Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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Learn how to make the best Instant Pot shredded chicken that is full of great flavor, nice and tender, and not overcooked.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe

Hey friends!  I’m back today with a meal prep recipe that you all have been requesting — how to make shredded chicken in the Instant Pot!  ♡  Or more specifically, how to make Instant Pot shredded chicken that is:

  1. flavorful
  2. tender and easy to shred
  3. not overcooked

I agree that Instant Pot chicken can be a bit finicky at times.  But I’ve been testing different methods and cook times these past few months, and am happy to report I’ve landed on a winner-winner-chicken-dinner recipe that’s incredibly easy to make and checks all of those boxes.  I’ve included my favorite all-purpose chicken seasoning in the recipe (from my popular baked chicken breasts) that goes with pretty much everything.  But if you are interested, I have also included some of my other favorite seasoning variations too if you would like to mix things up.

I pretty much always keep a container of shredded chicken in my freezer to pull out and use in everything from easy chicken soups, to chicken salads, to chicken green salads, to chicken enchiladas, to chicken stir-frys, to chicken casseroles, to buffalo chicken dip and so much more.  It’s a healthy, affordable and versatile protein to always keep on hand.  And of course, when making shredded chicken from scratch (versus shredding a rotisserie), you get to be the one to control the seasonings and you can choose to use organic chicken, if you would like.

So pull out that pressure cooker, and let’s make some Instant Pot shredded chicken!

Instant Pot Chicken

Instant Pot Chicken Ingredients:

To make this Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Chicken: I tested this recipe using boneless chicken breasts (which you all requested most) and boneless chicken thighs — either fresh or frozen.  You are welcome to use bone-in chicken, but the cooking time may vary slightly.
  • Chicken broth (or water): Which we will need to keep the chicken nice and moist, and also prevent a burn warning on the Instant Pot.  I recommend using a cup of chicken or vegetable broth if you happen to have some on hand, to add extra flavor.  Or if not, plain water will work just fine too.
  • Seasonings: I typically use a simple mixture of smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  But see below for alternatives.

How To Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

How To Make Shredded Chicken In The Instant Pot:

To make this Instant Pot chicken recipe, simply…

  1. Combine the ingredients in the Instant Pot.  Add the chicken breasts, seasoning and chicken stock.  Then briefly toss to combine, being sure to arrange the chicken breasts in an even layer.
  2. Pressure cook.  Cover with the lid and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes, followed by a 5 minute natural release, followed by a quick release with whatever pressure remains.
  3. Shred.  Remove the lid and use two forks to shred the chicken.  Give it a thorough toss with the remaining juices in the Instant Pot.
  4. Serve or store.  Then serve the chicken while it’s nice and warm.  Or transfer it to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.  (If freezing, I recommend portioning the chicken in small storage containers or storage bags, so that you have the option to thaw and use small portions rather than having to thaw the entire batch.)

Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot Chicken Variations:

Want to customize this recipe?  Feel free to:

  • Use different seasonings: In place of the paprika/garlic powder blend, feel free to instead use a few teaspoons of:
  • Use frozen chicken: To use frozen instead of fresh (thawed) chicken, just add 2 extra minutes to the high pressure cook time.
  • Add a bay leaf: I always love the extra flavor of bay leaf with chicken, too.  Just nestle one bay leaf in with the chicken, then discard after cooking.
  • Add diced tomatoes: If you would like to mix some diced tomatoes into the chicken, just add in 1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes with their juices and use 2/3 cup (instead of 1 cup) chicken stock.

Shredded Chicken

Ways To Use Shredded Chicken:

As I mentioned above, there are so (so, so, so) many ways to put a batch of shredded chicken to use!  For example, I like to use this shredded chicken recipe in…

Enjoy, everyone!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken for Meal Prep

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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x

Description

Learn how to make the best Instant Pot shredded chicken that is full of great flavor, nice and tender, and not overcooked.  See notes above for alternative seasoning options.


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Combine the ingredients.  Add the chicken breasts, seasoning and chicken stock to the bowl of your pressure cooker.  Give everything a brief toss to combine, then arrange the chicken breasts so that they are spread out in an even layer.
  2. Pressure cook.  Cover and set the pressure cooker lid valve to “sealing.”  Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes, followed by a 5 minute natural release, followed by a quick release (carefully flip the valve to “venting”) to release whatever pressure remains.
  3. Shred.  Remove the lid and use two forks to shred the chicken.  Give it a thorough toss with the remaining juices in the pressure cooker.
  4. Serve or store.  Serve the chicken while it’s nice and warm.  Or transfer it to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.  (If freezing, I recommend portioning the chicken in small storage containers or storage bags, so that you have the option to thaw and use small portions rather than having to thaw the entire batch.)


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17 comments on “Instant Pot Shredded Chicken”

  1. How long would you recommend cooking this in a crock pot? Sound yummy. Thanks!

  2. Have you tried shredding chicken with a hand-held mixer? So quick and easy!

  3. Looks like chicken tacos are going to be whats for dinner soon. I’ve done chicken for shredding in my slow cooker, but not in my instant pot. I will be trying this one for sure.
    Also a real fast way to shred the chicken instead of using forks, use your electric mixer and it shreds the hot chicken really fast and no effort.

  4. Hi! Thank you so much for this – I’m never sure of timing but love to make shredded chicken, too. This is great. I saw someone (probably on IG but can’t remember) using a hand mixer to shred the chicken. Have you ever done that? Does it work? I hate the two forks method so would love an alternative….

  5. I just made pulled pork in my Instant Pot, and it was incredible. I bet this is equally delicious.

  6. Just used this recipe and made shredded chicken for your White Chicken Chili. Chicken shredded so easily and was nice and tender. Great method!

  7. Even though shredded chicken sounds so simple, I’ve had a few misses in the instant pot. This recipe turned out perfectly.

  8. The instapot part didn’t work too well. I have to check the sealant. “Burn” was on display! Lol but, chicken tasted amazing! Thank you for this recipe! I’m using to make your chicken chili.

  9. I was skeptical about making shredded chicken in the instant pot… but it turned out deliciously moist and flavorful with the recipe! I added just about 2 teaspoons of avocado oil spread. I love to have this chicken on hand in my fridge for meals or sandwiches during the week. Thanks for this recipe!

  10. This is the best shredded chicken recipe ever for the insta pot. I hated my instapot, but turns out I was doing it all wrong! Moist and tender chicken! If your chicken breasts are large or thick, I definitely recommend cutting them in half before cooking! Mine didn’t cook all the way through, so I had to add more time, but I should have just butterflied them first!

  11. Worked great and super easy! Next time I might do the manual release a minute or two earlier, because I think the chicken was just a tad overdone. Thank you for such an easy to follow, simple recipe!

  12. This turned out really nice. I forgot to put a bay leaf in, but oh well. Instead of a cup of broth, I used a teaspoon of Better than Bouillon (chicken flavor) and a cup of water. I didn’t have any paprika, either, so I used some ground New Mexico chile instead. My hands got tired shredding the chicken, but it’s delicious!

    I’m signing up for your emails in hopes your other recipes are this good. Thank you.

  13. Can I use frozen chicken breasts for this and if so, how does the cooking time change?