If you need some shreddable chicken in your life, look no further! This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is fail-proof! Seasoned with herbs, garlic, and onion, this shredded chicken recipe is quick and easy to make from frozen or fresh and is great in casseroles, shredded chicken salads, sandwiches, or tacos. Meal prep a batch to keep in the fridge throughout the week – it’s great for throwing something quickly together.
This recipe was originally published on January 19th, 2022.
Absolutely fail. PROOF. I love this delicious chicken recipe. Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is so great to have on hand, and this healthy, lean, cooked chicken breast can be added to so many weeknight dinner recipes making the dreaded dinners on busy weeknights a thing of the past. This easy Instant Pot chicken recipe leaves you with such flavorful chicken, it’s one you’ll come back to week over week. Check below for some meals to try or eat this tender chicken straight from the bowl!
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Set it & forget it: Place all of the ingredients into the instant pot (aka electric pressure cooker) and let it work its magic. It’s recipes like that that make this fantastic pressure cooker worth its weight in gold!
- Shredded chicken goes in everything: Skip the store-bought rotisserie chicken and add this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken into salads, tacos, sandwiches, and casseroles, you can even have it as a cheeky wee snack!
- Perfect for meal prep: When I make this I always make extra and keep it on hand in the fridge or freezer. I also sometimes leave out the salt so that my baby who is eating solids but not old enough for salt yet, can have it blended into his pureed vegetables. We’re feeding all mouths here!
- You can use either frozen or fresh chicken: YES! I love the fact that if I forget to defrost the chicken (which I absolutely do) I can cook it from frozen in the instant pot, and it becomes fall-apart juicy chicken breast in no time at all. The cook time varies between the two so double-check the recipe card below for full instructions!
- It’s healthy! Chicken is already a lean protein, and all I do is add herbs, seasoning, and water to it, keeping it as simple as possible. No extra oil or even stock is necessary.
- You end up with stock as well as shredded chicken: After the instant pot has finished cooking and you remove the chicken from the pot, you have cooking liquid left over which can be used as chicken stock. This usually creates about 2 cups (473ml) of chicken stock which you can add to other recipes or keep in the fridge or freezer until needed.
- Fit it into multiple diets: Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is Whole30 + paleo + keto + gluten-free + dairy-free.
🗝️ Key Ingredients for Instant Pot Pulled Chicken
- Chicken: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can use either fresh or frozen chicken breast which is great if you forget to defrost them! Boneless skinless chicken thighs are also an excellent choice for this recipe.
- Seasoning: I added thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt. I like to make a classic herby chicken flavor so that it is pretty neutral and can be added to soups or casseroles, or other spices can be added later like taco seasoning to make shredded chicken tacos.
- Water: I add plain ol’ water instead of chicken stock, as the chicken will actually make stock as it cooks. Water is more convenient and easier when I’m cooking quickly. You can substitute it 1:1 with chicken stock and skip or halve the salt.
🥣 How to make Shredded Instant Pot Chicken Breast
1. Add the chicken to the instant pot pressure cooker along with the garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, ground black pepper, salt, and a cup of liquid.
2. Close the lid of the pressure cooker, and set the lid valve to “sealing”.
Using fresh or thawed chicken:
3. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes, followed by a natural release for at least 10 minutes. For the remaining pressure, do a quick release by setting the valve to “venting”. You can leave it on the natural pressure release completely if desired.
Using frozen chicken:
3. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes, followed by a natural release for at least 10 minutes, and then a quick pressure release, setting the valve to “venting”. You can allow it to natural release completely if desired.
After the chicken is cooked:
4. Carefully remove the Instant Pot lid and take the chicken out of the pot with tongs, placing it in a large bowl.
5. Shred chicken: you can either pull it apart with two forks, or the easiest way is to shred it with a hand mixer. Just blend it up and it will fall right apart!
