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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is incredibly tender, perfectly seasoned, easy to shred, and one of the smartest recipes to keep on hand because it’s super versatile and budget friendly. It’s what I like to call “all purpose chicken” and the best for weekly meal prep!

cooked and shredded chicken in a glass bowl


I just love my Instant Pot, also known as a pressure cooker. It’s become one of my best friends in the kitchen because it’s quick and it really feels like I have an extra pair of hands to help out. One of the first recipes I made in it was actually this shredded chicken recipe. It requires just a few basic ingredients, not even a full minute of prep work, and its almost completely hands off so I can do other things while it’s cooking.

If you’ve been here awhile you know my easy baked chicken recipe is such a staple. I actually use the same very popular “all purpose” seasoning mix in this recipe which in my opinion makes it even more tasty!

You’re going to love this Instant Pot Shredded chicken recipe

  1. tender, juicy, and not over cooked– so often chicken breast gets a bad rap because it’s just cooked improperly, this recipe is so good!
  2. full of great flavor that will compliment any recipe you add it to– love that it’s all purpose! I love rotisserie chickens, but they can get expensive when needing already cooked and shredded chicken for multiple meals
  3. quick and easy– love being able to have this going while I’m prepping other ingredients for a recipe or meal prep
  4. requires just a few basic ingredients
  5. freezer friendly! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grabbed a container or bag out of the freezer and said to myself, “thank goodness I do this!”.
photo with small bowls of ingredients (water, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper) and plate of boneless skinless chicken breast.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs or a mixture of the two if you like dark meat. Make sure the chicken breasts are not the thin sliced breasts and are all generally the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Chicken Broth (or water): I use chicken broth or water interchangably depending on what I have on hand. You can just use water or you can add 1 teaspoon of bouillon (such as better than bouillon) into the instant pot with the water for extra flavor.
  • Seasonings: For an “all purpose” shredded chicken recipe I stick to simple spices like smoked paprika, oregano, garlic, onion powder, and salt and pepper.

How to make shredded chicken in the Instant Pot:

  • Prep. In the Instant Pot place chicken breast, 1 cup of chicken broth (or water), 1 tsp kosher salt, garlic powder, and onion powder followed by 1/2 tsp dried oregano, smoked paprika, and pepper.
  • Pressure Cook. Seal the lid. Select Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 8-10 minutes for it to come to pressure. Let it cook.
  • Release pressure. When the cook time is finished let pressure naturally release for at least 8 minutes before letting the rest of pressure release.
  • Shred. When the chicken has finished cooking. Remove chicken and place into bowl. Gently shred with two fork into chunky pieces. If you’re looking for a super fine shred you can use a hand mixer or stand mixer, but I prefer the pieces to be piece-y and recommend it most. Add liquid back into the chicken and stir well. This makes it extra flavorful and helps keep it moist.
shredded chicken in glass bowl

What to use Instant Pot Shredded Chicken in:

The options for Instant Pot Chicken Breast are kind of endless. This is such an easy, healthy, and budget friendly protein to add into so many different meals for easy lunches and dinners. Here are some ideas!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Variations

  • Southwest Shredded Chicken: Use 1 cup of salsa and a packet of taco seasoning in place of seasoning mix.
  • BBQ Shredded Chicken: In addition to the seasoning mix add 1 cup favorite BBQ sauce.
  • Buffalo Shredded Chicken: Add a packed of ranch dressing seasoning + 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce in addition to seasoning mix.
  • Use frozen chicken breast: Add an extra two minutes to pressure cook time.
  • Double the recipe: Need a big batch? Just add a couple minutes to the high pressure cook time.
  • Slow Cooker instructions: Crockpot Shredded Chicken

How to store and reheat

Storage: Place cooked and shredded chicken with its juices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up 4 days.
Reheat: I usually add the shredded chicken to recipes and heat it that way, but if you’d like to heat just the chicken add a couple tablespoons of broth or water to a pan on medium low heat. You can also use the microwave, but it’s not my favorite method.

How to freeze Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

I like to freeze shredded chicken in 1-2 cup increments. Add chicken to a freezer safe container/freezer bag. For best results make sure the chicken is completely cool before freezing and if using a bag squeeze as much air as possible out. I’m a big fan of my vacuum sealer for things like this so it can last longer without chance of freezer burn. It will last for 3-4 months in the freezer, longer if vacuum sealed.

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

The post for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken was originally posted 08/13/2019, but was updated with better photos, information, and user experience on

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is fall apart easy to shred, perfectly flavored, and great to have on hand!
Print Recipe
cooked and shredded chicken in a bowl
Prep Time:1 min
Cook Time:12 mins

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken breast, raw
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Instructions

  • In the Instant Pot place the chicken breast, chicken broth, and seasonings. Stir.
  • Close and seal lid. Set Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 10 minutes. After cook time is done let it natrually release for 8-10 minutes. Then do a quick release the rest of the pressure (if there is any).
  • Remove chicken and about 1 cup of the broth. Place chicken and pour the broth into a bowl. Shred with two forks or a hand mixer. Enjoy!
  • Storage: Store shredded chicken and extra juices/broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
    Freezer Instructions: Freeze into 1-2 cup portions in freezer safe container for up to 4 months.

