Wondering how to make the easiest shredded chicken? Look no further! This shredded chicken recipe is baked to perfection, and will easily become a meal-prep staple in your home.
Season your shredded chicken with your favorite spices or marinade and you’ll be on your way to an easy and delicious meal!
Shredded Chicken: Everything You Need to Know
Shredded chicken is such a great meal-prep staple — especially when it can be easily made in the oven. 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 a BBQ shredded chicken recipe + sautéed broccoli + rice; a curry shredded chicken recipe + sautéed pea pods + quinoa; a shredded chicken recipe with fajita seasoning + sautéed peppers and onions + avocado + a tortilla!
In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about making shredded chicken in your own kitchen. LET’S DO THIS, PARTY PEOPLE.
How to Make Shredded Chicken (Baked) – Step by Step
The trick to this shredded chicken recipe is that you actually bake the boneless skinless chicken breasts whole, and then shred the chicken after it’s baked.
Preheat & Prep
Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Set the chicken breasts on the baking sheet, making sure to spread the chicken breasts out so that they are not touching one another.
Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. If you’re planning to use a dry rub, now is the time to add it. Similarly, if you’re marinating your chicken breasts, prepare and season according to the recipe.
Place the chicken in the oven and bake the chicken for 25-35 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
Let Cool & Shred
Remove the chicken from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
To shred chicken, use two forks, a hand mixer or a stand mixer and shred to your liking.
More Methods to Cook Shredded Chicken
While we love baked shredded chicken, there are also two other methods we recommend when you’re hoping to make shredded chicken. Both Instant Pot and slow cooker shredded chicken are great options to make shredded chicken!
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Instant Pot shredded chicken could not be easier and more convenient, which is why we have an entire post dedicated to Instant Pot shredded chicken, where we walk you through how to make it with both fresh and frozen chicken breasts.
How Long Will This Method Take?
- 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).
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
Making shredded chicken in the slow cooker truly is the set it and forget it method, and we’ll walk through everything you need to know in this slow cooker shredded chicken post. Plus, we share 4 of the best ways to spice up your shredded chicken.
How Long Will This Method Take?
- From Fresh: Depending on the size of your boneless skinless chicken breasts, we suggest 6-8 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high.
- From Frozen: We DO NOT recommend this method due to the possibility of food borne illness! Because slow cookers cook slowly, frozen chicken will spend too much time hovering around an unsafe temperature, which can result in bacteria growth.
Ways to Shred Chicken
Choose your own adventure here! We love that a stand mixer allows you to shred large quantities of chicken quickly, while using forks allows you to shred to the texture of your choice.
Make shredded chicken with forks by placing the chicken breasts on a cutting board, and with one fork in each hand, pull the chicken breasts apart to shred to the texture of your liking.
In a Stand Mixer
Make shredded chicken in a stand mixer by placing chicken breasts in the stand mixer bowl, and using the flat beater attachment shred the breasts with the stand mixer on low until the chicken is fully shredded to the texture of your liking.
With a Hand Mixer
Make shredded chicken with a hand mixer by placing chicken breasts in a large bowl, and use a hand mixer on low to slowly shred the breasts in to smaller sections, and continue until the chicken is fully shredded to the texture of your liking.
This method will shred the chicken quickly, just like a stand mixer!
With Your Hands
If your chicken is fully cooled, shredding with your hands can be a great option! Simply break the chicken breasts apart using your hands and shred to the texture of your liking.
Flavoring Shredded Chicken
The options truly are endless when it comes to flavoring your shredded chicken! If you are planning to shred chicken and toss it with a sauce after cooking, sprinkling the chicken breast with salt and pepper would be just fine!
If you are feeling more flavorful chicken, try one of these delicious dry rubs! Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of any of the dry rubs below on the chicken breast (be sure it’s fully coated) and cook it according to the recipe.
Looking for a chicken marinade? Here are 6 of our favorites:
Shredded Chicken Breasts Quick Tips
Is This Recipe for Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts?
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.
Is Pulled Chicken the Same as Shredded Chicken?
Pulled typically refers to slow cooked meat that can easily be pulled apart after slow cooking or roasting. For the purposes of this shredded chicken breast, they are the same.
How Do You Keep Shredded Chicken Moist?
The key to keeping shredded chicken moist is simple — don’t let it dry out! Regardless of the method you’re cooking your shredded chicken, make sure you have enough liquid to prevent the chicken from drying out.
Once cooked, you’ll want to store your chicken in an air-tight container in the fridge to avoid it drying out.
How Long Will Shredded Chicken Last in the Fridge?
Shredded chicken will last for up to 4 days when stored in an air-tight container in the fridge, and with the number of ways to use shredded chicken being endless, you’re sure to use this chicken in fun recipes.
Does Shredded Chicken Freeze Well?
Shredded chicken does freeze well! Make sure you fully cool your shredded chicken before transferring it into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag. Squeeze all of the air completely out of the bag, seal it, and place in freezer. Frozen shredded chicken will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Baked Shredded Chicken Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Set the chicken breasts on the baking sheet. Be sure to spread the chicken breasts out so that they are not touching.
- Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken in the oven and bake the chicken for 25-35 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
- To shred the chicken, use two forks or a hand mixer to shred the chicken.