Simple Shredded Chicken, made in an Instant Pot (pressure cooker), Slow cooker, or on the Stovetop! A simple EASY meal prep recipe that can be made ahead for the busy week, then turned into many different dinners!

A simple easy recipe for Shredded chicken that can be made in an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or on the Stovetop. Use breasts or thighs, fresh or frozen, great for meal prep and busy weeknight dinners. Keeps for 5 days in the fridge, or freeze! #shreddedchicken

Here’s a very simple recipe for shredded chicken that can either be made in an Instant pot, Slow Cooker, or on the stovetop. It’ll keep for up to 5 days in the fridge, making it ideal for creating meals on busy weeknights.

Turn the shredded chicken into quick tacos, enchiladas, or mix with BBQ Sauce and make pulled chicken sandwiches. Add some Teryaki sauce and make Asian Burritos. Or simply add to burrito bowls or veggie bowls. You’ll find a lot of uses for this!

The best part about this shredded chicken recipe is that it’s fast and EASY!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken:

  1. Place chicken, olive oil, water, salt and spices in the Instant Pot. Give a stir and spread the chicken out.
  2. Pressure cook on high for 9 minutes for large breasts, or 12 minutes for thighs. If frozen add 1 minute. Naturally release for 5 minutes, then manually release (or let it naturally release the full time).
  3. Shred the chicken with two forks.
  4. Place back in the cooking liquid.

how to cook shredded chiclken in an Instant pot pressure cooker.

Here we are using large breasts, which took about 9 minutes on high pressure.

how to cook shredded chiclken in an Instant pot pressure cooker.

I find it is easiest to shred chicken on a cutting board rather than in the Instant Pot- then put it back into the cooking liquid to keep it moist.

how to cook shredded chiclken in an Instant pot pressure cooker.

Then add the chicken back into the flavorful juices, whether this is the Instant Pot, Slow cooker or Dutch Oven until ready to use or store – to keep it moist.

A simple easy recipe for Shredded chicken that can be made in an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or on the Stovetop. Use breasts or thighs, fresh or frozen, great for meal prep and busy weeknight dinners. Keeps for 5 days in the fridge, or freeze! #shreddedchicken

Drain the chicken, but save the cooking liquid. Then spoon in just enough cooking liquid to lightly coat the chicken.

The Shredded Chicken will last up to five days in the fridge.

A simple easy recipe for Shredded chicken that can be made in an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or on the Stovetop. Use breasts or thighs, fresh or frozen, great for meal prep and busy weeknight dinners. Keeps for 5 days in the fridge, or freeze! #shreddedchicken

Whether you make the shredded chicken in the Instant Pot, in the slow cooker, or on the stovetop in a dutch oven, I think you’ll be happy with the results.

You’ll have a nice base to create quick meals during the week.

It’s a nice thing to do on a Sunday before things get busy.

Shredded Chicken (Slow Cooker Method):

  1. Place chicken, olive oil, water, salt and spices in the Slow Cooker. Give a stir and spread the chicken out.
  2. Slow cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  3. Shred the chicken with two forks.
  4. Place back in the cooking liquid.

Shredded Chicken (Stovetop Method):

  1. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large saute pan or dutch oven, over medium heat.
  2. Season the chicken with the salt and pan sear, until browned and golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn over, cook 1 minute.  Add the water, salt and spices, stirring and turning the chicken, to coat all sides of the chicken.
  4. Cover and gently simmer 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through, and internal temp reaches 165F.
  5. Shred the chicken with two forks, then place it back in the cooking liquid.

A simple recipe for Shredded Chicken that can be made in an Instant pot, Slow Cooker or on the stovetop. Use breasts or thighs, fresh or frozen - fast and easy, great for meal prep! Keeps up to 5 days in the fridge.

Other Recipes you might like:

 

Hope you like this simple Shredded Chicken recipe and please share different ways in which you use it- to give us all new ideas and inspiration!

Have a great week!

