Air Fryer Chicken Katsu

Make this Air Fryer Chicken Katsu for a delicious dinner that everyone will love. These chicken cutlets turn out so crispy in the air fryer with very little oil. No air fryer? No worries. We’ve also included oven instructions just in case you don’t have an air fryer handy.

chicken katsu sliced over rice

Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Chicken Katsu

We’re so excited to share this Air Fryer Chicken Katsu recipe with you, and we have lots of helpful tips to make this chicken look and taste it’s best.

However, if you’re ready to dive right into making this recipe, scroll down to the recipe card or click the “jump to recipe” button above the first photo.

  • Less Oil: Using an air fryer means that you can use way less oil than frying. Just a few sprays of olive or avocado oil on top before placing in the air fryer.
  • Easy To Make: As with most air fryer recipes, this chicken is really easy to make. Just a few minutes in your air fryer is all you need.
  • Crispy and Juicy: These chicken cutlets turn out mega crispy and super juicy in an air fryer.
  • Adaptable: Use these air fryer chicken cutlets in many different recipes, salads or wraps.

How To Make

We’ll go over the basic steps here but scroll to the recipe card at the end of the post for complete instructions.

  1. Start by breading the chicken cutlets first in flour, then egg beaten with a touch of milk or cream and then finally the panko bread crumbs. Tip: Try using whole wheat panko like we did here for a little more flavor than regular bread crumbs.
  2. Place the breaded chicken cutlets in your air fryer. Spray with oil and cook at 400 degrees for 4-5 minutes and then spray with oil and flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes. The timing will depend on how thick your chicken cutlet is, but 5 minutes per side works pretty well.

That’s really all the cooking that’s involved in this Air Fryer Chicken Katsu recipe. Drizzle the chicken cutlets with Tonkatsu sauce (an Asian BBQ Sauce) and serve over rice if desired.

How To Set Up A Breading Station

Check out our Flat Chicken post for a traditional, pan-fried chicken cutlet recipe. Same method for breading, just pan-fried instead of using an air fryer.

To set up a traditional breading station, remember the acronym FEB – as in the month February. That’s Flour, Eggs, Breadcrumbs. So that’s the order that you’ll bread the chicken, or anything that you’re breading.

The flour sticks to the protein, in this case chicken. The eggs stick to the flour and the breadcrumbs stick to the eggs.

More Ways To Use Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets

We often just eat them as is. These chicken cutlets are a tasty lunch or dinner even just plain. Or grab your favorite dipping sauce, honey mustard, BBQ sauce or try our Awesome Sauce recipe!

Yum Yum Sauce would also be so good on this crispy chicken, as would our easy Homemade Stir Fry Sauce! Also try cutting this chicken up and using it in salads or rice bowls, or layered in a sandwich or a wrap.

chicken katsu sliced and drizzled with sauce and scallions

What Kind Of Sauce Do You Use For Chicken Katsu?

The sauce used for Chicken Katsu is called Tonkatsu sauce. Tonkatsu sauce is a Japanese BBQ sauce that is sweet, tangy and delicious. You can buy this sauce in most grocery stores in the Asian aisle.

If you can’t find it though, just swap it out for your favorite barbecue sauce and stir in a little soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.

crispy chicken katsu drizzled with sauce

Storing and Reheating

Store the chicken cutlets in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After that you can transfer the chicken to the freezer for up to 6 months.

Reheating the chicken cutlets in the microwave is fine, but it won’t result in that mega crispy chicken coating that we love.

Our favorite method for reheating Air Fryer Chicken Katsu is — you guessed it — back in the air fryer. It only takes about 5 minutes and the result will be almost as crispy as when you first made them.

Reheating the chicken in the oven works well too. Place on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes until the cutlets are crispy and warmed though.

chicken katsu on a plate with rice and chop sticks

Can You Use Chicken Thighs For This Recipe?

Absolutely. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs will work for this recipe too. The cooking time will need to be increased, as chicken thighs are going to be thicker and darker meat takes longer to cook.

Try increasing the cooking time by a few minutes per side and then testing with a thermometer to make sure the chicken has reached 165 degrees.

Looking For More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes?

chicken katsu sliced over rice

Air Fryer Chicken Katsu

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

This Air Fryer Chicken Katsu tastes just as good as the fried version! Slice and serve with Asian BBQ sauce (Tonkatsu) or your favorite dipping sauce. We love serving this crispy chicken over rice with a side of steamed broccoli.



  • 1 1/4 pound package of thin sliced chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder and dried parsley for seasoning the chicken
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk or cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs (can also use regular)
  • Olive oil or avocado oil cooking spray
  • Tonkatsu sauce or teriyaki glaze
  • Chopped scallions and sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


  1. Generously season both sides of the chicken breasts with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder and dried parsley.
  2. Set up a breading station using 3 shallow bowls or plates with a rim. Add the flour to one, the eggs to another and the bread crumbs to the third.
  3. Dip each seasoned chicken breast into the flour, tapping off the excess, then into the egg mixture, letting the excess egg drip off and then finally into the panko bread crumbs. Press the bread crumbs into each side of the chicken to make sure that it has an even coating.
  4. Preheat your air fryer (if required) to 400 degrees.
  5. Spray the racks or the basket of your air fryer with the cooking spray. Place the chicken cutlets onto the racks or in the basket and then spray the chicken with the cooking spray. You might have to cook the chicken in a couple of batches, depending on how big your air fryer is.
  6. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes and then flip the chicken over and cook another 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy.
  7. Place the chicken on a board and slice into strips. Drizzle the tops with Tonkatsu sauce or teriyaki sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions if desired. (See post for additional sauce ideas!)

Recipe Notes

Oven Instructions: Place the breaded chicken on a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray and cook for 10-12 minutes, until brown and crispy. Check that the temperature is at 165 degrees before serving.

Reheating Instructions: Reheat the chicken cutlets in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. To reheat in the oven, place the cutlets on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 7-8 minutes, until warmed through.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

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