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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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Last Updated on December 25, 2020

Fresh or frozen, warm or stored, boneless or bone-in, this instant pot shredded chicken recipe is just what you need to never worry about prepping a meal! 

instant pot shredded chicken in an instant pot

Moist, seasoned, and freezable; what’s a better combo than that to have in meals? That’s exactly the outcome that I got when I attempted a new meal prep recipe; precisely, instant pot shredded chicken. 

I know your first thought might be that instant pot and chicken is a balance that’s hard to strike –– I’ve been there. You’re probably thinking of everything that could go wrong: its difficulty of shredding, overcooking, lack of taste and the list goes on. If we had this conversation before I developed my recipe of instant pot shredded chicken, I would agree.

I had tried numerous instant pot shredded chicken recipes, and a lot of them were a disaster. Today, however, I’ve got you just the right tried and tested instant pot shredded chicken recipe that’ll change your mind. It’ll put an end to those worries I’ve mentioned above, and it’s both quick and easy to make. Let’s make some tasty food! 

chicken cooked in an instant pot that has been shredded and is placed in a white bowl

Ingredients

To make instant pot shredded chicken, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts* (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth** (to keep the chicken moist)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

*Feel free to use either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs or just bone-in chicken. However, do factor in that bone-in chicken affects the cooking time; not much, but it does.

**You can substitute broth with water if you don’t have chicken or vegetable broth at home while cooking. Plain water will do the job; we’re just trying to keep the chicken moist while eliminating any kind of burn warnings from the instant pot. 

Recipe Details

  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Natural Pressure Release: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes

How to Cook Chicken in an Instant Pot 

Once you make shredded chicken in your instant pot once, you’ll get hooked! I always rely on it now. It’s become a default for me to keep a container in the freezer, and when it’s time to cook, I use frozen chicken. Recipes that can be done with it are endless –– from soups to enchiladas, you name it! Let’s get into the easy instant pot recipe.

Add the Chicken Breasts to the Instant Pot  

Yes, no prep is required! Just like that, you’ll place the chicken in the instant pot and sprinkle chicken seasoning evenly over the frozen chicken breasts (or fresh). Then, pour over the broth.

Cook the Chicken 

After the chicken and seasoning are all set, place the lid on the instant pot and set its valve to “sealing.” When it comes to the cook time, if you’re cooking frozen chicken breasts, cook the instant pot chicken on the manual, high-pressure setting for 15 minutes. 

Alternatively, if you’re cooking fresh or raw chicken breasts, cook on a manual, high-pressure setting for a cook time of 12 minutes. 

Release the Steam

Once the cooking time is up, allow the pot to natural pressure release for approximately 10 minutes. Following that, open the steam valve to release any excess steam. When you’re done, turn the instant pot off.

Shred the Cooked Chicken

When it comes to shredding the cooked chicken, you could either shred it in the pot itself or place the chicken in a bowl and use two forks or a hand mixer to shred it. 

Your Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Is All Set!

Now, your instant pot shredded chicken is ready to be served. The choice is yours; you could either serve it right away or wait until it cools down and refrigerate it.

Just a tip, if you choose to refrigerate it, make sure to keep it in an airtight container. That way, your shredded chicken will be preserved for up to 5 days. Also, if you know you won’t be needing it soon, you could keep it as chicken stock in the freezer for up to three months.

If you serve it, don’t forget to add some barbecue sauce; some things make all the difference!

Instant pot shredded chicken in an instant pot bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Breasts or Thighs?

Whichever! People have different preferences when it comes to both, so choose the one you like most. You can even throw in a mix of both –– no boundaries! Thighs are known for their richer flavor, while breasts tend to be leaner, so it’s your call. 

Can You Overcook Chicken in Instant Pot?

It’s very unlikely that you’ll overcook anything in an instant pot, actually. The steam provided by an instant pot welcomes a moist environment, so your chicken will be moist and tender rather than overcooked.

