This air fryer blackened chicken recipe will help you prepare a nutritious, delectable meal in about 30 minutes. It features flavorful chicken and a fresh salad.
What Is Blackened Chicken?
Blackening is a cooking technique that locks in some unique flavor. The meat is slathered with seasonings and then grilled or broiled until the seasonings on the outside turn black. The seasoning mix varies from one place to another, but it typically includes Cajun seasoning, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Thanks to all that seasoning, the meat gains a strong taste and a serious kick of heat. Even non-spicy eaters can give it a try, as the heat won’t linger, and you can adjust its level to your liking.
Is Blackened Chicken Healthy?
A long-running rumor insists that eating burnt foods increases the risk of cancer, which still lacks evidence till this day.
Until then, a more realistic approach to healthy eating is to keep a close eye on your calorie, saturated fat, and sodium intakes. They might exceed the daily recommended amounts if you don’t control your portion sizes and seasonings.
At Healthy Recipes 101, we use tools to precisely monitor those nutritional values. As a result, each portion of our air fryer blackened chicken recipe contains:
- 464 calories
- 7 g saturated fat
- 540 mg sodium
Ingredients for Air Fryer Blackened Chicken
This dish welcomes all types of meat cuts, even dry ones like chicken breasts. We particularly enjoy the skin, which becomes delectably chewy and flavorful when cooked.
The seasoning blend is what makes blackened chicken what it is. On top of the standard spices, we also added some herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, etc. All of them are part of the Italian seasoning mix, so it’s a fairly simple addition.
Since we love the aroma of thyme and oregano so much, we decided to add a little extra. Feel free to skip these if you don’t have them on hand.
Finally, we cook the chicken with some lemon slices. They impart a fresh, citrusy aroma that really makes the meat tastier.
Blackened meat goes great with a fresh salad on the side. Try tossing your favorite one with our basic mayo-yogurt dressing (formula in the recipe card section).
We’re using some lettuce, cucumber, and radish. Simple, fresh, and versatile.
How to Make Blackened Chicken in an Air Fryer
The dish is pretty straightforward: season the meat, cook, and make some salad in the meantime.
Before you season, we recommend that you butterfly the meat, so the seasoning has more surface area to cling onto.
Here’s a summary:
Cut the chicken open.
Season and marinade.
Air-fry with lemon slices.
Make the salad dressing; keep it in the fridge.
Toss the salad to serve with the chicken.Jump to Recipe
Can I Use Frozen Chicken to Make Blackened Chicken?
Frozen chicken works fine, but it needs to be thawed ahead of time. Only meat that’s been thinly sliced should be cooked from a frozen state. Thicker cuts may leave raw, cold pockets inside even after the outside is cooked or burnt.
The easiest way to thaw meat is to move it from the freezer to the fridge the night before. If you forgot this important step, partially thaw the meat in just 30 minutes using the methods in this guide.
Our favorite trick from the guide is to wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap, then submerge it in a bowl of constantly changing water. We usually turn on the tap and let it run slowly into the bowl for about 30 minutes until the cold meat gradually thaws.
It’s also important to cook the meat as soon as it’s pliable. If it comes to room temperature, harmful bacteria in the meat multiply and begin to spoil it.
How to Store and Reheat Blackened Chicken
As long as the blackened chicken is properly covered, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. When we have enough fridge space, we prefer reusable airtight containers. Otherwise, Ziploc or biodegradable bags work just as well.
To reheat the meat, air fry it for 7 minutes at 300°F (or for 20 minutes if it is frozen). Halfway through, you can slice it open to speed up the reheating process.
What to Serve With Air Fryer Blackened Chicken
Seeing that this meat lacks some satisfying carbohydrates and a drink, we thought these dishes were the most suitable pairing from our archive:
Air Fryer Blackened Chicken Recipe
- 24 oz boneless chicken breast
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp cayenne powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp traditional Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 2 oz lemon thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
- 4 oz lettuce
- 4 oz cucumber halved then sliced
- 0.5 oz radish thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- Slice each breast (20 oz in total) open, but not all the way through, to create little pockets.
- Season the chicken with 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, 1 tbsp cayenne, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tbsp onion powder, 1/2 tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, and 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning. Season both the outside and inside of the chicken.
- Arrange the seasoned chicken in the air fryer along with 2 oz of lemon slices. Cook at 400°F for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the salad dressing by combining 2 tbsp Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Place in the fridge.
- To serve, toss the vegetables (4 oz lettuce, 4 oz cucumber, and 0.5 oz radish) with the dressing. Pull the chicken out, plate it, sprinkle with parsley, and enjoy with the side salad.