This recipe shows you how to make air fryer chicken Parmesan with a crispy panko-Parmesan crust, melted mozzarella, and marinara sauce.
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: 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’s a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the whole batch, but it’s not sitting in oil and overall absorbs a much smaller amount.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- Olive Oil
- Grated Parmesan
- Large Eggs
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Jar of Marinara Sauce
- Olive, Canola, or Coconut Oil (To make 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 it quickly, and then coat your food with the moistened breadcrumbs.
How to Tenderize 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 or breadcrumbs.
Scramble the eggs in a bowl. Place flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish and blend well.
Begin dredging the chicken in flour, dipping in egg, and coating with panko, shaking off any excess before moving to the next coating.
Press panko into each piece of chicken to adhere to. 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.
I bought my chicken breasts in the freezer section at Sam’s Club so they are extra-large. I could only fit two in my air fryer tray at a time.
If you buy regular-sized chicken breasts from the grocery store you can probably fit more than two chicken breasts at a time.
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 batches 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!
Try these other great air fryer meals!
- 50 Best Air Fryer Recipes
- Five-Cheese Lasagna Fritta
- Fried Mushrooms
- Fried Pickles
- Hooter’s Chicken Wings
- Juicy Steak
- Mushrooms and Onions
- Naked Chicken Wings
- Pickle-Brined Chicken Nuggets
- Pork Schnitzel
- Steak and Chicken Kabobs
- Toasted Ravioli
- 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 1 cup Panko
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
- 1/2 tsp Basil
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1/2 cup Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
- 1 Jar of Marinara Sauce
- Spray the basket with olive oil
- Coat the basket with coconut oil
- Mix olive oil with panko in a shallow dish and microwave for 60-90 seconds until lightly browned. Stir in 30-second intervals for even cooking. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Mix Parmesan, basil, and oregano into panko. Tenderize chicken breasts with a mallet.
- Scramble eggs in a bowl. Place flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish blend well. Begin dredging the chicken in flour, dipping in egg, and coating with panko, shaking off any excess before moving to the next coating. Press panko into each piece of chicken to adhere.
- Spray the basket in the air fryer with olive oil or coat the basket lightly with coconut oil to prevent sticking. Place a single layer of chicken into the air fryer, set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook for 12-16 minutes, flipping 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 chicken has cooked through and is no longer pink in the center, remove from air fryer and top with marinara sauce.
- 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, you can spray the panko on the chicken breasts with olive oil or melted butter.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 683Total Fat 32.4gSaturated Fat 14.1gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 206mgSodium 1562mgCarbohydrates 34.2gFiber 1.8gSugar 2.2gProtein 57.3g
Nutrition is not always accurate and products used in the recipe may differ from local ingredients available to you.