How to store and reheat Shredded Chicken
- Store: Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or in the oven until piping hot. I add a little water so that the chicken doesn’t dry out when reheating. You can also reheat shredded chicken in a pan on the stove with a little water.
- Store: Store Instant Pot Shredded Chicken in an airtight container or in freezer bags for up to 6 months. Ideal for future use!
- Reheat: Thaw the frozen chicken completely in the fridge overnight before following the reheating instructions above.
🍽️ What different recipes call for shredded chicken?
- Crack Chicken Chili
- Crack Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Healthy Chicken Salad
- Chicken Sandwiches
You could also use Instant Pot Shredded Chicken in these recipes instead of the chicken listed:
🔥 Spice it up!
If you want to add a different flavor, try these seasonings out:
- Taco Seasoning
- Fajita Seasoning
- Ranch Seasoning
- Cajun Seasoning
- Za’atar Seasoning
- Italian Seasoning
- Chinese 5 spice + garlic powder + ginger powder + chili powder
❓ How can I tell if my chicken is cooked properly?
The chicken will be white, falling apart, and completely shreddable when it’s ready, however, if you want to be absolutely sure, you can use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should read 160-165°F for perfectly cooked chicken.
🤔 Why is my Instant Pot Chicken rubbery?
If your chicken isn’t fall-apart tender, and instead seems tough and rubbery it needs to cook a little longer. Place it back in your instant pot and cook it on high pressure for 3 more minutes, allowing it to naturally release for 10 minutes.
🤷♀️ Can you overcook chicken in an instant pot?
It is kind of difficult to do as overcooked chicken tends to be dry, but when chicken is cooked in an instant pot the moisture doesn’t escape and it stays juicy the whole time. I think eventually you could cook off all of the water and then it might become dry, but that would take quite a long time! However, you can undercook chicken which is really dangerous to serve! Always make sure chicken is no longer pink before serving or eating it, and when in doubt check the internal temperature with a thermometer (it should read 160-165°F). You shouldn’t have that problem with this recipe though!
❔ What is the white stuff coming out of my chicken breast?
The white stuff that you may see leftover in the chicken stock is just some of the discarded protein and liquid from the chicken. No need to worry – it is safe! You can either keep it in the stock to add to another recipe or throw it away.
🐔 Can I make this in my slow cooker?
Sure! Place all of the ingredients in your slow cooker and cook it low and slow for 6 hours. The cooking time is a little more if you’re cooking from frozen. Add an extra 2 hours if you’re using frozen chicken breasts.
😋 More chicken recipes you will love
- PALEO ORANGE CHICKEN
- KETO CHICKEN WINGS
- BRAZILIAN CHICKEN STROGANOFF
- WHOLE ROASTED BBQ CHICKEN
- KETO CRACK CHICKEN CHILI
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- 1kg skinless boneless chicken breasts, fresh or frozen, 2.5 lbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt, optional (see note 1)
- 237 ml water, or chicken stock, 1 cup (see note 2)
- Add the chicken to the instant pot along with the garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, ground black pepper, salt and water.
- Close the lid of the pressure cooker, and set the lid valve to "sealing".
Using fresh or thawed chicken:
- Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes, followed by a natural release for at least 10 minutes followed by a quick release, setting the valve to "venting". You can allow it to natural release completely if desired.
Using frozen chicken:
- Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes, followed by a natural release for at least 10 minutes followed by a quick release, setting the valve to "venting". You can allow it to natural release completely if desired.
After the chicken is cooked:
- Carefully remove the Instant Pot lid and take the chicken out of the pot with tongs, placing it in a large bowl.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken by pulling it apart with the forks.
*you can skip the salt if a child under the age of 1 is eating it, or if you're going to season it later when adding it to another recipe like a chicken salad or soup.
**use half or omit the salt if adding chicken stock instead of water
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7.2g 9%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 181mg 60%
Sodium 727mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.4g 1%
Total Sugars 0.2g
Vitamin D 0mcg 1%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 1065mg 23%