My culinary passion is only rivaled by the desire to simplify the cooking process. I was on the lookout for new ways to prepare chicken, so I gave instant pot shredded chicken a try.
I’ve been testing different cook times and seasonings for the past year until I found the combo that tastes just right. Today, I’ll give you my instant pot shredded chicken recipe for flavorful and tender meat.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Number of Servings: 8
- 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- Put chicken breasts in the instant pot so they are arranged in an even layer. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place bay leaves next to the chicken breasts and pour the broth over them.
- Put the lid on and set the lid valve to “sealing.” Cook for 10 minutes. Follow by a five-minute natural release, and then flip the valve to a quick release. Open slowly and check the internal temperature of the instant pot chicken breast. If the temperature is 165 degrees, your chicken is done. If not, cook for five more minutes.
- Strain the broth and use it for soups.
- Shred the instant pot chicken breast with forks, hands, or a mixer. Add more broth so the instant pot shredded chicken is juicy, and serve.
Here are some tips and tricks for the best shredded chicken in the instant pot:
- This instant pot shredded chicken recipe is for raw, thawed chicken breasts. If you’re using frozen chicken breasts, make sure to add more time. About five to ten more minutes of cook time should be enough.
- Pour the broth around the sides of the chicken so you don’t wash off the seasonings.
- Make sure the chicken in the instant pot has enough liquid. The liquid is what makes it tender.
- Add as many spices as you like when you pressure-cook shredded chicken. For example, try taco seasoning, lemon pepper, Italian seasoning, and more.
- Use dried bay leaves for the best cooked chicken flavor. Another option is celery leaves.
- Make sure to go for natural pressure release after cooking in the pressure cooker. This keeps the cooked chicken tender and juicy.
- Shred the chicken while it’s warm. If you want to slice chicken, do it right before serving and slice against the grain for the best flavor.
- Choose even-sized chicken breasts for even cooking.
- Save the chicken broth after cooking and use it in soups and stews.
- Use sauté function on the instant pot and sear the chicken breasts for a richer flavor and better texture.
- If you’re cooking frozen chicken breast, make sure they aren’t stuck together. In case they are, place the meat in a bowl filled with cold water and break them apart. If the breasts are stuck together, they tend to turn undercooked.
- How you release pressure will impact how tender your skinless chicken breasts are. Use natural release for the most tender meat. If you’re short on time, use natural release for five minutes and then switch to quick release.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature when you cook chicken in the pressure cooker. It’s done when the thermometer reads 165 degrees .
Also Read: Crock Pot Chicken Stew
- Calories: 139
- Total Carbs: 1g
- Protein: 24g
- Fat: 4g
- Fiber: 1g
- Net Carbs: 0
Ingredient Substitutions and Additions
Here are some ingredient substitution and addition ideas for a better flavor of the instant pot shredded chicken recipe:
- Poultry - You can swap chicken breasts with boneless skinless chicken thighs or turkey breasts. If you opt for these, make sure to increase the cooking time to 15 minutes, depending on the breast and chicken thigh thickness.
- Broth - Try vegetable broth instead of chicken. You can also use water to make instant pot shredded chicken, but it won’t be as flavorful.
- Spices - Try different spices, such as onion powder, smoked paprika, or cayenne, if you like the spicy flavor.
- Herbs - Add fresh or dried herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, or thyme, for more flavor.
- Vegetables - Add onions, carrots, or bell peppers to turn pressure cooker shredded chicken into a complete meal.
- Fruits - Add citrus fruits, such as lemon or lime, for a refreshing taste.
How to Shred Instant Pot Chicken
Here’s how to shred instant pot chicken:
- Using forks - Use two forks to shred chicken breast directly in the instant pot. Hold the chicken steady with one fork and pull with the other. Repeat until all chicken breast is shredded.
- Hand mixer - This is faster than using forks and can also be done right in the instant pot. Drain some of the liquid first so it doesn’t splatter, then put the beaters in the instant pot and shred. Start with a slow start option to prevent splattering.
- Stand mixer - Transfer the chicken into the mixer bowl and shred.
Shred chicken breast while it’s warm. Let it cool somewhat, but not completely. Once the instant pot chicken cools, it’s more difficult to shred it.
Also, don’t shred while the chicken is hot, as it’ll lose juices.
“If your chicken breast is cooked to 165 degrees, it’s going to shred easily. But if your chicken breast isn’t cooked all the way through, it’s going to be really hard to shred.”
- Low Carb Recipes With Jennifer, YouTube Channel
Finally, you should stir the liquid back into the shredded chicken for juicy shredded chicken.
Also Read: How to Shred Pork
How to Store and Reheat Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
To store instant pot shredded chicken, wait until it’s cooled.
Then place the shredded boneless skinless chicken breasts in an airtight container or zip-top bag and store them in the fridge or freezer.
Chicken cooked following instant pot recipes can be stored in the fridge for up to three to four days and in the freezer for up to four months without losing its quality.
Defrost frozen chicken breast by thawing it overnight in the fridge. Then reheat in the microwave or oven. Add a few teaspoons of broth so it doesn’t dry out.
Why Is My Instant Pot Chicken Hard to Shred?
Your instant pot chicken is hard to shred because it’s not cooked enough or there wasn’t enough water in the instant pot.
How Long Does it Take to Shred Chicken?
It takes about one to two minutes to shred chicken using forks. It takes about 20 seconds to shred with a stand mixer using the paddle attachment.
Can You Shred Chicken After It's Cold?
Yes, you can shred a chicken after it’s cold, but it’s difficult to do. It’s best to shred the chicken when it’s warm. In case your chicken gets cold, you can warm it in the oven or microwave before shredding.
Quick Cook, Lasting Impressions
Out of all the instant pot chicken recipes I tried, this is the best one. Make instant pot shredded chicken using chicken breast, chicken broth, and spices to make the meat flavorful.
Make sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken breast to make sure it’s cooked.
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