Go Back
+ servings
Close up view of air fryer sesame chicken served with rice and garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

Air Fryer Sesame Chicken

Air Fryer Sesame Chicken is sweet and sticky with crispy, bite-sized chicken smothered in an easy homemade sesame sauce!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 39 minutes
Total Time 49 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 327kcal


  • 1 pound chicken thighs cut in 1 ½" pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds for garnish
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sliced green onions for garnish

Sesame Sauce:


  • Mix the cornstarch and salt and toss it with the chicken pieces.
  • Spray the air fryer basket lightly with oil.
  • Place the chicken in the air fryer basket in a single layer (you will need to cook in 2-3 batches).
  • Spray the chicken lightly with oil.
  • Cook at 400F degrees for 11-13 minutes, shaking every 5 minutes, until golden brown on the outside.
  • Place in a bowl and do the same for the remaining batch(es).
  • Toss the cooked chicken with the sauce and serve with white rice (or fried rice), garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

Sesame Sauce:

  • Simmer all the ingredients, except the cornstarch slurry, for 3-5 minutes.
  • Make sure the cornstarch slurry has been mixed thoroughly, then slowly pour into the saucepan with the sauce, whisking constantly.
  • The sauce should thicken and become glossy.



  1. To spray the air fryer basket and the chicken, I recommend using a good quality spray oil. (Cooking sprays like PAM may damage your air fryer). I use this oil sprayer filled with my favorite oil. 
  2. If your air fryer model requires preheating, you should preheat it before adding the chicken (at least for the first batch).
  3. Be sure to cut your chicken into the same size pieces (about 1 ½ inches in size) so they cook evenly.
  4. To ensure even cooking, you’ll also want to air fry the chicken in a single layer. Depending on the size of your air fryer, this could mean air frying the chicken in 2-3 batches.
  5. For evenly browned chicken, don’t forget to shake the basket a few times to toss the chicken around.
  6. Each air fryer cooks a little differently, so you may need to adjust the temperature and air frying time slightly.
  7. If your sesame sauce is too thin, add more cornstarch slurry. If it’s too thick, stir in a little water.
  8. The sauce is sweet and a little salty. If you like it spicy, add a little chili paste.
  9. For easy clean up, line the bottom of your air fryer basket with parchment paper. (You can get parchment paper with little holes in it that are made for air fryer baskets).


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1175mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg