Instant Pot: Shredded Chicken

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Cooking chicken in your Instant Pot is a great way to meal prep! You can use shredded chicken in sandwiches, salads, tacos or in a stir-fry. I love having pre-cooked chicken on hand for putting together last minute lunches and weeknight dinners.

How to make shredded chicken in an Instant Pot for easier meal prep - recipe on MyHeartBeets.com

Let’s be real here, this isn’t so much a recipe as it is a post about how and why to prepare chicken in advance. I’m sharing directions on how to make shredded chicken in an Instant Pot (an electronic pressure cooker) but you can just as easily use your slow cooker to make this too! I just happen to prefer my Instant Pot because it’s much faster to use (and I love it)!

Why should you make shredded chicken? Having pre-made chicken on hand will save you so much time! And, you’ll have a healthy protein readily available for when hunger strikes.

This chicken is great for sandwiches, salads, tacos or a last minute stir-fry. I usually add some chipotle mayo to a bit of shredded chicken, mix it up and make a chicken salad sandwich for Roby (my hubby) to take with him to work. You could also add barbecue sauce for easy bbq pulled chicken. Or stuff some sweet potatoes with shredded chicken. Or… I feel like the ideas on how to use shredded chicken are practically endless.

Once the chicken is done cooking, I divide it up into smaller portions and put most of it in the freezer. That way I can thaw only what I need. Oh also, when you make this, don’t skip the part where I tell you to add some water or chicken broth to the Instant Pot (or crockpot). You’ll want to do this so that the meat doesn’t dry out. I also add the broth to the containers with cooked chicken to help keep it moist.

What do you think you’ll make once you have this shredded chicken all ready to go? 🙂

How to make shredded chicken in an Instant Pot for easier meal prep - recipe on MyHeartBeets.com

Instant Pot: Shredded Chicken Pressure Cooker

How to make shredded chicken in an Instant Pot for easier meal prep - recipe on MyHeartBeets.com

Instant Pot: Shredded Chicken Pressure Cooker

Use this shredded chicken in all sorts of applications: sandwiches, stews, salads!
4.77 from 21 reviews
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Ingredients
 

  • 4 pounds chicken breast*
  • ½ cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 20 minutes at high pressure.
  • Quick release pressure.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks.
  • Store the chicken in an air-tight container with the liquid to help keep the meat moist.

Notes

  • If you are only using 2 pounds of chicken, then halve the ingredients and cook for 15 minutes at high pressure and quick pressure release.
  • I have been asked many times if 20 minutes is too much for 4 pounds of chicken. I realize there are recipes out there that call for a 5-6 min cook time - this has never worked for me when making this quantity of chicken. You can always reduce the time if you want and if it's not done, add a few more minutes to the cook time. Ultimately the chicken should reach a temperature of 165F.
  • If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the chicken is done.
  • I usually divide the chicken into small air-tight storage containers and keep them in the freezer for longer term storage.
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Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? Try these:

Instant Pot Saag
Instant Pot Carne Guisada
Instant Pot Habanero Chili
Instant Pot Dal Makhani
Goat Curry in a Hurry
Instant Pot Texas Beef Chili
Instant Pot Ground Lamb Curry
Instant Pot Butter Chicken

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Cookbooks

Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Whimsy says

    4 stars
    It would be nice if this recipe indicated a few more things for the chicken.

    Thawed or Frozen
    Whole or cubed

  2. Jamie says

    I have a question about InstaPot recipes and cooking times. When it says cook on High for 20 minutes, does that mean 20 minutes total (with preheating) or you start the timer when the pressure cooker is done pre-heating?

  3. J M says

    5 stars
    Added 1 cup of water, but followed recipe exactly otherwise. Worked great! I cooked brown rice in the left over liquid and it made a fantastic meal.

  4. Cathy Augros says

    Is it necessary to use the liquid when pressure cooking the chicken? I’m wondering if the natural juices that will be squeezed out of the chicken during the high-pressure cooking would be sufficient?

  5. Danielle says

    This could be a silly question, but…do you just put the chicken breasts in straight from the package without cutting them first?

    Whenever I make any dish requiring boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I always cut them in half lengthwise down the center (the long way, to make them thinner and into cutlets. Not sure how else to describe this, but I hope I’m making myself clear, haha!) Would I do that for this recipe, or would doing that mess up the cooking time and overcook them? Thanks in advance!

  6. Rita Meyer says

    Hi, I used 3 thawed chicken breast cut in small medallion size pieces with a half cup of water and cooked for 6 minutes on high, and it was dry and slightly burnt on the bottom. So I tried the same thing using only 3 minutes, there was no pink and very tender. I still can’t believe chicken can cook so fast.

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