Air Fryer Chicken Pillows
Easy to throw together and oh so irresistible these Air Fryer Chicken Pillows are perfect for an appetizer, or meal prepping. Honestly they are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Take your pick.
My family love chicken pillows, and I love just how easy it is to make it for them. If you are like me and enjoy cooking but sometimes want a quick easy meal to make then this recipe is for you.
These are perfect to make with kids or for the novice cook. Just a few simple ingredients and these tasty air fryer chicken pillows become a reality.
What Are Chicken Pillows?
Chicken Pillows are a delicious and easy-to-make chicken dish that is perfect for any occasion. They are essentially boneless, skinless chicken breasts chopped and mixed with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, garlic, and herbs, then rolled up into bread dough before being baked to golden perfection.
The result is a perfectly crispy exterior with a creamy and savory filling that will have your taste buds dancing. The best part about making chicken pillows is that they can be customized to suit your taste preferences. You can add different herbs or spices to the cream cheese mixture or swap out the bread dough for crescent roll dough.
Chicken pillows are great for serving as an appetizer or main course at dinner parties or family gatherings. They are also perfect for meal prepping since you can make them ahead of time and freeze them until ready to bake.
For this recipe I made the Chicken Pillows in the Air Fryer to help simplify the cooking time and cleanup process. However, if you would like to make these in the oven you definitely can.
Ingredients in Air Fryer Chicken Pillows
- Canned Pillsbury Crescent Rolls: Using these crescent rolls is such an easy way to cut down on the time it takes to make this recipe. The crescent roll dough is able to stretch out flat and separates easily from each other. And that buttery crescent flavor just cannot be beat.
- Chicken: Using pre-cooked shredded chicken or the meat from a rotisserie chicken works well for this recipe.
- Cream Cheese: Acting as a binder the cream cheese also brings a delicious creamy flavor. I prefer to use a regular cream cheese not a flavored one.
- Cheese: For this recipe for chicken crescent rollups I prefer to use sharp cheddar cheese. It is possible to use another cheese, I have also tried pepper jack with this recipe and loved it.
- Bacon: Adding cooked chopped bacon really makes this recipe. It is possible to use turkey bacon, but for me turkey bacon just doesn’t bring the same flavor.
- Dry Ranch Dressing Mix: I actually have a ranch dressing problem, or maybe obsession is a better word. So much so that I have a Costco sized container of the dry mix in my cubpard. And I am not ashamed to admit that it is only half full. And that fact makes me a bit nervous, I think I need to go to Costco and get more. All kidding aside the dry ranch dressing mix in this recipe brings so much flavor. I would advise you not to skip it.
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper: I had a pinch of both of these to my taste. Keep in mind that cheese, bacon, and the ranch dressing all have salt in them. So go sparingly with the salt.
Assembling the Air Fryer Chicken Pillows
The first step I follow in this recipe is making sure that I have all of the ingredients. There is nothing worse than starting to make a recipe and then realizing that you are missing a key component of the recipe.
When it comes to mixing the ingredients I like to mix the cream cheese and the ranch dressing mix together first. This works best if the cream cheese is softened to room temperature.
I will then add the rest of the ingredients and mix them together completely making a creamy chicken mixture.
Adding the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mixing them together works best in a sturdy bowl that is easy to hang on to.
I have these Pyrex 8-Piece 100 Years Glass Mixing Bowl Set. They are very easy to use and hang on to, come with a set that they nest in, are easy to clean, and come with a lid. This is great if I have any left over ingredients I know that I can just store them in the mixing bowl.
Assembling the Air Fryer Chicken Pillows
Once all of the ingredients in the chicken mixture is mixed together I will take the crescent rolls and place two spoonfuls of the chicken mixture into the center of the crescent rolls.
Fold the outsides of the crescent roll over the chicken mixture covering it as much as possible.
I like to cover them completely as the have a tendency to open up during cooking.
Complete this step with all of the chicken pillows until they are assembled.
This recipe is for Air Fryer Chicken Pillows. Therefore an air fryer is needed. However if you do not have one then a conventional oven will work just as well.
This is a great mid sized machine that can accommodate up to 4 pork chops and 5 of these chicken pillows.
Preheat the Air Fryer to 350 degrees F.
I like to use Air Fryer Paper Liners in the basket. It is made of parchment paper and keeps the chicken pillows from sticking to the basket.
The best part is that it prevents any juices or oils from getting onto the machine which means no clean up.
All I have to do at the end of cooking is throw the Air Fryer Paper Liner away.
Cook the chicken pillows at 350 for 12-15 minutes cook time. Each Air Fryer cooks at a different wattage and that may affect the cooking time. The one I have is a higher wattage and more powerful, therefore the cook time is closer to 12 minutes.
The outside of the crescent rolls should be a golden brown color and appear to be cooked through.
While the chicken pillows are cooking I mix together the garlic butter. This is optional but adds so much to the flavor of this dish.
When the air fryer chicken pillows are golden brown I remove them from the oven and baste them with the garlic butter.
Then they are ready to eat and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- I prefer to use the Pillsbury brand but any refrigerated crescent roll dough will do. This recipe will work with any premade dough.
