Crispy and Quick, Guilt-free Air Fried Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Fried chicken has been a beloved dish in the United States for centuries, with its roots tracing back to African American cuisine. Buttermilk has long been used as a marinade for chicken, as its acidity helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. With the rise in popularity of air fryers, this classic dish can now be enjoyed with less oil and grease, making it a healthier option.

Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Recipe by Tyson GregoryCourse: MainCuisine: American
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Crispy and flavorful buttermilk fried chicken made in the air fryer for a healthier twist on a classic dish.


  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pound chicken thighs or drumsticks

  • Cooking spray


  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F.
  • In a shallow dish, mix together 1 cup of buttermilk, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
  • Place 1 pound of chicken thighs or drumsticks into the buttermilk mixture, turning to coat evenly.
  • In a separate shallow dish, mix together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture, shaking off any excess, and dredge in the flour mixture, pressing to adhere.
  • Place the chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure there is space between each piece.
  • Spray the chicken with cooking spray and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken and spray with cooking spray again.
  • Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is crispy and cooked through.
  • Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!


  • Make sure to preheat your air fryer before adding the chicken.
  • You can use chicken breasts or tenders instead of thighs or drumsticks.
  • For a spicier version, add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the flour mixture.

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