Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (fresh or frozen chicken)

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Wondering how to make shredded chicken in the Instant Pot? Look no further! This easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe is ready in less than 20 minutes, and will easily become a meal-prep staple in your home.

Season with your favorite spices or sauce and you’ll be on your way to an easy and delicious meal!

shredded chicken in instant pot.

Shredded Chicken for Every Meal!

Shredded chicken is such a great meal-prep staple — especially when it’s made in the Instant Pot. We often cook and then shred enough chicken for the week’s lunches and then season and pair them with something different each day.

Think shredded BBQ chicken + sautéed broccoli + rice; shredded curry chicken + sautéed pea pods + quinoa; shredded chicken with fajita seasoning + sautéed peppers and onions + avocado + a tortilla for tacos or enchiladas or even over greens as a salad!

You get the drill. And now that we’re able to make Instant Pot shredded chicken, it’s a real game changer. Ready in under 20 minutes (including the shredding!), and truly a one-pot endeavor.

How to Make Shredded Instant Pot Chicken Breast

We place the raw chicken right in the Instant Pot pressure cooker before seasoning with salt and pepper, and then shred the cooked chicken in the Instant Pot before serving any way you like.

Instant Pot shredded chicken couldn’t be easier and more convenient and it’s super tender. The trick was figuring out a perfect cook time to pressure cook and we’ve done it. Check out all of our tips for shredded chicken breast recipes in the Instant Pot (as well as some of our most favorite Instant Pot recipes!) below!

We’ll also walk you through how to make Instant Pot shredded chicken with both fresh and frozen chicken breasts.

More Ways to Make Shredded Chicken

Don’t want to use the Instant Pot? Check out our shredded chicken tutorials using other methods:

raw chicken breasts in the instant pot ready to be cooked and then shredded.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken – Step by Step

Making Instant Pot shredded chicken is as easy as following these 4 steps! And we’ll walk you through it right here:

Prep Chicken Breasts

First, pour 1/2 cup of water onto the bottom of your Instant Pot and then place the trivet on top of the water. You can also use equal parts of a broth of your choice (chicken broth works great!) if you prefer!

Then, feel free to season your chicken breast with salt and pepper.

Place chicken breast on top of the trivet and close your Instant Pot.

Set Instant Pot

From Fresh: If you are using thawed chicken breast, cook on high pressure for 8-10 minutes. If your chicken breasts are larger than 4 oz. each, cook time may be longer.

From Frozen: If you are using frozen chicken breast, cook on high pressure for 18-20 minutes (medium chicken breasts will be cooked after 18 minutes, but another larger will need a longer cook time).

Quick Tip: It will take around 10 minutes to build up enough pressure before your Instant Pot starts to count down.

Quick Release Instant Pot

When the timer goes off, quick release the valve on your Instant Pot. Lift the lid, and use a meat thermometer to make sure the thickest part of your chicken breast is at least 165ºF. If it’s not, continue cooking chicken breast in increments of 2 minutes.

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Shred Chicken Breasts

Once fully cooked, use 2 forks to shred the chicken breast. You can do this right in your Instant Pot!

water being poured in the instant pot for instant pot shredded chicken.

What Types of Chicken Can I Use?

This shredded chicken recipe is for boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you’re looking for Instant Pot recipes for chicken thighs, we recommend our Moroccan-Style Instant Pot Chicken Thighs or our Honey Garlic Instant Pot Chicken Thighs.

How Do I Shred Chicken?

Shredding chicken is actually very easy! When the chicken is done cooking, take two forks and gently pull the chicken apart until the chicken is fully shredded! Voila! You have Instant pot shredded chicken.

Can I Shred Right in the Instant Pot?

Absolutely! And we actually prefer it! This way, if you’ve seasoned your chicken at all, you’ll soak up all the flavorings as you shred. Plus, there’s no need to dirty another dish!

two forks shredding instant pot chicken breasts into shredded chicken.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Quick Tips

Frozen or Fresh Chicken?

You can cook fresh or frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot for this Instant Pot shredded chicken! Believe it or not, chicken breasts turn out the same whether you pull them right out of the freezer or fresh chicken breasts.

The only difference is how you cook it and what your cook time is. Why would you ever use frozen chicken breast in the Instant Pot? Think of those nights when you get home and realize you haven’t planned dinner!

  • For frozen chicken breasts: cook on high pressure for 18-20 minutes. While the frozen chicken breast is cooking, you prepare a side and a sauce for your chicken and BOOM. 18 minutes later your chicken is ready to be chunked or shredded!
  • For fresh chicken breasts: cook on high pressure for 8 minutes before shredding.

Use enough liquid

The last thing you want is to get a burn notice on your Instant Pot. A burn notice happens when there isn’t enough liquid in the bottom of the Instant Pot.

If you don’t have enough liquid in the bottom of the Instant Pot, it may burn the bottom of the Instant Pot, and cause the burn notice to go off. You’ll avoid this by using enough liquid when making your Instant Pot shredded chicken as well as placing the chicken on top of the trivet inside your Instant Pot.

Flavor options are endless

The last thing you want is to get a burn notice on your Instant Pot. A burn notice happens when there isn’t enough liquid in the bottom of the Instant Pot.

If you don’t have enough liquid in the bottom of the Instant Pot, it may burn the bottom of the Instant Pot, and cause the burn notice to go off. You’ll avoid this by using enough liquid when making your Instant Pot shredded chicken as well as placing the chicken on top of the trivet inside your Instant Pot.

Shredded chicken for meal prep

Because this shredded chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, it’s great for meal prep! Use your prepared shredded chicken in soups, burrito bowls, on sandwiches, in burritos — the options are endless!

Can I overcook chicken in the Instant Pot?

Yes, it is possible to overcook chicken in an Instant Pot because you are unable to check the temperature of the chicken throughout the cook time.

Be sure to cook the Instant Pot chicken for the full time and then check and see if it needs more time!

instant pot shredded chicken in a bowl.

Serving Suggestions

instant pot shredded chicken

Shredded Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken with either fresh or frozen chicken breast in no time! This is the fastest and easiest way to make shredded chicken.

Prep:5 minutes

Cook:20 minutes

Total:25 minutes

Fat 10

Carbs 0

Protein 22

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts thawed or frozen
  • 1/2 cup water or broth
  • optional: salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • First, pour 1/2 cup of water onto the bottom of your Instant Pot and then place the trivet on top of the water.

  • Then, optionally season your chicken breast with salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Place chicken breast on top of the trivet and close Instant Pot.

  • If you are using thawed chicken breast, cook on high pressure for 8-10 minutes. If you are using frozen chicken breast, cook on high pressure for 18-20 minutes. Medium chicken breasts will be cooked after 18 minutes, but another larger will need a longer cook time. It will take around 10 minutes to build up enough pressure before your Instant Pot starts to count down.

  • When the timer goes off, quick release the Instant Pot. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the thickest part of your chicken breast is at least 165ºF. If it’s not, continue cooking chicken breast in increments of 2 minutes. 

  • Once fully cooked, use 2 forks to shred the chicken breast. 

Tips & Notes

  • If Instant Pot flashes the word ‘burn,’ quick release, add an additional tablespoon of water, and reset it. The reason your Instant Pot is probably flashing the word burn is because it needs more moisture. Read more about it HERE.
  • This recipe is for 2-3 medium-sized chicken breasts, not one massive 1 lb. chicken breast. Cook time will vary depending on the size of your chicken breasts. The larger the breast, the longer it will take to cook.
  • Storage: will last up to 3-5 days in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition facts

Calories: 170kcal Carbohydrates: 0g Protein: 22g Fat: 10g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g



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