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 (Instant Pot) is a Meal Game Changer!
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 + roasted broccoli + brown 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.
Why Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken?
We place the raw chicken right in the Instant Pot pressure cooker before seasoning it with salt and pepper and then shred the cooked chicken in the Instant Pot before serving it 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.
How to Make Shredded Chicken in Instant Pot – 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.
quick tip – 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.
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.
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 cooking time.
If you are using thinner chicken breast or chicken tenders, you’ll likely need to reduce the cooking time to avoid overcooking.
Shred Chicken Breasts
Once fully cooked, use 2 forks to shred the chicken breast. You can do this right in your Instant Pot!
What types of chicken can I use for shredding?
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 chicken 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!
Can I use frozen chicken in the instant pot?
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.
How to Flavor Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
If you don’t want plain shredded chicken, you can use either a chicken marinade or seasonings to flavor your shredded chicken. Below are our favorite dry rubs and marinades for chicken.
How to Serve Shredded Chicken
- Chicken Salad: whip up any of our chicken salad recipes: Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad, Southwest Chicken Salad, or Creamy Pesto Chicken Salad.
- Shredded Chicken Tacos: follow our Chicken Salsa Taco recipe, but use the Instant Pot instead.
- Shredded Chicken Burritos: make our freezer-friendly Shredded Chicken Burritos!
- Nachos: swap out the ground beef for shredded Instant Pot chicken breast in our favorite Nachos recipe.
Store your chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
Easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts thawed or frozen
- 1/2 cup water or broth
- optional: salt and pepper to taste
- 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.