Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Breasts are the perfect dinner when you are short on time or did not plan ahead and take anything out of the freezer to cook. You can season and cook chicken breasts completely from frozen. No thawing needed and they are delicious!
Sometimes you forget to thaw out a protein for dinner. My go-to when this happens is to cook the chicken breasts (smothered with a simple “house” dry rub) in the air fryer or frozen chicken wings in air fryer.
Don't have an air fryer? Try this Cast Iron Chicken Breast Recipe.
- Easy frozen chicken breast recipe by cooking in the air fryer
- Flavorful “house” dry rub
- Ready in less than 30 minutes
- Kid friendly
- No thawing required
- Easy last minute dinner idea
- Frozen Chicken Breasts: My chicken breasts took exactly 23 minutes to cook, but this time will vary depending on the size. If you are using thinner chicken breasts (less than 1 inch thick), air fry for only 8-9 minutes per side. These are just estimates. Always use an instant read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Helpful Equipment & Tools
- COSORI Air Fryer Max XL: My favorite air fryer. It has a great basket and is easy to clean. It also crisps and browns food extremely well.
- ThermoPro TP03 Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer: A must have for cooking any protein & inexpensive.
- Actor Basting Brush: This silicone brush is great for basting or applying marinade to meat. It is also super easy to clean and is dishwasher safe.
How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in an Air Fryer
- Brush the chicken with the oil & spice blend.
- Air fry, flipping halfway through.
- Allow the chicken to rest & serve.
Step by Step
Step 1: Place chicken breast in the air fryer basket. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and spices. Brush all over both sides of the chicken breast.
Step 2: Air fry at 380 degrees for 14-15 minutes (depending on thickness).
Step 3: Flip the chicken and air fry for another 7-9 minutes at 380 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches 165 degrees.
Step 4: Transfer the chicken to a plate or cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Make Ahead & Storage
- Make Ahead: You can prepare frozen chicken breast in air fryer in advance and use it for salad or rice bowls throughout the week. Its flavor is extremely versatile.
- Refrigerator: Store leftover air fryer chicken breast in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheating: Reheat in the microwave in 30 second intervals or in the air fryer at 350 degrees until warmed through. Overheating will dry out the chicken.
- Freezer: You can freeze cooked chicken. Place individual portions of chicken in airtight containers or freezer bags. Store in the freezer for 2-3 months.
- Thawing: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Reheating: Reheat chicken directly from frozen or thawed. Reheat in the air fryer at 350, microwave, or on the stove until completely heated through.
- Use chicken breasts of equal size and thickness. This ensures each frozen chicken breast (air fryer) cooks in the same amount of time.
- Don’t skip the seasoning. Chicken breasts are pretty plain so it is very important that they are seasoned before cooking to avoid bland chicken.
- Use oil. The oil adds flavor and moisture to the frozen chicken breast (air fryer). Chicken breasts are very lean so a little bit of oil prevents them from drying out.
- Do not stack the chicken. The chicken should be placed in a single layer in the air fryer basket. This allows the chicken to cook and brown evenly. If you have a small air fryer basket, you may need to cook in batches.
- Use a meat thermometer. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. This is especially important when cooking chicken from frozen. A meat thermometer always prevents you from overcooking the chicken. There is nothing worse than a dry chicken breast!
- Let the air fryer chicken rest. Allow the chicken to rest for about 5 minutes before serving. This results in juicer meat.
- This recipe can be doubled. You can easily double the spice rub and oil to cook a larger quantity of chicken breasts.
- Spicy: Add a ¼-1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the rub.
- Oven: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil. Apply the rub as stated in the recipe. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Frozen Chicken Breast (Air Fryer)
- 3 boneless chicken breasts, 1.5-2 pounds, 1.5-2 inches thick*
- 1 ½ - 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
- Place chicken breasts in the air fryer basket. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and spices. Brush all over both sides of the chicken breast.
- Air fry at 380 degrees for 14-15 minutes (depending on thickness).
- Flip the chicken and air fry for another 7-9 minutes at 380 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches 165 degrees.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate or cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.