Easy Air Fryer BBQ chicken breast recipe that you can make in just 20 minutes without any complicated marinades. You can serve it as is, near a salad, fresh or baked vegetables, to use the meat in a sandwich, wrap, or burger. This recipe is one of the easiest ways to cook a juicy and delicious chicken breast in barbecue sauce.
You will love this recipe because you don’t need to make complicated marinades to serve a delicious dish on the table.
All you will need are olive oil, salt, and pepper for the marinade. Yes, that’s right. Nothing more.
You will get surprised by how tasty and juicy the chicken breast actually will become in the end.
This is a very easy recipe, so everyone can make it even if you don’t have any skills in the kitchen.
All you will need is to pick a good quality chicken breast, to make a simple seasoning, and to cook the meat in your air fryer.
Don’t have an air fryer? You can follow the same steps and make this recipe in the oven or even on the grill.
Best Recipes to Try in The Air Fryer:
By using the air fryer, it will help you to obtain some of the juiciest chicken breasts you ever tried.
After you will season the meat, you will need to cook it on one side, then you will brush the meat with your favorite BBQ sauce, and cook for another few minutes.
I used a store-bought BBQ sauce to save some time, but if you want, feel free to make and use your own homemade barbecue sauce.
Let’s get started!
🥰 Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- You will get a juicy chicken breast at the end.
- It is an easy and quick recipe. You will have the chicken ready in only 20 minutes. It is a great option when you are looking for some quick dinner ideas.
- Usually, the chicken breast has a neutral taste, but not in this recipe.
- You need minimum ingredients. Only salt, pepper and oil for the seasoning.
- You can pair this chicken breast with almost everything.
🏆 Tips for Success? How to Make It Better?
- Make sure that the chicken breasts are all similar in sizes.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. If you need to prepare the chicken breast for a larger amount of people, consider making them in a few batches to get the best results.
- You can marinate the meat ahead, if you want to get a more intense taste.
🤔 How to Scale the Recipe up and Down?
This is a simple recipe, so increase or decrease the amount of the ingredients proportionally.
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As I said, in case if you will need to cook for more people, so consider cooking the chicken breasts in a few batches to not overcrowd the air fryer basket.
🥘 Ingredients Needed for This Recipe?
- Chicken Breast. Pick boneless and skinless chicken breasts that are similar in size. They will cook faster and more evenly.
- BBQ Sauce. Just pick your favorite one. I went with a store-bought to cut some corners, but if you have a recipe for the BBQ sauce that you prefer to use, I highly encourage you to do that.
- Seasoning. I used only salt and pepper. Also, you can add paprika, and garlic powder and if you prefer spicy chicken, add a few red pepper flakes.
- Oil. I used olive oil, but feel free to substitute it with your favorite one.
You can follow the same recipe for other parts of the chicken like chicken thighs, drumsticks, or chicken tenders.
How to Cook BBQ Chicken in the Oven?
Season the chicken breast with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cook it in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Remove the baking tray from the oven and brush both sides of the chicken breast with barbecue sauce. Return the meat to the oven and cook it for another 5-8 minutes.
With a meat thermometer, check the inner temperature of the meat.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
You can serve it in various ways. It goes perfectly with rice, near some cooked or raw vegetables, or it can also be used in a burger or a sandwich.
A good serving suggestion will be to serve it near some asparagus cooked in air fryer.
Cooking the BBQ chicken breast may be a perfect idea for a dinner or for lunch. It is an easy recipe that you can cook in just under 20 minutes.
Also, I like this barbecue chicken breast because it is very easy to adjust the taste and making it more personal by adding simple additional ingredients such as pineapple, bacon, cheese, or if you prefer a juicier and crispier version – pick a chicken breast with skin.
Here are some more ideas what you can serve the chicken with:
Air Fryer Crispy Eggplant Fries
Air Fryer Parmesan Zucchini Chips with Garlic
Air Fryer Frozen Green Beans
What Temperature to Cook BBQ Chicken Breast?
If you want to get tender and juicy chicken meat, cook it at 400°F (200°C) until the internal temperature will be 160°F (71°C). This will take you 10-12 minutes.
After that, leave the chicken to rest for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, the internal temperature will increase to 165°F (74°C) and it will be ready to be served.
Season the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and oil. Mix the meat well to make sure you seasoned it properly on all sides.
Don’t omit the oil because it will make a difference.
The chicken will get juicier and will have a more intense flavor.
