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If you have an instant pot, one of the first beginner recipes you’ll likely make with it is this shredded chicken recipe. It’s so versatile with perfectly juicy and tender chicken that shreds easily with a fork. Enjoy it in soups, stews, sandwiches, salads and everything in between!
Ingredients & substitutions
- Chicken breasts: This shredded chicken recipe is for raw not frozen chicken breasts, but you can easily add more time and cook chicken from frozen using this tutorial. You can also place them in a ziplock bag and submerge in cold water. Swap the water every 30 minutes and it will take around an hour and a half for them to fully defrost.
- Broth: Cooking the chicken in broth helps to add more flavor to the chicken. You can use vegetable or chicken stock. You can swap it for water, but it won’t be as flavorful.
- Spices: Salt, black pepper and garlic powder. But you can also add other spices like taco seasoning or 7 spice for example.
- Bay leaves: Use dried bay leaves to add flavor to the chicken. You can make this recipe without them, but they add more flavor. You can also use celery leaves instead!
How to make instant pot shredded chicken
- Place the chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. Some overlapping is ok.
- Add the seasoning and bay leaves and pour in the broth.
- Cook on high and release the pressure. Use an instant read thermometer to check that the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and shred with two forks or yoru hands.
Tips for making chicken in instant pot
- Make sure all the chicken are even sizes. They can be thinner or thicker, but for even cooking, it helps to have them all the same width and thickness.
- Save the chicken broth. Whether you use water or chicken broth to cook the chicken, save the cooking liquid after making the shredded chicken. You can use this in soups and stews for great flavor!
- Make it with chicken thighs. You can easily adapt this recipe to make it with chicken thighs. You will need to increase the cooking time to 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness, otherwise the recipe remains the same. As with the chicken breasts, it’s best to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature before shredding.
- Try searing the chicken breasts first. Use the saute function on your Instant Pot and sear them on each side in a little oil. This creates a deeper flavor and more texture.
Frequently asked questions
This Instant Pot shredded chicken is so great for your weekly meal prep and it’s an easy addition to quick lunches or weeknight meals. Once cooled, place it in an airtight container and it will keep well for 4 days.
Enjoy cold, toss into soups or reheat on the stovetop with a few tablespoons of broth.
You can also freeze the frozen chicken in bags, with as much air pushed out as possible and it will keep for up to 4 months. Frozen chicken should be thawed overnight in the fridge before reheating, or it can be added straight to stews and chilis.
There are so many uses for this shredded chicken. Try to make a few batches to have to hand for easy meals. Use cold on salads, wraps and sandwiches or use in hot recipes for extra protein and an easy way to make a fuller meal. Add it to any of these recipes:
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Broccoli Casserole
White Chicken Chili
These Instant Pot shredded chicken breasts are so simple and easy to make, and this recipe will make your life so much easier! So perfect for meal prep, so be sure to make a few batches!
More instant pot recipes:
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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- Place the chicken breasts inside the Instant Pot. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add the bay leaves next to the chicken and pour the broth over the chicken.
- Place the lid on and move the valve to sealing. Press manual pressure and set the timer to 10 minutes high pressure. You’ll notice the Instant Pot will start to come to pressure first and then the timer will begin. It can take 8-10 minutes to come to pressure.
- When the cook time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release for any remaining pressure. Carefully open and remove the lid. Check the internal temperature of the chicken to make sure it’s 165°F or higher. If it’s not, seal again and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Strain the remaining broth in the Instant Pot to use for soups. Shred the chicken with two forks or electric mixer and use as desired. Add more broth on top to keep the chicken juicy.