The most flavorful and juicy chicken breasts are made in the air fryer. This lemon garlic chicken is packed with flavor, and is such a versatile dinner idea for the family!
This is one of my Air Fryer recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Chicken is one of those super versatile and popular foods. The problem is, some chicken recipes leave you with a dried-out or flavorless dinner.
But not this recipe! The lemon garlic marinade is so delicious and flavorful, and cooking the chicken in the air fryer means you end up with a very juicy piece of chicken!
If you’re unfamiliar with air fryers, they’re sort of a portable countertop oven. They cook in a manner very similar to a convection oven, but one that doesn’t heat up your whole house, and requires less pre-heating time.
But if you don’t have an air fryer, don’t worry. I don’t like to share recipes that absolutely require a very specific kitchen appliance (since obviously not everyone has one), so I always share alternatives. I’ve included oven directions in the recipe below.
How to make lemon garlic chicken in the air fryer?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Combine marinade. Nothing fancy is needed here, just a whisk and a bowl.
- Air fry. Check the full recipe below for the exact cooking times.
- Rest. Letting the meat rest after cooking is essential for juicy chicken, as well as finishing off the cooking process through carryover cooking.
This is definitely a case where size matters. Chicken breasts come in all sizes, and will all have different cooking times. This recipe was tested using breasts that were about 8 oz in size. Larger pieces of chicken will require more cooking time, and smaller pieces of chicken will need less.
Variations of this recipe
- Chicken – this recipe was tested using chicken breasts that are about 8 oz each. Different sized chicken breasts, chicken thighs, and chicken tenders can also be used, but the cooking time will change.
- Marinate – for more flavor, leave the chicken in the marinade for up to 1-2 hours.
- Spices – I purposely kept the spices basic in this recipe, so it could be more versatile, but you can absolutely play around with the amounts of spices, and/or use additional spices. Lemon pepper and dried oregano are two of my favorites to add.
- Oils – instead of avocado oil, you can use vegetable or olive oil.
- Garlic – I’m a firm believer that you should measure the amount of garlic with your heart, so please feel free to add more garlic if you’d like.
Dried-out chicken is certainly disappointing! I have a few tips to avoid this. First, make sure you use the times listed in the recipe as a guideline. Different sized pieces of chicken will need different cooking times. Secondly, use a meat thermometer. I know it’s a hassle, but it’s a fool-proof way to know when the chicken is done cooking (and not overcooked).
Absolutely! I know not everyone has an air fryer, so I’ve included oven directions in the “chef tips” section of the recipe card down below.
Making air fryer chicken ahead of time
I find that chicken is best when served fresh out of the air fryer. However, you can make this recipe ahead of time if you’d like.
Just know that reheating chicken breasts can lead to them being a bit dry, so for best results, I prefer to make the chicken right before serving.
Leftover chicken should be refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoyed within 5 days.
I love the larger, rectangular basket, and the basket is nonstick, removable, and dishwasher safe!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil olive or vegetable oil can be substituted
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- zest from one lemon
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp smoked paprika regular paprika can be substituted
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic finely minced or grated
- 2 (8 oz each) boneless skinless chicken breasts trimmed of any excess fat
- lemon zest
- lemon wedges to add a squirt of lemon juice
- minced fresh parsley
Make marinade and prepare
- Preheat air fryer to 370°F.
- In a mixing bowl, add the avocado oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, dried parsley, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Whisk to combine well.
- Add chicken to bowl, and turn to coat. Let chicken sit in the marinade while the air fryer finishes preheating.
- Lightly spray the basket of the air fryer with a nonstick cooking spray (we love a non-aerosol avocado oil spray), then add chicken, leaving some room in between each breast to allow the air to circulate.
- Cook for 10 minutes, then open the basket and turn the chicken over. Continue air frying another 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (an internal thermometer is super helpful, and relatively cheap).
- Remove the chicken from the air fryer and place on a plate, tent some aluminum foil over the top, and let rest for 5-7 minutes. This will allow the chicken to rest (so the juices can redistribute), and the chicken will actually continue to cook a bit (this is called carryover cooking), and rise several more degrees to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
Garnish and serve
- Serve chicken garnished with some fresh parsley, and a wedge of lemon, which can be squeezed over the chicken for an added pop of flavor.
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- This recipe makes 2 chicken breasts. If you’d like to make more than that, you’ll either need a larger air fryer that can accommodate that, or you’ll have to cook the chicken in batches.
- Preheat oven to 425°F, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Marinate as directed, then transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.
- Let chicken rest as directed, then garnish and serve.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.