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.
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.
And today? I’m all about non-recipe recipes.
I mean, it’s kind of a recipe. 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.
And 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.
I came up with this recipe when I was testing a few grilled chicken recipes, and I ended up taking out 4 extra chicken breasts that I no longer needed to grill. We are preparing to leave on holidays, and so I didn’t really want any extra food hanging around in the fridge that might spoil while we’re away.
I decided to dream up the ultimate Instant Pot Shredded Chicken and stash it in the freezer for our return — best idea ever!
We now don’t have to worry about what we are going to eat the day after we get home when we’re still feeling like two zombies who “vacationed” with 3 kids 6 and under.
I can guarantee you we will not regret it!
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.
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!
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?
- Instant Pot Pork Chops with Bacon Apple Glaze
- Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Herb Rub
- Creamy Italian Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
Don’t have an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker? Check out my Crockpot Shredded Chicken!
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- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 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.
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