Can you cook chicken patties in an air fryer? Absolutely! My air fryer chicken patties are a healthy weeknight dinner idea that can be used in a variety of ways. Make them into chicken burgers or put them on a bed of pasta (or spiralized zucchini noodles) with marinara sauce. Use these air fryer breaded chicken breasts as the base for endless easy dinner ideas!
After posting my Air Fryer Fish Sticks recipe, I knew that I wanted to create a recipe with breaded chicken patties. It didn't take long to work out a recipe that my family enjoyed. I've made this recipe numerous times already, and I'm happy to finally have the chance to get it up on the site.
The breading in this recipe is quite similar to the breading used for the fish sticks. I went with a cornmeal and spelt flour-based crust, with an assortment of seasonings. Since we're using thin chicken breasts, this recipe does not take much longer to air fry than fish.
As much as I adore complicated recipes, I don't have hours to cook dinner on most evenings. I think that many of us are in the same boat. Since it is what we do consistently that matters most for health, having some fast recipes on hand is important.
The recipes that I make the most are the simple recipes that come together quickly. I can make these air fryer chicken patties in about the same amount of time that it would take to bring home fast food. In general (not always!), the food I make at home will be the healthier, lighter option.
Do you have fast and healthy recipe options to fall back to on busy weeknights? Why not add these air fryer breaded chicken breasts to your repertoire?
Benefits of Making Chicken Patties in the Air Fryer
You could always pop some store-bought frozen chicken patties in the air fryer. Chicken patties from the store tend to be cheap and convenient, but they also (typically) count as ultra-processed foods. Here are some reasons you're going to want to make your own air fryer chicken patties instead:
- No refined grains and no added sugar in the breading: Unlike in most store-bought chicken patties, the breading here is all whole grains and seasoning. There are no additives that you may not want when you make homemade breaded chicken breast. You may be able to whip this recipe up with ingredients you already have on hand!
- YOU control the ingredients: When you make homemade chicken patties in the air fryer, you can tweak the ingredients as needed. Want to change up the seasonings or make this recipe gluten-free? It's EASY when you make your own.
- Super VERSATILE recipe: Consider this your go-to air fryer chicken burger recipe or use it to whip up a quick chicken parmesan. You could even turn these air fryer breaded chicken breasts into chicken fingers or chicken nuggets instead, depending on how you cut them.
- Kid-friendly dish: If you have a picky eater in your household, you know that breaded chicken tends to be a winner. Why not try out this healthier version of a family favorite?
Air Fryer Chicken Patties Ingredients
The ingredients for air fryer chicken patties can be found in any major supermarket. There are no weird, esoteric ingredients in this one! Here's what you need:
- Small chicken breasts, skinless and boneless (about ⅓ pound each)
- Large egg
- Whole grain cornmeal
- Whole grain spelt flour (whole wheat flour may be substituted)
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Dried oregano
- Dried basil
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
- Cooking oil spray
- Melted butter
The chicken breasts I used for this recipe may more rightly be thought of as chicken breast fillets. They are lighter and much thinner than most chicken breasts. The brand that I used is Perdue Perfect Portions, and I highly recommend them for this recipe.
If you cannot get your hands on my Perdue chicken recommendation, you may need to cut your chicken breast in half lengthwise. Starting with chicken breasts that are too thick will alter the air frying time for this recipe. You risk ending up with undercooked chicken if you don't start with thin chicken breasts.
A lot of the cornmeal that you'll find in mainstream grocery stores is not whole grain. Keep an eye out for Bob's Red Mill whole grain cornmeal; it is available in many American supermarkets. They offer an assortment of other whole grain flours as well, including the spelt flour you need for this recipe.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Patties
As I mentioned above, the sky's the limit in terms of side dishes for your air fryer chicken patties. To make the chicken patty meal pictured, you should gather these ingredients:
- Marinara sauce (choose one with no added sugar)
- Shaved Parmesan cheese
- Fresh Roma tomatoes
- Fresh cucumbers
- Red onion
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
This gets you some breaded chicken cutlets topped with tomato sauce and Parm, basically chicken parmesan. For a side dish, I made a marinated cucumber and tomato salad. You can serve a green garden salad as a side for your chicken patties if you'd prefer.
I served the air fried breaded chicken patties over a bed of spinach for the photos. You can skip this, substitute zoodles (zucchini noodles), or use a wheat-based pasta instead. As always, I'm including information on how to modify this meal for individuals with different energy needs in the Expert Tips section.
How to Air Fry Chicken Patties
Let's make air fryer breaded chicken breasts! If you are using the Perdue Perfect Portions chicken breasts that I mentioned above, cut them in half widthwise. If you are using thicker chicken breasts, you will likely need to quarter them by cutting them in half both lengthwise AND widthwise.
In this way, each chicken breast will make anywhere from 2-4 chicken patties. If "chicken patty" means to you a poultry patty cut into a circle, use kitchen shears to cut your chicken into a round shape.
