Air Fryer Pretzel Crusted Chicken: Irresistible Crunch!

Once fall hits, I’m always looking for warm, comforting dishes to serve up. This air fryer pretzel crusted chicken checks all my boxes! It’s savory, salty, juicy, and delicious. Plus, the pretzel coating gives Oktoberfest vibes that are just perfect for fall!

air fryer pretzel crusted chicken recipe dinners done quick

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

I love making pretzel crusted chicken because it’s got the perfect amount of crunch and salt, hiding juicy chicken inside.

It’s a quick and easy meal to make, but definitely doesn’t lack in flavor! Your air fryer does an amazing job of delivering that crunch without deep frying, so you use way less oil.

You can use any cut of chicken you like for this recipe too, which makes it extremely versatile. Chicken tenders and breasts are the most common choices, but you can use thighs as well.

holding up a piece of air fryer pretzel crusted chicken on a fork

I’m using chicken breast cutlets, or thin sliced chicken, because it cooks quickly and delivers a great breading to chicken ratio. However, you can feel free to choose your own favorite!

What You’ll Need

air fryer pretzel crusted chicken ingredients
  • 1 pound chicken breast cutlets (approximately ½” thick)
  • 3 Tbsp prepared honey mustard dipping sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 cups salted pretzels

Ingredient Tips and Substitutions

  • You may use any cut of chicken you like, but you’ll need to adjust cooking time accordingly. Chicken tenders should take 12-15 minutes, full chicken breasts will take 15-18 minutes, and thighs are closer to 20 minutes
  • Honey mustard dipping sauce is different from just honey mustard in that it contains mayonnaise. This keeps the chicken moist and replaces the need to use eggs in breading
  • Any type of pretzels are fine, so long as you use salted. Twists, sticks, traditional, sourdough; all of them are great options! You could also use the honey mustard seasoned pretzel pieces for an extra kick of flavor
  • For extra spice, grab some hot honey for drizzling on top (entirely optional)

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Finely crush the pretzels. You can do this with a food processor, or place them in a plastic bag and use a mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a glass to smash them up
break up pretzels in a food processor
  1. In a small bowl, combine the honey mustard sauce with the garlic salt and mix to combine
mix up the honey mustard sauce for the chicken
  1. Preheat your air fryer to 375Β°F (or the closest setting your air fryer has)
  2. Trim any extra fat from the chicken, then coat both sides of the chicken breast cutlets in the honey mustard dipping sauce mixture
coat chicken cutlets in honey mustard sauce
  1. Dip both sides of the coated chicken into the crushed pretzels, patting it to make sure you get it well covered
mix coated chicken in broken pretzel pieces
  1. Place the pretzel crusted chicken into the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer
place pretzel crusted chicken cutlets in air fryer basket
  1. Spritz the top with nonstick or oil spray
  2. Cook on the air fry setting for 6-8 minutes at 375Β°F, pausing halfway through to flip and reapply oil, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165Β°F
  3. Serve with additional honey mustard dipping sauce or drizzle of hot honey, and your favorite sides
overhead view of pretzel crusted chicken on a plate with honey mustard dipping sauce

Serving Suggestions

Side Dishes

  • German potato salad
  • Applesauce
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach salad
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Glazed carrots
  • Mac and cheese

I’m serving my air fryer pretzel crusted chicken breast with Air Fryer German Potato Salad, and a simple Microwave Applesauce for the perfect pairings.

However, it would be equally delicious with my Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts With Bacon or Air Fryer Brown Sugar Carrots as well!

Dipping Sauces

  • Honey mustard
  • Honey
  • Hot honey
  • Beer cheese

Drinks

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Oktoberfest beers
  • Honey cocktails
  • Salty cocktails

Try my Hot Honey Bourbon Cocktail or some fun Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shots for the perfect accompaniments!

Recipe FAQs

Can I Use Boneless Chicken Thighs Instead of Chicken Breasts?

Yes, you can absolutely use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. You’ll just want to increase the cooking time to about 18-20 minutes to account for the different cut.

Still plan to flip it halfway through cooking, and make sure to check that it has reached 165Β°F before consuming.

What Are Some Pretzel Seasoning Ideas For a Unique Flavor?

Some pretzel seasoning ideas for different flavors include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried herbs like thyme or rosemary, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat.

Β Experiment with different combinations to create a unique flavor profile that suits your taste.

How Do I Prevent the Pretzel Coating From Becoming Too Soggy?

To prevent the pretzel coating from becoming soggy, make sure your air fryer is preheated before adding the chicken. Preheating helps create a crispier texture. In addition, do not overcrowd the air fryer basket, as that can trap steam and lead to sogginess.

Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer with some space between them for proper air circulation. Make sure to spritz with a bit of oil to help with crisping as well.

Can I Make This Dish With Gluten-Free Pretzels For a Gluten-Free Option?

Yes, you can make gluten-free pretzel-crusted chicken by using your favorite gluten-free pretzels. Simply crush them into breadcrumbs as you would with regular pretzels and use them to coat the chicken.

You should also ensure that all other ingredients, including seasonings and sauces, are also gluten-free to maintain a completely gluten-free dish.

What Should I Do if the Chicken is Not Fully Cooked After the Recommended Air Frying Time?

If your chicken is not fully cooked after the recommended air frying time, don’t worry, it just needs a little more time. The cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces and the specific air fryer model.

