Instant Pot Shredded Chicken – 2 Ingredients, 4 Variations

This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is going to become a meal prepping essential! I cover four different variations, each made with only two ingredients! You’ll love this chicken on salads, tacos, burrito bowls, and in soup!

instant pot shredded chicken photo

Just like the lemon salmon, this is a recipe I make almost weekly. There isn’t much to it, it’s suuuuuuper simple and once you make it once, you probably won’t even need to refer to this recipe, but it’s helpful to have a guide the first time.

However, once you master it, you’ll find yourself coming back to it again and again, especially if you’re someone that likes to meal prep.

Like I said, I make this weekly and use it for many things such as:

  • salads
  • burrito bowls
  • tacos
  • nachos
  • enchiladas
  • soup

It’s a great thing to have ready and prepped in the fridge for busy days and evenings. Typically I make the salsa verde version because we like it the most and I find it to be the most versatile, but I’ll also cover a few other varieties that are just as delicious.

This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is going to become a meal prepping essential! I cover four different variations, each made with only two ingredients! You'll love this chicken on salads, tacos, burrito bowls, and in soup! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

It all starts with boneless skinless chicken breasts. Can you use thighs? Of course! Once you learn how to cook chicken in a pressure cooker, you are going to find yourself constantly coming back to this method.

I cover four different variations of Instant Pot shredded chicken in this post, but it all boils down to this:

  1. Chicken + One Cup of Liquid (salsa, bbq sauce, broth, whatever you like)
  2. Instant Pot – high pressure for 10 minutes, quick release
  3. Shred, return to liquid, and eat! Or store in the fridge for up 5 days.

This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is going to become a meal prepping essential! I cover four different variations, each made with only two ingredients! You'll love this chicken on salads, tacos, burrito bowls, and in soup! Get the recipe on RachelCooks.com!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Variations

Instant Pot Plain Shredded Chicken

Plain and simple, it doesn’t get more versatile than this! All you need is:

  • chicken
  • chicken broth

I’d also recommend some pepper and possibly salt too, if you’re using a reduced-sodium broth.

Instant Pot Salsa Verde Shredded Chicken

This is my go-to and also what’s shown in the photos. I love it on salads and in burrito bowls, or just topped with diced avocado if I’m in a hurry. I’ve also used it to make enchiladas verde and if I’m bored, I’ve also been known to make it into chicken noodle soup. Here’s what you need:

  • chicken
  • salsa verde (I love Trader Joe’s)

Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken

Pretty similar to above, but red. It’s a cousin of my slow cooker shredded chicken that I use for tacos. Here’s what you need:

  • chicken
  • salsa of your choice – mild, medium, or hot

If you want to spice it up and add a little extra flavor, you could sprinkle in some homemade taco seasoning. One teaspoon will be mild, 1-2 tablespoons will give you a spicier shredded chicken.

Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Chicken

This is great on bbq chicken burrito bowls and also makes a great sandwich. It’s fun on top of baked potatoes with a sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese. It also works fantastic for barbecue chicken pizza (<—hey guys, think it’s time I update those photos? YIKES…I’ve come a long way!).

  • chicken
  • your favorite barbecue sauce

As a note on this one, if your favorite barbecue sauce is a really thick, sweet one, I’d recommend adding about 1/4 cup of water to prevent the sugars in the sauce from burning on the bottom of the pan. If you’re still worried about it burning, you could make the chicken plain and then stir in the bbq sauce after it’s shredded.

Question:

How Long Do You Cook Chicken Breast in a Pressure Cooker?

Answer:

I find that 10 minutes (high pressure, quick release) is a pretty sweet spot for me. If they’re very small chicken breasts, it might take slightly less time (8-ish minutes), but if they’re big and/or partially frozen, you might want to give them closer to 12 minutes. I always check the temperature of the chicken breasts when they’re done cooking and if my thermometer doesn’t read 165°F, I turn the pressure cooker to saute, set the lid partially on (don’t lock it into place) and cook them for an additional 1-2 minutes until they come up to temperature.

