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.
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 my husband 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? 🙂
- 4 pounds chicken breast*
- ½ cup water or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 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.
- 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.