Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings

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

instant pot shredded chicken in pressure cooker.

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

But my goal here is to share recipes that make dinnertime easier — and more delicious!

And since this shredded chicken is the perfect meal prep option and can be used in so many delicious shredded chicken recipes, 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.

See what people are saying

“I needed to find a simple shredded chicken recipe. This is perfect. Flavorful and really adaptable. Used 2 frozen chicken thighs and added 5 more minutes once they separated. I made my own seasoning salt and all is well on my side. Thank you so much for your recipe. I’ve also used it with chicken breast as well.” Michi

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

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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Ingredients:

ingredients needed for instant pot shredded chicken.
  • 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
  • Seasoning salt: 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:
  • 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 Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot:

Yes, it’s simple — but here are a few step by step photos to guide you! You can find the detailed instructions down in the recipe card.

  1. Combine broth and seasonings
  2. Add the chicken to the instant pot.
  3. Put the lid on and pressure cook — it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and begin counting down.
  4. When the cook time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally (be patient!). Then open the lid and shred the chicken.

Tips and Tricks:

Yes, this recipe is simple, but there are a few tricks to make it even easier!

  • 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.
tongs picking up instant pot shredded chicken from bowl.

How to shred chicken:

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.

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!

With two forks:

I prefer to use two forks, because I’m lazy and I’m not into extra dishes. They do a fine job! With this method, the shreds of chicken will be a little bit chunkier and not as fine.

With a mixer:

A lot of people will use a hand mixer or stand mixer to shred chicken, but I think it’s unnecessary. I don’t want to wash any more dishes than necessary!

However, if you’re doing a large batch and want your chicken in fine shreds, this is a great way to do it.

Shredded Chicken FAQs

How to store 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.

bowl of shredded chicken in front of instant pot.

What can I make with shredded chicken?

This chicken is great for meal prepping because it can be turned into so many different meals! Here are a few of our favorites:

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?

We all know that Instant Pot chicken breasts are one of my favorite things this year, so check out these Creamy Italian Instant Pot Chicken Breasts and Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken Breasts next.

You might want to start with The Best Instant Pot Chicken Recipes! Then check out these other favorites:

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JUICY Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

4.83 from 114 votes
This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is perfectly moist, seasoned, and it freezes well for your weekly meal prep! The easy way to pressure cook chicken breast for shredding, from fresh or frozen! It's a healthy addition to soups, salads, pastas or sandwiches throughout the week
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Time to build and release pressure 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. Casandra says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I know how to cook shredded chicken on the stovetop or crockpot, but the Instant Pot is a whole new thing to me!! I’ve tried different recipes I found online but the chicken was never fall apart good, like it is when I use the stovetop (45 minutes) or crockpot (several hours).

    P.S. I love the stand mixer version of shredding. I don’t have to shred by hand or with two forks, which never really worked for me anyway (shrug). And the dishwasher does all the cleaning for me!!

  7. Hilary says

    Hi Ashley,
    Thanks for the great recipe! I was just wondering if you completely turn off the instant pot after the ten minutes of cooking and not touch it for ten more minutes or if you let it default to warming for the 10 minutes of natural releasing?
    Thanks so much!

  8. Jessica says

    I tried this recipe to a t and the chicken turned out tough and not very moist (the texture was strange to pull, almost stringy and stiff). It also had next to no flavour.
    I used frozen chicken. Pressure cooked for 10 and it wasn’t completely cooked when I pulled a section so I added an additional 2 minutes.
    Where did I go wrong?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Unless you checked the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, I wouldn’t say that it wasn’t cooked. Coloring is not necessarily an indicator of doneness. I would make sure that your Instant Pot is sealed and cooking on high pressure, and that you allow for a natural release.

  9. Jenny says

    If we have a lb of thawed chicken breasts.. how long does it usually take in the IP? For some reason my chicken ends up being hard to shred.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      As long as the chicken isn’t stuck together, 10 minutes should be sufficient. If it is very full it will take a little longer to come to pressure and you may want to add a few minutes to the cook time just to be safe. I always use pressure cook on high, so I can’t say how the poultry setting would differ.

  10. casscree@gmail.com says

    Hello I’m new to your recipes and trying the white chicken chili for the first time. I’m starting by making a batch of your Instant Pot shredded chicken. My question is if I use that chicken for the chili recipe do I still need to add 2 cups of broth or is the broth used just for making the chicken? Thanks

  11. kmt says

    I was making chicken for pot pie. I used chicken flavor bouillion, and added some celery, onion and carrot like I would have if I had stewed it. Just used salt and pepper. 2 boneless breasts were perfect at 10 min. and 10 min. natural release. Went ahead and tasted the carrots, my husband asked if we can have them that way from now on.

  12. Kathy says

    Loved this recipe, used frozen chicken breast, added an extra 4 minutes and wala, perfectly moist, seasoned chicken. I shredded mine and made chicken enchiladas. Thank you for sharing

  13. Deonne Couturier says

    So juicy and deeeelicious! Used 2 cups broth in my 8 qrt and doubled the seasoning with 6 medium breasts. Yum!! Thank you for this recipe

4.83 from 114 votes (53 ratings without comment)

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