Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

5 from 2 votes
2 Comments

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Instant Pot shredded chicken is tender, juicy, flavorful, and can be made in under 30 minutes! This is the best and easiest way to make shredded chicken.

Instant pot shredded chicken being lifted from a serving dish with tongs
Featured with this recipe
  1. Why Make Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot?
  2. Ingredients for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
  3. Seasoning the Chicken
  4. Tips for Making Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot
  5. Shredding Tip:
  6. Frequently Asked Questions About Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
  7. Recipes Using Shredded Chicken
  8. Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe

Why Make Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot?

Because it really couldn’t be easier! You just toss all the ingredients in and let the Instant Pot do all the work. Plus, the chicken comes out perfectly shreddable every time. Boiling chicken makes the chicken flavorless. Baking the chicken before shredding makes the chicken too dry. Making shredded chicken in the Instant Pot is fast, efficient, and gives you flavorful, tender shreds of chicken.

Three pieces of chicken on a plate next to ingredients to make Instant Pot shredded chicken

Ingredients for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

  • An Instant Pot (or pressure cooker) – Anything 6 quart or bigger will work great
  • Chicken – Fresh chicken will work best. If you want to use frozen chicken, add 10 minutes to the cooking time
  • Butter – This helps keep the chicken juicy and tender while it is cooking.
  • Broth – Broth is needed both to keep the chicken from burning and also for the chicken to soak up after shredding.
  • Seasonings – You can really season this recipe any way you would like depending on the dish you are making. Some more ideas can be found below.
Chicken in an Instant Pot with broth, butter, and seasonings

Seasoning the Chicken

This chicken can be seasoned so many different ways depending on what you are using it for. Use these seasonings instead of the seasoning blend and salt mentioned in the recipe.

  • Mexican shredded chicken: Add 1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning. Great with Chicken Tacos!
  • Chili lime chicken: Juice of 1 lime + ½ teaspoon chili powder + ½ teaspoon cumin (or to taste). Try it with Chicken Taco Salad.
  • Honey lime chicken: ⅓ cup honey + juice of 1 lime. Use for Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas.
  • Shredded BBQ chicken: Add 1-2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce for pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches or over BBQ chicken salad.
  • Ranch chicken: Add 2 tablespoons Hidden Valley dry Ranch Dressing Mix. So good over pasta with Alfredo Sauce!
A dish with shredded chicken and tongs

Tips for Making Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot

  • Let the Instant Pot natural release for 10 minutes before flipping the valve. This will give the chicken time to tenderize after cooking.
  • Don’t throw away excess juices. If you end up with a lot of extra juices after cooking, store any leftover chicken in the juices or add as more flavoring to soups.
  • Add more time if using frozen chicken. At least 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts.
  • Remember to always check for doneness. Chicken is fully cooked at 165 degrees F. Use a digital read meat thermometer on the thickest part of the meat to check internal temperature.
A hand mixer shredding chicken in an Instant Pot

Shredding Tip:

My favorite way to shred chicken is with a hand mixer. You can get the shreds nice and small so they hold all the juices and stay tender. Simply keep the chicken in the Instant Pot and mix on low with the hand mixer until the shreds are the size you want. The longer you mix, the finer the shreds.

Frequently Asked Questions About Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Why is my Instant Pot shredded chicken rubbery?

The chicken hasn’t cooked long enough. It may be too thick. If this happens, place it back in the Instant Pot and pressure cook an additional 5-10 minutes.

How long does chicken take in the Instant Pot?

For shredded chicken, it takes 12 minutes on high pressure with a 10 minute natural release. Time may vary depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts.

Can you overcook shredded chicken?

Yes, it is possible to overcook shredded chicken. The times we have included in the recipe below are great for perfectly cooked chicken. Much more time and you may end up with dry chicken.

Read Next: The Best Instant Pot Recipes

Recipes Using Shredded Chicken

Instant pot shredded chicken being lifted from a serving dish with tongs

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

5 from 2 votes
Instant Pot shredded chicken is tender, juicy, flavorful, and can be made in under 30 minutes! This is the best and easiest way to make shredded chicken.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Come to pressure time 10 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds chicken (cut in half if you have large pieces)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning blend (or to taste, see notes below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Spray the bottom of the Instant Pot with cooking oil if desired. Add chicken to the instant to and pour chicken broth over the top.
    Three pieces of chicken on a plate next to ingredients to make Instant Pot shredded chicken
  • Cut butter into smaller pieces and place over the chicken. Sprinkle seasoning blend, salt, and pepper over the top of the chicken.
    Chicken in an Instant Pot with broth, butter, and seasonings
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot, switch valve to "sealing", and manually pressure cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Natural release for 5-10 minutes and then quick release.
    An Instant Pot with twelve minutes on the timer

Shredding Option 1:

  • Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot an place on a cutting board or plate. Do not discard juices.
    A cooked chicken breast being shredded with two forks
  • Shred chicken using 2 forks until well shredded. Place chicken back in the Instant Pot and stir with the juices until ready to serve.
    Remove the chicken with tongs and shake off excess liquid if needed.
    A dish with shredded chicken and tongs

Shredding Option 2:

  • Using a hand bender on low speed, mix the chicken until chicken breaks down into smaller shreds. The longer you mix it, the finer the shreds will be.
    A hand mixer shredding chicken in an Instant Pot
  • Remove the chicken with tongs and shake off excess liquid if needed.
    A dish with shredded chicken and tongs

Notes

  • Remember to always check for doneness. Chicken is fully cooked at 165 degrees F. Use a digital read meat thermometer on the thickest part of the meat to check internal temperature.
  • Let the Instant Pot natural release for 10 minutes before flipping the valve. This will give the chicken time to tenderize after cooking.
  • Don’t throw away excess juices. If you end up with a lot of extra juices after cooking, store any leftover chicken in the juices or add as more flavoring to soups.
  • Add more time if using frozen chicken. At least 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 244kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 14gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 465mgPotassium: 152mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 411IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wanted to make chicken tacos tonight and this instant pot shredded chicken was just what I was looking for! Simple to make and so quick to make! Definitely using this method again!