These delicious lightly breaded air fryer chicken cutlets are irresistibly crispy like fried chicken but without deep frying them in oil! Tender and juicy on the inside with a golden crispy coating, these cutlets are great to add to salads and anything else you love with chicken. Let me show you how to make this easy, kid-friendly, lightened-up recipe.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- These lightly breaded chicken cutlets are delicious and so satisfying! You get that crispy golden perfection on the exterior with panko breadcrumbs, while the chicken stays tender and juicy inside. Crunch in every bite!
- Air frying chicken cutlets uses a lot less oil than frying them, which makes this recipe a lightened up nutritious protein option. Chicken cutlets are thinly sliced chicken breasts, the leaner part of the chicken. Add the cutlets to a salad like this quinoa arugula salad, or kale and beet salad, or serve them with roasted veggies, or Brussels sprouts to make it a complete meal. You can even use the crispy cutlets in a sandwich or a wrap.
- It's quick! The cutlets only need about 10 minutes to cook. And the adults and kids will love them!
- You can switch up the seasoning to change the flavor profile. Use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, or use a spice mix with the panko like ranch or anything you enjoy. You can even marinate your chicken cutlets before breading them.
- Chicken cutlets. What are they exactly? They're thinly sliced chicken breasts cut in half horizontally making two thinner slices from one breast. Sometimes they're even pounded with a meat tenderizer if they're not even to make them even thinner. You can buy chicken cutlets already cut, or you can carefully slice a chicken breast in half with a sharp knife horizontally to make the cutlets.
- Panko: I prefer Japanese style panko as it gets super crispy, but you can use regular breadcrumbs too, and even seasoned ones and skip adding the seasoning of this recipe. If you're gluten free, use your favorite gluten free breadcrumbs.
- All purpose flour and egg wash: dipping the cutlet in flour and then a beaten egg will create a base for the panko to stick to. You can definitely use a gluten free flour blend if you wish.
- Cooking oil spray: this is an important ingredient to ensure the chicken cutlets don't stick to the air fryer and get crispy. Make sure to use an oil spray suitable for air fryers, meaning stay away from non-stick sprays which contains extra chemicals that can damage the air fryer basket. A spray containing only oil is ideal, such as avocado or olive oil.
How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets
- Before you get started with breading the cutlets, make sure your work station is all ready to go, because we're working with raw chicken. You need 3 shallow bowls or plates, a baking sheet or plate to place the breaded cutlets before cooking.
- Prepare the panko by mixing it with the garlic, onion powders, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Mix it well placed in a shallow bowl.
- Have another bowl with the flour. And another one with the beaten egg.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400° Fahrenheit.
- Dip one cutlet in flour first, then egg, then panko. Shake off the excess each time. Place the breaded cutlet on a baking sheet and repeat with the other ones. Don't forget to wash your hands thoroughly after touching raw chicken.
- Once the air fryer is preheated, spray it generously with cooking oil. Add the cutlets (in batches if needed, don't overcrowd the air fryer). Spray more cooking oil on top of the cutlets.
- Cook for 5 minutes, then flip gently with tongs, spray a little more cooking oil on top, and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes or a few more if the cutlets are thicker. They cook fast! Don't overcook them.
- Once cooked, place them on a cooling rack so they stay crispy at the bottom while they rest for a few minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
Mix the panko with the spices.
Dip a chicken cutlet into the flour.
Then dip it into the egg wash.
Then dip it in the seasoned panko.
Place them on a baking sheet or plate until air fryer is preheated at 400° F.
Spray the air fryer with cooking oil, place the cutlets inside then spray again on top. Cook for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, flip with tongs, spray a little more cooking oil and cook for 4 to 5 more minutes.
Let the cutlets rest for a few minutes on a cooling rack before serving.
More Air Fryer Recipes To Try
- Air Fryer Delicata Squash
- Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos
- Air Fryer Diced Potatoes
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Air Fryer Salmon Bites with Mango Salsa
- Always preheat your air fryer before cooking any recipe in it.
- Don't overcrowd the air fryer. This is a rule for many air fryer recipes because the air needs to be circulating all around in order to give the cutlets their crispiness. When it's too full, food steams instead of air frying. It might be necessary to cook in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Don't overcook the cutlets! They cook fast, between 8 and 12 minutes depending on the thickness and your air fryer model, as they all vary a bit. Chicken is cooked and safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit when checked with a meat thermometer.
- I highly recommend using a cooling rack to rest the chicken cutlets to keep them crispy all around. If you place them on a plate, the bottom touching the plate might lose its crispiness.
- Air fryer chicken cutlets are best eaten right away as they'll loose the crispiness once they cool. But you can reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What spray cooking oil should I use?
- Any spray suitable and safe for air fryers meaning they should only contain oil and no extra chemicals. Stay away from most nonstick spray if they contain propellant or other chemicals added to them, which can damage the lining of the air fryer. I personally use avocado or olive oil for cooking most of the time, but you can use any oil you prefer.
The cutlets are sticking to my air fryer, how do I prevent that?
- Make sure the air fryer is preheated and generously sprayed with cooking oil before cooking the chicken.
Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets
- Mix together the panko breadcrumbs, garlic power, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
- Add flour to another shallow bowl or plate, then the beaten egg into a third shallow bowl to prepare your breading station. Have a baking sheet ready by the station. You can line it with parchment paper if you'd like.
- Starting with 1 chicken cutlet, dip it in flour until coated on both sides, shaking off the excess.
- Then dip the cutlet into the egg wash, shaking off the excess.
- Then dip the cutlet into the seasoned breadcrumbs until coated on both sides, shaking off the excess breading.
- Place the cutlet on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken cutlets.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400° Fahrenheit. Once preheated spray the basket generously with cooking oil. In batches if necessary, add the cutlets you're about to cook in the air fryer, then spray the top of the cutlets with cooking oil spray. Cook for 5 minutes. *don't overcrowd the air fryer.
- After 5 minutes, carefully flip the cutlets with tongs, spray them with a little cooking oil, and continue cooking for 4 to 6 minutes until cooked thru. The thinner the cutlets, the faster they'll cook, don't overcook.
- Once cooked, remove the cutlets from air fryer with tongs, and place them on a cooling rack to rest for at least 3-5 minutes. Repeat process with remaining chicken. Serve air fryer chicken cutlets warm with side of choice. Enjoy!
- Don't overcrowd the air fryer, cook the cutlets in batches to get a crispy coating.
- Cooking time will vary by a few minutes depending on your the model of your air fryer.