How To Make Chicken Popcorn In An Air Fryer

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How To Make Chicken Popcorn In An Air Fryer

Looking for a perfect appetizer or a snack?

Chicken popcorn in an air fryer will be the perfect answer to that and you have come to the right place for the recipe!

One thing I will say about this chicken popcorn recipe is that you won’t be able to stop eating it.

Chicken popcorn is a delicious snack for any occasion or time you crave something savory and loved by people of all generations.

It’s a bite-sized piece of chicken that is coated with seasonings and then deep-fried in oil. It’s very popular in fast food chain restaurants and is served with different dips or sauces.

It’s crispy from the outside and juicy on the inside, making it perfect for anytime snacking. And cooking it in an air fryer gives the best mouthfeel by making it crispier.

It is much healthier than deep frying as an air fryer cooks food by circulating hot air around it.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s Versatile: Chicken popcorn is a versatile snack that can be both a side dish and an appetizer.
  • Easy-to-Make & Mess-free: It is an easy-to-make recipe that can be done only in a few minutes with an air fryer. It requires few ingredients that only minimal steps to make it. And making it in an air fryer is less messy. You can easily make a large batch in an air fryer without the hassle of waiting for the oil to heat up or the fear of burning yourself while frying.
  • A Crowd Pleaser!: Chicken popcorn is perfect for sharing. It is a total crowd-pleaser because of the juicy and crispy mouthfeel.

How Does An Air Fryer Work?

An air fryer is a mini convection oven that sits on your countertop. An air fryer cooks with hot air rather than oil.

An Air fryer has a heating element that circulates hot air through a fan around your food.

It makes your food crispy from the outside, keeping the juiciness and moistness on the inside.

Important Ingredients Used In The Recipe

  • Chicken breast: It is best to use boneless chicken pieces rather than bones.
  • Salt: I have used regular salt here, but you guys can use any other salt, like flaky sea salt.
  • Seasonings: I have used garlic powder and paprika powder for this recipe. While garlic powder will give the chicken a nice flavor, the paprika powder will provide spiciness and color.
  • Panko or breadcrumbs: I have used store-bought panko for the crunch here. If you guys do not have panko, then you can make it at home by grinding bread in a grinder.
  • Buttermilk: It helps the panko to stick to the chicken nicely, and gives us a nice tangy flavor. If you do not have store-bought buttermilk, you can make it at home by adding vinegar or lemon juice to the milk.

How To Make Chicken Popcorns In An Air Fryer?

For complete instructions, see the recipe box.

Season the chicken: In a medium bowl, take clean boneless chicken and all the seasoning that, are salt, garlic powder, and paprika powder, along with the buttermilk.

Let it rest: Cover the bowl with a cling wrap and keep it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Taking this step will make the chicken tender and more flavorful.

Preheat the air fryer: After 30 minutes, preheat your air fryer to 200°C (400°F) for a few minutes.

Prepare and place in the basket: Coat the chicken pieces with panko and place them in the air fryer basket in one layer. Do not overcrowd the basket, as it may lead to uneven cooking.

Cook & Toss: Cook them for 12 to 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Toss them halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking.

Serve: Carefully remove the chicken popcorn with tongs. Repeat the same with the rest. Serve hot! With your main dish or with ketchup, dip, etc

Chefs Tip For The Recipe

Avoid Overcrowding the Basket.

It’s important not to overcrowd the basket; this step will prevent the chicken popcorn from unevenly cooking. Leave some space between the chicken pieces, for hot air to circulate evenly around the food.

Tip for Even & Mess-free Cooking.

Shake the basket halfway through cooking. This step will help redistribute the chicken and help it cook evenly.
Use parchment or butter paper so the chicken pieces do not stick to the basket. Also, this helps in cleaning the basket efficiently.

More Easy Recipes

If you like this air fryer recipe, then I’m sure you will love my other air frying recipe like

Frozen French Fries in an air fryer

Potato Wedges in an air fryer

Zucchini Fries in an air fryer

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to preheat the air fryer?

Yes, preheating the air fryer before cooking the chicken popcorn is important. It helps in even cooking crispy chicken popcorn.

Do I need oil to make chicken popcorn in an air fryer?

No, you do not need oil to make chicken popcorn in an air fryer. The hot air circulating the food will cook the chicken while making it crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Can I make a large batch of chicken popcorn in an air fryer?

Yes, you can make a large batch of chicken popcorn in an air fryer. However, it’s important not to overcrowd the basket to ensure even cooking. You may need to cook them in batches.

Can I use frozen chicken to make chicken popcorn in an air fryer?

Yes, you can use frozen chicken to make chicken popcorn. But you must adjust the cooking time and temperature to ensure the chicken is cooked properly.

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Chicken Popcorn In An Air Fryer

Looking for a perfect appetizer or a snack? Then this chicken popcorn in an air fryer is the perfect answer!

  • Total Time: 50 to 60 minutes


  • 400500g Boneless bite sized chicken
  • 2 tbsp Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • ¼ tsp Paprika powder
  • Panko as required


  1. Mix chicken, salt, black pepper, paprika powder, and garlic powder in a bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for 30-35 minutes. 
  3. Now add in buttermilk and give it a mix. 
  4. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C (400°F) for a few minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, coat the chicken with pankos and place them in the air fryer in one layer.
  6. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  7. Toss them halfway through cooking to ensure they are cooked evenly.
  8. Carefully remove from the basket with tongs and serve with your favorite dip or sauce.
  • Author: Chef Aruna
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes

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