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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken – An Easy Meal Prep Recipe

If you are looking for the easiest method to make shredded chicken than you must consider this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe.

It is not only quick and easy, but it requires very little preparation and minimal hands on time. In fact, once you put the chicken in the pressure cooker, you simply walk away until the chicken is cooked.

That means there is no time standing over the stove making sure the water doesn’t boil over while your chicken cooks. And that also means no time is spent standing over a hot grill or peeking your head into an oven.

Once the chicken is cooked, shred it with two forks and the meat is ready for your next meal! I have listed several ways to use shredded chicken below the detailed explanation of the recipe.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Shredded chicken made in the Instant Pot. A quick and easy way to shred chicken so that it can be used in a variety of recipes.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Chicken breasts – The most common chicken that people purchase is boneless and skinless chicken breasts. However, you could also use chicken that is still on the bone or has the skin attached.

In fact, the bone will actually give the chicken more flavor. And yes, you could also use chicken thighs if you prefer.

And if you want to shred a whole chicken, be sure to read our Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe.

Chicken broth – I always recommend using homemade or low-sodium chicken broth. Especially in this case because you will be using the shredded chicken in a variety of recipes.

However, if you don’t have chicken broth or stock in the house, you can certainly make this recipe using water instead. Although the flavor will not be as good, it will still work in a pinch.

slicing chicken breasts
If your chicken is thick, slice it down the center to make thinner sections so that the chicken cooks more evenly.

Kosher salt – The salt is there to help season the chicken as it cooks, so you will apply the salt based on your taste. Although if you are using standard, not low-sodium chicken broth, the chances are that you will need to cut back the salt that you would typically use for seasoning purposes.

Remember, you can always add more salt later, but you can’t take it away.

Ground black pepper – Another common ingredient to season your chicken that will be put to other uses. Whenever you get the chance use fresh ground pepper from whole peppercorns because the flavor is so much more intense.

INSTRUCTIONS

This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe is designed for those using skinless, boneless chicken breasts. That is because it is the type of chicken most commonly used.

If you have large, thick chicken breasts that typically come in a family size package, cut each breast in half lengthwise to make thin chicken breasts.

Then add the salt and pepper on each side per your taste, and set aside.

Next pour the chicken broth inside the Instant Pot and place the chicken breasts directly in the liquid.

cooked chicken breasts
Whole chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper and placed in an Instant Pot to be cooked and made into shredded chicken.

*I have tried placing the chicken on a trivet before cooking, but have found that the chicken is more moist and tender if it cooks directly in the liquid.

Once the chicken is in the pot, close and lock the lid in place and move the valve to Sealing (if required). Then press the Pressure Cook/Manual button and cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes.

Once the cook time is up, allow for 8 minutes of Natural Pressure Release time. Then manually release any remaining pressure by slowly moving the valve to the Venting position.

Shredding Options

Now you must decide how you will shred the chicken. Basically there are two options: shred with two forks or shred with a hand mixer.

With Two Forks

If you plan on shredding the chicken the standard way with two forks, then remove one piece of chicken from the Instant Pot and place it on a cutting board.

Then use two forks to shred the chicken. The chicken may come apart in chunks and it will shred easily.

Once the chicken is shredded, return it to the liquid in the Instant Pot and repeat until all of the chicken is shredded.

forks with shredded chicken
The chicken will shred easily with two forks.
Use A Hand Mixer

However, there are some people who swear that using a hand mixer to shred chicken is the best way. And I would have to agree that there are times when this method is much quicker and easier.

I love to use my Kitchen Aid hand mixer when making a large batch of shredded chicken for a potluck, party or tailgate.

In order to shred the chicken with a mixer, do not remove the chicken from the pot after you remove the lid. Simply place your hand mixer on top of the chicken and turn the mixer on low-medium speed.

As the chicken begins to break down, move the hand mixer around the pot. Do this until all of the chunks of chicken become shreds.

No matter what method that you use to shred the chicken, be sure to toss the chicken in the liquid in the Instant Pot once it has been shredded.

shredded chicken in instant pot
Place the shredded chicken back in the Instant Pot so that it can absorb the liquid and be nice and moist when you go to use it in your recipe.

This allows each strand to absorb some additional liquid so that it turns out nice and moist instead of dry and chewy.

When you are ready to use the chicken in your favorite recipe, use tongs to remove the chicken and drain off any excess liquid. Then add it to your recipe as instructed.

However if you are cooking the chicken for later use, let the shredded chicken cool and store in air tight containers for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Recipes To Use Shredded Chicken

shredded chicken tacos
One of the easiest and most popular recipes for shredded chicken is tacos! It is a quick and easy dinner recipe, especially if the chicken is cooked and shredded ahead of time.

There are so many other recipes that you can use Instant Pot Shredded Chicken including in egg rolls, soups, dips, sandwiches and more. The possibilities are endless!

And if you have too much chicken, simply freeze it in 2 cup portions for use throughout the year. It is a great way to meal prep and have food on hand when you are in a hurry!

Enjoy! Mary

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Yield: 4 cups

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breasts

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Cooking shredded chicken is a breeze when you use a pressure cooker. Use the chicken in any recipe that calls for shredded chicken including tacos, burritos, power bowls, buffalo chicken dip and more!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 18 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. If you have thick chicken breasts, cut them in half lengthwise to make thin chicken breasts. Then salt and pepper each side and set aside.
  2. Pour the chicken broth in the Instant Pot and place the chicken breasts directly in the liquid.
  3. Lock the Instant Pot lid in place and move the valve to Sealing (if required)
  4. Pressure Cook/Manual on High Pressure for 10 minutes.
  5. Once the cook time is up, allow for 8 minutes of Natural Pressure Release. Then manually release any remaining pressure by moving the valve to the Venting position.
  6. Using tongs, remove chicken breast to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Alternatively you could keep the chicken breast in the Instant pot and use a hand mixer to shred the chicken.
  7. Place the shredded chicken back into the pot with the liquid and stir.
  8. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the liquid and use in desired recipes. Or let the shredded chicken cool and store in an air tight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or freeze for later use.

Notes

As with all pressure cooker recipes, additional time is required for the pot to come up to pressure before the actual cooking time begins.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 35g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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