Air Fryer Ninja Foodi Teriyaki Chicken (AIP, Paleo)

Air Fryer Ninja Foodi Teriyaki Chicken (AIP, Paleo)

This Ninja Foodi teriyaki chicken aka air fryer teriyaki chicken recipe is so easy and super tasty. You’d think AIP chicken teriyaki in an air fryer would be tricky but it’s not! Aside from being simple and delicious, it is of course AIP/Paleo compliant and gluten-free. *Note- If you don't have an air fryer, you can still make this recipe! See the oven and stovetop instructions below.

I got a Ninja Foodi for Christmas from my mom.  I didn’t even ask for it or really know it existed but it is my new favorite toy!! With most appliances, I put them away between uses but with the Ninja Foodi, I’ve just been keeping it on the counter because I use it so often. I still can’t get over how quickly things cook and how air frying actually makes things taste better. It’s amazing.

**Just a quick heads up- this post contains affiliate links which means if you click on them and buy something,  I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) to help continue maintaining this site. 

Various Ways to Make Air Fryer/Ninja Foodi Teriyaki Chicken

There are several ways to make AIP/Paleo teriyaki chicken, especially in an air fryer, so I experimented with a couple of variations.

Dredging

Some recipes have you dredge the chicken in some sort of flour before putting it in the air fryer. I tried this method initially which involved covering the chicken pieces in arrowroot starch before air frying. This turned out fine and it made them crispy, however, I actually liked them better when I skipped this step.

Marinated vs. Plain

I initially tested this recipe without marinating the chicken first and it was very good just covered in the AIP teriyaki sauce. The marinade does greatly enhance the flavor though, so I recommend marinating first if you have time.

Cooking in Sauce vs. Adding It After Cooking

Some recipes cook the chicken in the sauce while others add the sauce after cooking the chicken. I chose to add the sauce afterward because is less messy and less likely to burn.

Crisper Basket vs Grill Grate

I always debate whether I should air crisp or grill certain things. In the case of this recipe, I went with the crisper basket because the chicken pieces are fairly small and the basket just holds them better.

If you decide to use whole boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs rather than cut them into small pieces, that's fine too. Just put the grill grate in the Ninja Foodi/Air Fryer, set it to 500 degrees, and let it preheat.

You'll then add the chicken and cook it for about 15-19 minutes (for breasts), flipping it halfway through. Thighs will cook faster than breasts and probably won't need quite this long. Watch them closely so as to not overcook. Just make sure your chicken reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

aip paleo teriyaki chicken

Ingredients in this Ninja Foodi Teriyaki Chicken Recipe:

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts- Try to use organic if possible. Boneless skinless chicken thighs are a great option as well.
  • Pineapple Juice- This will be used for both the marinade and the sauce. Make sure it’s 100% juice. Orange juice works well too.
  • Coconut Aminos- This is an AIP soy sauce replacement made from the fermented sap of coconut palms. Thus, it brings the main teriyaki flavor to the sauce.
  • Maple Syrup- This, along with the juice adds to the sugar content needed to help the sauce caramelize and thicken.  You can use honey instead if needed.
  • Onion Powder, Garlic Powder- These round out the flavor of the sauce.
  • Ginger Powder- Ginger powder adds the tiniest bit of spice.
  • Arrowroot Starch- Arrowroot starch is combined with water to make a slurry which thickens the sauce. You can substitute tapioca starch 1:1 in its place as needed.
  • Cold Water- As mentioned above, this is used in the slurry.
aip paleo teriyaki sauce for air fryer teriyaki chicken

How to Make AIP Teriyaki Chicken in a Ninja Foodi or Air Fryer

**Note- If you don’t have an air fryer, read a little further down in the post for cooking on the stove or in the oven. These instructions are also on the recipe card.

1. Cut the chicken into 1" cubes.

If you prefer to use whole chicken breasts or chicken thighs, you can do that too. For larger pieces of meat, you’ll just have to increase the cooking time (see notes above or in the recipe).

2. Marinate

Soak the chicken in the marinade for an hour but you can leave as long as overnight for maximum flavor. If you’re in a rush but still want that yummy teriyaki chicken, you can skip the marinade step and just use the sauce.

3. Preheat Your Ninja Foodi or Air Fryer.

To do this, press “air crisp” and set it to 390 degrees. It will take about 3 minutes to preheat. When it’s ready, it will say “add food.”

4. Add the Chicken to The Crisper Basket

Since this recipe calls for 2 pounds of chicken breasts, it’s necessary to cook the chicken in 2 batches to avoid overcrowding the fry basket. No worries though, as they only take 3-5 minutes per side so it’s pretty quick.

*Make sure you clean the fry basket between batches to get off any debris. This will help to keep things from smoking when you do the second batch.

5. Cook the chicken for 3-5 minutes per side.

Flip the chicken halfway through.

6. Toss the chicken with the teriyaki sauce and serve.

The sauce in this recipe is my Coconut Aminos Teriyaki Sauce. You can check out more details on making it and variations for making it here.

Do I Have to Grease the Crisper Basket or Grill Grate?

I think this is somewhat a matter of preference. Some cooks seem to insist on greasing them while others don't. Personally, I will occasionally add a little avocado oil to the surface of the grill grate or crisper basket. I do this by putting oil on a paper towel and then wiping it on the cooking surface. That being said, I don't generally have issues with food sticking and the Ninja Foodi's cook surfaces are non-stick so I don't usually pre-grease my cook surfaces.

How Long Do You Cook Chicken In a Ninja Foodi or Air Fryer?

The answer depends on the size of the chicken pieces you're using and the equipment:

Small Chicken Cubes in a Crisper Basket

Since you’ll be cutting the chicken into small pieces, they cook very fast. It only takes about 3-5 minutes per side at 390 degrees in the crisper basket (depending on the size of the chicken pieces). Just keep an eye on them so they don’t get overcooked.

