This air fryer shredded chicken takes about 25 minutes from start to finish to make. With just 3 ingredients, you can transform boneless chicken breast into shredded chicken tacos, burritos, salads, sandwiches, soups or just to eat on its own as a delicious protein packed snack!
Learn how to make shredded chicken in the air fryer by following these simple and easy steps. This shredded chicken is more flavorful and well seasoning than the ones you make on the stovetop, instant pot, slow cooker. i.e. the boiled version.
No more bland chicken that you need to spice up using other ingredients. This air fryer shredded chicken is good on its own as it is with just salt and pepper. You can also customize the flavor to taste.
It is great for meal prep, it stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days and can easily be frozen too. Just like boiling an egg in the air fryer, you may be wondering if you need to cook chicken breast in the air fryer when you can easily boil it.
Why you will need to make shredded chicken in the air fryer
- Minimal efforts and simple ingredients: All you need is a few chicken slices, some salt, pepper and olive oil (optional). This is a time saving recipe and you only need an active cooking time of less than 18 minutes.
- Healthy, deliciously moist and tasty: using this air fryer for this recipe creates that unique flavor that you can’t achieve with the boiling method. It can also be customized to any flavor profile you want or you can keep it simple with just salt and black pepper. The chicken is tender and juicy in the middle and the exterior is slightly crispy but with an incredible flavor. It is naturally gluten-free, high in protein and low in calories.
- Economical: this budget friendly recipe is what you need to kickstart busy weekdays. Not only is this flavorful shredded chicken cheap and cheerful but it is also great for meal prep
- Versatile: shredded chicken breasts can be used in many ways in the week for dinner or lunch. you can add any sauce you want to it such as bbq, chipotle, taco sauce and many more. You can even add it to stir-fries, stews, soups, and casseroles.
Air fryer: this recipe hs been tested in my COSORI 5-5L and Instant Vortex air fryer 5.7L, 1700W but you can use any air fryer you have, Ninja Foodi and the like.
What you will need
Boneless skinless chicken breasts: substitute with boneless skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
How to make air fryer shredded chicken
Remove any unwanted fat from the chicken breast (wash if you desire) and pat it dry with a kitchen paper towel.
Brush the olive oil on the chicken breast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or any desired seasonings.
Place chicken breasts in the air fryer basket, making sure to not overcrowd them.
Set the timer for 16 minutes at 400°F/200C, flipping the chicken halfway through cooking time. Or until the internal temperature reaches 165F/74C when checked with a meat thermometer.
Remove the chicken breast from the air fryer and rest for about 5 minutes for the juice to redistribute back into the chicken. Shred the chicken breast using 2 forks, a food processor, or a meat chopper.
How to shred chicken breast
The quickest way to shred chicken at home without any fancy gadgets and save on washing up is by using two forks. Simply hold 1 fork in each hand and use the tines of the forks to pull apart the chicken breast until it is all shredded.
Other ways to shred chicken breast or thighs are
Electric mixer: place chicken in a bowl and using the paddle attachment or beaters, mix on low speed until the chicken shreds.
Chicken shredder tools: this can be found on Amazon, for the price it's sold I think I would stick to using two forks. Simple, quick and efficient!
Hand mixer: you can use the beater attachments to shred chicken using this tool.
Food Processor: cut the chicken into cubes or manageable chunks. Place the chicken in the food processor and pulse until it is shredded to the desired consistency.
How to store
Storing your air fryer shredded chicken properly will help it stay fresh for longer. Cooked chicken can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Make sure the chicken is completely cooled before storing away.
You can freeze it for up 3 months under the right conditions and temperature. Thaw the chicken in the fridge overnight when you are ready to use it.
- Cut the chicken into cutlets or thinly before air fryer if you are short on time or you are using a large chicken breast
- It is important not to overcook the chicken as it will become dry and tough.
- If you are using larger chicken breasts or thighs, increase the cooking time accordingly. This is where a meat thermometer is an essential tool to have. If the chicken is not cooked through, simply set it back in the air fryer and cook until fully cooked
Can I bake it in the oven
Absolutely, if you don't own an air fryer, you can still make this recipe using the oven. Simply preheat your oven to 400F/200C. Season as instructed above and place your chicken in an oven-safe baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F/74C when checked with a meat thermometer. Then shred as indicated above.
Can I cook a whole chicken to shred in the air fryer
Yes, you can cook your whole chicken and shred it once it is cooked. The average time to cook a whole chicken in the air fryer is between 40-50 minutes flipping it halfway through.
Other chicken recipes you will love
Air Fryer Shredded Chicken
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast substitute with boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- Remove any unwanted fat from the chicken breast (wash if you desired) and pat it dry with kitchen paper towels.
- Brush the olive oil on the chicken breast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or any desired seasonings.
- Place chicken breasts in the air fryer basket, making sure to not overcrowd them or overlap them.
- Set the timer for 16 minutes at 400°F/200C, flipping the chicken halfway through cooking time. Or until the internal temperature reaches 165F/74C when checked with a meat thermometer.
- Remove the chicken breast from the air fryer and rest for about 5 minutes for the juice to redistribute back into the chicken.
- Shred the chicken breast using 2 forks, a food processor, or a meat chopper. Use as desired and enjoy!
And there you have it! A simple and delicious air fryer chicken recipe you can make at home in 10 minutes. As always, if you made this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Kindly rate the recipe 5 star and leave me feedback in the comment section below. Tag me @cheapchickenrecipes on Instagram and save it away to your Pinterest or make it on Tiktok. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t for free new recipes in your inbox every week.