Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes Recipe (2024)

I’ve discovered a new favourite way to use up leftover chicken. The usual ways of spending up leftover chicken would be sneaking them into fried rice, pasta, or a noodle/pasta soup. But this new one might just be my favourite as it’s mighty delicious. With a little air fryer magic, I’ve made these leftover chicken air fryer croquettes which have been a delight to savour. It’s got a lovely creamy interior and a gorgeous crispy breaded coating – it’s exactly what I’ll call a leftover food glow up!

The story behind this recipe is that the other half went a bit trigger happy on a late-night UberEats order and ended up with these leftover grilled chicken that he had no intention of eating the next day. I hate wasting food so my mind immediately started racing around to come up with a good recipe idea to spend the leftover chicken into my cooking. These air fryer croquettes are the end result of it and both he and I were surprised by how good it turned out. We gobbled the whole plate up within minutes.

You can pretty much use any leftover chicken. Whether it’s from grilled chicken or a weekend chicken roast, the recipe concept would work beautifully.

Don’t have an air fryer and thinking of getting one? Check these out:

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Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes Recipe (1)

How to make Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes


  • Leftover Chicken – shredded up
  • Butter, Plain Flour, Milk – to make the white sauce
  • Grated Cheese – I used Vegetarian Italian Hard Cheese (i.e. halal substitute for Parmesan). You can also use other cheeses such as Cheddar, Mozzarella, etc.
  • Salt, Black Pepper, Paprika, Chilli Powder, Garlic Powder, Chicken Bouillon cube – seasoning and spices
  • Onions, Fresh Coriander Leaves – as part of the filling
  • Egg – binding agent
  • Panko and/or Golden Breadcrumbs – I used a blend of both. Further notes below.
  • Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes Recipe (2)
  • Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes Recipe (3)

Essentially, a thick sauce was made to gel the ingredients together and give moisture. I’ve combined the shredded leftover chicken with chopped onions and fresh coriander leaves, and mixed them with a spiced white sauce. Feel free to add some freshly chopped chillies in there as well if you fancy a kick of heat. Then it’s simply a matter of rolling them up into balls and the classic egg-dipping then breadcrumb-rolling to make the croquettes.

In terms of the choice of breadcrumb, I used a blend of both panko and golden breadcrumbs. While you can use either one to your own preference, I have my reasons for using both. First of all, panko breadcrumbs offer a lighter and delicate texture that gives an irresistible crisp for the coating. As for the golden breadcrumbs, I find it gelling better to the croquettes and help to keep their shape better.

Need more recipe inspo? Check these out too:

  • Breaded Pesto Air Fryer Chicken
  • Buffalo Chicken Bites
  • Honey Za’atar Air Fryer Halloumi
Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes Recipe (4)
Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes Recipe (5)

Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes Recipe (6)

Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes Recipe

ET Food Voyage

Need new ideas for leftover chicken? Turn them into these easy-to-make but lipsmacking leftover chicken air fryer croquettes!

5 from 3 votes

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Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Cook Time 10 minutes mins

Course Appetizer

Cuisine American

Servings 12 croquettes

Calories 212 kcal


  • Air Fryer


  • 2 cup Leftover Chicken shredded
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • ½ cup Golden Breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Chilli Powder
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 heaped tbsp Plain Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • cup Grated Cheese
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ cube Chicken Bouillon
  • ½ Onion diced
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves chopped


  • Melted butter in a pot over medium heat. Stir in flour and mix into a roux.

  • Whisk in milk and keep stirring for about 5 minutes until it starts to thicken.

  • Stir in grated cheese and season with salt, black pepper, paprika, chilli powder, garlic powder, and the crumbled bouillon cube.

  • Once thickened, remove from heat and add in the shredded chicken, chopped onions and coriander. Toss to combine. Set aside to allow to cool down.

  • Mix together both Panko and golden breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Place beaten egg in a separate bowl.

  • Scoop a tablespoon of the chicken mixture and shape it into a ball. Dip into beaten egg and then coat with breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining chicken mixture.

  • Preheat air fryer to 200°C. Brush the air fryer basket with a layer of oil.

  • Place the chicken croquettes into the basket. Brush them with oil and cook for 5 minutes.

  • Roll the croquettes to the other side, brush with more oil, and cook for another 5 minutes until golden in colour.

  • Allow to cool down for a few minutes before serving.

Keyword Air Fryer Recipe, Chicken, Starters

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Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes Recipe (7)
Leftover Chicken Air Fryer Croquettes Recipe (2024)


How do you reheat chicken croquettes in an air fryer? ›

Reheating chicken croquettes in an air fryer is a quick and easy way to bring them back to their crispy texture. Here's how: Preheat your air fryer to 375°F for 3-5 minutes. Place the chicken croquettes in the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they are not touching.

