For a quick and delicious dinner, this air fryer Shake N’ Bake style fried chicken is just the ticket — you only need 2 ingredients!
Just cover your chicken in Kraft Shake N’ Bake seasoned coating mix, and cook it in the air fryer. And dinner is done!
Kraft Shake N’ Bake mixes make breading chicken and pork very simple. Because you don’t need to add any extra seasonings, this packaged coating takes the guesswork out of dinner.
You can also find Shake N’ Bake mixes in different flavors, such as Ranch, Herb, and Parmesan Crusted. However, I like using the Extra Crispy flavor for this air fryer chicken recipe.
Tips and Tricks for Making Air Fryer Shake N’ Bake Fried Chicken
Use Parchment Paper or Liner
Sometimes, Shake n’ Bake chicken can stick to the air fryer basket. However, if you use parchment paper or an air fryer liner on the bottom, cleanup will be a lot easier.
Use Cooking Spray
Instead of parchment paper, you can use cooking spray instead to prevent sticking. In addition, this will keep the meat moist and make the crust extra crispy.
But keep in mind that while cooking spray works well for white meat, it’s not as good for air fryer chicken thighs. Meats like dark meat or beef are already fatty, and they don’t need the extra oil.
Preheat the Air Fryer
2-3 minutes before you start frying, preheat your appliance. This will help the crust get crispy by evaporating any moisture that might already be in the air fryer basket.
As well, preheating means that the chicken starts cooking as soon as you put it in the air fryer, so the crust won’t get soggy.
The most important trick to getting evenly-cooked air-fried chicken is to leave plenty of space in the basket. If you crowd the air fryer, the hot air won’t circulate properly and the chicken won’t cook evenly or get crispy.
In addition, flip the chicken pieces once during frying. That will ensure they cook well throughout.
How Long Do You Cook Air Fryer Shake N’ Bake Style Fried Chicken?
For general times and temperatures, follow these guidelines
- Chicken, whole, 350°F/ 177°C, 45-65 mins
- Chicken breast, bone-in, 375°F/ 190°C, 25-35 mins
- Chicken breast, boneless, 350°F/ 177°C, 15-20 mins
- Chicken tenders, 350°F/ 177°C, 8-12 mins
- Chicken thighs, bone-in, 400°F/ 204°C, 15-22 mins
- Chicken thighs, boneless, 375°F/ 190°C, 16-21 mins
- Chicken wings, 375°F/ 190°C, 18-28 mins
- Chicken meat, chopped, 400°F/ 204°C, 8-15 mins
Plus, not all appliances cook the same, even if they’re on the same air fryer setting: the brand and model affect cooking time.
As a rule, always make sure your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. (You can check this with a kitchen thermometer.) At that temperature, the heat kills any bacteria or organisms that could make you sick.
Air Fryer Shake N’ Bake Style Fried Chicken
- Prep Time5 min
- Cook Time20 min
- Total Time25 min
- Wet the Chicken
First, spread just a little water over each of the chicken pieces. You want the meat moist enough that the coating will stick, but you don’t want it dripping or the coating will fall off.
- Shake the Chicken
Next, pour the seasoning into a shaker bag and add 1 or 2 pieces of chicken. Shake the bag to coat the chicken. Then, repeat with the rest of the pieces.
When you’re done, throw out the bag and any leftover mix. You don’t want to use them again because they could make you sick.
- Bake the Chicken
If you’re using parchment paper, a liner, or cooking spray, prepare your air fryer basket now. Then, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.
When it’s reached that temperature, add a couple of pieces of chicken, but don’t crowd the pan. Cook the pieces for 15-20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Once it’s golden brown and crispy, check that the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees F. Then, you can remove the pieces and continue air-frying the rest of the pieces.
- Eat the Chicken
Grab your favorite sauce and enjoy your delicious air fryer Shake N’ Bake chicken!
Other Ways to Create Shake N’ Bake Coating Mix
If you prefer to cook from scratch, make your own seasoning! All you need is unflavored breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and your favorite dried herbs, like basil or parsley.
Simply mix everything together, and air fry the chicken the same way as above.
What to Serve With Air Fryer Shake N’ Bake Style Fried Chicken
- Honey Mustard Sauce is a sweet and sour sauce is a classic pairing for chicken fingers. And it’s great with air fryer chicken too
- BBQ Sauce or BBQ-Mustard Mix are other classic sauces for chicken. It’s smoky, spicy, and a little sweet, so it really kicks the flavor of this dish up a notch. And for a variation, you can mix BBQ sauce and honey mustard for the ultimate dip experience.
- Kid’s Buffalo Sauce is a great pairing for buffalo chicken, hence its name. But it’s just a mix of ketchup, ranch dressing, and blue cheese crumbles.
- If you have your appliance out already, why not make air-fried vegetables? Green beans are one delicious option because they’re crunchy and fresh. You can also steam or saute the green beans if you prefer. And they’re delicious with butter and garlic.
- For me, mashed potatoes are the taste of home cooking, and they’re the best side for fried chicken. The soft texture balances the crispy chicken, making a perfect meal.
- Just like some of the dipping sauces, cornbread is a little bit sweet. So, it goes really well with the salty, savory air-fried chicken.
- Pasta salad is also a very nice side dish.
Storing and Reheating
According to the USDA, cooked leftover chicken will last about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
If you want to keep your leftovers for longer, you should freeze them. Stored properly in the freezer, the meat will last 3-4 months, says the USDA.
When you’re ready to enjoy the air fryer Shake N’ Bake chicken, you can heat it up in your air fryer. Just set the appliance to 350 degrees and cook the chicken on a wire rack for 3-4 minutes.
Air fryer cuisine is a healthy way to eat because it doesn’t require extra oil.
Fried foods generally contain a lot of fat, and sometimes this is saturated fat. Saturated fats (for example, lard and butter) can lead to an increased risk of hypertension and heart disease.
This recipe is also healthy because it uses chicken breasts, rather than red meat. Chicken is high in protein but has less fat than meats like beef.
The only thing to watch with this recipe is the amount of sodium. Pre-packaged mixes like the ones from Kraft have a lot of added salt, which can be a problem for some people.
As well, processed foods generally contain preservatives to make them shelf-stable, and consuming lots of chemicals like these is not recommended. – Kristen Mae Magbanua, RDN