- I like to purchase a rotisserie chicken from Costco and use the meat. Shredding it into bite size pieces works best. It is possible to use canned chicken as well, but I have never tried it.
- Air Fryer Chicken Pillows can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Air Fryer Chicken Pillows can also be kept in a freezer for up to 3 months. I can get them out and pop them back into the oven to reheat. And I find the key is to let them sit out for a good 30 minutes to help defrost them.
- Make these as meal prep for the week. Just store them in the refrigerator and pop them into the oven or an air fryer for a few minutes to crisp them back up.
Chicken Pillows FAQ’s
Can I Use Canned Chicken To Make Chicken Pillows?
The good news is that you can definitely use canned chicken to make chicken pillows. In fact, some recipes even call for canned chicken specifically because it’s so convenient.
To start, you’ll want to drain the canned chicken and shred it into small pieces. Then mix it with any seasonings or other ingredients you want to include (such as cheese or veggies). From there, you can follow your favorite recipe for making dough and shaping the pillows.
One thing to keep in mind is that using canned chicken may affect the texture of your finished product. Since the meat is already cooked and packed in water or broth, it may be more tender than fresh chicken. This could make it harder to work with when stuffing your dough pockets.
If you’re concerned about this, one option would be to sauté the canned chicken before mixing it with any other ingredients. This will help dry out the meat slightly and give it a firmer texture that’s easier to handle.
Overall, whether or not you use canned chicken for your air fryer chicken pillows is up to personal preference. While some people swear by fresh ingredients only, others find that canned options are just as tasty (and much easier). So if you have a can of leftover shredded chicken in your pantry, go ahead and give it a try!
Can I Make This Recipe Low Fat?
Yes, you can make chicken pillows low fat! Chicken pillows are a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for any meal. By using lean chicken breast and substituting high-fat ingredients with healthier options, you can create a tasty yet low-fat version of this classic dish.
Here are some tips to help you make low-fat chicken pillows:
- Use Lean Chicken Breast: Start by choosing skinless and boneless chicken breasts as they are the leanest part of the chicken. Trim off any visible fat before cooking.
- Replace High-Fat Ingredients: Instead of using high-fat cream cheese or sour cream, try using Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese to add creaminess to your filling. You can also use reduced-fat mozzarella cheese instead of regular cheese.
- Add More Vegetables: Adding veggies like spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers will not only add flavor but also provide more nutrients and fiber to your dish.
How To Store Chicken Pillows
Chicken pillows are a delicious and easy-to-make meal that can be enjoyed any time of the day. They are made with chicken, cream cheese, and spices, wrapped in crescent roll dough, and baked until golden brown. But what do you do if you have leftovers or want to make them ahead of time? Here’s how to store chicken pillows:
- Let them cool down: After baking the chicken pillows, let them cool down completely before storing them. This will prevent condensation from forming inside the container.
- Use an airtight container: Store the cooled chicken pillows in an airtight container to maintain their freshness for longer periods. Make sure the container is large enough to hold all your chicken pillows without overcrowding.
- Keep them refrigerated: Chicken is highly perishable so it’s important to keep your chicken pillows refrigerated if you plan on storing them for more than a few hours. Place your sealed container in the fridge and consume within 3-4 days.
- Reheat properly: When reheating your stored chicken pillows make sure they are heated through before eating by heating in microwave or oven until fully cooked.
- Do not freeze: Unfortunately, freezing may affect both the texture and flavor of this dish drastically — so it’s best not to freeze these delicious treats!
Storing leftover Chicken Pillows can save time and money while allowing you to enjoy this tasty treat whenever cravings hit! Just remember to follow these storing tips for maximum freshness!
Other Air Fryer Recipes to Try
Air Fryer Chicken Pillows
- 1 Air Fryer
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 Can of Crescent Rolls
- 1 Cup Cooked Shredded Chicken
- 4 Ounces Cream Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 4 Pieces Cooked Bacon Finely Chopped
- 2 tbsp Diced Green Onions
- 1 tbsp Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 Garlic Clove diced
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
- In a mixing bowl add:Softened cream cheese and ranch dressing. Mix thoroughly. Add to the bowl the cup of shredded cooked chicken, cheese, bacon, and green onion. Mix all the ingredients together and set aside.
- Open a can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.Roll out the dough and gently separate the rolls.Take one of the crescent roll triangles and lay it to where it is flat.
- Add a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture to the center of the crescent roll.Fold over the sides of the crescent roll onto the chicken mixture covering it completely,Complete until all of the chicken pillows are formed.
- Preheat the Air Fryer to to 350 degrees F.Place chicken pillows into the air fryer not touching and spacing them evenly apart.Cook in the air fryer for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and cooked completely through.
- While chicken pillows are cooking prepare the lemon butter.Melt the butter in a small microwave safe bowl, about 15 seconds for room temperature butter.Add the garlic, garlic powder, and dried parsley to the butter and mix.Remove the chicken pillows from the air fryer when they are golden brown. Baste each chicken pillow with the garlic butter. Serve and Enjoy!