Easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken uses only 4 ingredients and is so simple to make! You can even cook from frozen for a healthy meal prep recipe! Paleo, keto whole30, and perfect for adding to soups, salads or with veggies.
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Crazy Easy Pulled Chicken Instant Pot Recipe
I debated calling this recipe ‘crazy easy instant pot chicken’ because it’s THAT simple – but really.. this recipe is stupid easy.
Whether you’re an instant pot pro or newbie – I promise you can totally handle this and will love the perfectly juicy, delicious shredded chicken it makes!
I’m not going to lie – the instant pot scared me for a while. I got it as a gift and left it in the box for a few weeks because I was too nervous to break it open.
I don’t know if it’s the high pressure or the fact that you can’t really see what’s going on in the pot… but it is intimidating!
When I finally got the courage to fire up the instant pot, I figured I’d ease into it with something simple like shredded chicken. Can’t mess that up, right? Especially when you only need 4 ingredients!
Pulled Chicken Instant Pot Ingredients
To make instant pot shredded chicken you’ll need:
What kind of chicken can you use?
I prefer to use chicken breasts but you can use boneless chicken thighs or chicken tenders too! Both come out delicious using this method.
You can use bone in chicken thighs or drumsticks too, add one minute to your cook time.
It came out so good on the first try, that I wound up making it almost every week to use in different recipes. It goes with/in anything! Plus, it literally takes under 20 minutes and makes the most perfect, juicy shredded chicken. You gotta try it!
Substitutions for Shredded Chicken Breast Instant Pot:
This shredded chicken recipe is pretty versatile – here are some of the ways you can customize it.
Broth – You can use any kind of broth in this recipe (veggie or beef will work) or you can just use water.
Salt/Pepper– You don’t have to add salt/pepper to this. You can leave the chicken plain and season as you eat, or you can add other spices to it! We have done this with Italian seasoning and it was delicious!
Meat – Chicken breasts, thighs, or tenders will all work in this recipe!
2 lbs – Increase your cook time by 1 minute. For 3 lbs, increase your cook time by 2 minutes
Seasoning – You can use any seasonings on this. We like to use our Healthy Taco Seasoning on it, but any spice mix will do!
Baked – If you want a baked chicken breast, check out our favorite Baked Boneless Chicken Breast recipe!
How to make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Add chicken, broth + spices to the instant pot.
- Set to Sealing, Pressure Cook or Poultry for 14 minutes.
- When finished – either naturally release pressure or manually release pressure, shred chicken + enjoy!
Best Way to Shred Chicken
You can shred your chicken with forks or with a mixer.
With Forks: You can shred this chicken simply 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 give it a few whirls. That’s all it takes!
Can you shred a raw chicken breast? You can’t shred a raw chicken breast. Raw chicken is too tough to shred. It’s best to shred the chicken when it’s warm right after being cooked.
Is it better to shred chicken hot or cold? It’s best to shred chicken hot. When the chicken has finished cooking it will shred much easier than if the chicken is cold. You can shred chicken with 2 forks or use a stand or hand mixer to shred the chicken!
How to make Instant Pot Chicken Breast from frozen
You can make this recipe using frozen chicken breasts. Simply add 4 extra minutes to your cook time for a total of 18 minutes and 1/4 cup of extra broth.
Storing Instant Pot Pulled Chicken
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.
Shredded Chicken Instant Pot FAQ
You can cook 1 lb of chicken in the instant pot for 14 minutes on high pressure. If the chicken is frozen, I do 18 minutes on high pressure. For each pound of chicken, I increase the cook time by 1-2 minutes.
Typically, it’s very easy to overcook chicken, but in the instant pot, it is difficult to do. Pressure cooking really locks in the flavor and moisture of chicken. I wouldn’t cook 1 lb of chicken for 20 minutes in the pressure cooker, but if you do, it probably won’t even be overcooked!
If your instant pot chicken is dry, you may have overcooked it. Don’t worry – you can fix this! Stir your cooked chicken with 1/2 cup of chicken broth and store it with excess broth. The chicken will absorb the liquid and get a moist texture. Next time, try cooking your chicken for 14 minutes on high pressure.
Chicken can get a rubbery texture in the instant pot when over cooked. To avoid this, try not to over cook your chicken. Storing the chicken in chicken broth can help rehydrate the chicken and make it less rubbery.
Can you make shredded chicken in the crockpot?
If you don’t have an instant pot you can make this in the crockpot.
You can cook chicken in the crockpot on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Or check out this Crockpot Shredded Chicken Recipe.
Recipes Using Shredded Chicken
Here are some instant pot 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 its own. It’s great for meal prepping and serving with Crispy Smashed Potatoes and Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
- Lemon Chicken Soup
- Healthy Chicken Pot Pie
- Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Chicken Pot Pie Soup
- Chicken Quinoa Veggie Power Bowls
- Whole30 Greek Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bake
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
Shredded Chicken Instant Pot
- Place chicken breasts in instant pot base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour broth into base.
- Cover the instant pot and set to Poultry OR Pressure Cook. Set to Normal, High Pressure for 14 minutes. (If frozen, do 18 minutes). Make sure your pot is set to sealing, not venting.
- Allow the Instant Pot to come to pressure + cook. (It should take about 5 minutes to come to pressure)
- Once it is finished cooking, manually release pressure or naturally release the pressure.
- Remove chicken from instant pot and place in separate bowl. There will be extra liquid in the instant pot. You can use this in soups, as cooking stock or discard.
- Shred chicken apart with forks + enjoy! (Note: chicken can also be shredded by placing in mixer on low speed!)
- Broth – You can use any kind of broth in this recipe (veggie or beef will work) or you can just use water.
- Salt/Pepper– You don’t have to add salt/pepper to this. You can leave the chicken plain and season as you eat, or you can add other spices to it! We have done this with Italian seasoning and it was delicious!