Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is super tender, juicy, and so easy to make with only a few simple ingredients! Use this pressure cooker recipe when meal prepping your favorite healthy, low-carb, Paleo, and Whole30 dishes for lunch or dinner.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Almost weekly I make a batch of shredded chicken in the Instant Pot.
Whether I’m assembling some Asian lettuce wraps, making a pot pie, or topping off a healthy salad…
There always seems to be a need to have some pulled chicken on hand.
And just like cooking chicken in the slow cooker, a pressure cooker 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, too.
Do you want to learn How to Use an Instant Pot? All of the basics are covered in this post!
There are only a few ingredients for this pressure cooker recipe. At any given time I bet you have all of these ingredients on hand:
- Chicken – Chicken breasts are the preferred cut of meat to use
- Broth – Chicken, vegetable, or beef broth can be used. Water can also be substituted for the broth.
- Seasoning – You can use whatever type of seasoning you would like in this recipe. A few recommendations include:
- Salt and Pepper
Different Types of Liquid
In all pressure cooker recipes you need at least 1 cup of liquid in order to prevent burning.
For this recipe you can use a variety of liquids depending on the flavor you want your dish to have.
A few types of liquid you can try include:
- Chicken broth – Regular sodium or low sodium work well. You will need to adjust the amount of salt you add if you use low sodium broth.
- Vegetable broth – This works great if you want to add a little more variety in the flavors. Regular sodium and low sodium broth both work well.
- Water – If you’re using a pretty flavorful seasoning mix, then water is a good option. This will keep the liquid from competing with the flavor profile of your seasoning ingredients.
- Salsa – A little different option 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.
What Cut of Chicken?
This recipe was originally created using organic skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
(ButcherBox has the best organic chicken and is what was used in this recipe.)
However, chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) will also work well.
How to Make
The entire recipe is outlined in the recipe card below.
But here is a quick step-by-step guide that teaches you how to make this recipe:
- 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 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 minutes to come to pressure.
- 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.
- Be very careful when opening the valve so the steam does not burn you!
- Shred and let it sit in the liquid for 5-10 minutes before serving.
How to Pull or Shred
The best way to shred chicken, or pulling 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 you can follow. Following these steps will ensure your it 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.
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 and increase the cook time by 2-3 minutes if using a size 6-quart.
Try to still submerge the meat in the liquid as much as possible for the most tender chicken.
Storing and Freezing
How long can I store leftovers in the refrigerator?
Shredded chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Does this recipe freeze well?
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.
There are so many different ways you can serve this pulled chicken recipe.
A few of the best recipes that use this include:
- Toss it with some sauce in these Asian chicken lettuce wraps.
- Wrap it up in some Baked Chicken Taquitos.
- Mix it with some mayo and mustard in this Chicken Salad with Grapes.
- Serve it in these Chicken Enchiladas Verdes.
- Make it a little spicy with these Buffalo Chicken Celery Sticks.
- Use it in a comforting Homemade Chicken Pot Pie.
- Top off your favorite salad with a little protein!
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.
- 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
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.
- 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.