Did you know that you can make enough shredded chicken for a week of recipes with your pressure cooker? This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe can be meal prepped for your week or frozen for future meals. Don’t miss this post filled with ideas for ways to put pressure cooked chicken to work in your kitchen!
I hope you all are as in love with your Instant Pot as much as me. Our pressure cooker continues to be my favorite gadget and I’m excited to share more family recipes with you.
Today I wanted to show you how to meal prep shredded chicken in your Instant Pot.
This technique is super simple and straightforward.
In your pressure cooker, you will add one cup of chicken stock to the bottom of your pressure cooker. Add your chicken breasts and season well with salt and pepper.
Cook your chicken on High Pressure for 10 minutes (for small chicken breasts) or 12 minutes (for large chicken breasts).
These chicken breasts, for example, required fifteen minutes to fully cook.
Allow your pressure to release naturally (instead of quick releasing the valve). A good amount of time is ten minutes!
Once the chicken is cooked, you can shred it with two forks. If you are feeling fancy, break out your hand mixer to make quick work of this task.
Reserve half the liquid in the pot for storage and to reduce the chances of your chicken drying out.
I looked up some frequently asked questions, on pressure cooked chicken, and thought I would share more about my technique here.
Do I need to add more chicken broth (or stock) if I decide to cook more than four chicken breasts?
If I’m meal prepping for my family, I always double our recipes. I have doubled this successfully by doubling the chicken stock and keeping everything else, like cooking time, the same. It will take a bit longer to come to pressure, but the duration you set will remain the same.
Can I use this pressure cooker shredded chicken technique with frozen chicken breasts?
Cooking frozen chicken in the Instant Pot can be a real budget-saver and help you avoid ordering takeout.
Once again, cooking time on frozen chicken varies, based on the size of the breast. If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of high pressure works great. Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes. Large pieces are best at 16 minutes.
Can I Use this Shredded Chicken Recipe for Chicken Thighs Instead of Chicken Breasts?
Personally, I prefer thigh meat over chicken breasts because they don’t easily dry out and get overcooked.
I’ve had great success with cooking chicken thighs for 15 minutes on high pressure.
I love to toss my thigh meat with salsa and a little chicken broth for taco night or burrito bowls.
My Shredded Chicken Didn’t Fully Cook, Can I Restart My Instant Pot?
Do you find that your dishes seem inconsistent with cooking times? I discovered a really important solution…getting a new Instant Pot seal. If the seal is stretched out, it will take much longer to come to pressure.
For chicken to be fully cooked, you want to make sure it has come to 165 degrees. Since the size of the breasts is so different, it is hard to always nail the length of time.
If you find that your chicken is not fully cooked, simply cook it for 2 more minutes of High Pressure.
Since the liquid is already hot, it won’t take that long to come to pressure again.
What Other Seasoning Can I Use on My Shredded Chicken?
I try to really map out what I’m making with it before deciding on seasoning. This basic idea of just salt & pepper is always appealing to me though because it can be used in any recipe.
That said, you can always make your own flavor combo! This Mrs. Dash seasoning, for example, is a family favorite. I also love to season my chicken with oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, or dried rosemary.
Feeling inspired to get your pantry organized? Here are some free printable pantry labels to get you started.
I Don’t Have a Pressure Cooker. How Do I Make This Shredded Chicken In My Slow Cooker Instead?
For many years, I just did the shredded chicken in my slow cooker. You will follow the exact same recipe, but you will cook the chicken in your slow cooker for six hours instead.
I hate dry chicken though so I usually do the six hours of cooking time with frozen breasts instead.
I find today’s slow cookers are so much faster than they used to be.
For me, six hours is as long as I’m willing to let my chicken cook in one of those.
If you are on the hunt for a new slow cooker, I can’t recommend this model enough. I use it weekly and love that I can brown our meat before slow cooking it.
Are There Any Other Ways to Prepare Chicken For My Week?
I can’t recommend this roasted chicken technique enough.
In fact, I got stopped three times at a family cookout to ask how I prepared my meat.
It is perfectly seasoned, tastes like it has been grilled, and is perfectly tender.
What Recipes Can I Make With Shredded Chicken?
Shredded chicken can be stuffed into wraps with spinach, tomatoes, and ranch.
Shredded chicken can be tossed with salsa, and reserved liquid, to make chicken tacos.
Shredded chicken can be added to a delicious frittata, like this one.
Shredded chicken can be made into chicken salad. I love to skip the mayo and toss it with pesto and a little creamy Greek Yogurt.
Shredded chicken makes the perfect pizza topper with a pesto base, spinach, and tomatoes.
Shredded chicken is a great addition to any salad (here is one of my faves!).
Shredded chicken can be tossed with barbecue sauce and stuffed in sweet potatoes or in buns.
Shredded chicken can be added to soup or chili.
Shredded chicken be made into delicious enchiladas (this is our family’s favorite recipe).
Shredded chicken is great in homemade lo mein, fried rice, or stir fry.
You get the idea.
There is SO much you can do with this. Just think of how you can use shredded chicken in your favorite casseroles, pasta dishes, or rice bowls.
What if I Can’t Eat All This Shredded Chicken?
One of the best things about having this prepared is that you can freeze it. Freeze your pressure cooked chicken in freezer bags, with a little of the reserved broth. Make sure to take out as much air as possible and label. This should keep for 3-6 months in your freezer.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)
4 Chicken Breasts
1 cup chicken broth or stock
Salt and pepper
- Pour one cup of chicken broth or stock in the bottom of your Instant Pot.
- Add fresh chicken breasts to Instant Pot, seasoned with salt and pepper.
- Put the lid on your Instant Pot and cook your chicken on High Pressure for 10 minutes (for small chicken breasts) or 12 minutes (for large chicken breasts).
- Once the Instant Pot beeps, make sure your instant pot turns off (and doesn't start the, "keep warm," setting. Allow it to naturally release for ten minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and shred with two forks or a hand mixer.
- Add half the liquid from the pot to your shredded chicken and toss to make sure it is fully incorporated.
- Use the chicken right away for your recipes (see post for fun ways to put this to work in your kitchen) or freeze for 3-6 months in an airtight freezer bag with a little additional liquid.
Doubling the chicken? I have doubled this successfully by doubling the chicken stock and keeping everything else, like cooking time, the same. It will take a bit longer to come to pressure, but the duration you set will remain the same.
Using frozen chicken breasts? Cooking time on frozen chicken varies, based on the size of the breast. If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of high pressure works great. Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes. Large pieces are best at 16 minutes. Still follow the steps above for natural releasing the pressure.
This post contains affiliate links
Love this recipe? Here are three other great pressure cooker recipes to check out!
Let us know what you think about today’s recipe in the comments below!