Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 8 servings

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This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is perfectly moist, perfectly seasoned, and it freezes perfectly for your weekly meal prep! The easy way to cook Instant Pot chicken breast for shredding, from fresh or frozen! It’s a healthy addition to soups, salads, pastas or sandwiches throughout the week. 

shredded chicken with two forks in instant pot.
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Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients Needed:
  2. How to Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken:
  3. FAQs and Tips
  4. JUICY Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe

I know. Instant Pot Shredded Chicken? We hardly need a recipe for that!

It’s not even really a recipe.

But since this here is not just a food blog full of delicious things for you — it’s also a collection of some of my favorite things — I get to say what goes here.

Plus, there are so many delicious shredded chicken recipes that I know we’ll never run out of ways to use it.

The seasoning on this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is mild but so, so flavorful. It’s not too spicy or too salty or too peppery or too herby. It’s just right.

We all know that Instant Pot chicken breasts are one of my favorite things this year (check out these Creamy Italian Instant Pot Chicken Breasts, Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken Breasts, How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot if you were unsure!), so I’m keeping it.

This flavorful pressure cooked Shredded Chicken is one of my favorite meal prep hacks to have stashed in the freezer. Make a double batch, divide it up into smaller portions and dinnertime is that much easier!

I can guarantee you we will not regret it 😉

No Instant Pot? Check out my Crockpot Shredded Chicken and my stovetop Shredded Chicken instead!

four chicken breasts in instant pot with seasoning ready to cook.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Chicken broth: I prefer to use low sodium broth and adjust my seasonings as desired. If your broth is salted, you may want to omit the salt and season at the end of the cook time. Vegetable broth also works great!
  • Italian seasoning: A simple blend of herbs that adds subtle, versatile flavor
  • Seasoning salt: My secret weapon! Seasoning salt includes a variety of other herbs and spices that give this pressure cooker shredded chicken a hit of flavor. You can use salt and add in paprika, onion powder and garlic powder.
  • Pepper: to round out the flavor profile
  • Chicken breasts: boneless chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs are preferred for this recipe. Any bone-in cuts of meat do require a longer cook time.

How to Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken:

I know that this is such an easy recipe that most of you probably don’t need tips on how to make shredded chicken, but there are a few things that I think are key so I’m going to drop some hints anyway!

Do with them what you will 😉

  • Make sure you add enough liquid. The liquid is what makes for a tender, flavorful shredded or “pulled” chicken. Broth adds so much more flavor than water, and more liquid = more moisture in your chicken!
  • Season well. You don’t want to go overboard, but keep in mind that meat is best seasoned during the cooking process and not after (as is pasta, grains, vegetables, the list goes on). You will drain most of the liquid afterward, so you will not be consuming the full amount of salt, etc. as is listed in the recipe.
  • Breasts or thighs? You can use either boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, or throw some of each in all together! Thighs have a richer flavor, and breasts are leaner. You choose.
instant pot shredded chicken in bowl with two forks and instant pot in the background.

How to shred chicken:

There are a couple ways to shred the chicken once it is cooked. Chicken breasts coming out of your pressure cooker are pretty much falling apart without you having to do anything, so you don’t need to get fancy.

I prefer to use two forks, because I’m lazy and I’m not into extra dishes. They do a fine job!

A lot of people will use a hand mixer or stand mixer to shred chicken, but I think it’s overkill. Who wants a huge stand mixer bowl to wash just for a few chicken breasts? Maybe if you’re doing a few pounds at once, it would be worth it.

Be sure to shred the chicken breast in the liquid (or at least some of it!) as it the chicken will reabsorb some of the broth and seasoning as you are pulling it, and it will give you the best results by far!

FAQs and Tips

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?

Absolutely! Boneless chicken thighs will cook in about the same amount of time as breasts. You can even use a mix of both!

How do you store leftover shredded chicken?

Shredded chicken can be store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Just be sure it is in an airtight container so it does not get freezer burnt.

Do I put the chicken on the trivet?

Some people do, but I do not. I think that the chicken gets even more moist and more flavorful sitting in those delicious juices.

Why is my chicken dry?

Overcooking chicken can dry it out quickly, especially when we are using white meat. That’s why I recommend a shorter cook time than some — with the time to build and release pressure, 10 minutes cook time is plenty for a few chicken breasts.

Staring with frozen chicken breasts?

I recommend adding 3-4 minutes to the cook time.

See my post here on cooking frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot.

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?

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JUICY Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

4.69 from 54 votes
This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is perfectly moist, perfectly seasoned, and it freezes perfectly for your weekly meal prep! The easy way to cook Instant Pot chicken breast for shredding, from fresh or frozen!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Time to build and release pressure 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 8 servings
Calories 69cal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ teaspoon seasoning salt
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 lbs of chicken)

Instructions

  • Place broth, seasoning salt, Italian seasoning and pepper into the Instant Pot inner pot. Stir.
  • Add the chicken breasts (no trivet necessary!) and put the lid on.
  • Turn valve to sealing, and select Manual (or Pressure Cook), high pressure for 10 minutes (they will be cooked at 7-8 minutes, but a couple extra minutes makes them fall apart tender). It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and start counting down. 
  • Once the cook time is over, turn the Instant Pot off and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes (i.e., don’t touch it!). 
  • Open the lid and drain about half of the liquid. Shred the chicken breasts with the remaining liquid in the pot, and serve as desired. To freeze, let cool to room temperature before placing in freezer bags.

