Crock Pot Shredded Chicken is a basic recipe for all-purpose chicken you must have in your back pocket. Easy, made with 4 ingredients and perfect for easy meal prep or freeze it for later.
Whenever I post a chicken recipe, you guys are all over it. Today is a turn for this super easy crockpot shredded chicken.
I have been cooking more and more with my slow cooker because I like the flavor of slow cooked food. Given the popularity of my Instant Pot shredded chicken, thought those of you with a Crock Pot, would appreciate this easy recipe.
This juicy chicken is a weeknight lifesaver! You can plan your menu and use it in recipes that call for shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken leftovers. This easy slow cooker shredded chicken comes out moist from a little bit of butter and chicken broth, is tender and shreds so easily.
Ingredients You Will Need
To make basic crock pot shredded chicken, you will need only 4 simple ingredients.
- Chicken breasts: I like to use boneless skinless chicken breasts but you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs. The only difference is that boneless chicken thighs will have more flavor and fat. For bone-in chicken, add an extra hour of cook time. I used 4 large chicken breasts that are about 3 pounds.
- All-purpose seasoning: It is my go-to seasoning blend I literally use on everything. Once you make it, you will understand why. It adds a perfect balanced flavor to any meat, poultry or seafood. You can also use any of your favorite spices like garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt and pepper or seasoning salt.
- Chicken broth: Low sodium chicken broth or chicken stock. I like to use chicken base diluted with water. You can also use water.
- Butter: Just a few tablespoons to keep chicken moist during slow cooking. You can also use olive oil. And I wouldn’t worry whether butter is salted or unsalted, as it is a small amount and most of it ends up in a broth.
How to Make Shredded Chicken in Crockpot
Here is how to make shredded chicken in crockpot in 4 simple step-by-step photos. There is a full recipe card below.
- Add chicken and broth to your slow cooker: I use my 7 quart crock pot for all of my crock pot recipes. Add chicken breasts to the bottom of it in a single layer, trying to overlap minimally. Next add broth before we add spices.
- Season it: Sprinkle chicken with seasonings and lay pats of butter on top. You do not have to stir or coat anything evenly as in the end we will shred chicken anyways.
- Cover and cook: Place the lid on top and cook chicken breasts on low heat for 3-4 hours or for 2 hours on high heat.
- Open and shred: You can either shred chicken right in slow cooker and the juices, or remove onto a cutting board, shred and return back to the pot.
How Long to Cook Crockpot Chicken?
You may ask “How long do you cook chicken in a crock pot?” and it’s a valid question. With crockpot chicken breast recipe, it is more important not to overcook the chicken. When it comes to cooking shredded chicken in crock pot, you can cook it extra 1-2 hours so it shreds easier.
For tender chicken, I recommend to cook it for 3-4 hours and up to maximum of 6 hours on low heat. If cooking on high setting, cook for 2 hours and maximum of 3 hours.
You can overcook chicken in slow cooker and it will become dry and rubbery. So, do not let it cook all day.
How to Shred Chicken
There are many way to shred chicken breasts and everyone has their favorite way to do it. Honestly, I like to shred chicken with two forks. It saves to wash another bowl and small appliance.
However, you can also place chicken breasts in a large bowl and shred with an electric mixer.
How to Use Shredded Chicken
Now that we have this flavorful, juicy and tender basic crockpot shredded chicken, the question is what can you make with shredded chicken? So many things!
I love having a big batch stored in my fridge to make easy dinner or weekly meal prep a breeze.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to use this flavorful chicken:
- Use it to make this healthy chicken salad
- Make chicken sandwich, wraps, tostadas or quesadillas
- Add flavor by adding your favorite BBQ sauce or make Mexican shredded chicken by adding salsa, black beans, corn and rice
- Add it to soups like this white chicken chili, chicken tortilla soup or chicken noodle soup
- Make casseroles like healthy enchiladas and chicken zucchini casserole
- Add protein to any salad
Tips for Best Results
- Don’t overcook it: It might be tempting to turn on chicken in crock pot and go to work but don’t do it. You can overcook chicken breasts in slow cooker because they are ready fast. There is a sweet spot for perfectly cooked shredded chicken in slow cooker up to 6 hours on low and 3 hours on high.
- Keep seasonings simple: If you are preparing shredded chicken for the week, do not add spices like taco seasoning or chili powder, so you can use it in variety recipes to take on their flavors. That’s why I love my evergreen all-purpose spice blend.
- Shred it while warm: Let chicken cool until safe to handle and then shred while warm. Truth is it is harder to shred cold cooked chicken.
- Make it moist: Re-hydrate shredded chicken with juices from the slow cooker. They also will add more flavor.
- Double the recipe: You can easily double the recipe in 6 quart or 7 quart slow cooker. Then cook it on low for 9 hours or on high for 5 hours.
How to Store Crock Pot Shredded Chicken
Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze: You can also portion out about 1.5 – 2 cups of shredded chicken into each resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight or on counter for a few hours.
Your slow cooked chicken is ready when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken breasts registers 165 F. Or cut into it with a paring knife and if juices run clear, your chicken is cooked through.
Probably because you cooked it too long or for not enough time. Adding some of the broth to shredded chicken or cooking it for extra time may help.
Yes and no. There is a sweet spot when chicken breasts cooked in slow cooker are cooked and can be easily shredded. Cooking it longer will result in dry and tough chicken.
No. Technically, you don’t even need any liquid or can use as little as 1/2 cup broth. As chicken cooks in crockpot, it releases its own juices.
I prefer to cook meat and poultry on low setting in slow cooker if time allows. You can get away with cooking on high with my favorite crockpot chicken recipe.
More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes to Try
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
- In a large slow cooker, add chicken breasts trying to overlap minimally. Add chicken broth.
- Sprinkle chicken breasts with all purpose seasoning and add butter on top.
- Cover and cook on Low for 3-4 hours or on High for 2 hours, or until internal read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted in the center.
- Remove onto a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Then shred and use in your favorite recipes. Can also add cooking liquid to rehydrate the chicken.
- Store: In an airtight container in the fridge 3-4 days.
- Reheat: In microwave or on the stovetop in a covered pan until warmed through.
- Freeze: Up to 3 months in a freezer safe bag, thaw before using.
- Boneless chicken breasts – on Low for 3-4 hours or on High for 2-3 hours.
- Bone-in chicken breasts – on Low for 4-5 hours or on High for 3-4 hours.
- Chicken tenders – on Low for 2-3 hours or on High for 2 hours.