Air Fryer Chicken Breasts (Great for Meal Prepping!)

Meal Prepping is THE BEST way for me to stay on track when I’m trying to eat healthy! Store-bought chicken breast is expensive and usually full of preservatives, but I’m showing you how to make your own air fryer chicken breasts for a fraction of the cost (and is so much better for you!)

(Keep reading after the recipe to learn more about it…)
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Air Fryer Chicken Breasts (Great for Meal Prepping!)

  • Author: kate jones

Description

These air-fryer chicken breasts are juicy, flavorful, and perfect for meal prepping.


Scale

Ingredients

Brine

2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup pickle juice or white vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt

Chicken

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (ONLY if using vinegar instead of pickle juice)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes


Instructions

In a medium mixing bowl or 9×9″ baking dish, whisk together the buttermilk, pickle brine, and salt. Add chicken and allow to soak in the brine for 1-2 hours. Remove from buttermilk.

While the chicken is brining, combine the seasonings together. Massage the seasonings over the chicken.

Place chicken breasts in the air fryer basket (you may need to do this in batches depending on your air fryer size) and cook for 9 minutes at 360. Flip the chicken and cook for another 9 minutes. Check the internal temperature–if it is at 160, remove from air fryer and cover loosely with aluminum foil for 5 minutes, then slice and serve. If they need a little more time, place them back in the air fryer for a few minutes (no need to turn the heat back on, just close the door.)

These can be refrigerated for up to 7 days.


So January’s 2/3 over. That’s fun. Yes, my Christmas tree is still up–at this point, I might as well just leave it up because before at this rate, it will be Christmas again in approximately 2 weeks.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t really done much so far this year in terms of resolutions. But Iย doย know that I am my happiest when I’m doing things that don’t really sound like a lot of fun, but keep my life in check–doing a load of laundry every day, watching what I eat, exercising, meal planning, being responsible with money. (I was for sure not under the impression that a pleasant adulthood consisted of everything I resisted as a teenager…๐Ÿ˜‚) So when everything else in my life feels like it’s spinning out of control, this is my action plan:

  • Make my bed
  • Throw a load of laundry in the washer
  • Run the dishwasher
  • Figure out what’s for dinner, even if it’s 10 am
  • Eat something for lunch that is not Cocoa Krispies and a Diet Coke

Anything I can do along the way to make “eating something for lunch that is not Cocoa Krispies and a Diet Coke” easier, I’m all for it because lunch is and always has been my weak spot. That’s why having some of this chicken, some hard-boiled eggs, lots of pre-cut, washed veggies, and other easy things in the fridge is essential!

how to air-fry chicken breasts

If you haven’t tried out an air fryer yet, they’re pretty nifty. I have a small onea small one, but I’ve really loved using it, so I think I’m going to upgrade to a larger device (I have my eye on this.) An air fryer is basically a countertop convection oven. Because they circulate hot air, they reheat pizza, cook oven fries, and yes, cook chicken breasts like a dream–nice texture on the outside AND the inside.

Most methods I’ve found for air fryer chicken breasts include some sort of brining. Chicken breasts are notoriously dry, so brining helps the chicken retain its moisture while it cooks.

To make these chicken breasts, you’ll make a buttermilk brine with some buttermilk, pickle juice, and kosher salt. You’ll also need chicken (obviously), plus paprika, garlic and onion powder, black pepper, and a little parsley and ground mustard for the seasoning.

In a medium mixing bowl or 9×9″ baking dish, whisk together the buttermilk,

pickle brine,

and salt.

Add chicken and allow to soak in the brine for 1-2 hours. This is a fun little game I like to play called “how much can I fit in here before I get a larger container.”

Remove from buttermilk.

While the chicken is brining, combine the seasonings together.

Massage the seasonings over the chicken and place chicken breasts in the air fryer basket (you may need to do this in batches depending on your air fryer size).

and cook for 9-10 minutes at 360. Flip the chicken and cook for another 9 minutes. Check the internal temperature–if it is at 160, remove from air fryer and cover loosely with aluminum foil for 5 minutes, then slice and serve. If they need a little more time, place them back in the air fryer for a few minutes (no need to turn the heat back on, just close the door.)

These can be refrigerated for up to 7 days.

 

18 comments

  1. Two questions…
    1) could I do this with chicken tenders?
    2) could I use almond milk with lemon juice in place of the buttermilk? Dairy allergy :/

    1. 1. Ive never tried chicken tenders, but Iโ€™m sure you could, just not sure how long.

      2. I would just use warm water instead of buttermilk. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

  2. If I were to use the same brineing and seasoning combination, but don’t have an air fryer, do you think I could still cook it in a skillet or in the oven? What would you recommend?

  3. These look so good – I may have to finally pull the trigger and get an air fryer. Been thinking hard about it. Amen to everything else you said! I love your voice when you write, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Does the brining do something to keep the chicken good longer after it’s cooked? I normally toss chicken if it’s four days old. I’d love to be able to prep this and use it for up to seven days.

      1. Late, thank you for putting my mind at ease. I made this and really enjoyed it. I liked how the salt and paprika stood out in the flavor. Thank you for making my life easier by sharing a recipe I can cook once and use in a variety of ways for a whole week.

  5. Is your air fryer that aqua color? I already have an air fryer so I certainly don’t need another one but that aqua one is so stinking cute!

    1. I have a convection oven but I have noticed that for things (like homemade fries) to have the same result or even close to the same cooking time as an air dryer, I need higher temperatures. Maybe it is because it is so much bigger than an air fryer?

  6. Kate, I have the Gourmia 6qt stainless airfryer & let me tell you, it’s amazing. I don’t even brine my ckn & it still comes out juicy. I have used this thing every day since I got it! Get it shipped from Costco to save a few bucks. Best money spent hands down!

  7. So I made these and sliced them into little sandwich size cutlets. I made the pesto chicken mozzerella Ciabatta sandwiches Sarah posted on her stories and YUM!!! The chicken tasted amazing! So tender and since I cut them small, they cooked with 4 minutes per side. I’m not sure I’ll make chicken any other way.

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