Air Fryer Chicken Recipes To Make Weeknight Dinners A Total Breeze
Is there anything you can't make in an air fryer? From crispy veggies and literal cakes to actually reheating leftover fries perfectly, this countertop gadget seems to do it all. For busy parents in need of weeknight dinner help, air fryer chicken recipes can come in extremely handy, too. Who knew one tiny faux fryer could do the job of a full-size oven in half the time?
When it comes to air fryers, there are plenty of options on the market to choose from, whether you like your small kitchen appliances to be simple or want them to have every feature known to man. My husband and I recently upgraded our first air fryer — a basic egg-shaped option we used so much we wore the numbers off the temperature controls — to a fancier, touchscreen option with oodles of preset settings for preparing different types of food.
For years, we've been able to use our air fryer for the two of us instead of heating up the oven (and therefore the entire kitchen, which is hot enough in Florida as it is). It's perfect for toasting a couple pieces of garlic bread on spaghetti nights, or zapping some frozen snacks when we come home from our favorite brewery a little too hungry to preheat the oven.
So, who wants to experiment with air fryer chicken recipes together? I will absolutely be trying them all.
1. Nashville Style Hot Chicken Tenders
If you've ever had it, you know Nashville hot chicken is everything. This air fryer version from My Forking Life is easy to make at home and can be eaten as tenders or placed on a warm bun if you're in the mood for a sandwich. You can easily adjust the heat level depending on your preferences, too. Whatever you choose, don't you dare forget the signature pickles.
2. Air Fryer Cilantro Lime Chicken
What if you could make an entire chicken that's low-carb, paleo, and Whole 30-friendly in, like, one hour? It's a health-conscious meal prepper's dream. Fit Slow Cooker Queen's cilantro lime marinade makes this chicken come to life, and the air fryer cooks it perfectly. Whether you eat this diced into a salad, as tacos, or thrown over rice, you really can't go wrong.
3. Sticky BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Legs
In the mood for barbecue but don't feel like dealing with the whole lighting and cleaning of a grill situation? You can get the same yummy, saucy flavors from your air fryer. These barbecue chicken legs from My Forking Life come out with crispy skin but juicy insides, and are done in about 15 minutes. Your outdoor grill could never.
4. Air Fryer Everything Bagel Chicken Roll-Ups
Alright, so we all know Everything But The Bagel Seasoning is good on everything. Not only does it add flavor to these chicken roll-ups from A Spicy Perspective stuffed with cheese, spinach, and scallions, but it gives their outsides some crunchy texture to boot. The recipe includes measurements for DIY-ing your bagel seasoning if you don't own one of the pre-made spice blends.
5. Crispy Parmesan Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
Chicken tenders for dinner? That'll please the kids and the adults alike. Add some Parmesan to the crunchy breading and your family will return to these crispy buttermilk tenders from Foodie Crush again and again. The cheese crisps up nicely, and paired with the panko bread crumbs, you'll have deliciously crunchy chicken tenders without having to stand over a hot pan of oil.
6. Healthier General Tso’s Chicken
Your favorite takeout doesn't have to be bad for you...as long as you have an air fryer. This healthier take on General Tso's chicken from My Forking Life gives you the same crispy breading without ordering in (or attempting to fry with oil) in 20 to 25 minutes while you make the flavorful sauce. Toss it all together over some rice and enjoy.
7. Air Fryer Chicken Tacos
Everyone loves Taco Tuesday, but if it's a weekly occurrence in your home, consider adding crispy chicken tacos from I Am a Food Blog to the rotation to spice things up. Once your chicken is out of the air fryer, you can assemble your tacos and pop them back in for a few minutes to add a nice brown to the outsides. Then, top as you wish and dig in.
8. Air Fryer Marinated Chicken Wings
Making wings at home on a game night has never been easier or healthier. One of the best things about an air fryer is that it delivers the same crunch and crisp as traditional frying without the health concerns of all that oil. So, air fry these bad boys from Fit Slow Cooker Queen, toss them in your sauce of choice, and enjoy guilt-free.
9. Homemade Baked Spicy Chicken Sandwiches
Look out Popeye's: this recipe for spicy chicken sandwiches from Budget Bytes is coming for your throne. While the recipe itself includes oven instructions, commenters say it works just as well in an air fryer. The included sweet slaw recipe sounds like the perfect topper, but since these are easy to reheat in the air fryer too, you can try them with different toppings each time.
10. Air Fryer Piri Piri Chicken
This piri piri chicken from Fit Slow Cooker Queen is marinated in piri piri sauce — a mashup of ginger, garlic, paprika, and other spices, which is popular in both African and Portuguese cuisines. You can use just about any cut of chicken you like, so it's a great recipe to have on hand when you've thawed poultry without a game plan for dinner.
11. Chicken Patties With Garlic Aioli
Whether you're putting them on a sandwich, eating them solo, or breaking them into pieces for toddler finger food, these chicken patties from My Forking Life are going to be delicious. The recipe takes about 20 minutes to turn ground chicken into a legit dish, and includes instructions for making your own garlic aioli for dipping.
12. Easiest 3-Ingredient Chicken Nuggets
If you're not keen on feeding your little ones frozen nuggets, these are a homemade option from Table for Two that, if you prep them in advance, are ready just as quickly. You need chicken, an egg, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper, and 15 minutes to spare. Scroll a little above the recipe itself for air fryer instructions.
13. Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken
If you've never tried Korean-style wings, there's no time like the present. This recipe from I Am a Food Blog is double-breaded for extra crunch, and doused in a sweet and spicy sauce. And with an air fryer to help you, they're also pretty easy to make. Be sure to read the recipe before beginning to learn all the hacks for making these wings right the first time.
14. Lemon Pepper Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
All you need to make these delicious, tender chicken thighs from My Forking Life are, well, chicken thighs, and some pantry staple seasonings you definitely have in stock. Just apply the spice rub and pop your chicken thighs into the air fryer for 15 minutes. While those cook, prep some veggies on the stove or a fresh salad and dinner is served.