Our Air Fryer Sweet and Spicy Chicken is ready in less than half an hour and perfect for meal prep! Covered with seasonings and brown sugar for a rich crust.

A seasoned chicken breast and green beans over rice alongside roasted potatoes and spinach

Chicken in the air fryer couldn’t be easier, and this Air Fryer Sweet and Spicy Chicken is a great first Air Fryer recipe!

These juicy chicken breasts go from raw to ready in less than 30 minutes and bring a wonderful bouquet of seasonings and brown sugar to your table.

You can easily adjust the spice level with the cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes in this recipe. A little goes a long way for both!

Love making chicken in the air fryer? These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are super crisp and incredibly moist. Also amazing for meal prep!

How to make it

Collage of steps to make Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Want to make this recipe with chicken thighs? Increase your temperature to 400 degrees F and flip them halfway through cooking.

  1. First, gather your spices: brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and ground pepper. Mix them together in a small bowl.
  2. Next, spray your chicken breasts with oil — I used avocado oil. Sprinkle your spice mixture over the chicken, trying to cover every surface evenly. Flip and repeat!
  3. Then, put your seasoned chicken breasts into the air fryer basket (or on your air fryer tray!), making sure to leave a little space between each breast.
  4. Cook your chicken at 350 degrees F (or 176 degrees C!) for about 18 minutes. Be sure to check the internal temperature!
  5. Divide chicken breasts between plates. Serve warm or allow chicken to cool for meal prep.
  6. To make this for meal prep, I like to add some Air Fryer Green Beans and Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes plus some cooked rice or quinoa.

storage tips

Cooked chicken, no matter the cut, can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

While cooked chicken CAN be frozen, it doesn’t always work very well.

If you freeze it, I recommend slicing it first and storing it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Seasoned chicken, green beans, and roasted potatoes in a meal prep container

making ahead of time

This recipe quickly became a staple in my meal prep rotation because it’s one I can actually look forward to eating day after day!

When I make this recipe for meal prep, I like to add Air Fryer Green Beans and Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes to keep the mess in the air fryer and make a filling lunch or dinner.

Need some grains? Add a little cooked rice or quinoa!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken with white rice, green beans, roasted potatoes and baby spinach
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5 from 3 votes

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Air Fryer Sweet and Spicy Chicken is ready in less than half an hour and perfect for meal prep! Covered with seasonings and brown sugar for a rich crust.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time18 minutes
Total Time23 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 312kcal



  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Ground black pepper optional
  • 4 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
  • Oil


  • Combine all spices and brown sugar together. Mix thoroughly.
  • Spray the chicken breasts with oil. Sprinkle spice mixture over the chicken breasts. Flip chicken and repeat.
  • Place chicken into air fryer basket and air fry at 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) for 16 to 18 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Flip halfway through cooking.
  • Slice chicken and enjoy!


Pro Tip: This recipe can be made in the air fryer unit with a basket or the air fryer oven. If you are using the air fryer oven, use the middle rack and select the “Air Fry” function.
To meal prep: Add Air Fryer Green Beans and Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes with some cooked rice or quinoa.
To use chicken thighs: Cook at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 18 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.


Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 850mg | Potassium: 866mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
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Air Fryers can vary greatly. Please take the time to learn your specific air fryer. You may need to adjust times and temperatures based upon your air fryer. All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.
Close-up of chicken, green beans, potatoes, and spinach with overlay text

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  1. 5 stars
    I don’t have an air fryer (yet) but this recipe looks so delicious I’m putting it on my Christmas wish list!

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