Crockpot

The Ultimate Guide to Making Shredded Chicken

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Whether you’re making shredded chicken in the crockpot, the instant pot, in the oven or on the stovetop, I’m sharing the easiest way to make shredded chicken, plus I’m sharing some of my very favorite recipes to make with shredded chicken. I love making a ton of shredded chicken to incorporate into meals during the week, or to freeze for quick and easy meals all month long.

using your mixer to create shredded chicken

FIRST, WATCH THIS VIDEO TO SEE HOW TO MAKE SHREDDED CHICKEN

HOW TO MAKE SHREDDED CHICKEN IN THE CROCKPOT OR SLOWCOOKER

Are you ready for how easy this is going to be? Place 3 – 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into your crockpot. (This is usually three pieces of chicken for me.) Add one cup of chicken broth.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.

Once your chicken is cooked to 165º, follow the steps below to shred it.

CAN I MAKE SHREDDED CHICKEN IN THE CROCKPOT OR SLOW COOKER USING FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS?

Absolutely yes! Follow the steps above, but cook on low for 8 hours. You also may not need the chicken broth as the frozen chicken will defrost in your crockpot, creating a little extra liquid. But I like to add the chicken broth anyway.

I’m crazy like that.

HOW TO MAKE SHREDDED CHICKEN IN THE INSTANT POT

Another easy one coming at ya. Are you sensing a theme here?

Shredded chicken is easy ya’ll! That’s why I make it so often!

Okay, to make shredded chicken in your Instant Pot, place 3 – 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into your Instant Pot. (This is usually three pieces of chicken for me.) Add one cup of chicken broth.

Set your Instant Pot to 6 minutes of pressure and seal the valve to keep the steam in.

Once the cooking time is over, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then quick release.

Once your chicken is cooked to 165º, follow the steps below to shred it.

CAN I MAKE SHREDDED CHICKEN IN THE INSTANT POT USING FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS?

I have another big fat YES for you!

Follow the instructions above, but set your Instant Pot to 13 minutes of pressure cooking. It might take a little longer to reach cooking temperature, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

HOW TO MAKE SHREDDED CHICKEN ON THE STOVETOP

Hey – we don’t need fancy countertop appliances for shredded chicken, you can make it right on your stovetop!

Over medium heat, place 3 – 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a skillet. (This is usually three pieces of chicken for me.) Add one to two cups of chicken broth – enough to cover the chicken – and bring to a boil.

Once it starts boiling, turn down to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 10 – 12 minutes until chicken is cooked to a temperature of 165º.

Follow the steps below to shred the chicken.

CAN I MAKE SHREDDED CHICKEN ON THE STOVETOP USING FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS?

In this instance, you’re going to want to defrost that chicken before you make it on the stove. Sorry!

HOW TO MAKE SHREDDED CHICKEN IN THE OVEN

Place 3 – 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into an oven-safe dish. (This is usually three pieces of chicken for me.) Add one cup of chicken broth, and cover.

Bake at 375º for 25 to 35 minutes or until cooked to a temperature of 165º.

Follow the steps below to shred the chicken.

CAN I MAKE SHREDDED CHICKEN IN THE OVEN USING FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS?

In this instance, you’re going to want to defrost that chicken before you bake it.

HOW TO SHRED YOUR CHICKEN

Yes, you can make shredded chicken on the stove, in the oven, in the crockpot and even in the instant pot. But the real magic happens when it’s time to shred the chicken that you baked – and that’s where your mixer comes in.

You don’t have to spend hours pulling chicken with two forks. Simply add your cooked chicken to your mixing bowl and use the paddle attachment in your stand mixer.

The longer you mix, the finer your shredded chicken will be. Or mix for less time to have chunkier pieces.

That’s what she said.

Actually, that doesn’t even make sense there, but I personally feel like every shredded chicken recipe needs to have a That’s What She Said joke weaved into it, and that’s the best I could do. Sorry!

Now for some of your most-asked questions related to shredded chicken. (Yes, I actually have people that email me questions about shredded chicken. It’s a thing.)

HOW LONG CAN SHREDDED CHICKEN LAST IN THE FRIDGE?

Shredded chicken can stay in the fridge for 3-4 days. Store it in an airtight container, and grab it for meals throughout the week!

CAN SHREDDED CHICKEN BE FROZEN?

Heck yes it can! I put mine in freezer bags and store for 3 – 4 months. I then put a bag in the fridge to defrost overnight before I whip it into a recipe.

IS SHREDDED CHICKEN HEALTHY?

I’m going with yes and yes on this one.  Shredded chicken is an amazing, low-fat protein base to use in a variety of weeknight meals (and even breakfast dishes). Omlettes anyone?

It’s lean, relatively low in fat and calories per serving size and can help you meet your healthy goals by preparing big batches in advance.

MY FAVORITE SHREDDED CHICKEN RECIPE IDEAS

Listen, when I first started making batches of shredded chicken, I kept things fairly basic. I used it in sandwiches and tossed it on my salads.

