If you’re looking for a quick and easy chicken recipe to whip up for a quick snack or meal, these juicy air fryer ranch chicken bites will not disappoint.
We are all familiar with crazy busy weeks and could use a little simplicity to get us through. This recipe is quick, easy, and most importantly, delicious!
The best part about this recipe is that it fits easily into any diet or lifestyle, and can be elevated by adding additional sides which are listed at the end of the recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes (may take longer if cooking additional sides with the chicken)
Cook Time: 12 minutes (or until internal chicken temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit)
Yields: 1 serving per chicken breast (approximately 4 ounces)
- A Couple of Tips Before Getting Started;
- What You’ll Need
- Ingredient Notes
- How To Make It
- Juicy Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Bites Recipe ( no breading)
A Couple of Tips Before Getting Started;
- When using frozen chicken, be sure to let chicken thaw naturally in the refrigerator prior to cooking, or thaw it gradually in the microwave prior to prepping and cooking. I prefer to allow my chicken to thaw naturally in the refrigerator, so it doesn’t dry out or start cooking in the microwave.
- Place a piece of parchment on the bottom of your air fryer pan for easy cleanup. There will be a decent amount of coconut oil in with the chicken, and having that drain through to the bottom of your air fryer is a mess that none of us need.
- If cooking more than one serving of chicken in the air fryer, be sure to not overcrowd the bottom of the air fryer to ensure even and complete cooking. Maximum recommended servings would be 2 in the air fryer at a time.
- Prepping all of your ingredients ahead of time (known as Mise en place) makes for a smooth and easy cooking experience as it can become overwhelming if you’re trying to prep and cook all at once.
- It’s helpful to use a food thermometer to ensure your chicken is cooked all the way through. Any food thermometer will work, but I’ve found that ThermoPro instant read thermometers work the best for me.
- Air fryer times may differ based on brands, so be sure to read through your instructions and cook accordingly.
What You’ll Need
1 4-ounce chicken breast per serving (thawed)
1 tablespoon coconut oil- melted
Half of a dry ranch mix packet
1 Tsp paprika (I don’t recommend using smoked paprika as it can take away from the ranch flavor)
1 Tsp pepper
These juicy chicken bites are addicting and delicious on their own, however, I think we can all agree that every meal is better when paired with a side and a sauce. This sauce is only a few easy ingredients and adds a buttery flavor to the chicken (and side dish) that takes it to perfection.
1 Tbsp unsalted butter –melted
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives (can use dried)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (can use dried)
Salt and pepper to taste
That’s it for the sauce! It’s so simple, but I promise you won’t want to skip this step! I have also added paprika, ranch seasoning, or even freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce to add a little bit of extra flavor, but it’s certainly delicious as is!
For the chicken you can use any brand of frozen chicken you prefer, however I used Perdue frozen chicken breasts.
Using other kinds of chicken (wing, thigh etc) will cause cook times to vary, so sticking to chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins is best.
Any oil can be used as a substitute, however the coconut oil gives the chicken a sweet flavor that pairs well with the ranch mix.
If using other types of oils, it may affect the cook time and flavors. Coconut oil is a great healthy alternative to vegetable oil and can be used in almost any recipe!
Dry Ranch Packet
If you don’t have a ranch packet available, mix 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 1 Tbsp parsley flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Butter (for sauce)
I prefer unsalted butter as salted butter or margarine can add unwanted extra salt to the chicken when it is already perfectly seasoned.
How To Make It
Step by Step Directions:
Step 1: Prepare the Chicken
Start by dicing the frozen chicken into 1 inch cubes and place into a small bowl (I used Perdue’s frozen chicken breasts, but any frozen chicken will suffice)
Step 2: Prepare the Oil
Melt coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl (coconut oil has an extremely low melting point, so it should only take a few seconds to melt)
Step 3: Mix Dry Ingredients Together
Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
Step 4: Mix the Oil and Chicken
Pour the melted coconut oil into the bowl of chicken and coat well
Step 5: Mix Everything Together
Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the chicken bowl and mix to coat evenly and let sit for 5 minutes
Step 6: Transfer Ingredients to the Air Fryer
Spoon out the chicken with a slotted spoon and put into air fryer on parchment paper. Using a slotted spoon reduces the amount of extra coconut oil that will be added to the air fryer
Step 7: Cook
Cook for approximately 12 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit
If crispier chicken is desired, carefully shake the air fryer basket half way through to turn the chicken and continue cooking.
Additional time may be added as well to get that extra crisp. Of note, the longer the chicken cooks and the crispier it becomes, the drier it can also become.
The coconut oil helps to lock some moisture in, but longer cook times will generally produce drier chicken.
Step 8: Remove Chicken and Enjoy
Once the chicken is full cooked, carefully spoon out the chicken from the air fryer onto a plate and serve with one of the listed sides below.
Once you have both the chicken and the side plated, carefully drizzle the butter sauce over the top and enjoy!
The following side dishes are recommended to be paired with the juicy ranch chicken bites:
Garlic Mashed Potatoes- serving the chicken bites with garlic mashed potatoes creates a flavorful comfort food that can be served as a full meal the whole family will love.
You can also add corn or another vegetable to make this into a mashed potato bowl.
Cauliflower Rice- If looking for a healthier, low calorie side, cauliflower rice is a great addition to the chicken bites.
Pasta- It’s no secret that chicken pairs well with pasta, but make it a juicy ranch chicken pasta and you’ve got yourself a winning dish.
I’ve added this chicken to homemade macaroni and cheese, fettuccini Alfredo, or even just buttered noodles and have yet to be disappointed!
*If pairing chicken bites with pasta, additional butter sauce is not recommended.
We Thought You Would Like
- 1 4-ounce chicken breast per serving (thawed)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil- melted
- Half of a dry ranch mix packet
- 1 Tsp paprika (I don’t recommend using smoked paprika as it can take away from the ranch flavor)
- 1Tsp salt
- 1 Tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter –melted
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives (can use dried)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (can use dried)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start by dicing the frozen chicken into 1 inch cubes and place into a small bowl (I used Perdue’s frozen chicken breasts, but any frozen chicken will suffice)
- Melt coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl (coconut oil has an extremely low melting point, so it should only take a few seconds to melt)
- Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
- Pour the melted coconut oil into the bowl of chicken and coat well
- Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the chicken bowl and mix to coat evenly and let sit for 5 minutes
- Spoon out the chicken with a slotted spoon and put into air fryer on parchment paper. Using a slotted spoon reduces the amount of extra coconut oil that will be added to the air fryer
- Cook for approximately 12 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit
- Remove chicken and enjoy.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 459Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 2778mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 36g
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.