Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken – How to cook moist, tender and juicy chicken breasts in your Instant Pot for shredding. This Instant Pot shredded chicken is quick and easy to make and it turns out perfect every time!
When I know we are going to have a busy week, I try to do some meal prep on the weekend to save time cooking on weeknights. One of my favorite foods to make ahead is a batch of shredded chicken. With this healthy protein cooked and ready in the refrigerator, it’s easy to throw together quick dinners and lunches.
You can add cooked, shredded chicken to salads, sandwiches, quesadillas, wraps and casseroles. Serve it with pasta or rice and a vegetable for a quick, nutritious meal. Or toss your shredded chicken with barbecue sauce to make pulled chicken sandwiches.
Once you try this Instant Pot shredded chicken, you won’t want to cook your chicken any other way! It’s an easy, hands-off way to cook chicken breasts for shredding or slicing.
When you know how to cook chicken in your Instant Pot, you won’t need to pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store when you need cooked chicken for a recipe. Using your Instant Pot, you can cook the chicken yourself faster than you could run to the grocery store. Cooking your own shredded chicken is cheaper, too.
I like to season my chicken breasts before cooking them to give them the best flavor. This Instant Pot shredded chicken is seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried oregano. These flavors are versatile so this shredded chicken works well in most recipes that call for cooked chicken.
You can change up the seasonings however you like. If you want to keep things really simple use only salt and pepper.
Learn more about how to use an Instant Pot.
How to make shredded chicken in an Instant Pot
To make this Instant Pot shredded chicken, you will start by putting boneless, skinless chicken breasts in your Instant Pot. Next you will add 1 cup of chicken broth and your seasonings.
When you cook in an Instant Pot (an Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker), you need to add at least 1 cup of liquid to create the steam that will build up pressure in the pot. You may use chicken broth or water in this recipe. I prefer chicken broth because it adds more flavor to the meat.
Close the lid on the pot, turn the steam valve to the sealing position, and set the cook time. Smaller chicken breasts will cook faster than larger pieces of chicken. Cook small (6-8 ounces each) chicken breasts for 10 minutes at high pressure, medium (9-10 ounce) chicken breasts for 12 minutes, and large (12 ounce) chicken breasts for 15 minutes.
The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and then will start counting down the cook time. When it beeps to tell you that the cook time has finished, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before quick releasing any remaining pressure.
I always do a quick check to make sure that my chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Using an instant-read thermometer is a good way to accurately check that your meat has cooked to a safe temperature.
Let the chicken cool for a few minutes and then shred it while it’s still warm. See my three favorite easy methods for how to shred chicken. They will save you time and help you to get perfect shredded chicken every time!
Finally, stir some of the juices from the pot back into the shredded chicken for moisture and flavor.
Can I use frozen chicken in this Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe?
Yes you may use frozen chicken breasts in this recipe. Add 2 minutes to the cook time and then do a 10 minute natural release. Be sure that the pieces of chicken are separated and not clumped together in one large mass, as that would take much longer to cook through.
Learn more about how to cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot.
Can I use chicken thighs to make shredded chicken in the Instant Pot?
Yes, the dark meat on chicken thighs is extra flavorful and moist and makes delicious shredded chicken. Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cook them for 14 minutes. If they are frozen cook for 18 minutes (be sure they are not frozen into a large mass). Check that the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F.
How long will my cooked chicken last?
Cooked shredded chicken will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or 2-3 months in the freezer. For food safety, do not freeze chicken that has been previously frozen.
Tips for making Instant Pot shredded chicken breast
- See my post on how to shred chicken quickly and easily.
- Chicken shreds easiest when it is warm.
- Add some of the cooking liquid back to the shredded chicken for moisture and flavor.
- Freeze extra shredded chicken in 1-2 cup portions so you can easily defrost the amount that you need for a meal or recipe.
- If you plan to slice your chicken instead of shredding it, I recommend letting it cool and slicing it against the grain right before you plan to use it.
- If you don’t have an Instant Pot, try my Crockpot Shredded Chicken.
Shredded chicken recipes:
- Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
- Baked Chicken Taquitos
- Enchilada Casserole
- Meal Prep Chicken Salads
- BBQ Chicken Sliders
- Baked Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli
- Chicken and Rice Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing
Other Instant Pot recipes:
- Honey Garlic Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Instant Pot Brown Rice
- Easy Peel Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts*, or thighs
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Place the chicken in the Instant Pot. Pour in the chicken broth. Sprinkle the dried oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper over the chicken.
- Seal the lid and move the steam valve to the sealing position.
- Pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes for small (6-8 ounce) chicken breasts, 12 minutes for medium (9-10 ounce) chicken breasts, or 15 minutes for large (12 ounce) chicken breasts. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and then the cook time will start counting down.
- When the cook time ends, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Then quick release any remaining pressure by using the handle of a long spoon to move the steam release valve to the venting position.
- Wait for the steam to release and the pin to drop down. Then, carefully open the lid of the Instant Pot. Check that the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165 degrees F using an instant read thermometer.
- Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot, leaving the broth in the pot. Let the chicken cool slightly and then shred the chicken. Stir in about ½ cup of the broth from the pot for flavor and moisture.
- If your chicken breasts are frozen, add 2 minutes to the pressure cooking time and follow that with a 10 minute natural release. Be sure that the chicken breasts are frozen as individual breasts, not one solid mass.
- You may use this same recipe to cook less chicken. Scale down the seasonings as desired, but use the full 1 cup of liquid and keep the cook time the same.
- Cooked shredded chicken will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or 2-3 months in the freezer. Cool completely before freezing, and freeze in an airtight container labeled with the use-by date.
I did all of that. Thanks.
I have been making this every week for meal prep. Thank you!
Can I use thighs?
Yes, the recipe ingredients note that you can use chicken breasts or thighs. Enjoy!
Am I supposed to use the trivet?
Place the chicken in the bottom of the pot without a trivet.
How should I adjust recipes if I have an 8qt?
There are no adjustments needed for an 8 quart.
I have heard the 8qt needs 2 cups of liquid
I’ve cooked many recipes in my 8 quart with less than 2 cups of liquid, with success.
Can you use this recipe for frozen chicken but just adjust the cooking time? Thanks!
Yes, add 2 minutes to the cook time for frozen chicken.