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Healthy Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan

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Air fryer chicken parmesan is crispy outside,  juicy inside and covered with gooey melted cheese! It is the perfect quick and easy meal.

In the air fryer, this easy-to-make dinner is hearty and healthy. Using an air fryer means you can now enjoy this classic Italian dish without all the fat and grease of frying.

Instead of deep frying the chicken it just needs a few squirts of oil to cook up golden brown and crispy. And this air fryer chicken parm recipe can be made in less than 30 minutes!

Looking for more air fryer chicken ideas? Learn how to cook a whole chicken in the air fryer!

top view of chicken parmesan

Why You Will Love This Recipe

It is healthier than the deep fried dish you’d get a restaurant but just as delicious!

This kid friendly meal has only a few ingredients making it simple enough for a weeknight.

Chicken parmesan doesn’t need a lot of sides, so you can serve it with a simple salad or bread and call it done.

ingredients for chicken parmesan

Key Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

Chicken – Use chicken breasts for this recipe. You can buy cutlets or slice breasts into two thin slices. 

Breadcrumbs – I prefer this recipe with fine breadcrumbs, not panko breadcrumbs.

Parmesan – Use shredded or grated parmesan for the coating.

Eggs – The eggs help the coating stick to the meat.

Seasoning – I seasoned the breadcrumbs with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Or you can buy seasoned breadcrumbs or Italian breadcrumbs instead of adding your own spices.

Spaghetti sauce – For simplicity I use store bought spaghetti sauce.

Mozzarella cheese – Melted mozzarella on top is a must for chicken parmesan!

chicken parmesan on a plate

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan

1. Prep Chicken

For this recipe you need thin slices of meat. You can either buy cutlets or slice a breast in half so it is two thin pieces of chicken.

My mom always used a meat mallet to pound the piece of chicken into uniformly thick slices. I never bother with this step, and it cooks fine.

2. Bread the Chicken

Get everything set up for breading by putting the breadcrumbs, parmesan and seasoning in a bowl and mix everything together. Then break the eggs in a separate bowl and stir to combine the white and yolk.

mixing the coating

The breading sticks better if it rests for 10 minutes before air frying. So set up a baking rack near the bowls for holding the breaded slices.

chicken resting on rack

Dip each piece of chicken into the beaten egg mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Put the piece on the rack and dip another piece. This is messy, so use one hand for dipping, so the other one stays clean. Let the chicken rest on the racks for 10 minutes.

3. Air Fry

While the chicken rests preheat the air fryer at 360 degrees F for 3-5 minutes. Preheating always gives better results when you are air frying something with breading.

Spray the food with a bottle of spray oil to give it a light coating. Then put the breaded slices in the air fryer, making sure not to crowd them.

air fryer chicken parmesan before cooking

I can fit 3-4 slices in my 5.8 quart Cosori air fryer, depending on the size of the pieces. Air fry at 360 F for 6 minutes. Then flip the food over and air fry for another 4 minutes.

chicken breast cutlet after air frying

Use an instant read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken and make sure it has reached 160 degrees F. If not cook it for another 1-2 minutes and check again.

Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, don’t try to cook based just on time. A thermometer is not expensive and the peace of mind they give you is priceless. Food poisoning is not fun! This is my favorite inexpensive meat thermometer, which you can buy on Amazon.

4. Add Sauce and Cheese

Once it is cooked spread about 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce on each chicken cutlet and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. 

chicken parm in air fryer

Air fry at 360 F for another 2-3 minutes so that the sauce warms up and the cheese melts.

How to Serve

Traditionally chicken parmesan is served over pasta, usually spaghetti. But you don’t have to stick with pasta! Try serving them over zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or rice. Garnish the finished dish with basil or parsley.

I like to make a simple green salad while it cooks. And a loaf of crusty Italian bread or garlic bread is always a great addition to this easy meal.

side view of chicken parm on spaghetti

How to Store

Store leftover chicken parmesan in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 2-3 days. You can reheat it by putting it in the air fryer at 350 F for 3-4 minutes. Once the slices are topped with sauce and cheese they won’t freeze very well.

Find More Air Fryer Recipes!

FAQ

Do I need to pound the chicken with a mallet?

Doing this makes the thickness more uniform, but I don’t think it is necessary. Chicken cutlets are of a pretty uniform thickness already and the air fryer cooks them so fast that it makes very little difference.

Is air fryer chicken parmesan healthy?

While healthy is a relative term it is much healthier than what you’d get at a restaurant. It is cooked in less oil so it is lower in fat and calories, but is still nice and crispy.

Key Tips for This Recipe

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before air frying so the breading will stick better.

Use oil in a spray bottle, not commercial cooking spray oil on the chicken. Aerosol spray oils can damage the finish on an air fryer basket with nonstick coating.

Make sure to preheat the air fryer before cooking.

Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

Yield: 4

Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan

top view of chicken parmesan

Air fryer chicken parmesan is crispy outside,  juicy inside and covered with gooey melted cheese!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rest Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 whole skinless chicken breast or 4 cutlets
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs *see notes
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce
  • 4 tablespoon mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. If you are using whole breasts cut them in half lengthwise, to make cutlets. Try to make the halves an even thickness.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. In another medium bowl break the eggs and mix to combine the yolk and whites.
  4. Get out a baking rack to put the slices on after coating.
  5. Dip each piece in the egg mixture followed by the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Put the pieces on the baking rack and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Set the air fryer to 360 °F and let it preheat for 3 minutes.
  8. Spray or brush a little oil on the chicken to help it brown. Use a spray bottle of oil, not a commercial cooking spray. Then put the cutlets in a single layer in the basket. Don’t overcrowd the pieces in the basket and cook it in batches if necessary.
  9. Air fry at 360 °F for 6 minutes. Then flip each pieces over and air fry it for another 4 minutes.
  10. Check that the meat has reached 160 °F internal temperature. If not, air fry it for another 2-3 minutes and check again. The coating will be golden brown when it is done.
  11. When it has reached 165 °F keep it in the air fryer basket and carefully top each cutlet with 2 tablespoons of spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.
  12. Air fry it at 360 °F for another 2 minutes to heat the sauce and melt the cheese.

Notes

Use seasoned breadcrumbs and skip the spices if you prefer.

Letting the chicken rest for 10 minutes before air frying make the breading stick better.

Make sure you preheat the air fryer for the crispiest chicken.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 626Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 309mgSodium: 1555mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 62g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

plate of air fryer chicken parmesan
By on January 14th, 2022

2 thoughts on “Healthy Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan”

  1. By far the best air-fryer chicken parm recipe I’ve made. Followed all the directions and it cooked evenly and was at 165 at the 10 minute mark. Placed in my Keeper recipe file. Thanks for sharing your delish recipe, Anne!

    Reply
  2. I followed your receipe and it was perfect. I would like to know if there is a way to make it more crispy, like restaurants!

    Reply

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