Honestly, that seemed a little too fussy for me. Plus, then I'd have to figure out how to incorporate the raw chicken scraps into a new recipe. (Hmm… perhaps this Baked Popcorn Chicken Salad Bowl would be a good use for the leftover chicken.)
Anyhow, set your chicken patties aside, whether they are perfectly rounded or a bit irregular like mine. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. In another bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, Parm, oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
Mist an air fryer baking tray with the cooking oil spray. I was able to fit all of the chicken patties on a single air fryer tray.
To bread the chicken breasts, first dip each one in the whisked egg. After coating it with the egg, put the chicken in the bowl with the cornmeal mixture.
Make sure your chicken patties are coated on all sides with the breading. I ended up with a little bit of extra breading that needed to be discarded (since it touched the raw chicken).
Place the breaded chicken patties in a single, non-touching layer on your air fryer tray. Once your air fryer chicken breasts are breaded, drizzle them with a little melted butter. Oooooh…
How long to cook chicken patties in the air fryer?
These air fryer chicken patties took a total of 17 minutes to cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit in my air fryer oven. I cooked them on the top rack, flipping them over after the first 10 minutes of cooking time.
Keep in mind that I am using thin chicken breast cutlets and that air fryer cooking times may vary. My air fryer oven has baking trays, but some models have an air fryer basket instead. If you are unsure whether your chicken is done, checking to make sure it reached the safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is a great idea.
Making the Side Dishes for Air Fryer Chicken Patties
I like to work on side dishes and toppings while my air fryer breaded chicken breasts cook. To make the marinated cucumber and tomato salads, simply stir all of the ingredients together and let them chill. The salad includes tomato, cucumber, onion, balsamic vinegar, oregano, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
If I have time, I try to make my marinated salads a little earlier in the day. This allows more time for the flavors to meld. Throwing the salad together at the last minute is not my first preference but works in a time crunch.
The marinated salads can work with an assortment of ingredients, so don't be afraid to experiment with what you have on hand. If I had some olives, feta, bell pepper, or roasted red peppers, I would definitely add them in. (Of course, any recipe modifications you make will change the nutrition information provided with the recipe.)
When your air fried chicken patties are just about done cooking, heat the marinara sauce. You can use a stove or microwave for this.
To serve, divide the chicken patties between the plates (each person gets two small patties in this recipe). Top the patties with the warmed marinara sauce and a sprinkle of shaved Parmesan cheese. Add the cucumber tomato marinated salad on the side. Enjoy!
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). I normally give all recipes with flour the bump to level three. However, I think it is easy to create a satiating and low-calorie meal with these high-protein patties, particularly if you add some non-starchy vegetables.
The nutrition information for this recipe (per serving) includes the air fryer chicken patties, marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese, and tomato and cucumber salad. Want a level 1 (low calorie) meal instead? Simply skip the olive oil in the side salads. Easy, right?
Olive oil is considered a heart-healthy ingredient but provides a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon. Cutting out (or back on) added oils is one of the easiest ways to lower the calorie counts on your meals for weight loss. You should still be getting some fats from the whole foods in your diet, including dairy, eggs, meat, nuts, seeds, and avocado.
But what if you want a high energy (i.e., high calorie) meal instead? I would consider serving this easy air fryer chicken Parmesan over whole grain pasta. You could also add some (preferably whole grain) garlic bread on the side. Yummy!
What are some other healthy air fryer recipes?
You can cook practically anything in an air fryer, and I love creating new air fryer recipes that are healthy! Here are some of my favorite air fryer healthy recipes:
- Air Fryer Tilapia with Garlic Chive Miso Butter
- Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables (No More Mushy Frozen Broccoli!)
- Browned Butter and Sage Air Fryer Squash
- Air Fryer Turkey Burgers with Sriracha Mayo
- Air Fryer Salmon Patties with Lemon-Dill Tartar Sauce
I also love this Air Fryer Tofu Bowl with Ginger-Lime Aioli. If you've never tried tofu before or think you don't like tofu, I highly recommend this recipe! It's a tasty way to enjoy this plant-based protein.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you put raw chicken in an air fryer? Is it safe to cook chicken in an air fryer?
Yes, it is safe to cook raw chicken in an air fryer! The important thing is to make sure that your air fried chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. A food thermometer is the best tool to ensure your food has reached a safe temperature.
Is air fryer chicken considered keto?
In general, chicken (whether cooked in an air fryer or not) can be considered appropriate for the keto diet. However, since ketogenic diets are very low carb diets, chicken with grains or sugars added are not keto-compatible. This would include breaded chicken and chicken served with sugary sauces.
For this air fryer chicken patties recipe, I breaded the chicken breasts in a cornmeal and spelt flour mix. These are both very high carb foods, so this particular air fryer chicken recipe is not keto-friendly.
If you need air fryer chicken recipes for keto, I list my other air fried chicken recipes below. Those recipes are a better fit for keto diets.
Can I make gluten-free chicken patties in the air fryer?
