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Air Fryer Panko Chicken

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Here’s another way to enjoy crispy fried chicken in the air fryer, Air Fried Panko Chicken! Everyone loves to see it on the table for dinner, it’s a family favorite for busy weeknight dinners!

Crispy panko fried chicken in the air fryer.

The flavorful panko bread crumb coating on the chicken cooks up crispy, brown, and perfect in the air fryer while the inside of the chicken is nice and juicy. You can enjoy this chicken on its own, or with your favorite dipping sauce, or even add it to your favorite dinner salad for an easy meal!

Crispy panko chicken made in the air fryer on a plate with hrebs and tomatoes.

Why make Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer?

Making fried chicken in the air fryer uses LESS oil than any other kind of fried chicken that I’ve made. When using the air fryer you only need a small percentage of the oil you normally use to get that crunchy coating!

You will either roll the chicken in a little bit of oil and then spray the chicken with oil before air frying. That’s the premise behind this panko chicken recipe.

If you suddenly realize you don’t have an air fryer, here’s a Crispy Chicken Cutlet Recipe for a pan-fried option!

Crispy coating on panko chicken.

OR in some recipes, you use a flour mixture along with an egg wash to make the crispy coating. Both versions are delicious, easy to make, and cook up quickly in the air fryer. That’s how this Air Fryer Fried Chicken is made.

Check out my Other Fried Chicken Recipes

Old Fashioned Fried Chicken–Want a recipe for classic buttermilk fried chicken? This is it!

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders-Love chicken strips?? Try this recipe!!

Low Carb Fried Chicken-This low-carb fried chicken is made with almond meal for a carb-free fried chicken!

Air Fryer Fried Chicken-This recipe makes classic fried chicken in the air fryer!

Ingredients for crispy panko chicken in the air fryer.

Ingredients for Crispy Air Fryer Chicken

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs or you can use chicken tenderloins for chicken strips as well, or a combination of chicken pieces works too!
  • Panko Bread Crumbs not regular breadcrumbs or seasoned breadcrumbs
  • garlic powder or garlic granules
  • onion powder
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • Italian spices (herb blend with oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil)
  • *optional* cayenne pepper
  • light flavored oil, either vegetable OR light olive oil or Avocado oil
Plate with crispy chicken and fresh herbs.

What Else do I need to make Panko Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer

  • an air fryer, with a basket I use and love the Cosori 5.8 MAX XL Air Fryer-check the recipe card for a shot of what this air fryer looks like
  • tongs
  • instant read digital thermometer-I recommend using The BEST Digital Thermometer on the market the Thermapen!
  • shallow bowl for dredging
  • spray bottle with your favorite oil to use in the air fryer
A perfect bite of panko fried chicken.

Do I need an Instant Read Digitial Thermometer?

In my experience, Instant Read Digital Thermometers are better suited for use in the air fryer. They show the internal temperature quickly and allow you to resume cooking without losing all your heat.

Traditional thermometers have to be inserted in the meat and then you wait for it to come up to the temperature. While you’re waiting you’re losing valuable heat.

And we all know one of the reasons we use air fryers is that they use less electricity and cook food quickly. So opening the air fryer basket for extended periods of time is not a great idea.

Instant Read Digital thermometers such as the Thermapen Digital Thermometer allow you to quickly check the temps and shut the basket to keep the heat in. You can find a link to one in the recipe card below, but they can be found just about anywhere.

Crispy panko fried chicken in the air fryer basket.

Our Favorite Dipping Sauces

To Store Leftovers

Fried Chicken should be cooled completely before being stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. The crispy coating will lose its crunch but that’s to be expected.

Yield: 4 servings

Panko Air Fryer Chicken

Crispy panko chicken made in the air fryer on a plate with hrebs and tomatoes.

This crispy crunchy fried chicken is coated with panko breadcrumbs to make the best fried chicken!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken pieces
  • 2 TBSP light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp italian herb blend
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp paprika (not smoked paprika)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne-optional


  1. preheat the air fryer on 400° for 5 minutes
  2. in a shallow bowl toss the chicken pieces with the oil
  3. combine the panko breadcrumbs with the herbs and spices together in a bowl, cayenne is optional
  4. take on a piece of chicken out of the oil and shake off extra oil
  5. roll each piece of chicken in the breadcrumb mixture
  6. place on a plate until ready to air fry
  7. when the air fryer is preheated lay the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket
  8. air fry on 380° for 5 minutes
  9. gently turn the chicken with tongs and air fry another 4-5 minutes and then check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer
  10. the chicken should reach 165° for the chicken to be fully cooked
  11. if it's not 165° continue air frying for 1-2 minutes until it does reach 165° F on the thermometer
  12. serve with desired dipping sauces

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 387Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 126mgSodium 658mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 43g

This nutrition information was calculated using a computer program, results may vary.

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laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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