Cheesy, crispy, and flavorful this Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan is a twist on the Italian classic. With no deep-frying and a simple breading, this healthy chicken parmesan is incredibly easy to make and ready in just 30 minutes!
Easy & Healthy Chicken Parmesan
If you’re a fan of classic chicken parmesan, you’re going to love this Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan! It has all the elements of the classic recipe – a crispy breading, juicy chicken breast, marinara sauce, and lots of cheese – but it comes together in just 30 minutes, with no frying required!
Most healthy chicken parmesan recipes require baking and often skip the breading, but not this one. To make this dish healthier, it’s made with just a light spray of olive oil. The air fryer makes the breading nice and crispy, so you still get that classic crunch. It tastes just like the chicken parm you’d order in a restaurant – just quicker, easier, and healthier!
Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan is loved by everyone in the family and makes an appearance on our dinner table quite often, especially during busy weeks when I need something filling and flavorful, fast. Just add a side of pasta or some crusty bread and dinner is served!
If you don’t have an Air Fryer? Try our Baked Chicken Parmesan.
What You’ll Need:
Just a handful of ingredients are needed to make this easy chicken parmesan.
- Chicken breasts – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are best. Cut them in half horizontally for thinner chicken cutlets.
- Breadcrumbs – I like to use Italian breadcrumbs for the added flavor.
- Eggs & milk – Whisked together to create the egg wash that holds the breadcrumbs to the chicken.
- Seasonings – The only seasonings I add to the breading are salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Marinara sauce – You can also use homemade pizza sauce, which is fantastic and easy to make.
- Cheese – Parmesan and mozzarella cheese are used.
- Fresh parsley – An optional garnish for a pop of flavor and color.
What’s the Best Breading To Use?
I use a simple breading of seasoned Italian bread crumbs, flour, and eggs on my chicken parm. Panko breadcrumbs can also be used for extra crunch. If you use unseasoned bread crumbs, I do recommend adding a bit of Italian seasoning or other dried herbs to the bread crumbs for flavor.
For a low carb chicken parmesan, you can make a keto breading by swapping the bread crumbs for crushed pork rinds.
What Cheese Should I Use?
This easy chicken parmesan recipe uses parmesan cheese in the breading and mozzarella cheese as a topping. I recommend using freshly grated or shredded parmesan, not the kind in the plastic green container, as it will melt better and give more flavor. For mozzarella, full fat shredded mozzarella will melt best. Fresh mozzarella will also take the dish to a new level and is a great way to get a restaurant-quality dish without any additional work.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
Here’s how to make your air fryer chicken parmesan in just a few easy steps.
- Prepare the chicken. Slice the chicken breasts in halves, horizontally, to create two thinner pieces, then season with salt and pepper.
- Prepare the egg wash. Combine the bread crumbs, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese in a dish. In a separate dish, whisk together the egg and milk.
- Bread the chicken. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, then cover with the bread crumb mixture.
- Air fry the chicken. Place the breaded chicken in the air fryer. Spray with olive oil. Cook for 6 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add the toppings. Top each chicken breast with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, then return to the air fryer for 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
- Serve. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired. Serve with pasta or other sides.
Tips for Success
First time making chicken parm in the air fryer? Keep these few tips in mind.
- Don’t crowd the air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the chicken in batches leaving space between the chicken breasts so that they cook evenly.
- Try using Italian parsley. Flat leaf Italian parsley is different than regular parsley. It has a different flavor, and really adds to the dish.
- How to ensure the chicken is cooked. Each air fryer may cook slightly differently and cook time will also depend on the thickness of your chicken. Double-check that it’s cooked fully with an instant-read thermometer that reads 165F.
I typically serve this air fryer chicken parmesan over spaghetti, with a little extra sauce and some parmesan cheese on the side. You can easily skip the pasta and just serve it with some crusty bread (maybe topped with some garlic butter spread!),breadsticks. Spaghetti stuffed garlic bread also makes a fun side!
I’ll usually add a side salad or some roasted veggies to round out the meal as well.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Leftover chicken parmesan can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep it stored in an airtight container. To reheat, you can pop it back in the air fryer for 3 to 4 minutes or just heat it up in the microwave.
More Air Fryer Recipes:
- Air Fryer Jerk Chicken
- Air Fryer Fish Sticks
- BBQ Air Fryer Sausage and Potatoes
- Easy Air Fryer Pizza
Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in half horizontally
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- Fresh Parsley optional
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Carefully butterfly chicken by cutting in half widthwise all the way through to create 4 thin pieces of chicken. Pat dry with paper towel.
- Whisk eggs together in a large shallow dish. In a large shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, ¼ cup Parmesan, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Coat chicken in egg mixture, and allow excess to drip off. Coat chicken in Panko mixture, pressing firmly to make sure it sticks well.
- Spray the air fryer basket with non-aerosol oil spray. Spray both sides of the chicken with oil spray as well and place into the air fryer. Cook for 5 minutes per side, until light golden.
- Top each with marinara sauce and mozzarella. Divide remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan between the two and cook another 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Check to see if the internal temperature has reached a minimum of 165 degrees F.
- Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top (optional). Serve.