Crispy, delicious popcorn chicken that’s prepared in your Air Fryer! It’s so easy to make Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken and a family favorite. Who can resist bite sized piece of chicken with a crispy breading on the outside and tender, juicy chicken on the inside?
Break out all the dipping sauces because I have the best popcorn chicken recipe for you today!
Crispy-coated and juicy popcorn chicken will be a hit with your family when you make it. And the best news? You can make it in your air fryer so it’s lighter and healthier.
Why This Recipe Works
- This is a homemade popcorn chicken recipe – not a post about cooking the frozen store-bought kind. I’m showing you how to make it completely from scratch, and I promise it’s easy!
- You don’t have to wait for the chicken to marinate. It soaks in the buttermilk while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- No double-breading! My breading method is easy, and you still get that crispy-coated that’s so delicious.
- This is a quick recipe, and you can have everything ready to serve in about 20 minutes.
If you don’t have an air fryer you might like to try my crispy oven tenders – they’re delicious, too!
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cut them into 1″ pieces, so they are bite-sized.
- Flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper – these are the ingredients for the seasoned flour mix that coats the chicken to give it a delicious breading.
- Cornstarch – this is used as part of the coating and makes the coating extra crispy, so don’t skip it!
- Buttermilk – you can buy it or make your own buttermilk!
- Large eggs
- Olive oil – you only need a small amount to coat the air fryer basket.
Prepare the Breading
Quick Buttermilk Marinade: Place the chicken in a large bowl with the buttermilk. Toss to coat it evenly and then leave it while you prepare your breading bowls.
Breading bowls: Set up a medium-sized bowl and two small bowls for each breading part.
- Combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl.
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and pour the cornstarch in a seperate small bowl.
Place the bowls in this order on the counter to make it easy to coat the chicken pieces: cornstarch, eggs, seasoned flour.
How to Coat the Chicken
Remove the pieces from the buttermilk and shake off the excess.
Coat each piece in the cornstarch and then dip them in the egg. Coat them in the flour mixture and then they are ready to go in the air fryer.
How to Cook It in the Air Fryer
Coat the air fryer basket with olive oil and set the temperature to 390°F.
Place the coated pieces in the basket and cook them for five to ten minutes, shaking the basket halfway through the cooking time.
They are done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Don’t overcrowd the basket – make sure there is space so the air can circulate. This will ensure they cook evenly.
Depending on the size of your air fryer you may need to cook them in batches. If you do multiple batches you can keep the cooked ones warm in a low oven.
Don’t forget a dipping sauce! BBQ sauce, honey mustard, sweet chili sauce, ranch, and ketchup are a few that we love to have with our popcorn chicken.
Make It a Complete Meal
Want to make a complete meal? Add these sides for a delicious dinner:
- Add a healthy veggie on the side like asparagus, broccoli, or carrots.
- Some homemade breadsticks are always good, too!
- Add a salad on the side like potato salad or seven-layer salad.
- Don’t forget a sweet treat for dessert, like my chocolate caramel brownies or some oatmeal cookies!
I know you are going to LOVE this easy recipe! It’s easiest enough for a weeknight so be sure to add the ingredients to your shopping list so you can make it this week!
Want more air fryer chicken recipes?
I love coming up with new ways to use my air fryer – you have to try these recipes, too!
- You can make the best Fried Chicken in your air fryer that is just as crispy and juicy as deep-frying but so much healthier with less oil.
- Make Air Fryer Wings for dinner or for a party – they are so good!
- My Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan is just as good as any restaurant but so much better without all the fat and oil.
- Make juicy, flavorful Air Fryer Drumsticks for a really easy weeknight dinner.
- Boneless, Skinless Air Fryer Chicken Breasts are seasoned with a delicious spice rub and easy to make!
Love this recipe? Be sure to comment and leave a five star rating below!
If you make this recipe please tag me on Instagram @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats. That way I can see your amazing dish!!!
Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ c. flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ c. buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- Olive oil
- In a medium size bowl combine chicken pieces and buttermilk. Toss to combine and set aside to marinade.
- In a medium sized bowl combine garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and flour.
- In a small bowl whisk eggs.
- In another small bowl add the cornstarch.
- Remove the chicken from buttermilk and shake off the excess milk.
- Then roll chicken in cornstarch.
- Dip chicken into egg wash and finally add chicken to flour mixture and coat well, shake off excess.
- Lightly coat air fryer basket with olive oil. Set Air Fryer to 390 degrees F and add chicken into basket.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes, depending on the air fryer, Shake the basket halfway through cooking time. The chicken will be done when it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.