This air fryer chicken schnitzel is a quick and delicious dinner idea! With juicy, perfectly cooked chicken breast and a flavourful, golden and crispy crumb, this recipe will be a go to when you’re looking for a healthier option but still want that family favourite, classic schnitty for dinner!
Chicken schnitzel is basically a food group in my house. It’s the perfect delicious, versatile food that I will literally eat in some iteration for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could!
While it’s one of those foods that are often easiest store bought, I have found an easy way to make this super crunchy and full of flavour homemade chicken schnitzel with the best results using my air fryer and in much less time (and mess) than it would usually take pan frying or oven-baking!
The air fryer helps ensure all the crumbs go golden and crunchy with no soggy bits, and in less than 15 minutes cook time you have a perfectly cooked, tender, juicy chicken breast. Seriously, the way the air fryer can cook chicken so that it’s not dry is one of my favourite things!
There really is no reason why you shouldn’t be making this pub classic at home!
To make this chicken schnitzel in the air fryer, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients, most you may already have on hand.
Note all ingredients and their quantities are laid out in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Chicken breasts – breast fillets work best for this recipe. Because they are usually so large, we slice them down the middle to create the perfect size and thickness for your schnitzel.
- Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour this will coat the chicken and help ensure the crumbs stick.
- Eggs – eggs are beaten and then the flour coated chicken is dunked in creating a sticky coating for the crumbs to adhere to.
- Panko breadcrumbs – I like to use panko breadcrumbs for a super light and crispy coating for this schnitzel but any dried breadcrumbs you have will work. I recommend using dried not fresh for this recipe to ensure the best crispy result.
- Spices – we’re using paprika and garlic powder in the flour mixture and more garlic powder and parsley in the crumbs to make sure this schnitzel is full of flavour and not bland.
- Seasoning – plenty of cracked black pepper and salt is used to season both the flour and the crumbs to enhance the flavours and make this schnitzel super delicious.
To make this air fryer chicken schnitzel, you’ll of course need an air fryer. I have the Philips Essential L Compact which is a 4.1L capacity and while I do like it because it doesn’t take up a lot of bench space and is usually fine for my 2 person household, in cases like making these chicken schnitzels I did have to cook them in batches as I could only fit one at a time in the basket.
So basically the total time it’s going to take you to make this recipe is going to depend on the size of your air fryer and how many you can fit in at a time. I do think it’s worthwhile using the air fryer though as you will use much less oil than in a pan, and the end result is more crispy and the chicken remains moist more so than cooking in an oven. Not to mention the bake time is much less in the air fryer.
So with that said, once you have your air fryer the only other equipment you’ll need is a sharp kitchen knife and a few wide shallow bowls to do your crumbing. If you have a meat tenderiser mallet that may come in handy but it’s not necessary.
Start by preparing your chicken breasts. Place the breast fillet on your chopping board and place your hand over the top of it to keep it from moving. With your knife, starting at the thickest end of the fillet, gently slice down the middle horizontally towards the other end. You want to do this step carefully so that your end result is a chicken breast that has been evenly cut into two somewhat even slices. Repeat this for the second fillet so that you have 4 thinner breast fillets in total.
To make the schnitzels more even in thickness, we want to flatten them out. This is where your meat mallet may come in handy, but what I usually do is cover a saucepan or frying pan with plastic wrap and use that to gently pound the chicken fillets until they are even in thickness the whole way down the fillet.
Next it’s time to prepare your assembly line for the crumbing. You’ll need three shallow bowls for this step, one for the flour, one for the eggs and one for the crumbs.
Season your flour with the paprika and garlic powder, along with some salt and pepper and gently mix to combine. Do the same with the panko breadcrumbs with the parsley, garlic powder and again more salt and pepper. Whisk together the eggs well.
Start by dipping your fillet into the flour mixture, making sure it’s well coated. Next, add it to the egg wash, again making sure all areas have been coated as any areas still showing flour won’t have crumbs stick to them. Let the excess egg drip off before adding the fillet to the breadcrumbs and turning to coat, making sure the full surface area is covered in crumbs.
Have your air fryer already pre heated to 200°C and then gently spray the basket with a little cooking oil. Place the crumbed fillet into the basket and again spray a little cooking oil over the top. This will ensure that the crumbs go perfectly golden brown. You also want to make sure you’re adding your chicken in a single layer so that there is enough space for the air to circulate which is what gets us that super crispy result.
Cook for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken, turning once about ¾ of the way through to ensure both sides get golden and crispy.
Once cooked, serve straight away. If you have left overs or don’t need all 4 schnitzels, you can let them cool and place the cooked schnitzels in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat, you guessed it, use the air fryer again until they are hot and crispy. You’ll never know they were reheated!
What to serve with chicken schnitzel
This is a great recipe as it is delicious and versatile in how you want to serve it. You have so many options depending on what sort of dinner you feel like, from healthy to indulgent comfort food! Here are just a few ideas to get you started!
- With your favourite sauce! I’ve served mine here with my homemade ranch dressing and lemon wedges but gravy is also a classic option.
- Next to your favourite grilled, steamed or roasted vegetables
- With a side of salad (try this roasted broccoli one!)
- On a burger bun with your favourite toppings
- Turn it into a classic parmigiana with some pizza sauce, ham and cheese on top!
- Sliced up served with a creamy dairy free mac and cheese (my favourite when craving comfort food!)
Yes, you can prepare the schnitzels up to the crumbing stage and then freeze them in an airtight container. When ready to cook, air fry them directly from the freezer, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
Yes, preheating the air fryer to 200°C is essential to achieve the desired crispiness and even cooking of the schnitzels.
Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by substituting gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs.
More easy dinners:
Air Fryer Chicken Schnitzel
- 2 large chicken breasts
- ⅓ cup plain flour
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your air fryer to 200°C (392°F).
- Prepare the chicken by placing each chicken breast on a cutting board and slice them in half horizontally, creating four thinner breast fillets.
- To ensure even thickness, use a meat mallet or cover a saucepan with plastic wrap and gently pound the chicken fillets until they are even in thickness.
- Set up your crumbing station using three shallow bowls. In the first, combine flour with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. In the second, whisk the eggs. In the third, combine panko breadcrumbs with chopped parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Dip each fillet first into the flour mixture, making sure it’s well coated. Next, dip it into the egg wash, ensuring full coverage. Finally, coat the fillet with the breadcrumb mixture, making sure all sides are covered.
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil. Place the crumbed fillets in the basket, then spray a little cooking oil over the top to help the crumbs brown. Cook for 12-15 minutes, turning once about ¾ of the way through to ensure both sides become golden and crispy. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to repeat this process until all four schnitzels are cooked.
- Once cooked, serve the chicken schnitzels immediately.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.