This Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken recipe is not only mouthwateringly delicious, but it’s also a breeze to whip up—taking just 30 minutes from start to finish!
Perfect for satisfying your taste buds on a busy weeknight. It’s a super simple rice bowl to through together.
The chicken cooks up SUPER crispy, the bang-bang sauce is a spicy sauce that has sweetness to it, and a velvety texture and with the combo of the scallions and other garnishes makes a great dinner.
And surprisingly both kids loved this recipe!
Kenzie not so much – so if you have a picky kid, put the creamy sweet chili mayo
on the side. Then they have chicken nuggets – and who doesn’t love chicken nuggets?!
Honestly, this is one of the best things to come out of my kitchen lately. You’ve gotta try it!
Ingredients for Bang Bang Chicken
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts: This is the main dish, folks!
- 1 cup corn starch: For that crispy coating.
- 2 eggs, beaten: The egg mixture acts as an adhesive.
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (optional): Adds an extra crunch.
- Salt and pepper to taste: A classic seasoning duo.
- Garlic powder: For added flavor.
- Smoked paprika (optional): If you want a hint of smokiness.
Bang Bang Sauce
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce: A double dose of bang-bang sauce, anyone?
- 2 tbsp sriracha sauce: For that spicy kick!
- 1 tsp soy sauce: Adds depth to the sauce.
Rice Bowl and Toppings
- 1 cup cooked rice: White rice or brown, your choice.
- 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped: For a pop of color and flavor.
- Sesame seeds: For garnish.
- Persian cucumbers (optional)
- Avocado, sliced
- Air Fryer: I’ve recently come to the realization that the countertop convection ovens with the air fryer mode built in. They don’t compare to the traditional air fryer. I picked up one at an affordable price and I haven’t looked back.
- Knife and cutting board: For chopping.
- Mixing bowls: For preparing both the chicken and the sauce.
How to Make Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken
- Preparation: Preheat your air fryer to 390°F. This ensures that your chicken pieces will cook evenly.
- Chicken Preparation: Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Coating Station: Place the cornstarch, beaten eggs, and more corn starch (or panko crumbs) in three separate bowls. This is your coating station.
- Dredging: Dip each piece of chicken first into the cornstarch, then the beaten egg, and then into the second bowl of cornstarch/panko crumbs. Make sure each piece is well-coated to get the best results.
- Air Frying: Place the coated chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Ensure they aren’t touching—cook in batches if needed.
- Cook: Air fry for 16-20 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through the cooking time, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F and is golden brown.
- Sauce: While the chicken is air frying, mix together the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, sriracha sauce, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
- Assemble and Serve: Once the chicken is cooked, toss it in the Bang Bang Sauce and place it on top of a bed of rice. Garnish with green onions, sesame seeds, and optional veggies.
- Chicken Thighs: If you’re a fan of juicier, more flavorful meat, you can easily swap out the chicken breasts for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Chicken Wings: Want to turn this into a game day special? Use chicken wings instead. The Bang Bang Sauce makes an excellent wing sauce.
- Vegetarian Option: If you’re vegetarian, consider using cauliflower florets or tofu cubes as a substitute for the chicken. The cooking time may vary.
- Pescatarian Option: If you’re into seafood, then air fryer bang bang shrimp is a recipe you need to try!
Mix up the Heat
- Less Spicy: Reduce the amount of sriracha sauce or omit it altogether. You can also use a milder hot sauce in place of sriracha.
- Extra Spicy: Add a teaspoon of chili paste or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the Bang Bang Sauce for an extra kick.
- Sweet and Tangy: For a sweeter and more complex flavor, consider adding 1-2 tablespoons of honey to the sauce. Honey pairs wonderfully with the heat from the sriracha and the zest from the sweet chili sauce.
- Zesty Twist: Adding a tablespoon of rice vinegar can elevate your Bang Bang Sauce by adding a zesty, tangy note. This works particularly well if you’re serving the chicken with a side of rice or vegetables, as it cuts through the richness of the dish.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you have time, definitely soak in buttermilk to tenderize your chicken. Since we’re user the air fryer, make sure to wipe of any excess before dredging to ensure nice and crispy chicken bites
If your chicken isn’t turning out as crispy as you’d like, it could be because the air fryer basket is overcrowded. Make sure to place the chicken pieces in a single layer, with some space between them for better air circulation. Additionally, give a coat of olive oil spray when you shake the basket half way to ensure your bang-bang chicken is super crispy.
It’s best to avoid stacking the chicken pieces, as this can result in uneven cooking and less crispy chicken. If your air fryer basket is small, cook the chicken in batches.
To keep the coating intact, make sure to gently shake off excess cornstarch and egg before moving on to the next coating layer. Also, avoid touching or flipping the chicken too much during cooking.
Yes, you can freeze the chicken pieces after they’ve been coated but before air frying. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then transfer them to an airtight container or a large resealable plastic bag once they’re frozen. When you’re ready to cook, air fry them straight from the freezer, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
Leftover Bang Bang Chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven to maintain crispiness.
It’s generally not recommended to use aluminum foil in the air fryer as it can restrict airflow. Use parchment paper if you want an easier cleanup, but make sure to secure it so it doesn’t fly around during cooking.
If you’re out of sweet chili sauce, you can make a quick substitute by combining a tablespoon of sugar with a quarter cup of ketchup and a few dashes of hot sauce.
There you have it—a flavorful, spicy, and crispy Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner. It’s a feast for the whole family and is sure to become your favorite chicken recipe. Enjoy!
Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken (Easy 30-Minute Recipe)
- Air fryer
- Cutting board
- Mixing bowls
For the Chicken:
- 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup panko optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Smoked paprika optional
For the Bang Bang Sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
- 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
For the Rice Bowl:
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 bunch scallions finely chopped
- Sesame seeds
- 2 Persian cucumbers optional
- 1 Avocado sliced
- Preheat your air fryer to 390°F.
- Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and optional smoked paprika.
- Place the cornstarch, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs in three separate shallow dishes.
- Dip each piece of chicken first into the cornstarch, then into the beaten eggs, and finally into the panko breadcrumbs, making sure each piece is well-coated.
- Place the coated chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not touching. You may need to cook in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Cook for 16-20 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through the cooking time, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- While the chicken is air frying, mix together the mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, sweet chili sauce, and soy sauce in a bowl.
- Once the chicken is done, drizzle the Bang Bang Sauce over the top or serve it on the side for dipping.