Popular Healthy Chicken Parmesan in the Air Fryer

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chicken parmesan in the air fryer

Can I Use Passata Instead Of Marinara Sauce?

Passata can be an alternative to marinara sauce in your air fryer chicken parmesan recipe.

It’s a popular choice for sauces and dishes that require a rich tomato base.

Substituting passata for marinara sauce can add a slightly different flavour and texture to your dish but you will still have the tomato base.

When using passata in your air fryer chicken parmesan recipe, consider adding a bit of extra seasoning.

You can add a touch of dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the passata to add some Italian flavour.

Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning to your desired taste.

How Do I Make Fresh Tomato Sauce?

A tomato sauce is essential in any chicken parmesan dish.

Creating a rich and tasty sauce is easier than you might think.

Here’s a simple yet delicious recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional, to balance acidity)
  1. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  2. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, and sugar (if using).
  3. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to low and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can blend it until smooth.
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Ingredients

This will make 8 Chicken Parmesans.

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 60g seasoned bread crumbs (traditional/panko)
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 3 eggs
  • 120g plain flour
  • 480ml marinara sauce/fresh tomato sauce or passata with added seasonings
  • 110g shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Olive oil spray

How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan

Preparing the Chicken

Start by patting the chicken dry with kitchen paper, the dryer the better as this will help the chicken to crisp.

Now butterfly the chicken breasts.

Hold a knife in your chosen cutting hand. Use your other hand to flatten the chicken. Keep the knife parallel to the cutting board and carefully cut the chicken breast in half horizontally.

Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Coating the Chicken

Create a breading station with three shallow bowls: one with flour, another with beaten eggs, and the third with a mixture of bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, and Italian seasoning.

Dip each chicken piece into the flour, then the egg, and finally coat generously with the breadcrumb mixture.

How To Air Fry Chicken Parmesan

Preheat your air fryer to 200C/400F for 5 minutes.

Once preheated line the air fryer basket.

Place the breaded chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd. Lightly spray with olive oil.

Cook the chicken in batches if necessary, ensuring each piece has ample space for proper crisping.

How Long Do You Air Fry Chicken Parmesan

Air fry at 200C/400F for 5 minutes then turn the chicken and air fry for a further 5 minutes.

Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 75C /165F.

After the chicken turns a golden-brown colour, carefully spoon the sauce over each piece.

Top generously with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Continue air frying for a further 5 minutes until the cheese melts and develops a gooey texture.

Remove from the air fryer and let it rest briefly before serving.

Healthier Twist: Using Whole Wheat or Gluten-Free Ingredients

Why not opt for whole wheat breadcrumbs or gluten-free alternatives?

These choices provide a healthy variation while maintaining both taste and texture.

Tips for Perfect Chicken Parmesan Every Time

  • Opt for high-quality chicken breasts, preferably organic or free-range.
  • To make sure your chicken parmesan is evenly cooked, butterfly the chicken breasts to an even thickness before cooking.
  • Don’t skimp on seasoning. It will add flavour to the final result.
  • Make sure your air fryer is preheated before cooking. Set the temperature to the temperature of the recipe for 5 minutes.
  • Place the chicken pieces in the air fryer with enough space around them for proper air circulation.
  • Keep an eye on the cooking time, flipping the chicken halfway through for even browning.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).
  • Allow the Chicken Parmesan to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the flavours settle.
  • Try different sauces like pesto or a homemade mushroom sauce for creative variations.
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Serving Suggestions

Air Fryer Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Serve your Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan with garlicky roasted potatoes.

Toss bite-sized potato chunks with olive oil, minced garlic, and your favourite herbs before air frying them to crispy perfection.

Air fry at 200C/400F for 20-25 minutes turning often.

garlic potatoes

Another option is to serve your Chicken Parmesan with al dente spaghetti or courgette noodles for a complete Italian feast.

Crispy Italian Salad

Italian salad

Balance the richness of your main dish with a refreshing Italian salad.

Combine crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, onion and olives.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a light yet satisfying side dish.

Perfect Air Frying Every Time: The Cheat Sheet You Need

The Beginner’s Cheat Sheet is your secret weapon for mastering air frying, get the correct timings and temperatures for all foods. 

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FAQs

Yes, you can use frozen chicken, but ensure it’s properly thawed before breading. Place the chicken breasts in the refrigerator the night before to defrost.

You can experiment with pesto, alfredo sauce, or even a homemade mushroom sauce.

Make sure to pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper before breading and avoid overcrowding the air fryer.

While the dish is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the breaded chicken in advance and air fry it just before serving for the ultimate crispiness.

Yes but choose a high-quality marinara sauce with rich flavours.

While mozzarella is the traditional choice, feel free to experiment with other melting cheeses such as cheddar.

Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Cool the chicken parmesan then store it in an airtight container. Be sure to cool it no longer than 2hrs as after this time bacteria can start to form.

Preheat your air fryer to 175C / 350F for 5 minutes.

Air fry the chicken Parmesan in the air fryer for about 6-8 minutes or until the chicken has heated thoroughly.

Check with a meat thermometer that the temperature has reached 74C/165F.

If covered in sauce and cheese and it’s starting to burn, place a piece of foil over the top of the chicken.

Although chicken parmesan is best when eaten fresh, you can freeze it.

I would not dress the chicken with the sauce but freeze the sauce separately.

It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Start by preheating your air fryer to 175C /350F.

Remove the frozen cooked chicken parmesan from the freezer and unwrap it. No need to defrost.

Place the frozen cooked chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket and air fry for 10-15 minutes. Turn halfway through cooking time.

When cooked pour over the sauce, add the mozzarella and place back into the air fryer for a few minutes until the cheese has melted.

To ensure that the chicken is thoroughly reheated, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach at least 74C/165F.

TIP: If your chicken parmesan has a sauce and cheese covering, place a piece of foil over the top for half of the cooking time to prevent it from burning.

 

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