How do you cook leftover chicken in the air fryer? ›

If you happen to own an air fryer, you can certainly reheat your fried chicken in its basket. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and let the fried chicken come to room temperature. Next, arrange the fried chicken in a single layer and cook it for about four minutes, flipping it once to ensure even cooking.

How do you reheat chicken patties in the air fryer? ›

To reheat any leftover chicken patties, pop them back into the air fryer at 350°F for 4-5 minutes until hot and crispy.

How do you reheat cooked croquettes? ›

Reheat the croquetas on a baking tray lined with baking parchment in a preheated oven at 200C, 180C fan/gas 6 for 8 mins or fry them as instructed in the recipe.

What's the best way to reheat croquettes? ›

Remove and thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then fry when ready to serve. Or fry the croquettes ahead of time and reheat them in the oven at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

How do you reheat chicken without drying an air fryer? ›

A little butter and oil goes a long way

But if the food in question doesn't need to lose moisture — like, say, a refrigerated piece of cooked steak or chicken — then as it cooks in the air fryer, it may start to dehydrate. One way to combat this is to lightly coat your meat in a thin layer of olive (or other) oil.

How long to cook leftovers in air fryer? ›

How to Reheat Leftovers (like fries, vegetables, pizza, etc)
  1. Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 400 °F.
  2. Place leftovers in a single layer in air fryer basket.
  3. Cook for 3-5 minutes at 350 °F, or until food is crispy to liking and reaches safe internal temperature of 165 °F.

How long to heat up refrigerated chicken in air fryer? ›

Once the air fryer is adequately preheated, insert the basket with the chicken and set the timer for about four to six minutes. However, note that the thickness of the chicken pieces and the air fryer model you're using could necessitate slight adjustments to the timing.

How do you reheat cooked chicken patties? ›

How to Reheat Chicken Patties:
  1. Air Fryer – you can re-crisp chicken patties in the air fryer at 350˚F for 4 minutes, flipping halfway.
  2. Skillet – place on a dry non-stick skillet over medium heat and sautee until crisp and just warmed through.
Sep 4, 2020

Can I put tin foil in an air fryer? ›

Foil is safe to use in an air fryer so long as you follow three basic rules: never let foil touch the heating element; make sure the foil is weighted so it doesn't blow around the basket; and avoid contact with acidic ingredients, which can cause the foil to leach onto your food.

Can you put parchment paper in an air fryer? ›

Parchment paper can handle the heat inside your air fryer - up to 428°F (220°C). To get the best results, add the parchment paper to the air fryer basket at the same time as you add your ingredients. This prevents the paper from lifting up and coming into contact with the heating element while cooking.

Can you fry chicken that's already cooked? ›

It works best if you let the chicken come to room temperature first. And since the chicken is already cooked, you don't need to cook it in the oil for quite as long — about 2 to 3 minutes per side should do it, but it's safest to use an internal thermometer and make sure the meat has reached 165°F.

How to make leftover chicken breast juicy? ›

Adding water or chicken broth to whatever dish you are reheating the chicken in will create steam and helps add moisture to the meat. Tinfoil if you're using the oven, a skillet lid on the stove-top, or a damp paper towel in the microwave, all three trap the liquid/steam in the dish.

How do you make leftover chicken moist? ›

To keep the chicken moist, pour a cup of chicken broth into the bottom of the dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place it in the oven. Let the chicken roast for approximately 25 minutes. Remove the foil and let roast for an additional 5 minutes to crisp up the skin.

How do you reheat chicken croquettes? ›

But the really great thing about these croquettes is that they reheat beautifully (at 325F for 10-15 minutes), so they can be made in advance for a future dinner or (if made into 1-inch balls) a party appetizer.

How long does it take to reheat croquettes? ›

These gorgeous crispy deep-fried calorie-intense cheesy potato croquettes, on the other hand, went down splendidly, especially with the teenage son and his friend who came over for dinner. Leftovers croquettes can be reheated in a 220 C oven for 10 minutes and they come out perfectly crispy again!

How do you reheat chicken in an air fryer without drying it out? ›

There's a simple solution to combat this: add a little extra oil or butter before heating. It may seem counter-intuitive to add something wet to the air fryer, which is traditionally a dry-heat cooking appliance, but that bit of moisture and fat will keep the meat basted and prevent it from losing its flavor.

How do you reheat food in an air fryer without drying it out? ›

A Little Butter And Oil Goes A Long Way

But if the food in question doesn't need to lose moisture — like, say, a refrigerated piece of cooked steak or chicken — then as it cooks in the air fryer, it may start to dehydrate. One way to combat this is to lightly coat your meat in a thin layer of olive (or other) oil.

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