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!
Just like the lemon salmon, this is a recipe I make almost weekly. There isn’t much to it, it’s super simple and after you make it once, you probably won’t even need to refer to this recipe, but I’ll guide you through it the first time.
However, once you master this super simple recipe, 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:
- burrito bowls
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.
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:
- Chicken + One Cup of Liquid (salsa, bbq sauce, broth, whatever you like)
- Instant Pot – high pressure for 10 minutes, quick release
- Shred, return to liquid, and eat!
- Shredded chicken can be stored in the fridge for up 5 days or frozen for two to six months.
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 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:
- 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:
- 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. Shredded chicken is great as a topping for baked potatoes with a sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese. It is delicious on barbecue chicken pizza. Try using shredded chicken on these roasted cauliflower nachos!
- your favorite barbecue sauce (try this homemade bbq sauce recipe!)
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.
How Long Do You Cook Chicken Breast in a Pressure Cooker?
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 sauté, 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.
More Instant Pot Recipes
This versatile cooking method is great for so many recipes. Click here for all my Instant Pot recipes or check out the links below:
- Instant Pot Chili with tons of variations
- Instant Pot Honey Sriracha Chicken
- Instant Pot Pinto Beans (perfectly cooked beans in less than an hour, no soaking necessary)
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes – they’re perfect every time!
- Healthy Chicken Piccata in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Boiled Eggs
- Instant Pot Ribs – Fall off the bone perfection!
- Instant Pot Low Carb Ham and Cabbage Soup from Kalyn’s Kitchen
- Instant Pot Taco Soup from Oh Sweet Basil
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (boneless skinless chicken thighs are fine, too)
- 1 cup of ONE of the following: salsa verde, traditional salsa, chicken broth OR barbecue sauce
- Add chicken and your choice of liquid 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 make sure the chicken soaks up tons of flavor.
- Secure lid and turn valve to seal. Set Instant Pot to high pressure for 10 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, quick release pressure by turning valve to vent, watching out for steam. When pressure valve lowers, remove lid. Check thickest part of chicken with an instant read thermometer; it should be 165°F (see note).
- Shred chicken with forks. You can also do this faster but VERY carefully with a hand mixer (see post), but be watchful for splattering liquids! Partially cover the pot with a clean dish towel. The chicken can be diced, if you prefer.
- Once meat is shredded, return to liquid in Instant Pot and stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it, divided into containers or freezer bags to use later.
- Nutritional information calculated for chicken and chicken broth; please take into consideration the nutritional values of the particular sauce you choose.
- If the internal temperature of the chicken doesn't reach 165°F by the time it is done cooking, switch your Instant Pot to Sauté and set the lid on so it's slightly ajar. The chicken will finish cooking quickly on the sauté mode. If you re-pressurize the Instant Pot, it's likely to overcook the chicken.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.