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 115 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. Gia says

    Hi. Thanks for the tips. If I cook
    only 2 thawed boneless breasts (on the larger side)… should I shorten the cook time, or release time?
    Thanks

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Gia! Yes, I would say shorten the cook time if you are using less than two pounds. I’d decrease it by 2 minutes but again it will be trial an error since I haven’t tried reducing it myself. Enjoy!

    • Gia says

      I had a 2 breasts about 8 oz ea. Cooked 8 min & natural release for 8 min. Came out perfect. Have made several times since. 🙂

  2. livingcontrast says

    Thank you! Where do you buy your chicken breasts? How big are each of them and how trimmed of fat are they? I have tried a shorter time on frozen and they always come out raw. Yet many blogs have a shorter time than 36 min on high which I tend to do. I’m thinking this might be key.

  3. Krista says

    I used your recipe to cook 20 chicken breasts (not even tenders) in my 8 quart Instapot. 20 minutes with plenty of release time did beautifully!

  4. Anne says

    I was making Chicken Torilla Soup today and decided try your recipe for chicken in my instant pot. This was so easy! Put the chicken breast tenders and flavored broth in the pot. Cooked for 10 minutes, cooled down and poured some of the broth off. Easy shredding and looked good. Added it to my soup along with some of the extra broth. Easy clean up! Thank you!

  5. Gail says

    I have not made this yet but from the reviews I am sure it is going to be great. I plan on making it tomorrow. I know it says 8 servings how many cups would that be. I have a recipe calling for 4 cups of shredded chicken. Need to know if I need to double this. Thanks

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Gail! I’m sorry but I haven’t measured this out in cups but you should definitely get 4 cups of shredded chicken out of it.

  6. Trilla says

    My freezer died suddenly and I had 8 chicken breast I had to cook along with a lot more meat. Your recipe worked beautifully. I did a 10 min cook and 8 min release. Juicy shredded chicken.

  7. Katherine says

    I used this recipe to make shredded chicken for lunches this week. I’ve got enough to save in the freezer for later, which is awesome.
    It wasn’t quite as tender and shreddable as I hoped, but still nice and juicy and tender enough for our meals. Thanks for the easy to follow instructions!

  8. Heather says

    I just cooked this last night and used chicken breasts that were mostly frozen. I think because the breasts were in such a thick chunk, they did not cook all the way thru. I also did not find the breasts to fall apart. I recommend adding more time. Flavor was great!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Heather! It will definitely make a difference if they are in one big chunk. I would recommend adding more time as well.

  9. Sheryl says

    Tried it today and doubled the recipe with chicken breast They turned out great. And is super easy. Lots of moisture and flavour is not over powering. I used this in chicken quesadillas tonight and will use the left over chicken to make chicken salad sandwiches. This one’s a keeper!

  10. Darlene says

    Finally a recipe for shredded chicken that doesn’t take all day in a crockpot – and the chicken comes out juicy, not dry! Thank you!!

      • Shiv says

        Just made this for the first time. Chicken is shreddable but not fall apart tender. Slightly rubbery. Any tips for making it more tender? Should I try cooking longer or natural releasing for longer? Or maybe shorter? Thanks!

      • Patty says

        Yes I’m doing it again right now and I have found that if I brine my chicken I don’t care what I cook it in its tender I love it and I don’t even measure add water and salt not a whole lot of salt though, perfect every time

  11. Amber Hurley says

    I know it says to use boneless breasts but if I were to use bone in should I just add a couple minutes?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Amber! I’ve only tested the recipe as is but you likely would need to add a few minutes. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. 💜

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. Tammy says

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

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