Tips for shredding chicken in the Instant Pot:

  • The most common way to shred chicken is to place it on a plate and use two forks to pull it apart.
  • You can also place it in the bowl of your stand mixer and use the paddle attachment on low to shred. Don’t over-do it unless you like mushy chicken.
  • My favorite way is not the safest way so alllll the disclaimers here – do this at your own risk, I assume NO responsibility for burns. I use a hand mixer with the normal beaters attached to shred this Instant Pot shredded chicken and I turn it on low right inside the Instant Pot. It does tend to splatter a bit, so be careful. This method will shred your chicken in less than one minute…which makes it my favorite. Sometimes I put a towel over the whole operation to cut down on splatters.

This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is going to become a meal prepping essential! I cover four different variations, each made with only two ingredients! You'll love this chicken on salads, tacos, burrito bowls, and in soup! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

Can’t get enough Instant Pot Recipes? Try these:

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken - 2 Ingredients, 4 Variations

This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is going to become a meal prepping essential! I cover four different variations, each made with only two ingredients! You’ll love this chicken on salads, tacos, burrito bowls, and in soup!

3
3 / 5 (2 Reviews)
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup of ONE of the following: salsa verde, traditional salsa, chicken broth OR barbecue sauce

 

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. Add both ingredients to the slow cooker. I like to put a little salsa (or other liquid) under the chicken as well as on top to prevent chicken from sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot and to also make sure the chicken soaks up tons of flavor.
  2. Secure lid and turn valve to seal.
  3. Set Instant Pot to high pressure for 10 minutes.
  4. When cooking is complete, quick release pressure by turning valve to vent, watching out for steam.
  5. When pressure valve lowers, remove lid, check chicken with an instant read thermometer (should be 165°F) and shred chicken with forks. You can also do this faster but VERY carefully with a hand mixer, but be watchful for splattering liquids! I’m not responsible for burns resulting from taking this shortcut.
  6. Once meat is shredded, return to liquid in Instant Pot and stir to combine before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Nutritional information calculated for chicken and chicken broth, please take into consideration the nutritional values of the particular sauce you choose.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 118 Calories
  • Total Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 57mg
  • Sodium: 236mg
  • Protein: 23g
Actual nutrition may vary depending on how recipe is prepared.
All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.

Verdict: I make this Instant Pot shredded chicken once a week, that says it all, doesn’t it?
Husband’s take: Ben loves taking this chicken to work in his lunch or eating it on nachos at home.
Changes I would make: None are necessary, I give you four great ideas here! However, feel free to experiment with it, it’s a very forgiving recipe.
Difficulty: SO ridiculously easy.

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14 comments

  1. Such a great meal prep recipe! Thanks for the shout-out for my Ham and Cabbage Soup too.

  2. sounds wonderful…I should get an instant pot

  3. Thanks for this! Can you also do a natural release? 

  4. Do you add time if the chicken is still mostly frozen?

  5. This was a major fail in my instant pot. Three separate times I got the burn signal and I followed the recipe exactly. I even added extra salsa and extra water and tried it again and nothing. Such a waste of food.

    Rating: 0.5
    • I’ve made this probably 50 times and have never experienced that. I also know of many other people that have been successful with this. Are you having this problem with your Instant Pot with other recipes?

  6. I tried two variations of this recipe – BBQ and chicken broth.  Both ways turned out excellent! I prefer the chicken broth recipe for a number of reasons though.  The chicken seemed easier to shred, and, since its made without any sauce, it can be a base for any number of different dishes later making it very versatile.  I’ll be using this recipe any time I need to shred chicken in the future.  Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  7. I have left over rotisserie chicken i am trying to find meals for. Can I use cooked chicken for this 

    • This is a method to cook chicken…there really isn’t a whole lot more to it so I’m not sure you’d want to use alrady cooked chicken. If for example, you want the salsa variety, you could just spoon some salsa into your cooked chicken.

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