approximate cooking times. Internal temperature of chicken should be 165°F.

What temperature do you cook frozen chicken breasts in the air fryer?

Cooking times above are based on 380°F. I like to keep the temperature on the medium side (not super hot, but not too low!), so the chicken doesn’t dry out. I have found 380°F has been the sweet spot!

Can I leave the olive oil out and just rub the chicken with the spice mixture?

Yes! The olive oil does help the spices adhere to the chicken, but if you are watching your calories, you can leave it out OR spritz the breasts with a few sprays of cooking spray.

In a Dinner Rut?

Grab your 7-Day Meal Plan + 3 Bonus Recipes!

Sceenshots for free meal plan.

Sliced chicken breast and shredded chicken breast cooked in the air fryer on a cutting board.

OTHER AIR FRYER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

I hope you love these Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Air Fryer! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer

Cooking air fryer frozen chicken breast is quick, simple and a perfect plan when you forget to defrost your chicken! These chicken breasts cook up so easily in the air fryer and turn out tender and juicy every time. Serve them for dinner, in different chicken dishes or they make a great meal prep option, too!
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 126 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 4-6 oz. frozen chicken breasts See Note 1
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat air fryer to 380°F. If you air fryer doesn't have a preheat setting, just turn on your air fryer and allow it 3-5 minutes to come to temperature.
  • Whisk together olive oil and spices.
  • Rub the olive oil and spice mixture all over frozen chicken breasts (using your hands work best!!).
  • Add chicken to air fryer tray or basket and air fry based on the approximate times in Note 2, depending on the thickness of your chicken. Cooking times will also depend on your air fryer! Internal temperature should be 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of your chicken breast.

Notes

Note 1: You can use any frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts you like. HOWEVER, I prefer buying the frozen bagged chicken breasts in the freezer section at my chain grocery store. In general, I find these chicken breasts to be thinner and flatter which allows them to cook evenly.
The Costco/Sam’s packs of chicken breasts are fine, too but they are usually super thick and take a lot more time to cook.
Note 2: Approximate Frozen Chicken Breast Cooking Times @380°F:
1/2″ thick: 18-22 minutes
1″ thick: 22-26 minutes
1 1/2″ thick: 26-30 minutes
2″ thick: 30-34 minutes
** Cooking times will also be dependent on your air fryer. Internal temperature should be 165°F.

Nutrition

Calories: 126kcalCarbohydrates: 0.4gProtein: 23gFat: 3.6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 526mgPotassium: 275mgFiber: 0.2gCalcium: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These tips and tricks are exactly what I needed! This is my go-to dinner when I have crazy, busy nights.

  2. 5 stars
    I use my air fryer for so many things but am always hesitant about frozen meats. Your instructions are perfect! I used the recipe to make chicken for meal prepping. I saved so much space in the oven for other things!

  3. 5 stars
    This is a lifesaver for me. I always remember on the way to work that I forgot to take meat out of the freezer! Perfect instructions and the chicken was so tender and juicy!

  4. 5 stars
    We always have a bag of frozen chicken in the freezer, so this guide is so helpful. Thanks so much for sharing!