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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 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. 

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raw chicken breasts in instant pot with chicken broth and seasoning ready to cook

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Table of Contents
  1. How to Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken:
  2. 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.

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.

shredded chicken in instant pot with two forks suck into chicken

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!

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 in bowl and pressure cooker 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!

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?

Don’t have an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker? Check out my Crockpot Shredded Chicken!

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JUICY Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

4.77 from 43 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! It’s a healthy addition to soups, salads, pastas or sandwiches throughout the week. #chicken #dinner #recipes #instantpot #pressurecooker
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 8 servings
Calories 69cal

Ingredients

  • 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

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. Tammy says

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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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