Perfect Shredded Chicken has never been easier in the Instant Pot and cooks up in just 15 minutes! It’s great for adding to salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, bowls and all your favourite chicken recipes! Forgot to thaw your chicken? Don’t worry! This Easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken can be made using frozen chicken, too!
The Instant Pot surely does it again with this easy, perfect-every-time Shredded Chicken Recipe. I mean, if we can even call it a recipe, that is. This method of shredding chicken is so easy and so hands off, you might never want to make it any other way again. It’s tender, juicy, flavourful and can be seasoned however you like. Making fajitas? Throw some Fajita Seasoning on there. Craving Greek? Use oregano, garlic powder and add some lemon juice to the broth. You can really get your creative juices flowing here. Or you can decide to keep the chicken plain Jane with just some salt and pepper so you can have endless options for how you want to use it. This easy shredded chicken is a great addition to so many dishes! Do you hear those Nachos calling? 😉
If you have yet to jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon (how’d you resist for so long?!), then let this shredded chicken in the Instant Pot be your reason to get one. If you need a few more reasons, then baby back ribs and hard boiled eggs are also amongst the MANY recipes that just come out absolutely perfect in the Instant Pot. But I mean, isn’t the idea of having beautifully shredded chicken at your fingertips without having to put in much effort to cook it to perfection tempting enough? Cause it should be.
If you already have an Instant Pot then I think you should take that as a sign to whip up a double batch of this shredded chicken ASAP. I love letting it hang out in the fridge for a few days for easy additions to many, many meals. It takes soups and salads to a whole other level, makes tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas extra filling and delicious and is a great option for stuffing peppers, using in casseroles or throwing in between bread for a killer chicken sandwich of any kind. See where I’m going with this? There’s nothing this Shredded Chicken can’t do!
But hey, if you want to eat it as is straight out of the Instant Pot, then be my guest. Just don’t forget the Garlic Aioli for dipping!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE INSTANT POT SHREDDED CHICKEN (BESIDES THE INSTANT POT)
Easy. Peasy. Let’s talk about exactly what you’ll need in a little bit more detail down below:
- Chicken Breast: Since we’re just going to be shredding the chicken, boneless and skinless chicken work best in this recipe. I like using breasts as they’re meatier and thicker. But you can also use chicken thighs if you prefer/that’s all you have on hand. Keep in mind though, that you might have to adjust the cooking time by adding a few additional minutes. Thighs generally take more time than breasts do to cook through. You can use bone-in cuts, if you prefer. But those, too will take longer to cook overall and you’ll have to increase the cooking time by a few extra minutes.
- Chicken Broth: The Instant Pot needs some sort of liquid at the bottom of the pot to prevent burning and avoid that dreaded “BURN” message. For more flavourful chicken I like using chicken broth however, you can just use plain water instead, if you prefer. PRO TIP: Like the seasoning aspect here, if you’re making a dish that requires a specific flavour, you can use a different liquid to suit your needs. Wine, a different flavoured stock or other cooking liquids, depending on what your making, all make great options.
- Salt/Pepper: For seasoning the chicken. I kept things pretty basic here with just some salt and pepper. But, feel free to use whatever seasoning or spices on the chicken you want. Any spice combination you prefer or one that goes with the dish your making will all work just fine.
HOW TO MAKE SHREDDED CHICKEN IN THE INSTANT POT (KEY TIPS)
- Be generous when seasoning the chicken. Whether you’re using just plain ol’ salt and pepper or another seasoning mix or spice blend, don’t be shy! Really get in there and season up that chicken. That’s where the majority of the flavour will come from and the last thing you want is bland tasting chicken!
- Put enough liquid at the bottom of the Instant Pot as its mandatory for it to come to pressure. Usually 1 cup is good enough. You can use anything from broth, to water, to wine, to anything that goes with the flavour you might be going for in your particular recipe. If you don’t add enough liquid to the bottom of the Instant Pot before closing the lid, you’ll get the dreaded “BURN” message. AKA you’ll have to open the lid and start all over again. EXTRA TIP: Save the liquid from the bottom of the pot after the chicken is cooked. It’s full of flavour and great for sipping on or for adding to soups or stews.
