This recipe shows you how to make air fryer chicken Parmesan with panko crust, melted mozzarella, and marinara sauce. It takes a classic chicken parmesan and makes it into a crispy chicken without all the extra oil.
I recently began experimenting with our air fryer and wondered how you still get a golden crispy crust on chicken without frying it in oil. Then I realized a great way of getting crispy air fryer chicken: you need to mix the oil into the breadcrumbs first!
The chicken turned out so golden and crispy, while the inside is juicy and tender. The best part is it didn’t have to fry in oil at all! Sure, there are a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the whole batch, but it’s not saturated in oil and overall absorbs a much smaller amount.
Air fryer chicken parm is so easy to make. Just follow my instructions below!
Ingredients for Air Fryer Parmesan Chicken
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Panko Breadcrumbs
- Olive Oil
- Grated Parmesan
- All-Purpose Flour
- Large Eggs
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Jar of Marinara Sauce
- Olive, Canola, or Coconut Oil (To make the basket nonstick.)
Can you use Pam nonstick spray in an air fryer?
Air fryer baskets can begin to peel if Pam is used on them so it is best not to.
To keep food from sticking use a non-aerosol spray bottle of olive oil, or you can rub coconut oil directly on the basket.
How do you fry in an air fryer?
There are two ways to get breaded goodies fried in the air fryer:
- You can spray the already breaded food with olive oil spray.
- Add olive oil to the breadcrumbs, microwave them quickly, and then coat your food with the moistened breadcrumbs.
How to Tenderize Chicken Breasts
My grocery stores tend to have large chicken breasts. I prefer my chicken parmesan to be thin and tender like a pork tenderloin sandwich is. To get it thinner, I simply cut the chicken breast in half similar to how you would butterfly a chicken breast, but cut it completely through. Then I pound them out with a meat tenderizer/mallet.
How to Make Air Fryer Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- After they’re tenderized, mix the panko/breadcrumbs with olive oil and microwave for 1-2 minutes until they are golden brown. Cook in 30-second intervals and stir to avoid burning.
- After it’s cooled, mix Parmesan, basil, and oregano into the panko breadcrumbs.
- Scramble the eggs in a bowl. Place flour and salt in a shallow dish and blend well.
- Lightly dredge chicken in flour, dip it in egg, and coat it with panko, shaking off any excess before moving to the next coating.
- Press panko into each piece of chicken to adhere. After coating your chicken with the breadcrumbs and seasonings it’s time to place it in the air fryer.
- Spray the inside tray of the air fryer with olive oil using a non-aerosol spray bottle or lightly coat the basket with coconut oil and place the chicken inside.
- It’s okay if they are slightly touching. Close the tray or lid.
How long and what temperature do you cook chicken Parmesan in the air fryer?
- Set your temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and set the timer for 8 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off at 6 minutes, flip the chicken breasts, and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes depending on thickness.
- Be sure to spray the tray again between each batch because it will stick.
- On my air fryer, it shuts off once the timer turns off so it is no longer cooking. Kind of handy!
Sides for Chicken Parmesan
A lot of times we see a side of spaghetti topped with tomato sauce with chicken parmesan. Which is delicious, don’t get me wrong! But if you want to try something new try these: Olive Garden’s fettuccine alfredo, baked zucchini sticks, caesar salad with homemade dressing, garlic bread, and Italian roasted vegetables. They’re all delicious sides for chicken parmesan!
Try these other great air fryer meals!
- 50 Best Air Fryer Recipes
- Chicken Strips
- Five-Cheese Lasagna Fritta
- Olive Garden Chicken Kabobs
- One-Pot Lasagna Soup
- Pickle-Brined Chicken Nuggets
- Pork Schnitzel
- Toasted Ravioli
Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan with Panko
- 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ cup Grated Parmesan
- ½ teaspoon Basil
- ½ teaspoon Oregano
- ½ cup Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 8 ounces Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
- 1 Jar of Marinara Sauce
- Mix olive oil with panko in a shallow dish and microwave for 60-90 seconds until lightly browned, stirring every 30 seconds. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Mix Parmesan, basil, and oregano into the panko.
- Tenderize chicken breasts with a mallet.
- Scramble eggs in a bowl. Place flour and salt in a shallow dish and blend well. Begin lightly dredging each piece of chicken in flour, dipping it in egg, and then coating it with panko, shaking off any excess.
- Spray the basket in the air fryer with nonstick cooking spray. Place a single layer of chicken into the air fryer, set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook for 12-16 minutes, flip halfway. Add slices of mozzarella on to each piece of chicken and cook in the air fryer for an additional minute until cheese is melted.
- Once the chicken has cooked through and the cheese is melted, remove it from the air fryer and top with marinara sauce.
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- I prefer to slice the chicken breasts in half prior to tenderizing to make them thinner and even more tender.
- If you notice the panko is dry (not oily from the olive oil) and is not browning, spray the panko on the chicken breasts with cooking spray.