Air Fryer Szechuan Chicken Recipe

  • Yield: 2
  • Servings: 2
  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 15m
  • Ready In: 25m

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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

  • Carbohydrates

    37.6 g
  • Cholesterol

    70.0 mg
  • Fat

    6.4 g
  • Fiber

    0.0 g
  • Protein

    25.7 g
  • Saturated Fat

    0.5 g
  • Serving Size

  • Sodium

    1,375.0 mg
  • Sugar

    7.5 g
  • Trans Fat

    2.5 g
  • Unsaturated Fat

    0.3 g
  • Potassium

    0.0 mg
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Air fryer Szechuan chicken recipe. Learn how to cook yummy Chinese chicken in an air fryer.

What Does Szechuan Chicken Taste Like?

Szechuan chicken is known for its bold and spicy flavors that pack a punch. The taste of Szechuan chicken is a harmonious blend of heat, sweetness, and numbing sensation. The dish is characterized by the use of Szechuan peppercorns, which give it a unique and distinctive flavor.

The Szechuan peppercorns provide a tingling and numbing sensation on the tongue, creating a sensation known as “ma” in Chinese cuisine. This numbing effect is balanced by the heat from the chili peppers used in the dish, creating a perfect balance of flavors.

In addition to the heat and numbing sensation, Szechuan chicken also has a hint of sweetness. This sweetness comes from the combination of ingredients like soy sauce, sugar, and sometimes honey or hoisin sauce. It adds depth and complexity to the overall taste of the dish.

The flavors of Szechuan chicken are further enhanced by the use of garlic, ginger, and other aromatic spices. These ingredients contribute to the rich and savory taste of the dish, making it incredibly flavorful.

Overall, Szechuan chicken is a deliciously spicy, numbing, and slightly sweet dish that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. It is a perfect choice for those who enjoy bold and intense flavors in their meals. So, if you’re looking to add some excitement to your dinner table, give this air fryer Szechuan chicken recipe a try.

How to Make Szechuan Chicken in an Air Fryer

To make Szechuan chicken in an air fryer, you can enjoy the delicious flavors of Chinese cuisine with a healthier twist. This recipe is perfect for those who love the bold and spicy flavors of Szechuan cuisine but want to cut down on the oil typically used in traditional cooking methods.

Start by marinating boneless and skinless chicken thighs with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and your favorite Szechuan sauce. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and lightly coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the marinated chicken thighs in a single layer in the basket, making sure not to overcrowd them. Cook the chicken for about 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and is golden brown and crispy.

While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the other components of your Szechuan chicken dish. Slice a red bell pepper and any other vegetables you like, such as broccoli or carrots. Stir-fry the vegetables in a hot pan with a little oil until they are tender-crisp.

Once the chicken is cooked, toss it with the stir-fried vegetables and serve hot. Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds for added flavor and presentation.

With the air fryer, you can enjoy the bold and spicy flavors of Szechuan chicken without the guilt of deep-frying. This recipe is a healthier alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste. Give it a try and impress your family and friends with this delicious air fryer Szechuan chicken dish.

Szechuan Chicken Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving Szechuan chicken, there are several delicious options to consider. Whether you’re looking for a complete meal or a flavorful appetizer, these serving suggestions will help you make the most of your air fryer Szechuan chicken recipe.

1. Rice: Szechuan chicken pairs perfectly with steamed white rice or fried rice. The fluffy rice helps to balance out the bold flavors of the dish and provides a satisfying base for the spicy chicken.

2. Noodles: For a heartier meal, serve Szechuan chicken with noodles. Whether it’s lo mein, chow mein, or even rice noodles, the combination of the tender chicken and the savory sauce will create a mouthwatering dish.

3. Stir-Fried Vegetables: Add some color and crunch to your meal by serving Szechuan chicken with stir-fried vegetables. Bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and snap peas are all great options that complement the flavors of the dish.

4. Lettuce Wraps: For a lighter option, consider serving the Szechuan chicken in lettuce wraps. The crisp lettuce leaves provide a refreshing contrast to the spicy chicken, and you can add additional toppings like shredded carrots or chopped peanuts for extra texture.

5. Appetizer Skewers: If you’re hosting a party or looking for a tasty appetizer, thread the Szechuan chicken onto skewers and serve them with a dipping sauce. This bite-sized version of the dish is sure to be a hit with your guests.

How to Store Leftovers

After enjoying your delicious air fryer Szechuan chicken, you may find yourself with some leftovers. To ensure that you can savor the flavors of this dish for another meal, it’s important to store the leftovers properly. Here are some tips on how to store your air fryer Szechuan chicken leftovers.

1. Refrigerate: Allow the leftover Szechuan chicken to cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Place the container in the refrigerator promptly to prevent bacterial growth. The chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

2. Freeze: If you have a larger amount of leftovers or want to save them for a longer period, you can freeze it. Transfer the cooled chicken to a freezer-safe container or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Label the container with the date and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

3. Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy your leftovers, you can reheat the chicken in the air fryer or on the stovetop. If using the air fryer, preheat it to 350°F (175°C) and cook the chicken for about 5-7 minutes until heated through. On the stovetop, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the chicken, stirring occasionally until warmed.

Air Fryer Szechuan Chicken Recipe

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  • For the Chicken:
  • 1 pound (480 g) boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 2-3 chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • sesame seeds, to serve


Step 1

Preheat your air fryer to 400 F (200 C) for 5 minutes.

Step 2

In a large bowl, combine chicken, cornstarch, bell pepper, chilies, salt, and black pepper. Toss well.

Step 3

Grease the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken and vegetable mixture in the air fryer basket, separated the pieces, so they will cook all the way around.

Step 4

Fry for 10 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Remove fried chicken and vegetables from the fryer and transfer to a serving plate.

Step 5

In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients. Whisk until brown sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.

Step 6

Remove the sauce from the heat. Pour it over the fried chicken to coat evenly. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve hot over the cooked rice, if desired.

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