This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe takes only a few minutes to make in the pressure cooker. Whether you are cooking fresh or frozen chicken in the Instant Pot, the result is always tender, juicy and tasty chicken.
Chicken is one of my favorite things to cook in the Instant Pot. This pressure cooker whole chicken and this Mexican-style Instant Pot shredded chicken are some of the recipes I make the most at home, and two of our most popular recipes.
I absolutely love my Instant Pot. It is such a time saver and always comes to the rescue when I need to make a homemade meal in no time! I especially love the fact that I can cook frozen chicken and have it ready in no time!
If like me, you always forget to defrost chicken overnight, you must try cooking chicken in the Instant Pot. Pressure cooking frozen chicken is really one of those life altering type experiences that leaves you wondering how you survived dinner time before the Instant Pot became popular.
How To Cook Shredded Chicken In The Instant Pot
In this recipe, boneless skinless chicken breasts are cooked in broth. This all-purposed chicken can be used in a variety of dishes like pasta, salads, casseroles, sandwiches, soups and more.
- Place the chicken breasts in the inner pot of your Instant Pot.
- Add the chicken broth, peeled garlic cloves, salt and herbs if using.
- Close the lid and set the pressure valve to sealing.
- Cook on high pressure for 6 – 8 minutes (depending on the size of the breasts)
- Once done, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release to release any remaining pressure. Open the lid.
- Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and let it rest for 5 minutes. Shred.
How Long It Takes For The IP To Come To Pressure?
- This seems to vary depending on the type and size of the pressure cooker. For fresh and thawed out chicken breasts my IP took about 8-10 minute to come to pressure.
- When cooking frozen chicken breasts, the pressure cooker will take longer to come to pressure, about 12 minutes.
What To Do If The Chicken Is Under Cooked?
- Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before its consumed. Check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. If the temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit (or above that temperature), you can remove the chicken and let it rest, covered for 5 minutes. The chicken will reach 165 degrees while resting. If the chicken is below 160 degrees, close the lid, set the pressure valve to sealing and cook on high pressure for 2 to 3 minutes. Do a quick release and check the internal temperature again.
How To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot
To cook frozen chicken breasts successfully in the instapot, your chicken must be “IQF” (Individually Quick Frozen). If your chicken pieces are stuck together in a big block of frozen chicken, the chicken won’t cook evenly.
The only difference between cooking fresh chicken and frozen chicken is the time. Frozen chicken needs a few more minutes than fresh or thawed out chicken.
How Long To Cook Shredded Chicken In The Instant Pot
Cooking times will vary depending on the size of each chicken breast. I must admit that when cooking chicken breasts from frozen, I usually set the timer between 10 – 13 minutes and the chicken seems to always turn out perfect!
FOR FRESH OR THAWED OUT CHICKEN:
- 6 OUNCES: Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.
- 8 OUNCES: Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- 10 OUNCES: Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
FOR FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS:
- 6 OUNCES: Cook in high pressure for 10 minutes.
- 8 OUNCES: Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
- 10 OUNCES: Cook on high pressure for 14 minutes.
How To Shred The Chicken
There are three easy and simple ways to shred chicken. Use the method that is most convenient for you.
- Use Two Forks: Use the tines of the forks to pull the chicken apart. This is my preferred method as I find it incredibly easy.
- Use A Stand Mixer: This is by far the quickest way to shred chicken especially in large quantities. Simply put the cooked, warm chicken in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the desired shred size is achieved. There are a few disadvantages with this method. First, the chicken must be warm for this to work. Second, you need to keep an eye on it as the chicken shreds quickly. If you are not careful, you’ll end up with something that resembles the chicken from the jars of baby food. Third, you’ll have more dirty dishes to clean up!
