The easiest 15-minute air fryer bbq chicken breast recipe made with just 3 ingredients. This healthy air-fried chicken is tender and juicy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and covered in a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners!
The best air fryer bbq chicken breasts
Wow, this is truly the best air fryer bbq chicken recipe. The tender and moist air-fried chicken has slightly crisp edges and is covered in a tangy bbq sauce. Serve it with this kale crunch salad for an easy weeknight dinner!
Typically, bbq chicken recipes require marinating, dry rubs, brining, etc. but now, with a trusty air fryer, you can make fancy barbecue chicken in 15 minutes. That is why I love this recipe so much, it makes challenging recipes easy!
Air frying chicken ensures the juices are locked in, and the chicken is super tender and moist on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside. Paired with a naturally sweet and tangy bbq sauce, this recipe is about to become your go-to.
This air fryer bbq chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners, meal prep, lunch, and summertime cookouts. They only take 15 minutes to air fryer and only require three ingredients. I cannot wait to hear what you think!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Kid Friendly. This recipe is super kid friendly since it calls for 3 ingredients, and you can use a BBQ sauce that you know your kids love. It doesn’t need to be spicy!
- Healthy. Air fryer bbq chicken is the perfect healthy meal for everyone. It calls for 3 ingredients, is low in sugar and high in protein.
- Keto. This recipe follows the low-carb and keto diet too. Just pick a BBQ sauce that is keto and sugar-free.
- Gluten Free. Air fryer bbq chicken is gluten-free too.
- 3 Ingredients. This recipe calls for just three ingredients – how easy is that?!
- Quick & Easy. This recipe takes less than 20 minutes in total! It is so easy to make and great for a weeknight dinner.
- Meal Prep. Make this bbq chicken ahead of time for meal prep. It keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You need three simple ingredients, plus some spices, for this healthy air fryer bbq chicken breast recipe. There is no marinade required, so grab your favorite barbecue sauce and let’s get cooking! Here is a list of ingredients so you have everything prepared:
- Chicken Breast: First up, grab three medium-sized boneless and skinless chicken breasts. When air-fried, they are tender, juicy, and super moist.
- BBQ Sauce: The star ingredient in this recipe is 1/3 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce. This gives the chicken the best tangy, slightly sweet, smoky flavor. I love using this brand!
- Spices: We use a combination of paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to season the chicken and give it a ton of flavor.
- Cooking Spray: This prevents the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the air fryer.
Kitchen tools required
You only need an air fryer and a few measuring tools for this dinner recipe. Clean-up is a breeze, and you will be in and out of the kitchen in under 20 minutes! Here are the utensils and tools you’ll need:
How to make easy air fryer bbq chicken breast
Healthy air-fried bbq chicken breasts are easy to make since you don’t need to marinate the chicken. We will start by seasoning the chicken breast, then air frying them, and finally, we will coat the cooked chicken breasts in barbecue sauce. Here are detailed step-by-step instructions for any level cook:
First, preheat the air fryer to 360°F; then lightly grease the basket with olive oil or avocado spray.
Next, combine seasoning spices in a small bowl and set to the side.
Then, pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel; then use your hands to season evenly with the spices.
Finally, air fry for 10 minutes, then flip the chicken breasts with tongs and air fry for another 4 – 6 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts from the air fryer and generously top them with BBQ sauce. Return to air fryer and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Let chicken breast rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving!
Expert tips & tricks
Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting. This is so important, and it is my #1 chicken tip. This ensures that the chicken remains super moist and juicy.
If your chicken breast is super thick, pound it. If your chicken is super thick on one side and thin on the other, the cooking time will be uneven. In fact, it can cause one side to be overcooked and chewy and the other side to be undercooked. So, I recommend pounding the thick side with a meat mallet to thin it out.
Use any BBQ sauce. That’s why this is the easiest and best recipe out there – you can use any BBQ sauce you want!
Don’t cook the chicken with BBQ sauce the whole time. If you do, it will char and taste bad. Follow the instructions and only add the BBQ sauce at the very end in the last 2 – 3 minutes.
Make it ahead of time. If you are making this recipe ahead of time for meal prep, make sure to store the cooked bbq chicken breast whole. If you cut it up and then store it, the chicken can dry out.
Is this recipe healthy?
This bbq chicken recipe is healthy for a handful of reasons. First, it is made with sugar-free barbecue sauce. Second, there is no added oil since we are air frying the chicken. Third, it is gluten free, low carb, and has no breading. Fourth, it calls for three simple ingredients plus a few spices. So yes, the barbeque chicken is healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use frozen chicken breasts?
Yes, you can use frozen chicken for this recipe, but it must be thawed first. The easiest way to thaw a chicken breast is to put it in your refrigerator the morning you are cooking it. For a fast thaw, you can put the chicken breast in a plastic bag and place it in a warm water bath for 1 – 2 hours.
Is bbq chicken gluten free?
Yes, this bbq chicken recipe is 100% gluten free since there is no breading.
Do I have to let air fryer chicken rest before cutting into it?
Yes! For the juiciest air fryer chicken, you must let it rest for 5 minutes so all the juiciest and moisture is trapped inside. Trust me!
What to serve with air fryer bbq chicken breast?
I like to serve air fryer bbq chicken breast with rice or sweet potatoes and a side of roasted vegetables. I love these tender and crisp air fryer baby carrots. This recipe is also perfect for summer cookouts, so you can serve it with corn on the cob and a salad.
How to tell if air fryer chicken is done cooking?
You will know when it is done when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
Is it spicy?
It depends on the type of bbq sauce you use. Some are mild, and some are hot, so make sure you buy the one you want in the store.
Can I use chicken thigh?
You can use chicken thigh instead of chicken breast for this recipe; just adjust the cooking time. Air fry for 8 minutes, then flip them over and air fryer for another 4 – 6 minutes until cooked through.
What temperature is best to air fryer chicken breasts?
It is best to air fry chicken breasts at 360°F for a total of 14 – 18 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
How long does it take to air fry a chicken breast at 360°F?
It takes a total of 14 – 18 minutes to air fry a chicken breast at 360°F. You will know when it is done when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
How to store and reheat leftover air fryer bbq chicken:
Let the chicken come to room temperature, then store leftovers in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days for meal prep. Reheat in the microwave for 60 – 90 seconds until warm.
If you loved this air fryer recipe, try these next!
- Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken
- Air Fried Buffalo Chicken
- Air Fryer Orange Chicken
- Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Air Fryer BBQ Chicken
- Preheat your air fyrer to 360°F and lightly grease basket with olive oil or avocado spray.
- Combine seasoning spices in a small bowl.
- Pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, and then use your hands to evenly season with the spices.
- Air fry for 10 minutes, then flip the chicken breasts with tongs and air fry for another 4 – 5 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the air fryer and generously top with BBQ sauce.
- Return to air fryer and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Let chicken breast rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving!
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