Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

How to cook perfect, juicy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from fresh or frozen chicken breasts or chicken thighs in an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Learn how to shred the meat and use it in a variety of recipes or as a filling in dishes. The perfect guide to making chicken breasts quickly in under 30 minutes.

Serve as a main dish with homemade gravy using the remaining broth from cooking or use shredded chicken to meal prep for lunch, dinner, or snacks throughout the week.

Instant pot shredded chicken on a plate with parsley.

The best shredded chicken recipe for tacos, salads, soups, sandwiches, and more. Create instant pot pulled chicken from scratch. Mouthwatering, delicious, and easy to prepare in under 30 minutes time. Made simple with just 6 ingredients.

How to Make Moist and Flavorful Shredded Chicken at Home

Preparing chicken breasts is easy and it’s also a great beginners recipe to making using the pressure cooker. The mild flavor of chicken breasts allow for a wide range of seasoning possibilities. Think of it as a blank canvas. Ready and able to absorb spices, herbs, and seasoning to infuse them with rich and vibrant flavors. Chicken breasts take on these flavors, enhancing the overall taste of the shredded chicken. Replacing water with chicken broth, vegetable broth, or stock also enhances the aromatic flavor of the chicken during the cooking method.

How to Use a Pressure Cooker

  1. Read the instructions and familiarize yourself with the manual to understand the features, settings, and safety precautions.
  2. Prepare the ingredients: In this case, trim the chicken breasts, and any seasonings.
  3. Add the ingredients to the instant pot: Pour in the chicken broth, add the chicken breasts, and sprinkle with seasoning. A pressure cooker only works if it has enough liquid inside to properly come to pressure and steam. The amount of liquid needed for this cooking method depends on the size of your pressure cooker. I use the 8-quart Instant Pot.
  4. Secure the lid. Position the venting knob to sealing.
  5. Press the pressure cook or manual button and use the arrows to select the cooking time. The pressure cooker will take several minutes to come to pressure. Once at pressure, it will beep and start counting down the cooking minutes remaining.
  6. Cooking complete: The pressure cooker will beep once it’s done.
  7. Naturally release the pressure by simply counting the minutes. If a recipe says naturally release for 10 minutes, just let the pot sit for 10 minutes. Nothing needs to be touched. After 10 minutes, turn the venting knob to the venting position and allow the remaining pressure to release in the form of steam. Wait for the red pin to drop as this signifies that the appliance is safe to open.
  8. Serve: Shred chicken instant pot: Transfer the chicken to a serving plate to shred.
Shredded chicken made in the instant pot pressure cooker and served on a plate after being shredded with two forks.

How to Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

  1. Pour liquid into instant pot.
  2. Place chicken breasts into the pressure cooker.
  3. Sprinkle the seasoning on top of the meat.
  4. Secure the lid. Pressure cook for 13 minutes.
  5. Allow the appliance to naturally release for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid. Transfer the chicken to a large plate or mixing bowl.
  7. Shred the instant pot chicken with a hand mixer or two forks.
  8. Use the chicken in a recipe or as a filling for dishes, or meals.
Juicy, tender, white meat chicken breasts on a platter. Made in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients in Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Chicken: Using chicken breasts is my favorite cut of chicken to use. The meat turns out tender, juicy, moist, and is perfect for shredding. By using chicken breasts, the protein option provides a lean and versatile filling. Chicken breasts retain their natural juiciness, resulting in soft shreds of meat.

Broth: I like to use chicken broth or chicken stock when I cook chicken using this method. By using chicken broth, the concentrated flavors of the broth infuse the chicken, resulting in a more robust and savory taste.

Seasoning: I aim to use basic chicken seasoning that will taste good however the chicken is used next. A simple combination of salt, pepper, garlic salt, and paprika add plenty of flavor while not compromising the meat if it is used for another recipe. It’s also the perfect amount of seasoning to flavor the meat to eat as a main meal. Of course, if you’re cooking a Mexican dish, feel free to add taco seasoning or any other seasoning that pairs well with the dish your planning to make with the shredded chicken.

Benefits of Eating Chicken Breasts

Consuming chicken breasts is part of a healthy diet. They are a good source of lean protein, are low in fat, and contain essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals such as B12, B6, niacin, phosphorus, and selenium. In addition, chicken breast meat is low-carb, and gluten free.

Including chicken breasts in your diet has many health benefits. In addition, this recipe fits into a low-carb, keto, gluten free, paleo, and Mediterranean diet.

Several pieces of chicken breast pressured cooked and shredded chicken on a plate. Another plate shows the shredded chicken as a filling on the plate.

