Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is a fantastic meal prep option. Make a batch at the beginning of the week, and use it in soups, salads, pasta and enchiladas all week long.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is often at the top of my meal prep list. Season it with southwestern, Italian or Indian spices to fit almost any dish. Roll it into burritos, toss it with a Thai salad or mix it into a one-pot pasta dish.
While making shredded chicken in an Instant Pot is really handy, I realize that not everyone has an electric pressure cooker. Don’t worry – I have another tutorial for you! Head to my post on How to Poach Chicken Breasts. It’s a great stand-in method.
What you need for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Chicken: Use 2 to 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any fat.
- Broth: I like to use chicken broth for extra flavor, but water works too.
- Seasoning: The possibilities are endless! Keep reading for some of my favorite spice combinations.
- Instant Pot: I use a 6-quart Instant Pot, but an 8-quart works just as well.
How to make shredded chicken in the Instant Pot:
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and transfer them to the Instant Pot. No need to use a rack.
- Pour in the liquid – preferably chicken broth, but water can be used instead.
- Add the spices and, using tongs, turn the chicken breasts to coat with the spices and liquid.
- Put on the lid, with the pressure release valve set to “Seal” and cook the chicken breasts on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes (i.e., don’t touch the pressure release valve and definitely don’t try to remove the lid!). After 10 minutes, turn the valve to release any remaining pressure.
- Either shred the chicken in the Instant Pot, using two forks, or transfer them to a cutting board to shred. Return the chicken to the Instant Pot and toss with the liquid.
Ways to use shredded chicken:
Spice mixture variations:
Use 2 to 3 teaspoons spice mixture for one recipe.
- Mexican or Southwestern: Cumin, paprika, oregano and garlic powder (see the recipe card for this combo). Great for tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Chili powder would work well, too. Alternatively, use taco seasoning.
- Italian: Use Italian seasoning or a mixture of thyme, basil, oregano and rosemary. Use in pasta dishes.
- Indian: Go the easy route and use curry powder. Better yet, use a combination of cumin, ground coriander, turmeric and garlic powder. Use in curry or in sandwich wraps.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I use frozen chicken breasts?
Yes. Cook for 2 additional minutes (12 minutes).
Can I use chicken thighs instead?
I’ve tested this with boneless, skinless chicken thighs and it works just as well.
Can shredded chicken be frozen?
Absolutely! I like to freeze the shredded chicken in smaller portions, making it easy to defrost and toss into pasta, salads and tacos. Wrap the portions well in plastic wrap, then either store in ziplock freezer bags or airtight glass freezer containers (like this one). Freeze for up to 3 months.