This Easy Shredded Chicken recipe makes meal prep even easier! Made with just two ingredients, make in Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, or Stovetop!
This Easy Shredded Chicken recipe has been on regular meal prep rotation at my house for years! It saves so much time throughout the week, knowing that I have it ready and waiting to be used in any number of recipes for lunch and supper. From my chicken enchiladas, buffalo chicken dip, Bart’s favorite chicken salad, and my easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches to salads and sandwiches, this recipe is a weekly standard at my house!
Table of Contents
- Easy Shredded Chicken Recipe
- How to Make Shredded Chicken
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
- Stovetop Shredded Chicken
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Easy Meal Prep Tip!
- Can I Use Frozen Chicken for this Recipe?
- How Much Chicken Can I Cook in this Recipe?
- Shredded Chicken Measurements
- Storage Tips
- Shredded Chicken Recipes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Easy Shredded Chicken Recipe
Easy Shredded Chicken Recipe
You will love using this recipe for simple weeknight suppers, easy weekly meal prep, and even stockpiling your freezers when you find the best deals on chicken! I know I sure do!
With just two ingredients, it is one of the easiest recipes!
How to Make Shredded Chicken
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.
- Chicken – You can use your preferred cut of chicken. I generally use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, but lately, I have been using whole chicken more and more.
- Water, chicken stock, or chicken broth – Use your preference of water, chicken stock, or broth for the liquid in this recipe. Using chicken stock or chicken broth gives the chicken incredible flavor while ensuring that it stays tender and juicy. If I am using a whole chicken, I like to use water as I then save this to use as a simple chicken stock.
- Optional Ingredient: Seasonings – I prefer to cook my chicken without any seasonings to allow myself more versatility in the recipes I use the chicken in. However, If I know that I will be using all of the chicken in a certain recipe and that seasonings will enhance the flavor of the chicken even more, I go ahead and add them to the chicken as it cooks. Generally, this is my simple house seasoning of salt, pepper, and garlic that I use in most recipes – Stone House Seasoning.
Add the chicken to my slow cooker, Dutch oven, or Instant Pot. Pour in the liquid in with the chicken. Then, follow the instructions based on the cooking method used.
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
Add the chicken and liquid to the slow cooker and set the timer to low for 8 hours. Then, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks. Additionally, you can shred the chicken in a stand mixer by using the paddle attachment.
Stovetop Shredded Chicken
Place the chicken and liquid into a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Allow to cook until the chicken is tender, easily pulls apart when tested with a fork, and reaches 165º F when checked with an internal thermometer, about 20 – 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and shred it with two forks or paddle attachments in a stand mixer.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
I’ve previously shared my Instant Pot Chicken recipe, but basically, cook for 8 minutes at high pressure and then use the quick-release method. You can see the full recipe here: Instant Pot Chicken Recipe.
Easy Meal Prep Tip!
Keep shredded chicken in the freezer for quick and easy chicken recipes throughout the week! Simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave!
Can I Use Frozen Chicken for this Recipe?
Yes, you can, but in certain circumstances. You can use frozen chicken in the stovetop and Instant Pot methods, but I encourage you to use thawed chicken in your slow cooker. Since the slow cooker does not reach a high enough temperature when cooking chicken at the low setting, the chicken is best cooked using non-frozen chicken to prevent any foodborne issues.
How Much Chicken Can I Cook in this Recipe?
I generally cook between 4 and 8 chicken breasts at any given time using this method. It really depends on how I plan to use it throughout the week. You want to make sure that you are not overcrowding your slow cooker, Dutch oven, or Instant Pot so that the chicken cooks thoroughly and evenly.
Shredded Chicken Measurements
To yield 2 cups of shredded chicken, you’ll need one of the following options:
- Two cooked chicken breasts
- Four cooked chicken thighs
- Meat from half of a rotisserie chicken
- approximately 12 ounces of cooked chicken
- One pound of raw chicken
To store. Cook the chicken according to the recipe instructions. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To freeze. Cook according to the recipe instructions. Cool and store in airtight, freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.
To serve. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Here are a few of our favorite recipes using Shredded Chicken.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no difference between pulled and shredded chicken. Both describe chicken that is cooked until tender that is then shredded along the grain of the chicken.
When chicken is overcooked, it is tough and chewy. To prevent the chicken from overcooking, be sure to follow the recipe instructions closely for each cooking method.
To help shredded chicken that is tough and has been overcooked, add the shredded chicken back to the cooking liquid as it cools to allow it to soften as much as possible.
Here’s my Easy Shredded Chicken Recipe. I hope you find it as useful and love it as much as I do!
Easy Shredded Chicken Recipe
- 4-8 chicken breasts, or your favorite cut of chicken
- 1 cup chicken stock or broth, or water
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipe
- Add chicken and chicken stock to slow cooker. Set timer for 8 hours on low setting. To check for doneness, prick chicken with a sharp knife. The juices should run clear. Additionally, the internal temperature should be 165º F when check with an internal thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken. Once done, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks or using paddle attachment of stand mixer.
Stovetop Shredded Chicken Recipe
- Add chicken and chicken stock to Dutch oven set over medium-low heat. Cover the Dutch oven and cook until the chicken is done, about 20 – 30 minutes. To check for doneness, prick chicken with a sharp knife. The juices should run clear. Additionally, the internal temperature should be 165º F when check with an internal thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken. Once done, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks or using paddle attachment of stand mixer.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe
- Add chicken and chicken stock to Instant Pot. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes. Use quick release method to release the pressure and carefully remove the cover. To check for doneness, prick chicken with a sharp knife. The juices should run clear. Additionally, the internal temperature should be 165º F when check with an internal thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken. Once done, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks or using paddle attachment of stand mixer.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.