- Use two forks to help you shred the chicken. Unless you want to shred it with your hands (which is totally fine too), I find that using two forks is the best method. Simply pierce the chicken with the forks and pull them in opposite directions. It’s a pretty easy and quick job since the chicken is cooked so perfectly. EXTRA TIP: If you are going to use your hands to shred the chicken, allow it to cool slightly before handling. EXTRA EXTRA TIP: Remove the metal trivel and shred the chicken directly in the chicken broth at the bottom of the Instant Pot. This will add flavour and ultimately keep it from drying out.
- For extra flavour, dip the shredded chicken in the broth before transferring it to a bowl or container. Alternatively, you can store it in some of the broth to keep the chicken from drying out as it sits in the fridge.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You didn’t use enough liquid at the bottom of the pot before sealing the lid. The liquid not only prevents the pot from burning but it also helps to keep things flavourful, tender, moist and juicy straight from the get-go. Ensure the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F as rubbery chicken can also mean it’s undercooked.
Once the Instant Pot comes to pressure (which could take up to 10 minutes), the chicken will be ready in 15 minutes. 10 minutes of pressure cooking. And 5 minutes of letting the Instant Pot naturally release it’s pressure (which, in other words, means letting it sit in the pot for 5 minutes after it beeps without touching anything).
Yes, this recipe for shredded chicken in the Instant Pot is great because you can in fact use frozen chicken to begin with. You might just have to season the chicken after it’s cooked rather than before since the seasonings won’t stick to the frozen chicken. If using frozen chicken, add 2 minutes to the pressure cooking time for a total of 12 minutes instead of 10.
If stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge, this shredded chicken will be good for up to 5 days. Use it cold, add it to all your favourite chicken dishes or reheat it in a skillet on a stove with a few tablespoons of oil or broth. It’s great for meal prep making quick lunches and weeknight meals a breeze!
Yes! This shredded chicken can be frozen for up to 4 months. Simply portion it out into ziploc bags or freezer safe containers before freezing. No need to thaw it in advance if you’re planning to add it to soups or stews. But thaw overnight in the fridge if you plan to use it for something else.
Ah, the list is honestly endless! Shredded chicken can obviously be eaten just as is or with a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs or dipped in all your favourite dipping sauces (peanut sauce or ranch dressing, anyone?!). It’s great hot or cold and killer in salads such as this Kale Caesar or this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad. It’s what I use in my Cream of Mushroom and Chicken Soup, amazing on sandwiches, in wraps, on nachos, in tacos, bowls and quesadillas and would be an immaculate replacer for the Italian sausage in both this Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipe and these Keto Stuffed Peppers. I mean, I could go on. But..do you really need me to?!?!?
- 2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 1 cup Chicken Broth*
- Salt and Pepper, to taste*
- Pour the broth into the bottom of the Instant Pot with the metal trivet.
- Add the chicken breasts on top in an even layer and generously season both sides with salt and pepper (or the seasonings of your choice).
- Put the lid on and turn the valve on the pressure cooker lid to "seal." Press manual pressure and set the timer to 10 minutes high pressure. When it beeps, allow it to naturally release (don't touch it) for 5 minutes, followed by a quick release (turn the valve to the "venting" position) to release any remaining pressure.
- Remove the metal trivet and shred the chicken, directly in the broth, using 2 forks. Use tongs to transfer the shredded chicken to a plate or airtight container and use as desired, saving the liquid at the bottom of the pot for sipping or adding to soups and stews.
You can use water instead of broth, if you prefer.
You can use whatever seasoning mix or spice blend you want instead of just salt and pepper, if you prefer.
The chicken should read an internal temperature of 165° before shredding.
This shredded chicken will be good in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or, in the freezer (in portion sizes suitable to you), for up to 4 months.
If using frozen chicken, add 2 minutes to the pressure cooking time for a total of 12 minutes instead of 10.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 236mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 35g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
MADE THIS SHREDDED CHICKEN? USE IT FOR MY CREAMY MUSHROOM AND CHICKEN SOUP RECIPE!
OTHER GREAT CHICKEN RECIPES