Super-Easy Shredded Chicken (Slow Cooker + Instant Pot)

Make your meal prep or weekday night dinners even easier with this super-easy slow cooker shredded chicken. Perfect for your Crockpot or Instant Pot, it’s great make it in advance or freeze for future meals in a pinch.

shredded chicken

Shredded Chicken

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When life gets busy, I like to use one of my favorite kitchen hacks for making chicken breast recipes come together much quicker. Unless a recipe specifically calls for cut up chunks of chicken, I always make it with shredded chicken because I prefer the texture.

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My love for my slow cooker and instant pot runs deep because anything that lets me throw ingredients into a pot and then does all the work for me during the day is a definite win as far as I’m concerned.

Tips for making crockpot shredded chicken

  • The cooking water makes a great base for chicken stock- save it for soup or stock!
  • When freezing, shred the chicken minimally or it may end up mealy. In general most of the time when you’re mixing it into other recipes, it will shred up a little more, so go easy the first go-round.
  • I’ve come across a variety of shredded chicken recipes, and while they’re all a little different, I like to keep it simple and straightforward, without adding extra seasonings.

shredded chicken recipes

Frequently asked questions about how to make shredded chicken

  • Do you have to use water? I generally use water for this hack. This plain slow cooker shredded chicken recipe works great for whatever recipe I’m making, it’s like a blank canvas. But you could always use broth, salsa, anything liquid-based if you wanted to add a specific flavor.
  • Does it freeze well? This recipe can be used right away or frozen to use later (I measure out cups into small baggies). Remember not to over-shred!
  • What is the best way to shred chicken? Some people use their kitchen stand mixers and blenders, others use two forks. Or, you can use handheld “meat shredder claws” if you’re feeling fancy.
  • Can you shred raw chicken? That would be pretty difficult. It’s much easier to shred when cooked.
  • How do you shred cold chicken? The same way you would warm chicken. That said, I find it a little easier to shred just after it’s been cooked. If falls right apart.
  • How much shredded chicken in a cup? Around 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (remember they do vary in size, so this is an approximation).
  • How long will shredded chicken last in the fridge? Around 3-4 days covered.

Make it a meal!

A few great recipes make with your chicken or serve alongside:

how to shred chicken

Helpful tools:

  1. Instant pot
  2. Slow cooker
Super-Easy Shredded Chicken
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 5 mins
 

Make your meal prep or weekday night dinners even easier with this super-easy shredded chicken. Perfect for your Crockpot or Instant Pot, it’s great make it in advance or freeze for future meals in a pinch.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shredded chicken
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jessy Freimann
Ingredients
  • 3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts frozen or thawed
  • Water (enough to cover the chicken)
Instructions
Slow Cooker Instructions
  1. Place the chicken breasts into slow cooker pot.

  2. Cover chicken breasts with water.

  3. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours.

  4. Remove the chicken from the water and lightly shred (make sure you don’t over-shred the meat!).

  5. Freeze or add it to whatever recipe you’re making.

Instant Pot instructions
  1. Place the chicken breasts into the Instant Pot.

  2. Cover chicken breasts with water.

  3. Cover and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 10 minutes. Make sure the steam release is set to sealing.

  4. When the time is up, allow it to natural pressure release for 10-15 minutes and then do a quick release.

  5. Remove the chicken from the water and lightly shred (make sure you don’t over-shred the meat!).

  6. Freeze or add it to whatever recipe you’re making.

If you tried this recipe please comment and rate it 🙂 I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions! And if you make this please tag me on Instagram with @thelifejolie so I can share it <3

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Heather Johnson
    March 30, 2016 at 1:08 pm I love using shredded chicken in my recipes. I will have to try using my slow cooker next time. Heather Johnson recently posted...Dandelion Handprint-Fingerprint CraftMy Profile
    • Reply
      Jessy
      March 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm Me too, but I hate all the work that goes into shredding it. Thank goodness for the slow cooker!

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