Fast Air Fryer Shredded Chicken Tacos is the perfect chicken taco recipe. It’s flavorful and simple to make. These Air Fryer Chicken tacos cook quickly and make for an excellent weeknight dinner when you are in a hurry to get food on the table quickly.
We love Mexican food for dinner in our house. And, you can’t get any easier than air fryer Mexican recipes. I have to admit that I’ve broken not one but two different air fryers in the past four years. That’s how much I use and love my air fryers. Not only are air fryers easy to use, they also cook quickly and taste great.
On weekday nights after sports, and other family activities all I really care about is feeding my family something healthy that cooks really quickly. That’s where these amazing Air Fryer Shredded Chicken Tacos really shine.
They are healthy, taste amazing and come together so quickly in the air fryer.
Chicken Thighs vs Chicken Breasts for chicken tacos
I used boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe because the chicken is more tender and moist. You can use boneless skinless chicken breast for this air fryer chicken tacos recipe instead if you prefer.
Personally, I feel that chicken thighs work amazingly in the air fryer and turn out so much better than chicken breasts. I recommend giving them a try if you have them on hand.
We promise you will love how tender they turn out. I do not recommend using bone in chicken for this recipe however. Using bone in meat will take a lot longer to cook and will be harder to shred for your chicken tacos.
What kind of air fryer do I need to make chicken tacos
I used a 4.2 quart Ultrean Air Fryer with a fryer basket. You can use any type of air fryer however. If you have the oven or rotisserie type of air fryer be sure to place your rack at the middle level for the best results.
You can even use the trivet in your Instant Pot and the air fryer lid for your pressure cooker and still get excellent results for these chicken tacos.
I like to preheat my air fryer before using it. Having a preheated air fryer will ensure that your chicken thighs will cook closer to 12 minutes instead of sixteen minutes and might help your chicken thighs start tender.
However it’s not necessary that you preheat if you want to save a few minutes. You should have time to preheat your air fryer while you are mixing together your seasonings and spices.
Can I make Air Fryer Chicken tacos in advance
Absolutely, you can make air fryer shredded chicken tacos in advance. All you need to do is cook your chicken thighs all the way through.
Allow your chicken thighs to completely cool and come to room temperature before placing them in an airtight container. Store your air tight container in the fridge for up to five days.
Be sure to keep your cooked chicken thighs completely cool while storing them.
To reheat your chicken thighs you can place them on a microwave safe plate and microwave at fifty percent power for about two minutes or until your chicken thighs are warmed all the way through.
Microwaving your chicken thighs at a reduced power will help prevent them from drying out and becoming tough to eat.
Another way to reheat your air fryer chicken tacos is to reheat them in a skillet. Preheat a skillet on your stove on medium heat. You will want to add a small amount of oil. Less than ¼ teaspoon or spray your skillet well with nonstick cooking spray.
Using the oil will help prevent your precooked chicken thighs from drying out. You could also add a small amount of water or chicken broth to your skillet while you are reheating your precooked chicken thighs to help them moisten up.
Can I freeze Air Fryer Shredded Chicken Tacos
You certainly can freeze air fryer shredded chicken tacos. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it is freezer friendly.
I like to pre cook meals on a day when I have a little extra time so that all I need to do is pull the meal out of the freezer and reheat for a quick and easy dinner on a busy dinner.
I use freezer meals like these chicken tacos for nights when I am feeling under the weather as it’s so simple to reheat and assemble that my husband or even my child can do it and feed themselves without needing anything from me.
These meals come in handy when I get hit with a cold or flu.
How do I store frozen chicken tacos
If you are freezing your shredded chicken tacos, cook your chicken thighs completely like listed in the recipe below. Then allow your chicken thighs to completely cool and come to room temperature.
Once your chicken thighs have reached room temperature add them to a freezer safe bag or freezer safe airtight container. Place your bag or container into your freezer and freeze for up to 3 months.
Want to extend the time your cooked chicken thighs can stay in the freezer? Vacuum seal your chicken thighs to protect from freezer burn and they will last up to 6 months without any quality loss.
When you are ready to eat your frozen chicken tacos, simply place your frozen chicken thighs into your fridge and allow it to thaw slowly overnight.
Allowing your chicken thighs to thaw slowly in the fridge is the safest way to thaw meat and protects the quality of your dinner. To reheat, place on a microwave safe plate and reheat at fifty percent power until warm in the center.
