This 3-ingredient instant pot shredded chicken recipe is the simplest and most reliable way to cook up juicy, plump chicken that shreds up perfectly so you can use it to create a variety of delightful meals during the week.
Shredded chicken, also called pulled chicken, is one of my favorite meal prep ingredients and since I’ve discovered how to make it in the Instant Pot, it’s even easier. It takes almost no effort and in about 40 minutes I have enough chicken to make 1-2 meals during the week.
I like to keep some in the freezer all the time for those days when I need something quick to make. It thaws out more quickly than an intact piece of chicken and sometimes you can even add it frozen straight into your recipe, especially in recipes like this Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup.
😊 Why This Recipe Works
- All you need are three ingredients plus some salt and pepper to make a batch of instant pot pulled chicken.
- There are countless ways to use shredded chicken in meals making it perfect for weekly meal prep.
- Using the pressure cooker to make chicken for meal prep means you have free time to do other things while it cooks.
- It’s almost impossible to ruin chicken when you cook it in the instant pot so you can count on excellent tasting, perfectly juicy chicken each time.
🛒 Ingredient Notes
This simple preparation of chicken in the instant pot is made with simple ingredients you may already have on hand or can pick up during a quick trip to the grocery store.
- Chicken breasts: Opt for boneless, skinless chicken breasts to keep things super simple since they don’t require any additional prep work.
- Chicken broth: Adds more flavor to the cooked chicken than using only water.
- Poultry seasoning: This spice blend with thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg is all you need for excellent flavor.
- Salt and pepper: A basic pantry staple you likely already have in the kitchen.
See the recipe card further down on the page for a complete list and quantities.
🔪 Step by Step Instructions
Here’s a preview of how to make shredded chicken in the instant pot. For the full instructions, see the recipe card towards the bottom of the page.
Get the Instant Pot ready for cooking. Place the inner pot inside and add one cup of chicken broth. Then stir in the poultry seasoning.
Step 1: Add the chicken breasts to the pot of the pressure cooker in a single layer. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with salt and pepper.
Secure the lid and close the vent sealing the Instant Pot. Pressure cook fresh chicken for 15 minutes or frozen chicken for 20 minutes.
Step 2: When it's finished cooking, use natural release for 15 minutes. Then turn the valve to release any remaining pressure and carefully open the lid.
Transfer the chicken to a large plate and use two forks to pull the chicken breast apart into shredded pieces about 2 inches long.
Once you have the chicken shredded, you can use it in recipes or to make meals.
⭐ Hint: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the cooked chicken before shredding it. Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken. When fully cooked, it should read 165 degrees.
Tip for shredding chicken
The easiest way to shred chicken is first to allow it to cool to the touch after cooking. Then break it apart into large chunks with your hands and place it in a large bowl. Using two forks, pull in opposite directions to shred the meat into small pieces.
If you prefer a no-touch way to shred chicken then try Cruelwinter Chicken Shredder Shred Machine. his convenient meat cutter is a portable, multifunctional kitchen tool that can easily chop food. All you have to do is put the meat into the chamber, close the lid, and then use the integrated handle to rotate it a few times.
Here are a few substitutions you can use to make when making Instant Pot shredded chicken:
- Boneless, unbreaded chicken tenders: Swap out the regular chicken breasts with 1 pound chicken cut into strips. It’s pretty much the same thing just in a different cut and you can use the same process to shred the chicken after it’s cooked.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: This cooking method also works for chicken thighs but this cut of dark meat will come out darker in color and also with a slightly different texture than chicken breasts.
- Water: You can use water instead of chicken broth if you prefer but I do find the chicken broth enhances the flavor of the cooked chicken.
Want to add some different flavors to this easy shredded chicken recipe? Here are some different ways to flavor it up!
- Spices: Add different spices to create a variety of different flavors of chicken. Choose your favorite from the list below and add 2 teaspoons along with the poultry seasoning to the Instant Pot before cooking the chicken.
- Sauces: Mix in different sauces to create quick and easy shredded chicken for tacos, quesadillas, salads and more! These are best added in the desired amount after the chicken is fully cooked and shredded.
💭 Tips for Making the Recipe
Don’t skip the chicken broth or water in the pot. It’s essential to the cooking process of the electric pressure cooker.
Don’t forget to extend the cooking time when using frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot.
When making Instant Pot shredded chicken, make sure that the chicken breasts are all a similar size in thickness. This will ensure even cooking and help you avoid overcooking the chicken. If some pieces of chicken are larger than others you can trim or cut them so they are even in size.
If you don't cook with it right away, split it up into portions, store it in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
Yes, you will need to cook for additional time. Add 8 minutes onto the cooking time for each 1 pound of chicken you add. Just be sure you don’t go over the fill line marked on the side of the inner pot. Also, when you cook more chicken, the pressure cooker will take longer to pressurize when it is more full so this will increase the total cooking time as well.
No, use 1 cup of liquid regardless of the amount of chicken you prepare to make shredded chicken breast instant pot.
All you need to do is place the lid back on and close the pressure valve again. Set it to cook under pressure for an additional 2-4 minutes. Once it finishes you can release the pressure carefully and check if it’s done. When cooking for the second time in the Instant Pot it will repressurize much more quickly.
Yes, this method also works great for meal prep fresh chicken, not frozen. I would recommend making sure you have enough chicken broth or water to mostly cover the chicken as it will need a bit more liquid to cook. Cook for 4 hours on high heat or 6 hours on low heat.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast Recipe
- 4 chicken breast fresh or frozen about 2 pounds
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- Place the inner pot into your Instant Pot and add one cup of chicken broth.
- Stir in poultry seasoning.
- Place the chicken breasts into the broth in a single layer. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Following the manufactures instructions secure the Instatn Pot lid and close the vent to seal.
- Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes for fresh and 20 minutes for frozen chicken breasts.
- When the Instant Pot is finished cooking allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes.
- Turn the valve to venting to release any extra pressure. Carefully open the lid.
- Remove the chicken breasts to a large plate. Using two forks pull the chicken breast apart into shredded pieces about 2 inches long.
- If you do not need the chicken broth, you can place it in a freezer zip-lock style bag and freeze. Be sure to label and date your bag.