You can easily make this a gluten free recipe. Simply substitute the two tablespoons of spelt flour in the breading for your favorite gluten free flour. I've heard good things about Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, though it is not 100% whole grains.
Why did my chicken not brown in an air fryer?
There are several reasons why your chicken breading or chicken skin did not brown in the air fryer. First up, remember that all air fryers cook a little differently. Your particular brand of air fryer may need longer cooking times than what was listed in the recipe.
Second, you may have cooked the chicken at too low of a temperature or too far from the heat source. My Kalorik air fryer oven has two rack positions. I have noticed that foods don't brown well when I use the lower rack for the entire cooking time.
Third, if you are cooking a piece of chicken with skin (i.e., not this recipe), make sure the chicken is sufficiently dry. Your chicken skin may not brown properly if it is extremely moist.
Finally, I recommend adding a bit of fat or oil when you would like to encourage your air fried foods to brown. I drizzled these homemade chicken patties with a little butter before air frying.
The butter helps the breading to stick to the chicken and encourages the breading to brown and crisp. Air fryer cooking is a fantastic way to cook food with less fat and oil than deep frying. That does not necessarily mean that you should use no fat when you air fry, especially if you want optimal results.
You May Also Enjoy These Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
If you're looking for more ways to cook chicken in an air fryer, you've come to the right place! You're going to want to check out these bad boys:
- Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma Bowls
- Air Fryer Chicken Legs with Mustard and Herbs
- Frozen Chicken Wings in Air Fryer (Buffalo Wings Recipe)
- Air Fryer BBQ Chicken (Easy Dinner Idea!)
- Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken (That's right… you can cook a whole chicken in the air fryer if you have an air fryer with a spit!)
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And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Chicken Patties | Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breasts
- 1 lb small chicken breast fillets, skinless and boneless (I used three Perdue Perfect Portions chicken breasts)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup whole grain cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons spelt flour
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- cooking oil spray of choice
For the marinated salad and chicken patty toppings:
- 1¼ lbs cucumber, chopped
- 1¼ lbs Roma tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup red onion, chopped
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup marinara sauce (choose one with no added sugar)
- 3 tablespoon shaved Parmesan cheese
- Important! If you are not using thin chicken breast fillets (approximately ⅓-lb each), you will need start by cutting your chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Now, cut each thin piece of chicken breast in half widthwise. I ended up with six pieces of chicken.
- Use kitchen shears to cut your chicken pieces into a round patty shape if you would like. (I chose to skip this step.)
- Put the egg in a small bowl and whisk it.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
- Mist an air fryer baking tray with the cooking oil spray.
- To bread the chicken breasts, first dip each one in the whisked egg. After coating it with the egg, put the chicken in the bowl with the cornmeal mixture. Make sure your chicken patties are coated on all sides with the breading.
- Place the breaded chicken patties in a single, non-touching layer on an air fryer tray. I was able to fit all of the chicken patties on a single air fryer tray.
- Drizzle the chicken patties with the melted butter.
- Air fry the chicken patties in the top rack position at 375°F for 10 minutes. Then flip the patties, return them to the top rack in the air fryer, and cook them for an additional 7 minutes at 375°F. Your chicken should have reached the safe minimum internal temperature for poultry of 165°F by the end of the cooking time.
- Let the patties rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking.
To make the marinated salad and chicken patty toppings:
- To make the marinated salad, stir the tomato, cucumber, onion, balsamic vinegar, oregano, olive oil, salt,and pepper together. Let the salad chill in the refrigerator until serving time. I like to start this salad earlier in the day (when possible) to give the flavors more time to meld.
- When your air fried chicken patties are done cooking, heat the marinara sauce. You can use a stove or microwave for this.
- To serve, divide the chicken patties between the plates (each person gets two small patties in this recipe). Top the patties with the warmed marinara sauce and a tablespoon of shaved Parmesan cheese. Add the tomato cucumber marinated salad on the side. Enjoy!
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). I normally give all recipes with flour the bump to level three. However, I think it is easy to create a satiating and low-calorie meal with these high-protein patties, particularly if you add some non-starchy vegetables. The nutrition information for this recipe (per serving) includes the air fryer chicken patties, marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese, and tomato and cucumber salad. Want a level 1 (low calorie) meal instead? Simply skip the olive oil in the side salads. Easy, right? Olive oil is considered a heart-healthy ingredient but provides a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon. Cutting out (or back on) added oils is one of the easiest ways to lower the calorie counts on your meals for weight loss. You should still be getting some fats from the whole foods in your diet, including dairy, eggs, meat, nuts, seeds, and avocado. But what if you want a high energy (i.e., high calorie) meal? I would consider serving this easy air fryer chicken Parmesan over whole grain pasta. You could also add some (preferably whole grain) garlic bread on the side. Yummy! P.S. Did you know that you can easily scale the number of servings in this recipe? Simply click on the servings number above and adjust the slider to feed however many people you need. Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe.