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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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 😉
- 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:
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.
- Combine broth and seasonings — this helps to ensure everything is evenly distributed.
- Add the chicken to the instant pot.
- Put the lid on and pressure cook — it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and begin counting down.
- 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:
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!
- 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!
Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken FAQs
Absolutely! Boneless chicken thighs will cook in about the same amount of time as breasts. You can even use a mix of both!
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.
Some people do, but I do not. I think that the chicken gets even more moist and more flavorful sitting in those delicious juices.
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.
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:
- Add it to this Garlic Parmesan Orzo Pasta or this Creamy Cavatappi Pasta.
- Swap it for meat in this Rigatoni Pasta Bake
- Swap it for the beef in this Dorito Taco Salad or use it in this Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup
- Use it in this Chicken Corn Chowder or this Chicken Wild Rice Soup.
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?
You might want to start with The Best Instant Pot Chicken Recipes! Then check out these other favorites:
- Instant Pot Pork Chops with Bacon Apple Glaze
- Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Herb Rub
- Creamy Italian Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
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JUICY Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- 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)
- 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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