Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast

6 servings
25 min

Ready in under 45 minutes, this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast is perfect every time! Make this chicken on a Sunday and add your favorite marinade or sauce to make sandwiches, quesadillas, or tacos for dinner throughout the week!

For the longest time, I was making shredded chicken in a slow cooker. It came out good, but when I got the Instant Pot, the slow cooker didn't stand a chance. The slow cooker, for some strange reason, always seemed to come out dry. You'd think being in that much liquid and broth for hours and hours would make tender and juicy chicken, but it didn't!

The Instant Pot, on the other hand, makes tender and juicy chicken each time and it is ready in a portion of the time!

Why You Should Make This

This chicken is full of flavor and it's made with ingredients you probably already have in your house. It's more of a base recipe. Sometimes you just need some shredded chicken to add to meals. This is great to have in the refrigerator, take it out, add whatever sauce you need, and you have an easy dinner ready for your family.

  • This recipe is GREAT if you love meal prepping! It's perfect to make on Sunday and then add it to sandwiches, quesadillas, salads, and more!
  • It's versatile! Add chili powder or chipotles for more Mexican style shredded chicken or your favorite barbecue rub for pulled barbecue chicken.
  • It's so easy! Let the Instant Pot do all the hard work!
  • Perfect to double or triple! This recipe is just a starting point. Per 1 pound of chicken, use ¾ cup of broth.

What Ingredients Do You Need?

  • Chicken breast- You'll need boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. 1 pound is about 2 large chicken breasts.
  • Chicken broth- Make sure that is is low sodium, because we are adding salt to the Instant Pot. You don't want to over salt the chicken. If you don't have chicken broth, water would work perfectly too.
  • Seasonings- Salt and pepper are a must. From there, you can add your favorites.
Equipment You'll Need

Step By Step Photos
Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot
Set timer for 15 minutes
Shred the chicken
How To Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast From Scratch

  1. Add the chicken breasts, chicken broth, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to the bowl of the Instant Pot.
  2. Close the Instant Pot, and set it on HIGH for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, release any leftover pressure.
  5. Take the chicken breasts out of the Instant Pot and discard half of the liquid.
  6. Shred the chicken and place the shredded chicken back in the liquid to prevent the chicken from drying out.
  7. Serve immediately or keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an air tight container.

How To Shred Chicken

The standard way is to use two forks, and to pull the chicken in opposite directions with those two forks. That works if you don't have a ton of chicken to shred. If you have a lot of chicken to shred, I have a hot tip for you!

Use your stand mixer! That's right! Seems crazy right? It cuts the time in half, if not thirds! Place the cooked chicken in the bowl of the stand mixer, fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and turn it on low. The stand mixer will shred up the chicken perfectly in a portion of the time.

Tell Me About The Instant Pot

When I first got my Instant Pot, I had no idea what I was doing. Then I got really comfortable with it and I realized it's a must in the kitchen when you have a family! It makes quick work of getting that long, slow-cooked flavor into meals.

  • The Instant Pot will preheat for 10-15 minutes before it has built up enough pressure. When enough pressure has built up, the cooking process begins.
  • Once the Instant Pot starts cooking, don't touch it! It will get super hot as it cooks.
  • After the cooking process is done, you can either naturally release the pressure, or you can manually release it. If you naturally release it, the pressure slowly lowers and the food inside continues to cook in the lower pressure. If you manually release it, press the button on the lid and the pressure will be released out the top. When you do this, be very carefully because the steam that is coming out of the Instant Pot is so hot! You don't want to burn yourself.
  • The Instant Pot comes in a variety of sized. Based on how much food you need to cook in the Instant Pot would depend on the type you buy. Mine is the mini and it is 3 quarts. I think the 6 quart would be perfect for my family of 4, but I do like the 3 quart version.

Chicken Breast vs Chicken Thigh vs Bone In Chicken

Chicken breast is the white meat part of the chicken, so it has much less fat than the chicken thighs.

You can substitute chicken thighs in this recipe if you would like. There will be more liquid when you open the Instant Pot, just discard about half of the liquid.

Adding chicken thighs to the chicken breast would be a great combination of fat and lean chicken meat and will give you really tender chicken.

You could use bone in chicken, but it will be harder to shred. Picking out the bones can be a pain, so stick with boneless if you can.

Shred the chicken
Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze this?

Yes! To freeze it, place the chicken in an airtight container or a gallon Ziploc bag. Freeze the chicken for up to three months. To defrost, place the chicken in the refrigerator and use it when you are ready. This chicken is perfect at right out of the refrigerator, or place it in the microwave for 2 minutes to heat it through.

Can I use frozen chicken?

Yes! If you only have frozen chicken on hand and are in a pinch, no worries! Add 5 minutes to the cooking time and you won't even realize the chicken was frozen beforehand!

My Instant Pot is giving me the "burn" warning, what does that mean?

The different size of the Instant Pot may mean that you need to adjust the amount of liquid you use. If you are getting the "burn" warning, add ½ cup more liquid to the chicken and give the ingredients a good stir.

Other Recipes to Try

Did you give this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast a try? I’d love to hear from you! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook and share this recipe on Pinterest! And don't forget to check out some other drool worthy recipes below! Thanks for sharing this journey with me and enjoy these delicious recipes!

  • Orzo Pesto Pasta Salad
  • Chicken Drumstick Sheet Pan Dinner
  • Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken
  • Instant Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta
  • Nutella Zucchini Bread
  • Broccoli Cheddar Quiche with Tortilla Crust
  • Spinach and Feta Egg Cups
  • Instant Pot Peach Jam
  • Light and Crisp Sourdough Waffles

Instant Pot Apple Butter (No Peel!)

Vegan Instant Pot Rice Pudding

Instant Pot Peach Jam

Instant Pot Blueberry Jam

📖 Recipe
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast 2 large breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 3/4 cup Chicken Broth Low Sodium

Add all the ingredients to the bowl of an Instant Pot.
Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 15 minutes.
Let it naturally release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release any remaining pressure.
Take the chicken out of the Instant Pot and shred it with two forks, or you can put the chicken breasts in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and turn on the mixer for 1 minute, until the chicken is completely shredded.
Remove about half of the juice that was left in the Instant Pot, and add the chicken back to the Instant Pot.
Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • If there is too much liquid in the Instant Pot when you open it, drain a little out while you shred the chicken.
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
  • Janet Janet on Oct 17, 2021

    The reason chicken breast comes out dry after "hours" in a crock pot is that it's overcooked. It doesn't require hours. The secret to juicy breast meat is to put the breast in last if you are crockpotting a chicken - only about 30 - 45 minutes depending on the size. Maybe not even that long. Otherwise it does come out dry, tough and yucky. Use the whole chicken, especially the very flavorful dark meat that never gets overcooked.

    • Lynnswayoflife Lynnswayoflife on Oct 17, 2021

      That's a great tip! I'll remember that next time I make chicken breast in the crock pot.

  • Sheri Levisay Sheri Levisay on Dec 08, 2021

    Since I have a larger InstaPot, can I double the recipe? How much longer would it take? Thanks!