Sylvia

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A simple easy recipe for Shredded chicken that can be made in an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or on the Stovetop. Use breasts or thighs, fresh or frozen, great for meal prep and busy weeknight dinners. Keeps for 5 days in the fridge, or freeze! #shreddedchicken

Shredded Chicken -Instant Pot, Stovetop, Slow Cooker

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine| Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Category: chicken, meal prep,
  • Method: instant pot, slow cooker, pressure cooker, stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Low Fat

Description

A simple easy recipe for Shredded chicken that can be made in an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or on the Stovetop. Use breasts or thighs, fresh or frozen, great for meal prep and busy weeknight dinners. Keeps for 5 days in the fridge, or freeze!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 22 1/2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs- boneless, skinless
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano,
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Optional additions: canned green chilies, diced onion, chopped garlic.


Instructions

Instant Pot:

  1. Place chicken, olive oil, water, salt and spices in the Instant Pot. Give a stir and spread the chicken out.
  2. Pressure cook on high for 9 minutes for large breasts, or 12 minutes for thighs. If frozen add 1-2 minutes.
  3. Naturally release for 5 minutes before manually releasing ( or let it fully naturally release).
  4. Shred the chicken with two forks. I find this easiest to do lifting it onto a cutting board, then returning it back in the cooking liquid.
  5. Store in liquid to keep it moist until using. Drain, saving some of the liquid to lightly coat if need be.

Stove Top:

  1. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large saute pan or dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Season the chicken with the salt and pan sear, until browned and golden, about 5 minutes. Turn over, cook 1 minute.
  3. Add the water, salt and spices, stirring and turning the chicken, to coat all sides of the chicken. Cover and gently simmer 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through, and internal temp reaches 165F. Do not over cook here, or chicken will get tough.
  4. Shred the chicken with two forks. I find this easiest to do on a cutting board, then place it back in the cooking liquid.
  5. Store in liquid to keep it moist until using. Drain, saving some of the liquid to lightly coat if need be.

Slow Cooker Method:

  1. Place chicken, olive oil, water, salt and spices in the Slow Cooker. Give a stir and spread the chicken out.
  2. Slow cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  3. Shred the chicken with two forks.
  4. Place back in the cooking liquid.
  5. Store in the cooking liquid to keep it moist until using- then drain, saving some of the liquid to lightly coat if need be.

Notes

This will keep 5 days in the fridge, or feel free to freeze in smaller portions.

To bump up the flavor, feel free to add one diced onion, sauteed in a little oil first. Then add the remaining ingredeints. It’s good either way. 🙂

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ¾ cup
  • Calories: 155
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 353.3 mg
  • Fat: 4.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.7 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 25.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 82.7 mg

Keywords: Shredded chicken, how to shred chicken, instant pot shredded chicken, slow cooker shredded chicken, stovetop shredded chicken, meal prep shredded chicken

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Just made this and it’s the best shredded chicken I’ve ever had. Cooked 5 breasts and just used a wooden spoon to shred them right in the pot and liquid because they fell apart so easily. This is going to be a staple now, thank you!

  2. Made the sauce this morning – minus what I put on my egg frittata and slurped up with a spoon after it was done, could have just had the jar of enchilada sauce for breakfast Lol. Anyway, going to market this morning to get chicken – enchiladas tonight! The enchilada sauce is yummy! Will let you know how the enchiladas turn out.

  3. Please check the cooking time for the stove top version. I compared the cooking time with your carnitas and found it to be quite different and was wondering why the 8-10 minutes was not getting the chicken close to 165.

        1. Ok if they were very thick breasts, like over an inch thick, they would require the full 12 minutes. I just retested with a one-inch thick breast and a two-inch-thick breast- both for 12 minutes. Both seemed perfectly cooked. I guess I should clarify, were yours undercooked?

          1. I think it may have been because I didn’t cover the pan (I just reread the directions).They were good when they finally registered 160. All your recipes are good and these were no exception. My 5 year old granddaughter who is very fussy about meat loved it.

  4. I used chicken thighs and added the green chilies. Super easy and very tasty. I used our chicken for a chicken enchilada casserole.

  5. Easy and flavorful. Added diced chilies and use this in the enchiladas. Excellent. leftovers will make easy meals this coming week.