How to Use Shredded Chicken in Other Recipes

Shredded chicken recipes are easy enough to think of, especially last minute when you’re planning your weeknight meal. Using shredded chicken is the ingredient that not only adds protein to a dish, but also adds flavor and texture. It’s a versatile filling that can be used in a wide array of recipes. Here are some recipe suggestions that I like to commonly use it in.

  • chicken tacos or burritos, or fajitas
  • chicken penne rosa pasta
  • chicken salad sandwich
  • chicken dumplings: simple add the shredded chicken at the end of cooking
  • chicken macaroni and cheese
  • chicken alfredo
  • chicken grilled cheese
  • chicken tikka masala
  • chicken soups, like chicken tortilla soup, chicken noodle soup
  • chicken quesadillas, or enchiladas
  • BBQ chicken sliders – just toss barbecue sauce with your shredded chicken
  • chicken stir-fry: saute vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots in a flavorful sauce and stir in chicken
  • chicken pot pie
  • chicken rice bowls
  • chicken and rice casserole
  • chicken salads, sandwiches, and wraps
Three chicken breasts in an instant pot with poultry seasoning and chicken broth.

Frequently Asked Questions about Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

How long can I safely keep leftover chicken in the refrigerator?

Cooked chicken is typically safe stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Store in an airtight container for best results.

How do I reheat leftover chicken to maintain its flavor and texture?

Reheating leftover chicken is a very common question. To prevent it from drying out, it’s best to use gentle heating methods. If using a microwave, reheat it in short intervals, and stir the meat to ensure even cooking. Another alternative is to reheat it on the stovetop on low with a little broth, water, or oil.

Is it safe to eat leftover chicken cold?

Yes. Leftover chicken can be eaten cold. It is important that the meat is stored properly and has not been sitting at room temperature too long. Cold chicken is typically used in salads, sandwiches, wraps, snacks, and much more.

Can I double this recipe?

Doubling the recipe is perfectly safe to do. Adjust the cooking time and add a few more minutes if the chicken is layered on top of other layers of chicken. Also, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and ensure it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Can I use frozen chicken in the Instant Pot without thawing?

Frozen chicken breasts are perfectly fine to cook in the Instant Pot. Typically, they need to be cooked for 11-13 minutes. If using frozen chicken breasts in place of refrigerated chicken, add a couple extra minutes to cooking.

How long do I cook chicken thighs in the Instant Pot?

Pressure cook fresh thighs for 13 minutes or frozen thighs for 15 minutes.

What Instant Pot do you use?

I use the Duo style Instant Pot 8 Quart 7-in1 electric pressure cooker. I have been using it for five years and love how easy and convenient it is to use in the kitchen.

Other Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Love

Tender shredded chicken served in a white bowl, situated on a wooden cutting board, garnished with fresh cilantro.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

How to cook perfect, juicy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from fresh or frozen chicken breasts or chicken thighs in an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Learn how to shred the meat and use it in a variety of recipes or as a filling in dishes. The perfect guide to making chicken breasts quickly in under 30 minutes.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 133 kcal

Instant Pot


  • cups chicken broth
  • 2 lb chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika


  • Pour chicken broth into the pressure cooker insert.
  • To prepare the chicken, cut the rib meat off chicken breast if desired.
  • Place chicken breasts inside the Instant Pot in a single layer.
  • Season the chicken with garlic salt, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Place the lid on and secure it. Turn steam valve to sealing.
  • Turn on pressure cooker. Press manual or pressure cook. Set the cook timer (+) to 13 minutes on high pressure.
    Once the pressure cooker time is set, the pot will beat and indicate “ON”.
    You'll notice the Instant Pot will start to come to pressure then the timer will begin. Do not open the lid. Pressure may take 10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, the timer will beep. Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release. Simply set a timer to 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, turn the steam valve to venting to release the remaining pressure. Once the pin drops, remove the lid.
  • Transfer the chicken breasts to a large bowl of plate. Shred the chicken with two forks or an electric mixer.
  • To keep the meat juicy, pour in ¼ cup of the remaining broth from the Instant Pot.


Shop my Instant Pot
Serving size is based on 4 ounces of chicken.
Reusing the chicken broth – chicken broth may be stored in the refrigerator and used in soups or other recipes for up to 5 days. If storing longer, Strain liquid into a freezer safe container or bag and freeze up to 3 months.


Calories: 133kcalCarbohydrates: 0.3gProtein: 24gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 1022mgPotassium: 433mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 158IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate and it’s accuracy is not guaranteed to be exact.

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4 Responses

    1. Definitely! As soon as I get more time (planning my wedding), I plan to show viewers more recipes using this one as a base. Chicken pasta alfredo sounds amazing!

    1. It is a very versatile recipe that is the basic building block for so many recipes. My favorite thing to do with the shredded chicken is to make enchiladas with it. So yummy! Thank you for your comment and I hope you will try more of my recipes =)

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