Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is super tender, juicy, and so easy to make with only a handful of ingredients! Seasoned chicken breasts or thighs are cooked in the pressure cooker for a super simple main dish. Use this pressure cooker recipe when meal prepping your favorite healthy meals for lunch or dinner.

A bowl full of Instant Pot Shredded chicken.

Instant Pot Pulled Chicken Recipe

Almost weekly I make a batch of shredded chicken in the Instant Pot.

Whether I’m assembling some Asian lettuce wraps, making a chicken pot pie, or topping off a healthy harvest bowl

There always seems to be a need to have some pulled chicken on hand.

And just like cooking chicken in the slow cooker, an easy pressure cooker recipe will result in super tender and juicy meat…

… But in a fraction of the time!  (If you want to take your time, check out this Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken)

You can also change up the seasoning mix to give it all sorts of flavor varieties. For example, this Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken works wonders in these Easy Shredded Chicken Tacos.

This will become your new go-to recipe when you’re adding delicious chicken to your weekly meal prep.

Do you want to learn How to Use an Instant Pot? All of the basics are covered in this post!

Chicken, salt, pepper, broth, and seasoning mixes as the ingredients for an easy shredded chicken recipe.

Ingredients

There are only a few basic ingredients for this Instant Pot chicken breasts recipe. 

  • Chicken. This recipe was originally created using organic skinless, boneless chicken breasts. However, chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) will also work well.
  • Cooking Liquid. Chicken broth, either regular or low sodium work well. You will need to adjust the amount of salt you add if you use low sodium broth. Vegetable broth works great if you want to add a little more variety in the flavors. Water is a good option if you’re using a pretty flavorful seasoning mix. This will keep the liquid from competing with the flavor profile of your seasonings. A fun variation is to use salsa for the liquid.  You will need to tweak the recipe slightly and can find those directions in this Instant Pot Salsa Chicken recipe.
  • Seasoning. You can use whatever type of seasoning you would like.  A few recommendations include Taco SeasoningBlackened Seasoning, poultry seasoning, or Italian seasoning. Or, keep it simple with garlic powder or chili powder for some spice.

How to Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Below are the steps to make the best shredded chicken recipe at home:

Add the Chicken and Liquid

Pour broth or water into the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot. Make sure there’s enough liquid so you don’t get a burn notice from your pressure cooker.

Place the raw chicken into the Instant Pot. Sprinkle seasoning mix, salt and pepper on top of the chicken. 

Cook in the Instant Pot

Cook on high pressure for:

  • 10 minutes if chicken breasts are large (between 7-8 ounces.)
  • 8 minutes if they are medium-sized (between 4-6 ounces.) 
  • It will take about 5-10 extra minutes to come to pressure.

When the timer is up, allow a 10-minute natural pressure release. Do not open the Instant Pot for 10 minutes after the timer goes off.

Open the steam valve for a quick pressure release and let any remaining pressure out. Be very careful when opening the valve so the steam does not burn you!

Cooked chicken breasts are ready in the pressure cooker.

How to Shred Chicken in Instant Pot?

To shred chicken in the Instant Pot, first let the chicken cool slightly. 

The best way to shred chicken, or pull chicken, is by using two forks.

Place them on a piece of the chicken breast and pull apart in opposing directions. Repeat this process until the everything is shredded.

There are also a few simple tips and tricks to note.  Following these steps will ensure your chicken shreds easily and stays juicy and tender:

  • It is best to shred when it is still warm but cool enough to touch.
  • Using two forks is the easiest way, but you can also shred it with your hands.
  • Immediately after shredding, put it back into the juice in the pressure cooker so it does not dry out.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: You can prep the entire meal a day or two early.
  • How to store: Shredded chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • How to freeze: This recipe freezes exceptionally well if you shred the chicken first and then place it in a freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to 4-6 months.
  • How to reheat: You can warm up the chicken in the microwave or a saucepan on the stove.

How long to cook chicken in Instant Pot to shred?

It should only take 8 to 10 minutes in the Instant Pot to cook the chicken to shred. Be sure to allow for a 10-minute natural release before opening the cooker before pulling the juicy chicken breasts.

