One thing has been bugging me for a while: How can I make Shredded Chicken in the Air Fryer? My favorite method to cook chicken quickly without compromising flavor and tenderness is by far the Air fryer.
- Why should I make shredded chicken in the air fryer?
- What can I do with shredded chicken?
- What you will need to make shredded chicken in the air fryer
- Ingredients for shredded chicken in the air fryer
- Pro Tip
- How to make shredded chicken in the air fryer
- Storage / Leftovers / Rewarm
- More easy and delicious chicken recipes
- More fun recipes to serve with shredded chicken
- Shredded Chicken in the Air Fryer
- Food Safety
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Why should I make shredded chicken in the air fryer?
- Quick: Cooking shredded chicken in the air fryer is quick and efficient. Perfect for those busy weeknight dinners when you need to put together a quick meal.
- Convenient: Everything is cooked in one place. The chicken is cooking while you are busy doing other chores.
- Possibilities: I never know what leftovers we will have from pasta to rice or even hamburger buns to tortillas. Shredded chicken can be the base of its own unique meal or be the mid-week dinner hero.
What can I do with shredded chicken?
Shredded chicken in the air fryer is tender and juicy. It can be served as is with a side of rice or roasted vegetables. I also love using shredded chicken for:
- Chicken Quesadillas
- Added to our favorite fried rice recipe
- Addition to a salad
- Mix it in with pasta and cheese sauce
- Last but not least, a Shredded Chicken Sandwich. It only needs a hamburger bun and some BBQ sauce.
What you will need to make shredded chicken in the air fryer
- Air Fryer: There are so many brands and sizes of air fryer. I used a basket style, 5.8 Qt. Keep in mind the time may vary depending on which air fryer you will use.
- Cake pan: Make sure it fits in the air fryer, especially since you will be preheating it.
- Meat thermometer: I use an instant meat thermometer. It is the easiest and safest way for me to make sure the chicken is at the right temperature.
Ingredients for shredded chicken in the air fryer
- Skinless and boneless chicken thighs: You could use chicken breasts or bone-in chicken thighs. Keep in mind they will cook differently. So the timing may need to be adjusted.
- Seasoning blend: I combined garlic powder, onion powder, salt, paprika, and lemon pepper. You can also use your favorite blend of spices for seasoning the chicken.
For even more convenience, you can add the seasoning to the chicken overnight. Place the seasoned chicken in a ziplock bag and place it back in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.
How to make shredded chicken in the air fryer
1. Preparing the Chicken – Add the spices to a bowl to make the seasoning mixture. Prepare the chicken and sprinkle the seasoning mixture on the chicken thighs.
2. Preheat & Air Fry the Chicken Thighs – Place the cake pan in the air fryer to preheat, add the oil & vinegar to the pan, then add the seasoned chicken thighs to air fry.
3. Shred, Air Fry, and Enjoy Shredded Chicken – Once the chicken is cooked remove and shred. Once shredded, return to the air fryer for a final air fry. Serve and Enjoy.
Preparing the Chicken
Preheat & Air Fry the Chicken Thighs
Shred Chicken & Air Fry
Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post to print the recipe and see the exact measurements of each ingredient.
I used chicken thighs but you can also use chicken breasts or even better a mix of both.
This is one way to season shredded chicken in the air fryer. There are so many variations that are possible. Give our Air Fryer Spicy Nuggets spicy rub a try for a homemade spicy version. Here are some other favorite variations we enjoy at The Kitchen Bucket List:
- Ranch and Bacon – Use a Ranch mixture on the chicken and add bacon bits once the chicken is shredded.
- Kid-friendly – Make a sweet and savory wet rub with brown sugar, oil, and vinegar, then serve with a sweet BBQ sauce.
- Spicy – Use a taco seasonings mixture packet. Or if you have a favorite seasoning just add a pinch of red pepper flakes or chili powder.
Storage / Leftovers / Rewarm
- Storage: When the shredded chicken cools you can place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Leftovers: The sky is the limit here. Rewarm and add to a bun for a quick sandwich or add to our quesadillas.
- Rewarm: Time to fire up the air fryer at 350 degrees F. for 4 – 5 minutes.
Shredded Chicken in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer (5.8 Qt basket style)
- Instant read thermometer
- 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
Preparing the Chicken
- In a small bowl mix the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, Paprika, and lemon pepper to make seasoning.
- Unpack the chicken thighs, and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle the seasonings on the chicken thighs to cover on both sides. Set aside.
Preheat & Air Fry Chicken
- Place a cake pan in the air fryer and preheat to 370 degrees F. for 3 minutes.
- Pour the olive oil and balsamic vinegar into the cake pan.
- Add the seasoned chicken thighs.
- Air fry at 370 degrees F. for 13 -15 minutes, flip them halfway through.
- The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature has reached a minimum of 165 degrees F.
Shred, Air Fry, and Enjoy Shredded Chicken
- Carefully remove the chicken thighs from the pan and place them on a plate.
- Use 2 forks to shred the chicken into pieces.
- Place the chicken back into the pan and cook in the air fryer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy!
All of us are responsible for the safe preparation, cooking, and serving of food. The Kitchen Bucket List shares with you our personal experiences in cooking and food safety. We are not a food safety site. As a convenience, we provide informative information we find from food safety sites. If you have questions about your food safety check your local guidelines and/or head over to the USDA. The “Storage / Leftovers / Rewarm” section of the posts are our personal estimates.
Here are some key things to remember:
- Like Mom always said, “Wash your hands.” It is the easiest thing to do for your food safety.
- Avoid cross-contamination between raw food items and the utensils with which they come in contact with.