Notes

Makes 4 cups cooked chicken 
Weight Watchers Points: 0 Points (any amount) 
(1/2 cup) 131 Calories 1g fat, .3g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 36g protein
Servings: 8
Author: Star @ the skinny-ish dish
Tried this recipe?Mention @theskinnyishdish or tag #skinnyishdishrecipes!

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43 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is so easy and so dang good! I’ve fixed 2 batches the last 2 weeks and have used it mainly for Buffalo chicken wraps. The seasonings make the most fantastic broth that I could literally drink. So so yummy!!!

  2. 5 stars
    WOW!! I fixed this today for a couple of meals this week. Holy cow I think I ate an entire chicken breast before I could get it in the fridge. The broth from the cooked chicken is so dang good!!!! Thank you!

  3. I’ve tried making instant pot chicken several times with no luck – this is the best one ever . Almost as good as your baked chicken. it’s my all time favorite !! Can’t wait to try your chicken bubble up casserole with this shredded chicken .

  4. 5 stars
    I have made this several times. It is a great recipe! It’s so handy to freeze after making and have chicken on hand when I’m in a hurry

  5. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe and the broth is so bomb! I used paprika and basil because I didn’t have smoked paprika or Oregano. If the flavor was this good improvising than I can’t wait to do it with correct ingredients. I’m excited to use this chicken for your chicken soup recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    Find that I am making this almost weekly. 12yr old literally stands over the pot & gobbles it up. So versatile & convenient for staying on track. Thanks Star!!!

  7. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I use this chicken for almost any recipe that I need cooked chicken for. It is so delicious!! @ldeaverfever

  8. This is the greatest thing you can do for yourself for meal prep! I make this just about every week. I use it in salads, tacos, soups, or I just eat it as is because it’s very delicious. @dawnlong626

  9. 5 stars
    I make this recipe at least once a month. I love having the chicken on hand for quick lunches when I have a busy day!

  10. I just made this today- all I can say is, “where have you been all my life?!” I just signed up to get
    the emails and this was the first thing I made – I can’t wait to use the chicken later this week
    when I make the Chicken Tamale Bake!

  11. 5 stars
    Simple and tasty. Love having it on hand in the fridge and freezer so I can whip up some of your other recipes quickly! I’ve also used in salads and on sandwiches.

  12. 5 stars
    You’ve done it again! Made this in the crockpot because I don’t have an instapot. Came out wonderful! Even my husband who doesn’t care for crockpot meats that much was all about it. Made loaded chicken bubble bake with this AND chicken enchiladas. A must try

  13. 4 stars
    I think I did something wrong, but not going to give up. Chicken was little tough.???? What do you think I did??? Love the WW POINTS.. Thank you so much.
    Going to make chicken tacos…yummy

    1. I pounded the chicken so that it was all even. I think that helped mine. Every piece was perfect!!

  14. 5 stars
    Super easy and oh so good(Have some in my instant pot as I write this haha). This is my third or fourth time making it and it’s just wonderful. Sometimes I add paprika sometimes not. Thanks for this recipe!

  15. 5 stars
    Oh my holy cow! You have saved me from Weight Watcher boredom! Eating this right now. Thank you!!

  16. That looks so good! I imagine if u freeze this u can use it for everything from chicken enchiladas to pulled bbq. Donna, great idea about soup! (Maybe even in matzo ball soup, too) Looks tasty – thanks!

  17. Hi Star,
    How do I bribe my chicken breasts prior to? How much salt should I use proportionate to water?

  18. It would help me to know what size por these recipes are for. I cook for only me and my insta pot is a 3 qt size. It has sat on my counter for 2 months because I am unsure how to adjust fot the size or if there is no difference in time and settings.

  19. 5 stars
    I made a batch of your shredded chicken, and then I made a second batch but added sautéed carrots, onions and celery for a chicken (noodle-less) soup!

  20. 5 stars
    Do you ever double or triple this recipe in your IP? If so, do you add extra cooking time?

    1. I’ve doubled it and didn’t add the extra cooking time, but did add an extra 1/2 cup of liquid to be safe.

    1. Hey Kelly, I usually by fresh chicken, but if I do have some frozen I do let it thaw in the fridge. I hope that helps and hope you enjoy this recipe if you try it!

  21. I always have frozen, shredded chicken in the freezer. In a hurry, I open a can of light Progresso soup, throw in an extra handful or two of frozen mixed vegetables and some chicken breast meat. Makes it heartier and more filling. Love your recipes. Couldn’t have done it without you! 60 pounds gone!
    (Stars wouldn’t mark) 5 stars!

    1. Hi Star
      I’ve made this a few times and just love it. It makes the perfect filling for chicken enchiladas. Yum!!

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