Why is my Instant Pot chicken hard to shred?

The most common reasons why Instant Pot chicken is hard to shred is because not enough water was added or it wasn’t cooked long enough. Liquid and the right amount of time ensures the chicken is tender and juicy—perfect for pulling or shredding.

Pressure cooker pulled chicken that will be used in a healthy dinner recipe.

Does chicken get tough in Instant Pot?

Tough chicken in the Instant Pot can result from cooking the chicken for too long or not long enough. It’s important to pay attention to the cooking time. Depending on the amount, cooking chicken for 8-10 minutes with 10 minutes of natural release should do the trick.

FAQs

Can I make this in an 8-quart pressure cooker? 

Yes.  This recipe can be made in an 8-quart Instant Pot without any changes.

Can I double the recipe? 

Yes, you can double the recipe.  Simply double all of the ingredients and use the exact same cook time if using an 8-quart Instant Pot. Increase the cook time by 2-3 minutes if using a 6-quart size.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • You choose. While breasts are leaner, the dark meat of chicken thighs are more flavorful.
  • DIY. Whip up your own batch of seasoning for this recipe.
  • Get creative. This cooked chicken is delicious in so many recipes.
  • Go big. Make a big batch so the whole family can enjoy it and have leftovers.
  • Keep it natural. Be sure to allow a 10-minute natural pressure release to ensure tender chicken.
A stainless steel pot that is full of pulled chicken that has been pressure cooked.

Ways to Use Shredded Chicken

Pulled chicken works beautifully in so many different dishes. You’ll love having it on hand as a shortcut for some of these favorite chicken recipes.

Chicken Korma Curry and Thai Yellow Chicken Curry are so full of flavor.

Chicken salads like Curry Chicken Salad and Chicken Salad with Grapes are great in a sandwich or with greens.

Or, make these Baked Chicken Taquitos or Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps for a crowd-pleasing appetizer.

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Chicken is so great to cook in the Instant Pot. See for yourself, and give any of these other easy Instant Pot recipes, as well.

You can riff on this recipe with this Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken, which is delicious in these Easy Shredded Chicken Tacos.

 Warm and savory dishes like Instant Pot Orange ChickenInstant Pot Chicken Tortilla SoupInstant Pot Chicken Vegetable Soup, or this Instant Pot Yellow Curry Chicken are irresistible.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is super tender, juicy, and so easy to make with only a few simple ingredients!  Use this pressure cooker pulled chicken recipe when meal prepping your favorite healthy, low-carb, Paleo, and Whole30 dishes for lunch or dinner.
One pound of pulled chicken in a white bowl with salt and pepper.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 2 minutes
Cook 23 minutes
Total 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • 1 cup regular sodium broth chicken or vegetable
  • 1 tsp. seasoning mix optional*
  • ½ -1 tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Instructions 

  • Pour broth or water into the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot.
  • Place chicken into the Instant Pot.
  • Sprinkle seasoning mix, salt and pepper on top of the chicken.
  • Cook chicken on high pressure for 10 minutes if chicken breasts are large (between 7-8 ounces) or 8 minutes if chicken breasts are medium-sized (between 4-6 ounces.)
  • Allow a 10-minute natural pressure release.
  • Do not open the Instant Pot for 10 minutes after the timer goes off.
  • Open the pressure release valve and let any excess steam out.
  • Shred the chicken and let it sit in the liquid for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Notes

  • Low sodium broth or water can be used instead of the regular sodium broth.
  • Italian seasoning, taco seasoning, blackened seasoning, and poultry seasoning all work great in this recipe.
  • Adjust the amount of salt you use depending on how much sodium the seasoning mix and broth contains.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: You can prep the entire meal a day or two early.
  • How to store: Shredded chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • How to freeze: This recipe freezes exceptionally well if you shred the chicken first and then place it in a freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag. It will freeze well for up to 4-6 months.
  • How to reheat: You can warm up the chicken in the microwave or a saucepan on the stove.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 136kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 586mg, Potassium: 482mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 55IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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