How To Make Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is a must-have meal prep item in the fridge to help you pull together a quick lunch or dinner on any night of the week. This easy pressure cooker shredded chicken recipe can be made in under 30 minutes and is so versatile in soups, casseroles, chicken salads, and more!

Pulled chicken in instant pot

How To Cook Shredded Chicken

Want to cook shredded chicken? It’s the best! This shredded chicken in instant pot recipe is great because you can turn it into so many things. From chicken salads (think Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Salad, Pesto Chicken Salad, or Honey Mustard Chicken Salad), to 5-Ingredient Buffalo Chicken Baked Hummus Dip, and even in my Sweet & Crunchy Thai Slaw with Chicken, this easy recipe is so simple and comes out perfectly tender every time.

I often make Instant Pot pulled chicken with salsa instead of the chicken broth or water, for easy Two-Ingredient Salsa Chicken for Meal Prep Freezer Burritos, tacos, and a salad topper!

Instant Pot Pulled Chicken Ingredients

Here are the basic ingredients to make shredded chicken in the instant pot. Scroll down for full chicken quantities and instructions.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: Boneless chicken thighs will work great here, too.
  • Fine Sea Salt & Black Pepper: Flavor that chicken! You can also spice it up by using a Taco Seasoning or a Cajun Seasoning.
  • Garlic Granules: You may know it also as garlic powder. It adds great flavor!
  • Chicken Broth or Water: Personally I recommend using chicken broth as it will result in the most flavorful shredded chicken, but you can use water, too!

Tools Used

  1. Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
  2. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
  3. Kitchen Aid Paddle Attachment (if yours didn’t come with one for some reason!)
How To cook shredded chicken in instant pot

How to Cook Shredded Chicken Breasts to Shred

While my go-to method has become the Instant Pot (it’s seriously the best!), I’m including directions for slow cooker shredded chicken and classic shredded chicken poached on the stove top so you can make pulled chicken any way you’d like!

For full detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.

Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken:

  1. Place chicken breasts into the insert of of the liner of the Instant Pot and season. Pour in your chicken broth or water.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 18 minutes. Once done. Use the quick release and carefully switch the valve to venting to release the pressure.
  3. Open the lid and shred the meat with two forks or transfer to your stand mixer to shred easily.

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken:

  1. Place chicken breasts into the insert of of the liner of the slow cooker and season.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken and shred with two forks or transfer to your stand mixer to shred easily.

Shredded Chicken on the Stove (Poached):

  1. Place chicken breasts into a pot and pour in enough water to cover the chicken.
  2. Place over medium heat, bring to a boil, and simmer until chicken meat is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Transfer chicken breasts to a bowl, allow to cool slightly, and shred the chicken meat with 2 forks or transfer to your stand mixer to shred easily!

What about Using Frozen Chicken?

I’m so glad you asked! Ever find yourself at 6pm staring into your refrigerator and freezer and wondering: “What can I cook for dinner, and quick?” I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there, and it’s no fun. But on those nights, our Instant Pot has become our best friend, for being able to whip up a quick and delicious dinner.

Something magical happens when the frozen chicken breast is cooked in the Instant Pot because it comes out as the most tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken we’ve ever had. And now that we know that, there is no going back. Read all about cooking frozen chicken in your Instant Pot. We’ve done extensive testing on this one!

Shredding chicken in stand mixer

Best Way to Shred Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Shredded Chicken With Stand Mixer: Use my favorite method in your stand mixer! Place fully cooked chicken breasts into the KitchenAid Stand Mixer (make sure your chicken is still warm). With your paddle attachment connected and chicken inside the mixer, turn it on low/medium until shredded! I promise it’s worth the extra bowl to clean! It makes shredding chicken so easy, especially if you’re making a big batch!

No stand mixer? No problem…

Shredded Chicken Using the Fork Method: You can shred the chicken by hand with two forks!

Storing Shredded Chicken

This is why shredded chicken is the ultimate meal prep addition to your week! It’s great with so many things and is customizable! I find it’s best served warm, but let’s talk about storing your pulled chicken…

Refrigerate Shredded Chicken: Let the cooked chicken cool. Once cooled completely, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. If shredding your chicken, it is easiest to shred while it is still a bit warm, so shred it before placing in the refrigerator! Rather than refrigerating the whole chicken pieces and shredding afterwards.

Freeze Shredded Chicken: Once chicken has cooled completely, store your shredded chicken in an air-tight container or reusable freezer bag the freezer for up to 3 months.

A bowl of Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Recipes to Use Shredded Chicken

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How To Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

  • Author: Lexi
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Meal Prep
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1.5 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water

Instructions

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Method:

  1. Place chicken breasts into the insert of of the liner of the Instant Pot and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Pour in your chicken broth or water.
  3. Switch the valve from venting to sealing, if not there already. Cook on high pressure for 18 minutes. Once done. Use the quick release and carefully switch the valve to venting to release the pressure.
  4. Open the lid and shred the meat with two forks or transfer to your stand mixer to shred easily. Toss with the remaining juices in the Instant Pot.

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken:

  1. Place chicken breasts into the insert of of the liner of the slow cooker and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pour in your chicken broth or water.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken and shred with two forks or transfer to your stand mixer to shred easily. toss with the remaining juices in the Slow Cooker.

Stove-Top Shredded Chicken:

  1. Place chicken breasts into a pot and pour in enough water to cover the chicken.
  2. Place over medium heat, bring to a boil, and simmer until chicken meat is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Transfer chicken breasts to a bowl, allow to cool slightly, and shred the chicken meat with 2 forks or transfer to your stand mixer to shred easily!

Notes

  1. You can also use chicken thighs.
  2. You can add other flavors to your shredded chicken, like taco seasoning, cajun seasoning, or a curry powder blend!
  3. Amount of shredded chicken will vary, but for example, 1 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken will yield roughly 3-4 cups of shredded chicken.

Keywords: Shredded chicken in instant pot, Instant pot pulled chicken, shredded chicken breast instant pot, pressure cooker shredded chicken, How To Cook Shredded Chicken

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17 comments
October 10, 2021

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17 Responses

  1. If I want to x3 the amount of chicken (so like 4.5 lbs) would I just x3 all the ingredients too including cook time (12 hours cook time instead of 4)?

    1. When I make a whole 4 lb. chicken I use more broth/ingredients as you said – it’s usually done in 6-8 hours! That’s not boneless pieces, but if you set it around there I think it should be similar.

  2. Hi- I don’t see the recipe for shredded buffalo chicken lettuce wraps, can I please have a link to that? I would like to make them tonight. Thanks!

  3. Your recipe notes state that you are used chicken to make this recipe. Is there a specific reason you don’t use raw chicken?

  4. I don’t have any organic chickens. I just have chickens that led sad and miserable lives. Will it still taste ok or should I just starve until I can afford chickens that aren’t full of cancer?

    1. We haven’t tested that but my best guess is that as long as it has some sauce with it, it should be fine! Let us know if you do! -Kelli

  5. The title of this recipe suggests instructions for the Instant Pot but I don’t see those instructions.

  6. I make this every week and freeze in one cup portions with a little of the broth. Its always tender and flavorful and great protein for easy meal prep.

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