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Can you put chicken melts in air fryer?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can absolutely make chicken melts in an air fryer! Air fryers are a great way to make quick and easy chicken melts that come out perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The air fryer circulates hot air around the food to cook it, resulting in a nice crispy breading or crust without the need for submerging food in oil like traditional deep frying. Chicken melts with cheese and other fillings can easily be assembled and cooked in an air fryer in just 15-20 minutes. You’ll want to use thin chicken breast cutlets pounded to an even thickness, coat with breadcrumbs or panko, layer on cheese and any other fillings, then air fry at around 380°F until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted. Air fried chicken melts make for a tasty and mess-free weeknight dinner!

What Are Chicken Melts?

Chicken melts are simple sandwiches made with chicken cutlets, cheese, and other delicious fillings layered between slices of bread. The sandwiches are then cooked until the bread is toasted, the cheese is melted, and the chicken is cooked through.

Some common fillings and ingredients in chicken melts include:

– Chicken breast cutlets pounded thin and breaded or coated in breadcrumbs
– Sliced cheese like cheddar, Swiss, provolone, or American
– Cooked bacon, ham, or turkey
– Sautéed vegetables like onions, peppers, or mushrooms
– Tomato slices, lettuce leaves, pickles
– Condiments like pesto, mayo, mustard, or barbecue sauce

The chicken cutlets are often breaded or coated in panko breadcrumbs before cooking to give them a nice crispy exterior. The melts are then assembled on bread or buns with the cheese and other fillings layered in between. Popular bread choices include sourdough, ciabatta, brioche buns, or crusty artisan bread.

Benefits of Making Chicken Melts in an Air Fryer

Air frying chicken melts has several advantages over other cooking methods:

Quick and convenient – Air fryers cook food very rapidly using super heated air rather than oil. Chicken melts take only 15-20 minutes to cook in an air fryer, great for quick weeknight meals.

Crispy breading – The circulating hot air perfectly crisps up breaded cutlets or buns without any flipping or checking.

Melted cheese – The heat from the air fryer also nicely melts the cheese throughout the sandwiches.

Moist chicken – The chicken stays very juicy and tender rather than drying out.

Easy cleanup – With no need for added oil, air fryers are far less messy than pan frying.

Healthier – Air frying uses up to 80% less fat than deep frying, resulting in a less greasy meal.

Versatile – An air fryer can also be used to cook fries, wings, and more to serve alongside chicken melts!

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Melts

Making chicken melts in the air fryer is simple but does require some advance preparation. Follow these steps for perfect melts every time:


– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded to 1⁄4 inch thickness)
– 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs or panko
– 1 large egg, beaten
– 1⁄2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
– 4 slices provolone cheese
– 4 ciabatta buns, split
– Desired toppings like lettuce, tomato, mayo etc.


1. Preheat air fryer to 380°F.

2. Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until about 1⁄4 inch thick all over.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

4. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken cutlets in egg, then press into breadcrumbs to coat evenly on both sides.

5. Place 2 breaded cutlets in air fryer basket. Air fry for 4 minutes, flip, and air fry 4 minutes more until browned and crispy.

6. Repeat with other cutlets.

7. Assemble sandwiches by placing 1 cutlet on each bun bottom.

8. Top each cutlet with 1 slice provolone cheese, shredded cheddar, and any desired toppings.

9. Place bun tops on sandwiches and press down lightly.

10. Return assembled sandwiches to air fryer basket. Air fry 3-5 minutes until buns are toasted and cheese is fully melted.

11. Serve chicken melts hot and enjoy!

Tips for the Best Air Fryer Chicken Melts

– Pound the chicken evenly thin so it cooks through. Thicker pieces may be undercooked.

– Allow the breaded chicken to sit 5-10 minutes after coating to help adhere.

– Use bun halves rather than full buns to allow air flow and achieve crispy, toasted buns.

– Brush the buns with a bit of olive oil or butter before air frying for extra crisping.

– Add a slice of provolone on top of the sandwiches as well as inside to make sure all the cheese melts evenly.

– Don’t overfill the sandwiches as air flow is important. Limit fillings to a single layer.

– For spicier melts, brush hot sauce or seasoning blend on the chicken before breading.

– Cook at 400°F instead for an extra crispy crust. Just watch closely to avoid burning.

Chicken Melt Filling Ideas

Some tasty fillings and mixins to try in air fryer chicken melts:

  • BBQ sauce, cheddar, and crispy bacon
  • Pesto, tomatoes, and mozzarella
  • Sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms, and Swiss
  • Sliced avocado, bacon, ranch dressing
  • Blue cheese, buffalo sauce, lettuce, and tomato
  • Sliced ham, provolone, and Dijon mustard

Get creative with ingredients you have on hand for melts with bold flavors!

Full Recipe


– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs or panko
– 1 large egg
– 1⁄2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
– 4 slices provolone cheese
– 4 ciabatta buns, split
– Toppings: lettuce, tomato, sliced onion, mayo, mustard


1. Pound chicken to an even 1⁄4 inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat egg.

3. Dip chicken in egg, then coat in breadcrumbs. Let sit 5 minutes.

4. Preheat air fryer to 380°F.

5. Air fry chicken 4 minutes per side until golden brown.

6. On bun bottoms, layer 1 chicken cutlet, provolone, cheddar, and desired toppings.

7. Top with bun tops. Press down gently.

8. Air fry sandwiches 3-5 minutes until buns are toasted and cheese melted.

9. Serve warm.


Can I use frozen chicken breasts?

Yes, you can use frozen chicken breasts for the melts. Thaw them completely first, then pound to an even thickness before breading and cooking. Add 1-2 extra minutes to the cook time.

What kind of cheese works best?

Provolone and cheddar melt nicely in the air fryer. Mozzarella also works well. Avoid soft cheeses like brie that may become too oozy when melted.

Do I need to preheat my air fryer?

Yes, always preheat your air fryer before cooking anything. This allows it to fully heat up to the proper temperature.

How can I prevent chicken from drying out?

Pounding it thin, at 1⁄4 inch thickness, ensures it cooks through without drying out. Brushing with oil helps too. Don’t overcook.

Can I make chicken parm melts this way?

Absolutely! Just coat the cooked chicken in marinara sauce and mozzarella before air frying.


Air fried chicken melts make for a quick and easy dinner with perfectly crispy chicken and melted cheese in just minutes. Pound the chicken thin, coat in crumbs, layer on cheese and toppings, then air fry until hot and melty. The air fryer gives you crispy breading without the greasiness of frying and allows all the ingredients to heat through for delicious melts in just one appliance. Experiment with your favorite cheese, vegetables, condiments or other fillings for customizable, crave-worthy chicken melt recipes.