Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan

Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan is a healthier and quicker way to enjoy this classic Italian-American dish. The air fryer gives the chicken a perfectly crispy crust while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese, this dish is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Follow this detailed recipe to create a delicious and satisfying meal that will have everyone coming back for more.

Ingredients:

Table of Contents

For the Chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5-2 pounds)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil spray

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Instructions:

1. Preparing the Chicken:

  1. Pound the Chicken: Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch thick. This ensures even cooking.
  2. Season the Chicken: Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.

2. Breading the Chicken:

  1. Prepare the Breading Stations: Set up three shallow bowls for breading the chicken. In the first bowl, place the flour. In the second bowl, beat the eggs. In the third bowl, combine the Italian-style breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and dried basil.
  2. Bread the Chicken: Dredge each chicken breast in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip it into the beaten eggs, allowing any excess to drip off, then coat it thoroughly in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing lightly to adhere.
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3. Cooking the Chicken:

  1. Preheat Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (190°C) for about 5 minutes.
  2. Spray with Olive Oil: Lightly spray both sides of the breaded chicken breasts with olive oil spray. This helps to achieve a golden, crispy crust.
  3. Place in Air Fryer: Arrange the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring they are not touching. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook in batches.
  4. Cook the Chicken: Air fry the chicken at 380°F (190°C) for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts over, spray with a bit more olive oil if needed, and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).

4. Adding the Toppings:

  1. Top with Marinara Sauce: Spoon about 1/4 cup of marinara sauce over each chicken breast.
  2. Add Cheese: Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese evenly over the top of each piece of chicken.
  3. Melt the Cheese: Return the chicken to the air fryer and cook at 380°F (190°C) for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

5. Finishing Touches:

  1. Garnish: Remove the chicken from the air fryer and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  2. Serve: Serve the Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan hot, with your favorite side dishes such as spaghetti, a fresh green salad, or garlic bread.

Tips for Success:

  • Even Cooking: Ensure the chicken breasts are of even thickness to guarantee they cook evenly in the air fryer.
  • Cheese Alternatives: Experiment with different types of cheese, such as provolone or a blend of Italian cheeses, for a unique flavor.
  • Marinara Sauce: Use high-quality marinara sauce, or make your own for the best flavor.
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Variations:

  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs to make this dish gluten-free.
  • Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the marinara sauce for a bit of heat.
  • Herb Infusion: Add fresh herbs like chopped parsley or thyme to the breadcrumb mixture for extra flavor.

Conclusion:

Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan is a delightful and easy-to-make dish that combines the crispy texture of fried chicken with the comforting flavors of marinara sauce and melted cheese. Using the air fryer reduces the amount of oil needed, making this a healthier version of the traditional dish. Enjoy this classic meal with your favorite sides and savor the delicious combination of flavors and textures. Happy cooking!