If you have time, leave the meat to marinate for a few hours to get a more intense taste.
After that, preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and put the meat in the air fryer basket. Cook it for about 6 minutes.
After 6 minutes, take the basket out of the air fryer and grease the chicken breast on both sides with BBQ sauce. Cook the chicken for another 6 minutes.
Quick Note: Please take into consideration that the timing is for the Cosori Air Fryer 5.8QT. If you have another model, the cooking time may differ. Especially if you have a smaller air fryer, the time will be shorter. Because of that, I highly encourage you in the last minutes of cooking, to be with an eye on the meat and adjust the cooking time if is needed.
With a meat thermometer, check the inner temperature of the meat. You need to ensure that it has reached 160°F (71°C).
After the chicken has enough cooked, remove the meat from the air fryer and let it rest for about 5 minutes. In these 5 minutes, the internal temperature of the meat will rise to the safe 165°F (74°C).
In the end, you will get a juicy and delicious chicken breast.
I served it near a fresh salad of bell peppers and arugula.
♻️ Make Ahead, Storage and Heating:
If you have time, you can marinate it the day before.
After the chicken breast has cooled down, you can cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Yes. Wait until it will cool down and keep it in an airtight container and keep for up to 3 months.
You can heat it into the microwave for 1-2 minutes or into the preheated air fryer for 3-4 minutes.
🤔Answering Your Questions:
The only ingredient you need to adjust is the BBQ sauce. Pick one that is gluten-free.
Use chicken breasts that are close to room temperature. Follow the steps from the recipe and use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. It should be 160°F (71°C).
Yes. Flipping over the chicken breast is key if you want a juicy and evenly cooking chicken breast.
I don’t recommend putting the meat directly from the freezer into the air fryer. If you do not have time to defrost it properly in the refrigerator, it is better to let it defrost at room temperature or to use the defrost mode in the microwave oven.
In order for the meat to remain juicy, it is necessary that its inner temperature be as close as possible to the room temperature. That is why it is recommended to take out the meat from the fridge a few hours earlier.
If the inner temperature of the meat differs too much from the temperature at which we will cook meat, the outer layer of meat will be overcooked and the inner layer will remain raw.
As a result, the chicken breast will dry.
No. Only if you want a more intense taste, especially if you want to infuse a specific flavor into the meat, you can marinate the meat and leave it for a few hours.
As we used simple seasoning for this recipe, in our case is not necessary.
The meat already will be juicy because of the high flow of the hot air in the air fryer, the meat will cook quickly without losing the juices.
📋 Recipe Card:
Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Breast
- 10 oz Chicken Breast Boneless and skinless (2 pieces)
- 2 tablespoon BBQ Sauce
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ⅛ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- Put the chicken breast in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and olive ol.10 oz Chicken Breast, ¼ Teaspoon Salt, ⅛ Teaspoon Black Pepper, 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and cook the meat for 6 minutes.
- Take off the air fryer basket. Grease the meat with the barbecue sauce on both sides.2 tablespoon BBQ Sauce
- Cook the chicken breasts for another 6 minutes.
- At the end, take the meat out of the air fryer and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑
- Pick chicken breasts that are similar in size.
- Let the meat rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
- The cooking time is indicated for the preheated air fryer.
PERFECT! My family loves it! It was soooo juicy!
Could you use frozen chicken breasts?
Hi Erin, short answer: Yes you can 🙂
You have two options here: the first one if you have some time and want better results, take the chicken breast out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then prepare it according to the instructions, but of course, it will take longer.
If you’re looking for a quicker version, then you can use the defrosting mode on your air fryer or microwave and then follow the recipe instructions.
Hello how long do you cook the chicken before you flip it. and do you do that after you put bbq sauce on or before? And can you add cheese to it at the end?
Thank you for your questions!
You can rotate the chicken breast after you will grease it with BBQ sauce. Regarding your second question about adding cheese, you can sprinkle some shredded cheese two minutes before the end of the cooking time. Two minutes should be more than enough for the cheese to melt.
If you tried this recipe, please let me know how it comes.
My husband is a chef, so I’m so careful cooking new things, especially if it doesn’t include a stove top gas burner, oven or grill. So when I put this in front of him and within seconds he says “this is my new favorite thing you make…be prepared to make it more often” I knew I was golden for sure. The only little thing I did differently was I cubed the chicken and cooked it like that instead of the whole piece. But, the moisture was amazing!! And the flavor was perfect. Thank you so much for this great recipe 😊😊😊