To ensure that the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature (165Β°F or 74Β°C), continue cooking it in the air fryer in 2-3 minute increments until it reaches the desired doneness. Check the chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked through.

Are There Any Vegetarian Alternatives For Pretzel Crusted Chicken?

Yes, there are vegetarian alternatives for pretzel-crusted chicken. Instead of chicken, you can use firm tofu, seitan, or another vegetarian chicken substitute to create a vegetarian version of this dish.

Slice the vegetarian protein into cutlets, and proceed with the recipe as normal. Adjust the air frying time accordingly, as tofu or seitan may require less cooking time than chicken.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • The more even your chicken breast slices are, the more evenly they’ll cook. Use a mallet to thin out very thick parts, or slice off sections to create more consistency
  • Use an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken to check for doneness. If you don’t have a thermometer, cut a piece of chicken at the thickest point and make sure the meat is white and the juices run clear
  • My chicken cutlets were perfect after 7 minutes total in a Ninja air fryer but times will vary based on the thickness of your chicken and your specific air fryer
plate full of pretzel crusted chicken

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • Store leftover pretzel crusted chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days
  • To reheat, air fry for 3-5 minutes at 350Β°F, or until warmed through. You can give it another small spritz of oil to help crisp things up quicker as well

More Amazing Air Fryer Chicken Recipes to Try

Final Thoughts

This amazing air fryer pretzel crusted chicken is so easy to make! By using breast cutlets, you keep the cooking time under 10 minutes, for a quick and easy dinner even on weeknights.

The pretzel crust gives a perfect crunch, while the chicken stays juicy and delicious inside. It’s the perfect dish for fall, as it pairs well with roasted potatoes, vegetables, and apples.

Of course, since it’s made in the air fryer, you can enjoy it year round without heating up the house with the oven! Don’t limit yourself to just the fall season to enjoy this crunchy and delicious air fryer chicken cutlet recipe.

Change up the seasonings and dipping sauces and truly make it your own. Your family is sure to love this easy and tasty dish.

air fryer pretzel crusted chicken recipe dinners done quick featured image

Air Fryer Pretzel Crusted Chicken (Without Flour)

This air fryer pretzel crusted chicken is made without flour, making it a simple 4 ingredient dinner. Despite the little effort, it delivers big flavor for an easy weeknight dinner.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 579 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Pound chicken breast cutlets (approximately Β½" thick)
  • 3 Tbsp honey mustard dipping sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • 1 Tsp garlic salt
  • 2 Cups salted pretzels (hard)
  • Nonstick or oil spray

Instructions
 

  • Finely crush the pretzels. You can do this with a food processor, or place them in a plastic bag and use a mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a glass to smash them up
    2 Cups salted pretzels
  • In a small bowl, combine the honey mustard sauce with the garlic salt and mix to combine
    3 Tbsp honey mustard dipping sauce, 1 Tsp garlic salt
  • Preheat your air fryer to 375Β°F (or the closest setting your air fryer has)
  • Trim any extra fat from the chicken, then coat both sides of the chicken breast cutlets in the honey mustard dipping sauce mixture
    1 Pound chicken breast cutlets
  • Dip both sides of the coated chicken into the crushed pretzels, patting it to make sure you get it well covered
  • Place the pretzel crusted chicken into the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer
  • Spritz the top with nonstick or oil spray
    Nonstick or oil spray
  • Cook on the air fry setting for 6-8 minutes at 375Β°F, pausing halfway through to flip and reapply oil, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165Β°F
  • Serve with additional honey mustard dipping sauce or drizzle of hot honey, and your favorite sides

Notes

  • You may use any cut of chicken you like, but you’ll need to adjust cooking time accordingly. Chicken tenders should take 12-15 minutes, full chicken breasts will take 15-18 minutes, and thighs are closer to 20 minutes
  • Honey mustard dipping sauce is different from just honey mustard in that it contains mayonnaise. This keeps the chicken moist and replaces the need to use eggs in breading
  • Any type of pretzels are fine, so long as you use salted. Twists, sticks, traditional, sourdough; all of them are great options! You could also use the honey mustard seasoned pretzels for an extra kick of flavor
  • For extra spice, grab some hot honey for drizzling on top (entirely optional)
  • The more even your chicken breast slices are, the more evenly they’ll cook. Use a mallet to thin out very thick parts, or slice off sections to create more consistency
  • Use an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken to check for doneness. If you don’t have a thermometer, cut a piece of chicken at the thickest point and make sure the meat is white and the juices run clear
  • My chicken cutlets were perfect after 7 minutes total in a Ninja air fryer but times will vary based on the thickness of your chicken and your specific air fryer
  • Store leftover pretzel crusted chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days
  • To reheat, air fry for 3-5 minutes at 350Β°F, or until warmed through. You can give it another small spritz of oil to help crisp things up quicker as well
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand and flavor of ingredients, any sauces or sides added, and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 292gCalories: 579kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 45gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6.8gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 3516mgPotassium: 104mgFiber: 1.6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 14.3IUVitamin C: 0.8mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 4.9mg
Keyword air fryer chicken recipes, air fryer pretzel crusted chicken, air fryer pretzel crusted chicken recipes, air fryer pretzel crusted chicken without flour, chicken dinner ideas, ninja air fryer pretzel crusted chicken, pretzel crusted chicken breast
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheDinnersDoneQuick or tag #dinnersdonequick!
air fryer pretzel crusted chicken recipe dinners done quick pinterest
Katie Vine

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating