Make perfect shredded chicken quickly and easily in the Instant Pot with this easy recipe. All you need are three simple ingredients and about 40 minutes of hands-off time to cook.
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.
Want to let your slow cooker do the work for you? You can have chicken ready when you get home from a long day, then be sure to print my 5-Minute Prep, Juicy Slow Cooker Chicken Shredded.
More Instant Pot Recipes: If you like using your electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot to make meals, you will want to make Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken, Creamy Instant Pot Clam Chowder Recipe, Rustic and Creamy Toscana Zuppa Soup (Instant Pot), Rich and Tender Instant Pot Oxtail Recipe, Cincinnati Chili or Roast Beef with Gravy.
Why Make Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
- 3 Ingredients: All you need are three ingredients plus some salt and pepper to make a batch of instant pot pulled chicken.
- Versatile: There are countless ways to use shredded chicken in meals, making it perfect for weekly meal prep.
- Time Saver: Using the pressure cooker to make chicken for meal prep means you have free time to do other things while it cooks.
- Always Turns Out Great: 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.
🛒 Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Chicken
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.
📝 Note: You can find the full recipe with ingredients and measurements in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.
How To Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tips for shredding chicken
The easiest way to shred chicken is first to allow it to cool to the touch after cooking.
- Two Forks: This is the most common method. Simply hold one fork in each hand and pull them in opposite directions along the cooked chicken breast. The tines of the forks will naturally shred the chicken as you pull.
- Stand Mixer: Place the cooked chicken breasts in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on low and let it do the shredding work for you. Be careful not to overmix, or the chicken will become too fine.
- Hand Mixer: Similar to the stand mixer method, you can use a hand mixer with beaters or dough hooks to shred the chicken. Place the cooked chicken in a deep bowl and use the hand mixer on low to shred it.
- Kitchen Shears: If the chicken is tender enough, you can use kitchen shears to cut it into small pieces or strips, which can mimic the texture of shredded chicken.
- Manual Shredder or Meat Claws: There are specialized kitchen tools like manual shredders or meat claws designed specifically for shredding cooked meats. They have sharp prongs or claws that make shredding quick and easy.
Common Instant Pot Chicken Questions
Making Instant Pot chicken thighs or breasts is very easy. It is also a great way to create new flavors for a variety of recipes.
What type of chicken should I use in my Instant Pot
Here are a few substitutions you can use to make when making Instant Pot shredded chicken:
- Boneless, skinless 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.
What liquid should I use in the Instant Pot for shredded chicken?
You can use various liquids in the Instant Pot for shredded chicken, depending on the flavor profile you want to achieve. Common options include chicken broth for a classic and versatile base, white wine, vegetable broth, apple juice, pineapple juice, or beer.
Can I use frozen chicken to make shredded chicken in the Instant Pot?
When cooking frozen chicken in an Instant Pot, ensure you add enough liquid, like chicken broth or water, to prevent burning. Adjust the cooking time by adding approximately 50% more time than the recipe suggests for thawed chicken, considering the thickness of the chicken pieces. Use a meat thermometer to confirm the internal temperature of the chicken reaches a safe 165°F (74°C) before shredding it for your desired recipe.
What type of seasonings or sauces can I use for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken?
- 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.
Smart Pro Tips
- 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 are not ready to cook with your Instant Pot chicken 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.
Meal Ideas With Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Making shredded chicken in your Instant Pot is a great time saver and a great way to always have tender, juicy chicken ready for easy, quick meals. Use it in Homemade Frozen Taquitos, Famous Chicken Salad, Nacho Casserole, or Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast Recipe
Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this 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.