Notes

*This recipe was tested in a 6 quart Instant Pot. Different models may have different suggestions for minimum liquid requirements.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 69cal | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 234mg | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Keywords instant pot chicken breast, pressure cooker, pressure cooker chicken breast, pressure cooker shredded chicken

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. jbbeaty76@gmail.com says

    This was yummy and easy! I used frozen chicken breasts. They were a little stuck together, so I added a few minutes and still worked out great.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Stephanie! I haven’t tried to double the chicken but I know some have added 6 pieces without having to adjust the time. If you decide to experiment with more, let me know how it goes.

  2. Stanley Szczsponik says

    Great recipe. I will use the shredded chicken in a soup or salad. Depending on how fine you shred it, leaving it a little bit chunky, I think it will make a nice addition to a Caesar salad.
    Btw…I’m not into extra dishes either so I used my hand mixer right in my stainless steel insert.

  3. Frances says

    I was looking for a recipe to make shredded chicken in our Ninja Foodi for homemade chicken noodle soup, and I’m SO glad I stumbled across this one. The chicken was amazing!! This one is definitely a keeper. 💜

  4. Ty says

    The last two times I’ve made this I’ve used the leftover liquid (I’ve just been winging the broth/seasonings by feel) to make a couple cups of rice in my rice maker! Yummy and useful.

  5. Marty says

    Tried this today in a 3 qt Instant Pot, with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I typically cook them in a small slow cooker over night (10-12 hours on low). The thighs today are much more rubbery than when I slow cook them. I used plenty of liquid (almost too much). I’m glad it works well for others in a 6 qt IP. But I’ll need to stick with my little slow cover. Thank you for the recipe though!

  6. Sam says

    Chicken turned out great! A super simple meal prep idea for healthy lunches – this chicken plus mozzarella, grape tomatoes and fresh basil. And just before eating, top with mixture of balsamic vinegar/olive oil. Delicious!

  7. Tammy says

    Perfect! I’ve tried different methods and this is the first method that consistently yields perfectly cooked, juicy chicken. Thanks!

  8. Ron U. says

    I have used this recipe before except browned chicken breast in instant pot (on sautee) before pressure cooking. Today I did something different…heated outdoor grill to 450, slathered breasts with BBQ sauce and grilled for 2 1/2 minutes each side, then pressure cooked…WOW! Carmelization of sauce and “smoke” gave shredded chicken whole new taste…family said ONLY make pulled chicken this way in future. Might try same procedure with pork. Thanks.

  9. Charissa says

    This looks perfect! I have made a handful of recipes in my new 6 quart Instant Pot, but not chicken yet, and I want this to be the first recipe I try! It looks super simple, which is what I need when it comes to chicken for sure! So I just want to make sure I got this right, the chicken pressure cooks for 10 minutes and then you let it go to natural release where the timer counts up, not turn it off right? And one last thing, you said no trivet? Last time I didn’t use the trivet I got the bring signal and I hate that! If I do add the trivet, will that mess the recipe up? TIA!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Charissa! You can let it release the pressure while it counts up or just turn it off. I do either. If I’m in the kitchen, I will just turn it off. And no, no trivet. If your sealing ring is in place, and the valve is sealed, there is literally no way for the liquid to evaporate so there is no way to get a burn message.

  10. Misty Newsome says

    I had six chicken breast and I doubled the liquid and spices. Why then when I opened it was it not shredable and almost looked undercooked? These are fresh not frozen

    • Ashley Fehr says

      You cannot go by “look” with chicken — only a meat thermometer will tell you if the chicken is cooked through. If you could check the temperature, you’d have a better idea if they need a few more minutes or a few less. Exact cook times will vary depending on the size of your chicken breasts.

  11. Ellen says

    This is one of the first Instant Pot recipes that I tried, and it has always been great. I do try to remove the salt entirely, so that I can share it with my Shiat Tzu, Lola. I can always add salt later. I’m cooking at an altitude of 5000 feet, so I add 2 minutes to the cook time and let it natural release while I do other things…usually about 30 minutes. Lately, I’ve been using salt free bone broth, thyme, oregano, a little sage, a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of paprika, and a little pepper. (I avoid adding garlic and onion since dogs can be sensitive to it, so I add it later, with the salt. I have a mini Instant Pot, and usually cook two large boneless skinless chicken breasts, equaling about a pound. It always turns out very well, but just slightly dry. I do shred the chicken in the broth, but I’ve wondered if the pieces of chicken are two big. I have tried adding a minute or two to the cook time and it seems a little juicier. I’m going up to 15 minutes today to see if it’s even better! Thank you for your explanations and responses to readers – it’s been very helpful to me!

  12. Marjorie Smith says

    We had just gotten home and were hungry. Within 45 minutes a complete meal was on the table that my grandson could eat (just got braces). I started with frozen, added an extra 1/2 cup of broth, and at the end, some sauteed mushrooms. Thickened it and served it over noodles. Cooked some veggies and had a tasty, easy to chew, healthy meal. Thank you for the recipe.

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