But I’ve come a long way, baby. 

I’ve figured out a way to incorporate shredded chicken into just about everything we’re eating. I don’t because – you know – the entire family might start a revolt against shredded chicken.

BUT – it’s comforting to know that even on the nights when we have no food in the house – I still have shredded chicken and can whip up SOMETHING to eat.

Here are a few of my (and my family’s) favorites:

BBQ Chicken Sliders with Homemade BBQ Sauce

A perfect way to liven up a classic comfort food is by swapping out a traditional hamburger bun with — Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, Romaine Lettuce ‘buns,’ or even make a bowl out of this by topping brown rice with this incredible BBQ chicken!

Click here for the recipe.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

Ever take a spoonful of chicken noodle soup and wish that there was something more to sink your teeth into? Yeah. Me too. Nothing warms the home and soul like a robust chicken noodle soup when it becomes a CASSEROLE. This dish is sturdy enough to stand alone, or be served with a warm bread and side salad. Trust me, it gets into all the nooks and crannies and leaves the family completely fulfilled!

Click here for the recipe.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

When Taco Tuesday doesn’t conjure up that spark that it usually does, blow everyone’s mind with these rowdy little tacos! They can be individualized to everyone in the family – celebrating the uniqueness of taste and creativity we all bring to the table, through toppings and wrappings!

Click here for the recipe.

Orange Chicken Arugula & Brown Rice Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Orange Ginger Glaze

We must all find that one dish that actually meets every single craving. Try this! Savory and sweet, crunchy and hardy, fresh and absolutely irresistible. This salad is packed with so much bursting flavor that it is easy to miss all of the nutritional value snuck in! Spoiler alert: It is also excellent as a leftover!

Click here for the recipe.

Orange Chicken Arugula & Brown Rice Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Orange Ginger Glaze

Baked Sweet Pepper Bowls with Shredded Chicken and Brown Rice

This baked sweet pepper bowl hits all the feels. With its bold, bright presentation, it is easy to forget how much nutritional value is packed into each pepper! With each bite, it reminds us that healthy food can be delicious, fulfilling, and rewarding.

Click here for the recipe.

Baked Sweet Pepper Bowls with Shredded Chicken and Brown Rice

Shredded Chicken Marinara Pasta

This beauty of a dish combines shredded chicken with a super simple homemade marinara sauce that will light up your taste buds in all the right ways. It’s a basic weeknight meal with a twist that will make it easier than every to whip together.

Recipe coming soon!

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The Ultimate Guide to Making Shredded Chicken


  • Author: Anna Luther
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes (up to 4 hours)
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Whether you’re making shredded chicken in the crockpot, the instant pot, in the oven or on the stovetop, I’m sharing the easiest way to make shredded chicken, plus I’m sharing some of my very favorite recipes to make with shredded chicken. I love making a ton of shredded chicken to incorporate into meals during the week, or to freeze for quick and easy meals all month long.


Scale

Ingredients

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (usually 34 breasts)

12 cups chicken broth (you can also use water)

Seasoning to taste


Instructions

IN THE CROCKPOT

Place 3 – 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into your crockpot.  Add one cup of chicken broth.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.

Once your chicken is cooked to 165º, follow the steps below to shred it.

IN THE INSTANT POT

Place 3 – 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into your Instant Pot. Add one cup of chicken broth.

Set your Instant Pot to 6 minutes of pressure and seal the valve to keep the steam in.

Once the cooking time is over, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then quick release.

Once your chicken is cooked to 165º, follow the steps below to shred it.

ON THE STOVETOP

Over medium heat, place 3 – 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a skillet. Add one to two cups of chicken broth – enough to cover the chicken – and bring to a boil.

Once it starts boiling, turn down to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 10 – 12 minutes until chicken is cooked to a temperature of 165º.

Follow the steps below to shred the chicken.

IN THE OVEN

Place 3 – 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into an oven-safe dish. Add one cup of chicken broth, and cover.

Bake at 375º for 25 to 35 minutes or until cooked to a temperature of 165º.

Follow the steps below to shred the chicken.

HOW TO SHRED YOUR CHICKEN

Yes, you can make shredded chicken on the stove, in the oven, in the crockpot and even in the instant pot. But the real magic happens when it’s time to shred the chicken that you baked – and that’s where your mixer comes in.

You don’t have to spend hours pulling chicken with two forks. Simply add your cooked chicken to your mixing bowl and use the paddle attachment in your stand mixer.

The longer you mix, the finer your shredded chicken will be. Or mix for less time to have chunkier pieces.

Notes

If you don’t have a stand mixer, your hand mixer will work too! Easy Peasy.

I highly recommend making a double (or triple!) batch so that you have enough to eat and enough to save for another meal.

  • Category: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast
  • Method: Crockpot, Instant pot, Stovetop, Oven
  • Cuisine: Chicken

Keywords: shredded chicken, weeknight meals, healthy, instant pot, crockpot, stovetop, oven, protein

 

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