Can I reheat air fryer chicken tacos in my air fryer
You certainly can reheat your air fryer chicken tacos in your air fryer. Simply place your thawed chicken thighs back into your air fryer to reheat. Reheat them at 350 degrees for about two to three minutes.
If you are reheating your chicken thighs in the air fryer be sure to watch them closely so that they do not burn and dry out.
Is there an easy way to shred chicken
My favorite way to shred chicken is by using shredding claws. I love how shredding claws work quickly with little effort on my part. Shredding claws also leaves the best texture and most evenly shredded chicken.
I use shredding claws to shred any type of meat. I like to shred roasts, pulled pork, pulled chicken, chicken breast and chicken thighs. Shredding claws are inexpensive and do a great job.
I like to give shredding claws as a bridal shower gift because it’s nothing most people don’t even think to register for on their registry.
If you do not have shredding claws in your cabinets, have no fear. I have some other ways that you can easily shred chicken for your chicken tacos. My grandmother always shredded her chicken with two forks.
Using the two fork methods takes a little more work than the shredding claws but it still brings you great results. I do find that it’s harder to get even sized shredded pieces but the chicken is going into tacos, so your family or guests won’t notice the difference.
To use two forks to shred chicken, simply pull the meat apart with your forks. You can use one fork to shred the meat and one to hold the meat still if you prefer to do that.
Using a mixer to shred chicken
Did you know that you can also use your Kitchen Aid mixer to shred chicken? Well, you certainly can. The advantage to using your mixer to shred chicken is that it’s amazingly fast and takes very little effort on your part.
Simply place your chicken thighs in a mixing bowl, and use your mixer to quickly and efficiently shred your chicken. The only downside to using your mixer is that you will need to wash your bowl and your mixing hook.
Be sure to watch your mixer while it is shredding your chicken so that it doesn’t over shred the chicken.
Ingredients needed to make FAST Air Fryer Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Seasoning Mixture for FAST Air Fryer Shredded Chicken Tacos
One package taco seasoning, or make your own
- chili powder
- ground cumin
- garlic powder
- cayenne pepper, if desired
- diced tomato
- onion – chopped or diced
- diced jalapeno
- fresh lime juice
- flour or corn tortillas
- shredded iceberg lettuce
- shredded cheese
Directions to make FAST Air Fryer Shredded Chicken Tacos
Step 1 In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Or open a package of taco seasoning and you have the perfect amount. My house loves the Taco Bell brand taco seasoning packet. You can use any kind your family prefers.
Step 2 Put rinsed and dried chicken thighs in a bowl or large resealable bag and toss with oil until coated. Be sure to dry your chicken thighs off once rinse before you coat them in oil.
Step 3 Place chicken pieces on a cutting board and sprinkle with spice mixture, as evenly as possible. You could also use a storage bag or plate to apply your seasoning to your chicken thighs.
Step 4 Pop chicken in an air fryer basket inside the air fryer and set the temperature to 400 degrees.
Step 5 Cook between 13 and 16 minutes, flipping chicken thighs around the 7-minute mark. Using a kitchen thermometer, make sure chicken thighs have at least reached 170 degrees before serving. Be sure to check that your thermometer is inserted into the center of the chicken to get the most accurate temperature reading.
Step 6 Once cooked, place chicken in a bowl and shred using two shredding claws, or 2 large forks or when cool enough, pull with your fingers. Serve chicken with hard and soft tortillas and any of those mouth-watering taco toppings and you’re in taco heaven!
Garnish for Air Fryer Chicken Tacos
- shredded lettuce
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- refried beans
- black beans
- with hard and soft tortilla shells
More Delicious Air Fryer Recipes for you
FAST Air Fryer Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Air Fryer
- two shredding claws or two forks for shredding
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper if desired
- 1 pound chicken thighs boneless, skinless and trimmed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tomato cored and chopped
- ¼ cup red onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon jalapeño diced, if desired
- 1 tablespoon lime juice from fresh lime
- 6 large flour or corn tortillas
- 1 cup iceberg lettuce shredded
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- Combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cayenne in bowl.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels, rub with oil, and sprinkle evenly with spice mixture. Place chicken in air-fryer basket. Place basket in air fryer and set temperature to 400 degrees.
- Cook until chicken registers 175 degrees, 12 to 16 minutes, flipping and rotating chicken halfway through cooking.
- Meanwhile, combine tomato, onion, jalapeño, and lime juice in bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside until ready to serve.
- Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces using 2 shredding claws or 2 large forks.
- Serve chicken on warm tortillas, topped with salsa, lettuce, and cheddar.