These are the crispiest breaded air fryer chicken cutlets – golden crust, juicy chicken, all in under 15 minutes! This high-protein weeknight recipe is oil-free, providing a healthier spin on a classic favorite while retaining that delightful crunch.
The crispiest breaded air fryer chicken cutlets
I really enjoy crispy chicken, but I’m not a fan of the whole deep-frying and excess oil situation. That’s where my air fryer comes in handy. Some of my top picks include hot honey chicken tenders, Nashville chicken tenders, and air fryer chicken thighs. They all manage to achieve that satisfying crunch without going overboard on the oil. It’s like a healthier take without sacrificing any of the deliciousness.
Chicken cutlets are a classic go-to recipe that never disappoints. They’ve become a regular item in my kitchen because they’re easy to whip up. Even the picky eaters in the house can’t resist.
This air fryer version of the classic chicken cutlet takes things up a notch. It’s even crunchier, and the best part is that there’s no need for oil. It’s a bit of a game-changer.
Anyway, I cannot wait to hear your thoughts about this recipe. It’s a healthy option, packed with protein, gluten-free, and makes for a stress-free 15-minute weeknight dinner.
Why you’ll love this air fryer recipe:
- Quick and Easy: This 15-minute recipe is a time-saver, perfect for busy days or quick weeknight dinners.
- Satisfying Golden-Brown Crust: These breaded chicken cutlets have the crispiest crust.
- Family-Friendly: This dish is flexible, making it a hit for adults and kids alike.
- No Oil: These crispy chicken culets are so crispy without the need for deep frying or oil.
- Meal Prep: Easily meal prep this for weekday lunches and dinners.
- Healthy: It’s high in protein and made with simple ingredients!
- Try these crispy air fryer chicken thighs and air fryer chicken meatballs next!
You only need a few simple and healthy ingredients to make these breaded air fryer chicken cutlets! They make for the perfect quick lunch or weeknight dinner. Here is a list of ingredients:
- Chicken: First up, you’ll need two large chicken breasts. We will cut them in half and pound them to make four servings.
- Spices: For the best flavor, we’ll mix together paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Flour: Dredge the chicken breasts in flour to achieve the classic golden-brown crust. You can use all-purpose, whole wheat, or gluten-free flour.
- Eggs: An egg wash helps the bread crumbs stick to the cutlets.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Use panko bread crumbs for the crispiest and most delicious crust. You can also use seasoned Italian bread crumbs.
How to make crispy chicken cutlets in the air fryer
These super crispy breaded chicken cutlets are made in a few simple steps in your air fryer! They are so crispy on the outside and super moist on the inside. Here are step-by-step instructions with pictures so that any level cook can make this recipe:
First, preheat your air fryer to 380°F and spray with olive oil or non-stick spray.
Meanwhile, carefully cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise; they should resemble large chicken tenders. Place one tender between two pieces of plastic wrap or a large zip-lock bag on top of a cutting board and flatten/pound with the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Start in the center and work out to the edges until the chicken is about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with all the tenders.
Set up three mixing bowls: one with flour and half the seasonings, one with the whisked eggs, one with the breadcrumbs, and the second half the seasonings.
Next, dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture (making sure to coat it all), then in the eggs, and finally in the breadcrumbs. I recommend gently pressing the breadcrumbs into the chicken to cover it entirely. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
Add the chicken to the preheated air fryer basket, ensuring they DO NOT overlap. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do two batches.
Air fry at 380°F for 6 minutes, flip them with tongs, and then air fry at 400°F for 2 – 3 minutes until crispy and the internal temperature is 165°F.
Serve with lemon wedges, and enjoy your crispy breaded air fryer chicken cutlets!
Expert recipe tips:
- Even Thickness: Start with chicken cutlets that are of uniform thickness. If needed, pound thicker parts to ensure even cooking.