- Use Your Fingers: My grandma’s old method! Wait until the chicken is cool enough to handle and pull the shreds with your fingers.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe Variations
This Instant Pot Chicken recipe is a simple and basic way to cook chicken in the instant pot. The result is juicy and flavorful chicken and a tasty broth that can be used for soups or stews. If you would like to use different flavorings, here are a few ideas for you:
- Add a couple of bay leaves.
- Use 1 cup of chicken broth, 1 teaspoon of ground chili powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and ground black pepper to taste.
- Use 1 cup of chicken broth and 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning (low in sodium).
- Use ½ cup of chicken broth, ½ cup of pineapple juice, a piece of ginger (about 1-inch) and 1 garlic clove.
Absolutely! Freeze the chicken in smaller portions (about a cup of shredded IP chicken). You can freeze the chicken with some of the broth also.
Use freezer bags to prevent the food from getting freezer burnt.
Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Instant Pot chicken can be stored in air tight containers, in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Instant Pot Quick Release Vs Natural Release
A pressure cooker, multi-cooker or Instant Pot has two different ways to release pressure after the cooking cycle is complete. If you are wondering what the difference is between Natural Pressure Release (NR) and Quick Pressure Release (QR), you’ll be surprised at how simple all this lingo really is!
Quick Release: Quick Pressure Release means that as soon as the cooking cycle is complete, you’ll immediately move the steam release valve to venting. This results in a somewhat loud and strong jet of steam that comes off the release valve. Only when the pressure is fully released the float valve drops and the lid unlocks. This method is used mostly when cooking vegetables or shellfish.
Natural Release: When your pressure cooker finishes a cooking cycle, an alarm goes off. Immediately the clock starts counting how many minutes since the cooking cycle was completed. When a recipe instructs you to do a natural release for 10 minutes, that means that after the cooking cycle is complete you simply wait for 10 minutes before doing anything! Remember, your Instant Pot will show you how many minutes have passed since the cooking cycle has finished. During this time, the pressure cooker releases pressure slowly (and naturally). After that, you simple open the valve to release the remaining pressure. This is my preferred method when cooking proteins like beef and chicken.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe Tips
- Always cook the chicken in broth. Chicken broth gives the chicken extra flavor. Plain water doesn’t add much flavor so I try to steer away from it.
- To add even more flavor, I like to also add garlic cloves and fresh thyme to the broth. If you don’t have fresh herbs, about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of dried herbs, like Italian seasoning works well. A bay leaf can also be added.
- Don’t discard the broth left in the pressure cooker. This enhanced broth is full of flavor. You can use it for making sauces, gravy or to add to soups. If you are not going to use the broth right away, freeze it for later.
- If your Pressure Cooker doesn’t have a “POULTRY” function/button, do not panic! Use the manual setting on high pressure.
- You need 1 cup of cooking liquid in the instant pot so it can get to pressure.
You can serve this chicken sliced or shredded. Use your all purpose pressure cooker chicken in these easy recipes:
Take a look at these other Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Brisket
- Pressure Cooker Ribs with BBQ Sauce
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Pressure Cooker Chicken Masala
- Creamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Follow me on social media for more recipe ideas & inspiration!
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (From Fresh or Frozen)
- 3 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup chicken broth (use low sodium if preferred)
- 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional but (recommended if you are not sensitive to salt)
- Place the chicken breasts in the inner pot of your Instant Pot. Add the chicken broth, peeled garlic cloves, thyme and salt.
- Close the lid and set the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.
- Once done, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release. Open the lid.
- Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and let it rest for 5 minutes. Shred.
- At this point you can use the instant pot shredded chicken, cool it and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or place it back into the instant pot and allow it to absorb some of the broth before serving.
- You can use any fresh herbs like sage, or rosemary. These herbs have a stronger flavor than thyme.
- You can also use dried herbs. Use 1/4 teaspoon of the dried herb of your choice.
- COOKING TIME: The cooking time does not include the time your pressure cooker needs to come to pressure or natural release time. Please plan accordingly.
- Cooking times vary depending on the size of each breast. Check times above on the post.