Who doesn’t love fried chicken?
“Don’t rub it in,” you’re thinking. “With all the fat and calories, I’ll never have fried chicken again.”
Part of that is true. Just 3.5 ounces of fast food fried chicken has almost 400 calories and over 29 grams of fat. It’s neither slimming nor healthy.
But you can have fried chicken again! The magic of the air fryer—a countertop appliance that uses hot air to mimic deep-fat frying with little or no oil—puts “fried” chicken on the menu, crispy coating and all. And it’s all guilt-free!
Satisfy your fried chicken cravings with these 10 Nutrisystem-tested-and-approved healthy air fryer chicken recipes.
This marinade is as simple as it is heavenly: spicy brown mustard, honey and black pepper. Simple coat bite-sized pieces of boneless chicken breast in half the marinade. Ten minutes later, it’s into the air fryer for eight minutes per side. Finally, toss the chicken in the rest of the marinade. At only 144 calories a serving (the recipe makes six servings), this delicious dish counts as one PowerFuel and two Extras on Nutrisystem. Get the full recipe here! >
The name alone tells you you’re in for a delicious, savory treat. And it’s incredibly easy to make! Mix up some garlic, ginger, lemon juice, oil, honey, cornstarch, turmeric, cumin and cayenne pepper and place it in a plastic bag. Cut a pound of boneless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, place them in the marinade and toss so the pieces are well coated. Let the chicken marinate for a few hours or overnight. At this point you can make a chive yogurt dip with nonfat Greek yogurt, chopped fresh green onions, garlic powder and cayenne. The chicken takes about 16 minutes in the air fryer. The recipe makes six servings at 129 calories each. One serving counts as one PowerFuel and one Extra. View the full recipe right here! >
This is the one you’ve been waiting for! The recipe has only three ingredients: skinless chicken drumsticks, oil and Cajun seasoning (cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano). After marinating the chicken for half an hour, place it in the air fryer and cook for 15 minutes. Voila! Spicy “fried” chicken you can indulge in. One serving equals one drumstick which clocks in at 155 calories. On Nutrisystem, it counts as one PowerFuel and one Extra. Check out the full recipe here! >
These bite-sized pieces of spicy (savory not hot) chicken are crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The coating consists of chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic, onion powder, black pepper and salt. The tablespoon of olive oil helps the spices stick to the chicken pieces. After 16 minutes (eight minutes per side) in the air fryer, you can enjoy this taste bud-pleasing treat for only 245 calories. On Nutrisystem, this counts as two PowerFuels and one Extra. Get the recipe here! >
Chicken sausage is the base of this delicious, healthy mélange that includes baby potatoes, zucchini, olive oil, garlic powder and black pepper. Ready in less than 20 minutes, one serving (the recipe makes two) is only 247 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel, one Extra and half of a Vegetable. Click here for the full recipe! >
If you’ve been avoiding Chick-fil-A® and missing their iconic sandwich (and yummy sauce), you can get that same great taste with this tribute recipe and real Chick-fil-A® sauce, now available at select retailers and grocery stores. It all starts with a top-rated Nutrisystem lunch—the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. The secret is to let the chicken—which you separate from the bun—marinate in pickle juice for five minutes. This is followed by a breading process (egg, water, whole wheat flour) and about eight minutes in the air fryer. When it’s done, plop on a couple of pickles and you’re good to go. One serving is 358 calories and counts as two SmartCarbs, 1.5 PowerFuels and one Extra (or one Nutrisystem Lunch, one SmartCarb, half of a PowerFuel and one Extra). Check out the full recipe here! >
These cute little sandwiches pack the big Italian taste of chicken parm and they’re a cinch to make. The recipe starts with chicken cut into bite-sized pieces, then coated in breadcrumbs and flour. After 15 to 20 minutes in the air fryer, assemble the sandwiches with whole wheat slider buns, low sugar marinara sauce and part skim mozzarella cheese. Put the sandwiches back in the fryer to melt the cheese. The recipe makes four servings (that’s two sliders each!) for only 186 calories. On Nutrisystem, these sandwiches count as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and two Extras. Get the full recipe here! >
Enjoy the delicious taste of barbecue chicken stuffed into crispy potato skins! This tasty appetizer, which serves two people, is as delicious as the classic starter from your favorite restaurant. Topped with melty cheddar cheese and reduced fat sour cream, each 143-calorie serving counts as one PowerFuel and two Extras. Check out the full recipe right here! >
These yummy treats will make you miss your favorite chicken wings less, guaranteed. Have your own “wing night” by cutting a pound of chicken into bite-sized pieces. After dipping them in a beaten egg, roll them in a mixture of grated parmesan cheese, minced garlic, fresh parsley and pepper. Pop them in the air fryer and you’ll have tender, boneless chicken wings ready to enjoy. They have so much savory taste, you won’t need a dipping sauce. The recipe makes five 188-calorie servings. Each counts as two PowerFuels. Click here to view the full recipe! >
To wrap up this list of healthy air fryer chicken recipes, we’ve got another drumstick option! Marinating these drumsticks in olive oil, honey and minced garlic is the secret to its tender, juicy texture and savory-sweet flavor. Cook time is only about 15 minutes. One serving (the recipe makes two) is only 168 calories and counts as one PowerFuel and two Extras. Get the recipe here! >
Have you come up with your own healthy air fryer chicken recipes? We want to try them! Submit your recipes on our Recipe Submission page for a chance to be featured right here on The Leaf. Submit your recipes here! >
If you’re looking for more of your favorite foods made healthier, Nutrisystem is the plan for you! We cook up perfectly portioned versions of popular meals and snacks to help you lose weight the easy (and delicious) way. Get started with your weight loss journey today! >