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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47 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!

    • 4 hours on high, but 6-8 hours on low! I used this method before my instapot!

    • OMG yessss!!! I learned of this simple catering trick 30 years ago and it’s still my fav kitchen tip.

    • Great recipe. Love to make pulled chicken and this from frozen in the Instant-Pot was spot-on. Thanks for sharing. One tip I’d like to share is that I no longer pull my chicken with forks “by-hand”. I took that chicken and dumped it from the Instant Pot into my Kitchen-Aid mix master stand mixer with the standard paddle blade. It had that chicken perfectly shredded in 3-4 minutes. I couldn’t believe it was so easy. I found on the web it said you could also use a hand mixer.
      Loving great tastes made 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.

    • I’ve ran into this issue with other recipes as well. Try putting all the ingredients but the chicken in and then use the trivet to keep the chicken from touching the bottom. This worked great for me and nothing stuck to the bottom of the pot!

  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. Hi guys! Does this recipe work if you double the amount of chicken? Will it still cook evenly if meat is on top of each other? I have 3.75 lbs of chicken I’d like to just cook all at once. Thanks!

  13. Quick easy recipe, I use it all the time!

    Tools used: Instapot and Stand Mixer (for shredding)

  14. 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.

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

  16. How can I make this into bbq pulled chicken? Do I add sauce after and sauté?

  17. Love, love, love this recipe. I finally love my instant pot. Perfect and moist every time, changed nothing other than sometimes I have freshly cracked pepper, sometimes not. I use unsalted chicken broth and you wouldn’t know. I have used this for everything from curries, chicken salads and enchiladas. Family raves about it and always asks me to make more to experiment with each week. So easy. From start to finish (removing chicken breasts from package and trimming to out of the instant pot, about 50 minutes!) Meal planning made easy. While in quarantine, while working from home, I pop down to the kitchen during my lunch break and get it going. Thank you so much!!!!!

  18. Super-easy and excellent. The broth this makes is pretty good too!

  19. One word: RUBBER. But with less flavor.

    I can’t even believe that any of the 5 star reviews even tried the recipe.

  20. Easy , healthy and perfect! Just the way our family loves!

  21. This is my go to when my kids want Chipotle. They always want bowls with rice etc, so make this in the instant pot, rice in the oven. Wife and I add black beans.

  22. Finally!! This technique/recipe made delicious shredded Instant Pot chicken for me! I used 2 HUGE 1.5 lb breasts, frozen, but thawed just enough to cut into quarters. I also placed the chicken on the trivet to cook for 11 minutes on high. Probably could have gone for 10 minutes since they were quartered. I also used only 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of low sodium Better than Bouillon. After they were done, I used a hand mixer to shred them, and it was easy and made perfect shreds. It was my first time trying that shred technique, so thanks to all the previous posters who recommended it.

  23. Perfect everytime

  24. How do you recommend thawing the previously cooked shredded chicken? (We made a batch about a month ago and froze 1 1/2 pounds to use later.)

  25. How long should I cook with only 1 pound of chicken?

  26. This was my first recipe in the Instapot, and it turned out perfectly! I didn’t use garlic and paprika because I wanted shredded chicken to mix with BBQ sauce or other dishes, but the instructions were really clear and easy to follow. Perfectly tender chicken that was super easy to shred!

  27. Stupid question –

    But I have a 14oz breast – do I still cook for 10mins?

    • I have the same question! If we want to do 1 lb of chicken, should we do half the cooking time?

  28. It was so simple and quick to create my own fresh shredded chicken for meal prep. This recipe will stay in my repetoir. It’s incredibly versatile for all sorts of meals. I used my instapot-pressure cooker option. I dumped all the ingredients and the chicken and pressed the button. Had no issues with burned food at the bottom.

  29. Really yummy!! So easy and tasty. Thanks

  30. So easy yet so good. Just the right amount of flavour so you can use this chicken with a variety of meals.

  31. Do I need to halve the time in the instant pot if I only have a pound-ish of chicken? Making a small recipe for two people and have never done this before. Thank you this looks really easy and is what I was looking for!

  32. I needed some shredded chicken for chicken enchiladas. This worked great!

  33. Easy and delicious! Thanks for the seasoning and recipe suggestions.

  34. This was my first time ever attempting shredded chicken in the instant pot, and wow it turned out great! I left out the paprika so I can use half the chicken for tacos and the other half for salads. Thank you so much!

  35. About how many cups of shredded chicken does the 1x recipe make?

  36. This is my go-to recipe for shredded chicken! It is so easy and turns out perfect every time. I love the original seasoning listed in the recipe and have all of the experimentation I’ve done with other seasonings has turned out well too.

  37. Can i double this
    Stack chicken on top of each other

  38. Just made this shredded chicken. Fabulous!! Thanks for posting this recipe; I know I will use it often.