- Use Panko Bread Crumbs: Consider using panko breadcrumbs for a lighter and crispier texture. Mix them with your favorite seasonings for added flavor.
- No Overcrowding: Arrange the chicken cutlets in a single layer, leaving space between them. Overcrowding can result in uneven cooking and a less crispy texture.
- Flip Halfway Through: Flip the chicken cutlets halfway through the cooking time. This ensures both sides get evenly browned and crispy.
- Serve Immediately: For the best results, serve the chicken cutlets immediately. This helps retain the crispy texture, especially if you serve them as a main dish.
What to serve with chicken cutlets:
Chicken cutlets pair super well with a variety of sides. Some classics include creamy mashed potatoes, leafy green salads, or a medley of roasted vegetables. Try this kale crunch salad, cucumber carrot salad, and chicken Caesar pasta salad.
You can also enjoy breaded chicken cutlets over pasta or rice pilaf with a side of crispy sweet potato fries or simple garlic bread. We love this easy garlic bread and air fryer sweet potato cubes. Each side complements the golden crispiness of the chicken, creating a delicious and balanced meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use frozen chicken?
You can use frozen chicken breasts for this recipe, but it’s crucial to thaw them first. Place the frozen chicken breasts in a sealed plastic bag and let them thaw overnight. Alternatively, submerge the sealed bag in cold water for a quicker thaw, changing the water every 30 minutes. Avoid thawing chicken at room temperature for food safety reasons.
Can I make crispy chicken cutlets without deep frying?
Yes! You can achieve crispy chicken cutlets without deep frying them by air-frying them. This recipe is super, super crispy without deep frying or oil.
Can I make chicken cutlets gluten-free?
These air-fried chicken cutlets are gluten-free if you use gluten-free flour and bread crumbs.
How do I know when the chicken cutlets are done?
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should reach 165°F (74°C). The cutlets should also have a golden brown color and a crispy texture.
What if my air fryer basket is small?
If your air fryer basket does not fit all four chicken cutlets, cook in batches.
How long does it take to cook chicken cutlets in the air fryer?
Cooking time can vary based on the thickness of the cutlets. On average, it takes about 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. It’s essential to check for doneness by ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
Can I freeze breaded chicken cutlets?
Yes, you can freeze breaded chicken cutlets. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer, freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. Cook from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time. To maintain crispiness, reheat in the oven or air fryer instead of the microwave. Use a lower temperature (around 325°F or 163°C) to prevent overcooking.
How to store and reheat chicken cutlets:
Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheating: For best crispy results, reheat in an air fryer at 325°F for 5 – 10 minutes. If you are in a rush, reheat in the microwave for 30 – 90 seconds until warm.
If you loved this recipe, try these air fryer recipes next!
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Breasts
- Air Fryer Turkey Burgers
- Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Hot Honey Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon Bites
- Air Fryer Chicken Sausages
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!
Crispiest Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets
- Preheat your air fryer to 380°F and spray with olive oil or non-stick spray.
- Meanwhile, carefully cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise; they should resemble large chicken tenders. Place one tender between two pieces of plastic wrap or in a large zip-lock bag on top of a cutting board and flatted/pound with the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Start in the center and work out to the edges until the chicken is about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with all the tenders.
- Set up 3 mixing bowls: one with flour and half the seasonings, one with the whisked eggs, and one with the breadcrumbs, and second half the seasonings.
- Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture (making sure to coat it all), then in the eggs, and finally in the breadcrumbs. I recommend gently pressing the breadcrumbs into the chicken so it is fully coated. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
- Add the chicken to the preheat air fryer basket, making sure they DO NOT overlap. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do two batches.
- Air fry at 380°F for 6 minutes, flip them with tongs, and then air fry at 400°F for 2 – 3 minutes until crispy and the internal temperature is 165°F.
- Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!
I only recommend products I love and use myself. In full disclosure, I may receive a small compensation for purchasing a product I recommend. Thank you for supporting Healthful Blondie!
Sharing is caring!