*For frozen chicken cubes, just cook them a little bit longer than thawed chicken. Cook for about 5-7 minutes per side.

Whole Chicken Breasts on the Grill Grate

The recommended cook time for whole marinated chicken breasts is 16-19 minutes at 500 degrees in "Grill" mode, flipping halfway through. The cook time for plain chicken breasts is 14-18 minutes.

How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in an Air Fryer

The recommended cooking time for frozen whole chicken breasts is 19-24 minutes at medium heat, using "Grill "mode and the grill grate. Again, you'll want to flip them halfway through.

Do I Have to Use an Air Fryer to Make This AIP Teriyaki Chicken?

Nope! There are many ways to cook this recipe. Basically, you just need a way to cook the chicken and a way to heat the sauce so it thickens. Then you just put the two together.

Stovetop:

Marinate the chicken according to the recipe. Then, in a pan over medium heat, pour 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Then toss the chicken in the teriyaki sauce (the sauce instructions stay the same- see recipe).

Oven:

Marinate the chicken according to the recipe. Then, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chicken pieces on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool for a few minutes, then toss the chicken in the teriyaki sauce (see the recipe for sauce instructions).

Should I Flip the Chicken in the Airfryer?

I usually do just so they don't get overly crispy on one side. You can flip the pieces individually or shake the basket to redistribute them.

How Long Can You Keep AIP Teriyaki Chicken in the Fridge?

Store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.

Can You Freeze Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken?

I don't recommend freezing this dish once prepared however you can store the cooked chicken and prepared sauce separately in the freezer. This is actually a great freezer meal prep strategy.

To Prep Your Ninja Foodi Teriyaki Chicken for the Freezer:

  • Make the sauce and cook the chicken.
  • Cool both- Not cooling them adequately before freezing can lead to frost build-up on the food and freezer burn.
  • For the sauce: Pour it into a (preferably glass) airtight container and label it. Small mason jars are perfect for this.
  • For the chicken: Freeze the cooked chicken pieces spread out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet first, then transfer them to a container or freezer bag. This will prevent them from sticking together.
  • Storage: Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Defrosting: When you're ready to use them, defrost them in the fridge or microwave.
  • Reheating: Reheat the chicken from thawed or frozen using the stove, air fryer, or oven. Reheat the sauce on the stove or in the microwave.

 

If You Like This Recipe, You May Like:

AIP Coconut Chicken Nuggets with Orange Sauce

Easy AIP Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice with Basil

Korean Glass Noodle Recipe with Ground Beef

Creamy Mushroom and Brussels Sprouts Soup

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you liked the recipe, please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear what you thought!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @foodcourage for the latest AIP/Paleo recipes, autoimmune nutrition info, and Food Courage happenings!

This post is shared on the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.

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AIP paleo teriyaki chicken for air fryer
AIP teriyaki chicken air fryer ninja foodi

Air Fryer Ninja Foodi Teriyaki Chicken (AIP, Paleo)

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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: air fryer, ninja foodi, teriyaki chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 180kcal
Author: Arika | FoodCourage

Equipment

  • Air Fryer/Ninja Foodi

Instructions

  • Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl and add the chicken to it. Allow the chicken to soak for at least an hour in the fridge or as long as overnight for maximum flavor. *Note- this step is technically optional and you can skip it if there is no time for marinating.
  • Place the crisper basket in the Ninja Foodi (or other air fryer). Set it to "Air Crisp" at 390 degrees. Allow it to preheat (about 3 minutes).
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  • Add about half the chicken to the crisper basket being careful not to overcrowd it. (You'll need to cook the chicken in two batches.) Shut the lid and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, then open the lid flip the chicken over to the other side. Remove from the air fryer and set aside in a bowl. Repeat the process with the second batch.
  • While the chicken is cooking, prep the sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the first 6 ingredients and heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Make a slurry with the 1/4 cup cold water and arrowroot starch, then add it to the pan.
  • Whisk/stir the mixture continuously for a few minutes. The mixture will start to bubble and thicken. Remove the pan from the heat when the mixture reaches the desired thickness.
  • Pour the desired amount of sauce over the chicken in the bowl and toss the chicken in the sauce with tongs until it's coated evenly.
  • Serve over cauliflower rice and garnish with green onions.

Notes

If Cooking Whole Chicken Breasts vs. Diced Chicken:

Cook these on the grill grate. The recommended cook time for whole marinated chicken breasts is 16-19 minutes at 500 degrees in "Grill" mode, flipping halfway through

To Cook Chicken on the Stovetop:

In a pan over medium heat, pour 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Then toss the chicken in the teriyaki sauce (the sauce instructions stay the same- see recipe).

To Cook the Chicken in the Oven:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chicken pieces on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool for a few minutes, then toss the chicken in the teriyaki sauce (see the recipe for sauce instructions).
Storage: Store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing: I don't recommend freezing this dish once prepared however you can store the cooked chicken and prepared sauce separately in the freezer. 

To Prep Your AIP Teriyaki Chicken for the Freezer:

  • Make the sauce and cook the chicken.
  • Cool both- Not cooling them adequately before freezing can lead to frost build-up on the food and freezer burn.
  • For the sauce: Pour it into a (preferably glass) airtight container and label it. Small mason jars are perfect for this.
  • For the chicken: Freeze the cooked chicken pieces spread out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet first, then transfer them to a container or freezer bag. This will prevent them from sticking together.
  • Storage: Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Defrosting: When you're ready to use them, defrost them in the fridge or microwave.
  • Reheating: Reheat the chicken from thawed or frozen using the stove, air fryer, or oven. Reheat the sauce on the stove or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz | Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 1g


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