Home ยป How to Make Shredded Chicken (Instant Pot, Oven, Slow Cooker)

How to Make Shredded Chicken (Instant Pot, Oven, Slow Cooker)

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Want to use shredded chicken in a recipe? Learn 3 easy ways to make shredded chicken using the Instant Pot, Oven or Slow Cooker.

A white casserole dish filled with shredded roasted chicken

I have a growing number of recipes that use shredded chicken as a starting point. Although I always include a way to cook the chicken, the method I select doesn’t always match up with the tools folks have in their kitchen. For example, in my Million Dollar Chicken recipe, I use the instant pot to quickly make shredded chicken but many people have commented that they don’t have an Instant Pot.

So, I decided to write one quick post that includes 3 easy ways to make shredded chicken! We’ll go from the fastest method to the slowest method and you can choose whatever approach works best for you. 🙌

The Ingredients

For all three methods, we’ll use the same ingredients. Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need with my notes. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – You can also use an equal amount of skinless chicken breasts.
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Olive oil – Note that the amount of olive oil needed varies by cooking method. Changes are noted in the recipe card below.
  • Yellow onion – White onion also works.
  • Garlic
  • Chicken stock – Vegetable broth also works.
A white casserole dish with Roasted Chicken Bechamel Lasagna
You can make this white chicken lasagna with your shredded chicken.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

The instant pot is my favorite way to make shredded chicken because it is fast and easy. There’s really nothing to it. You just place all the ingredients in the Instant Pot, then walk away.

  • Prep the chicken. Add the chicken thighs, sea salt, ground black pepper, and olive oil to the bowl of an Instant Pot. Stir to coat the chicken in the olive oil and seasoning.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Add the onion, garlic, and chicken stock and stir to mix.
  • Cook. Seal the Instant Pot and set it to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Natural Release. When the cook time is up, allow the pressure to naturally release.
  • Remove chicken. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken from the pressure cooker to a cutting board.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks and set it aside. Discard everything else.

Oven Roasted Shredded Chicken

If I have a recipe that requires a bit more prep time and I don’t need the speed of the Instant Pot, I usually use my oven. It’s easy and there is something cozy about the smell of chicken roasting in the oven. I use the oven method for my white chicken lasagna because I use the roasting time to make the béchamel sauce.

  • Turn on the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Prep the chicken. Arrange the chicken thighs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil Season with sea salt and ground black pepper Massage the chicken with your hands to coat it evenly with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange the sprigs of rosemary with the chicken on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the juices run clear. If you are using breasts, decrease that cook time by 5 minutes.
  • Cool. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before shredding.

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

Set the chicken cooking first thing in the morning, then shred it and finish your recipe when dinner time rolls around.

  • Add all the ingredients to your crock pot. Stir things around a bit to make sure the chicken is coated.
  • Cook. On low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Remove chicken from the slow cooker. Let it cool for a few minutes, then shred the meat with two forks.

You can also use your crock pot to make shredded chicken that is ready to eat (as in, you don’t need to use it in another recipe to make a finished dish.) Check out my crock pot salsa chicken for how to do that.

How to Shred the Chicken

Once your chicken has cooked, let it cool for a bit. Then transfer it to a large plate or a cutting board. Grab two forks and use the tongs to pull the meat apart. The chicken should easily fall apart into shredded pieces.

A slice of million dollar chicken on a blue plate
A slice of Million Dollar Chicken, which uses shredded chicken.

Ways to Use Your Chicken

Here are some of my recipes that use shredded chicken:

The chicken meat is flavorful on its own, so instead of cooking it into another recipe you can also use it straight away. Some of my favorite things to make include:

  • Chicken salad – I like adding it to my spring mix salad.
  • Tacos, burritos, quesadillas and tortas.
  • Chicken sandwiches.
  • Add it to pizza.
  • Use it on nachos.
  • Add it to pasta – It is delicious in this broccoli pasta recipe.

How Much Shredded Chicken Does This Recipe Make?

Two pounds of raw chicken meat equals approximately 6 cups of cooked, shredded chicken.

Can I Freeze It?

Yes! You can freeze your shredded chicken for use in the future. Just let the chicken cool completely, then place it in an airtight, freezer-safe container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Print

How to Make Shredded Chicken

A white casserole dish filled with shredded roasted chicken

Make tender, flavorful shredded chicken three ways using your Instant Pot, oven or slow cooker in this simple recipe.

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot, Oven, Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Instructions

Instant Pot Method

  • Prep the chicken. Add the chicken thighs, sea salt, ground black pepper, and olive oil to the bowl of an Instant Pot. Stir to coat the chicken in the olive oil and seasoning.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Add the onion, garlic, and chicken stock and stir to mix.
  • Cook. Seal the Instant Pot and set it to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Natural Release. When the cook time is up, allow the pressure to naturally release.
  • Remove chicken. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken from the pressure cooker to a cutting board.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks and set it aside. Discard everything else.

Oven Method

  • Increase the amount of olive oil to 2 tablespoons. This is in order to account for the dryer cooking environment.
  • Turn on the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Prep the chicken. Arrange the chicken thighs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil Season with sea salt and ground black pepper Massage the chicken with your hands to coat it evenly with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange the sprigs of rosemary with the chicken on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the juices run clear. If you are using breasts, decrease that cook time by 5 minutes.
  • Cool. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before shredding.

Slow Cooker Method

  • Add all the ingredients to your crock pot. Stir things around a bit to make sure the chicken is coated.
  • Cook. On low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Remove chicken from the slow cooker. Let it cool for a few minutes, then shred the meat with two forks.

Notes

Note: Cook time above is for the Instant Pot method.

Last Step:

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Keywords: instant pot shredded chicken, how to shred chicken, shredded chicken recipe

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