A quick & easy Crockpot Shredded Chicken Recipe using only 4 ingredients! If you want juicy, perfectly cooked chicken-this healthy slow cooker recipe is for you! Paleo, Keto, Whole30 and Gluten Free!
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my policy and about affiliate links.
This easy Crockpot Shredded Chicken Recipe is about to be a staple in your weekly meal plan because it is incredibly easy to make and so versatile!
Only 5 minutes of prep time for this recipe and the slow cooker does the rest work in this easy recipe!
Trust me, you will love this juicy and delicious shredded chicken it makes!
Why Crock Pot Shredded Chicken is the Best
I personally think the best way to make shredded chicken is in the crockpot. It leads to super moist meat due to the low and slow cook time (and let’s be real – no one likes dry chicken!).
With this easy slow cooker shredded chicken recipe, you only need 4 ingredients, a crockpot, 5 minutes of prep time, and 3-4 hours of patiently waiting while the slow cooker does the rest of the work.
Crock Pot Shredded Chicken Ingredients
To make this crockpot Shredded Chicken, you only need these 4 ingredients:
Seriously, that’s it!
There are a few substitutions listed below if you want to add some variety or swap out any of these ingredients! Look for the shaded green box for substitutions.
How to Make Shredded Chicken in Crock Pot
- To start, you will want to layer the base of your crockpot with the chicken breasts, ensuring that they are even and aren’t piled on top of each other (see photo).
- Then add your water and seasonings.
- Set your crockpot to high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. You will want to cook until the internal temp of the chicken is 165 degrees.
Once cooked, shred with forks or a mixer (directions below).
How to Shred Chicken
Once it is cooked, you can easily shred your chicken with forks or with a mixer.
With Forks: Simply shred the chicken by pulling it apart with two forks. It will be super tender.
With A Mixer: My favorite way to shred chicken is by using a mixer. I toss the cooked chicken into my KitchenAid Mixer with the paddle attachment and turn it on low-medium until it looks perfectly shredded. Super easy! You can also use a hand mixer using this method as well.
How long should you cook chicken breast in a crock pot?
You will want to cook your chicken in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. To ensure the slow cooker shredded chicken is fully cooked, you will want the internal temp to be 165 degrees.
I recommend cooking lower and slower if possible. Cooking your chicken on high can result in dried out chicken!
Crockpot Shredded Chicken Recipe Substitutions
This shredded crockpot chicken recipe is pretty versatile – here are some of the ways you can customize it.
Seasoning: You can really use any seasonings on this chicken to fit your taste. We love to use our taco seasoning for easy Mexican shredded chicken tacos. We have also made it with Italian seasoning and it was so delicious!
Type of Chicken – While we recommend chicken breasts, you could definitely use thighs or tenders. If you use bone in chicken breasts, we do expect it would take a little longer to cook, so be sure to check the internal temp (165 degrees for chicken).
Add Ins: you can add in extra seasoning or even salsa. This Salsa Verde Chicken is delicious!
Doubling the recipe – You can double this recipe, but we would expect that to add a little time to the cook time, so be sure to check the internal temp (165 degrees for chicken).
Can you slow cook chicken without liquid? No, you can’t slow cook chicken without liquid. If you cook chicken without liquid in the crockpot it will result in very dry chicken and it can actually cause the chicken to burn/stick to the crockpot.
Chicken in Crock Pot FAQ
Yes, it is totally fine to put your chicken raw in the slow cooker and if you follow the recommended cook time and check the internal temp (165 degrees for chicken), the chicken will thoroughly cook.
We recommend chicken breasts and find it makes the best shredded chicken in the slow cooker, but you could definitely use thighs or tenders if you prefer. If you use bone in chicken breasts, we do expect it would take a little longer to cook, so be sure to check the internal temp (165 degrees for chicken).
I have not had a problem with dry chicken using this recipe; however, if you are nervous about your chicken looking a little on the dryer side or if your crockpot tends to run extra hot, you can always add a little more water or broth. The extra liquid definitely won’t hurt a thing – it will only make it juicier! When storing/reheating, you can also add ¼-½ cup of broth to help keep your chicken moist.
It’s better to cook chicken on low in the crockpot. Chicken becomes much more tender when it is cooked low and slow in the crockpot. Cooking the chicken on high can lead to your chicken drying out.
Yes, you can overcook pulled chicken in slow cooker. If you cook your chicken for more than 8 hours you might wind up with dry chicken, or depending on if you put too much liquid in the pot it could make your chicken mushy. If your crockpot runs hot the chicken could actually burn
Yes! Slow cooking chicken makes it so tender. Cooking meat low and slow allows it to become fall apart tender and delicious
Yes, you need liquid to cook chicken in a crock pot. I use less than a cup of water to cook crockpot chicken. The water helps steam the chicken and makes it very tender.
Yes, you can follow this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe.
How to Store Shredded Slow Cooker Chicken Breast
Storing: This chicken will last for 4 days in your refrigerator in an airtight container. We like to store it with the broth leftover from cooking to keep the chicken moist.
Freezing: I have frozen this shredded chicken in small bags or containers. When ready to defrost, simply take it out the night before and let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight or simply heat from frozen in the microwave or in a pan. The chicken should last 2-3 months in the freezer.
Reheating: If you are reheating from the fridge or freezer, you can reheat it in the microwave or on the stove top in a pan. Timing will vary depending on your microwave/stove, but cook until thoroughly warmed. I would recommend leaving juices to keep it moist.
How do you keep shredded chicken moist? The best way to keep shredded chicken moist is to store it with the excess juices it was cooked in or extra chicken broth. You can squeeze the excess liquid off when ready to eat or run it through a strainer.
Can you put frozen chicken breast in the crockpot?
No you can’t put frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot. Cooking chicken from frozen is a food safety issue. Your chicken could be cooked on the outside and raw/frozen on the inside resulting in bacteria/getting sick.
It’s best to thaw your chicken completely before adding it to your crockpot. To make it thaw quicker, put the chicken package in cold water and change the water every 20 minutes.
How to Freeze Shredded Chicken Recipes
I typically freeze this crockpot shredded chicken in small bags or containers. The chicken should last 2-3 months in the freezer.
When ready to defrost, simply take it out the night before and let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight or simply heat from frozen in the microwave or in a pan.
How to Use Crockpot Shredded Chicken Breast
Here are some crockpot shredded chicken ideas for you! This chicken is so versatile, it really goes with anything!
- We love adding this chicken in soups, salads, or just plain on it’s own. It’s great for weekly meal prepping and serving with Crispy Smashed Potatoes and Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus.
- Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Lemon Chicken Soup
- Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Whole30 Greek Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bake
- Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole or Spaghetti Squash Boats
- We also have a dedicated blog post to Healthy Chicken Breasts Recipes!
Shredded Crockpot Chicken Breast Recipe
- In your crockpot base, layer chicken breasts evenly. Try not to pile them on top of one another.
- Add water and sprinkle with salt/pepper.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours
- When chicken Is cooked to 165 degrees internal temp – shred with forks or a mixer.
- Use In soups, stews, salads or sandwiches!