Can You Undercook Chicken in Instant Pot?

Unfortunately, yes. If you can, it’s best to check the chicken’s internal temperature before serving or storing it. To be on the safe side, it should be at a minimum of 165 degrees F.

Is It Easier to Shred Chicken Hot or Cold? 

Chicken is much easier to shred when it’s warm. That’s unless you’re slicing it for a cold cut sandwich or a salad, in which case it would make sense for you to cut it when cold. However, in our case, warm chicken shreds are the way to go.

Final Words

You probably know by now why this is one of my favorite instant pot recipes. Honestly, I use shredded chicken in so many different ways, and the fact that it’s one of the easiest chicken recipes to prep and store makes it way more convenient.

I hope you enjoyed this instant pot shredded chicken recipe as much as I always do, and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

Shredded Chicken Instant Pot Recipe Recap

  1. Put the chicken in the instant pot or pressure cooker, sprinkle it evenly with the seasonings, and then pour over the broth.
  2. Put the lid on the instant pot and set the valve to sealing.
    • For frozen chicken breast: cook on a manual, high setting for 15 minutes.
    • For fresh/raw chicken breasts:  cook on a manual, high setting for 12 minutes.
    • For frozen chicken thighs: cook on a manual, high setting for 14 minutes.
    • For fresh/raw chicken thighs:  cook on a manual, high setting for 11 minutes.
    • For frozen Bone-in Chicken Breasts: cook on a manual, high setting for 25 minutes.
    • For fresh/raw Bone-in Chicken Breasts:  cook on a manual, high setting for 12 minutes.
  3. Once the time has passed, allow the pot to naturally release its pressure for around 10 minutes. Following that, open the steam valve to release any excess steam.
  4. Turn the instant pot off.  You can shred the chicken in the pot or put the chicken in a bowl and shred it using two forks or a hand mixer.
  5. You can use the shredded chicken immediately or, once cool, refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 5 days. This will also keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
instant pot shredded chicken in an instant pot
Yield: 6 servings

The Best Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (Fresh or Frozen)

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

The perfect make-ahead dish that you can use in so many different ways!

Ingredients

Instructions

Place the chicken breasts into the bottom of the instant pot and sprinkle evenly with the seasonings, then pour over the broth.

Place the lid on the pot and set the valve to sealing.

For frozen chicken breast: cook on a manual, high setting for 15 minutes.

For fresh/raw chicken breasts:  cook on a manual, high setting for 12 minutes.

For frozen chicken thighs: cook on a manual, high setting for 14 minutes.

For fresh/raw chicken thighs:  cook on a manual, high setting for 11 minutes.

For frozen Bone-in Chicken Breasts: cook on a manual, high setting for 25 minutes.

For fresh/raw Bone-in Chicken Breasts:  cook on a manual, high setting for 12 minutes.

Once the cooking time is up, allow the pot to natural pressure release for roughly 10 minutes.  Then open the valve to release any excess steam.

Turn the Instant Pot off.  You can shred the chicken in the pot, or place the chicken in a bowl and shred using two forks or a hand mixer.

You can use immediately or once cool, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  This will also keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 696mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 48g

Did you make this recipe?

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Some other great Instant Pot recipes to try

Instant Pot Shredded Beef

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas

Instant Pot Artichokes

Shweta

Wednesday 21st of July 2021

What a fabulous recipe, love this and can’t wait to try it!

Kerry

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

How long would I cook frozen bone in chicken breasts? I was hoping to see a chart with cook times for various types of chicken.

Kelly Bejelly

Wednesday 13th of January 2021

I just updated the recipe to add more cooking times for shredded chicken. I hope this helps!

Terisa

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Thank you for the recipe! Now I know what to cook for the next dinner :)

Kortney

Monday 30th of November 2020

Oh man this makes me really want an insta pot!!

Erin

Sunday 29th of November 2020

I wouldn't have thought to use chicken broth! What a great idea. Can't wait to try this next time!

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