by Olena

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

by Olena

5 from 7 reviews

This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is so easy to make, then shred and meal prep for tacos, soups, salads and pastas. Moist shredded chicken breasts or thighs in a pressure cooker from fresh or frozen in 20 minutes.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast

This Instant Pot shredded chicken is not really even a recipe. But I make it all the time. So, we have to talk about it.

So many chicken recipes call for cooked chicken. Cubed or shredded. Making shredded chicken in Instant Pot is the best! It is easy, fast and healthy compared even to baked chicken, for example.

2 chicken breasts on a plate

Ingredients You Will Need

It is really simple.

  • Chicken breasts or thighs
  • Garlic powder, salt and pepper if you are going to eat shredded chicken on its own.
  • Water

Other than that you just need chicken and water to make shredded chicken in Instant Pot. Because 90% of time I end up adding shredded chicken to a chicken salad or chicken tostadas – recipes that have their own seasonings.

How to Make Shredded Chicken in Instant Pot

If you are new to Instant Pot, I highly recommend to check out my Instant Pot guide. Also we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips. Make sure to subscribe not to miss anything.

  1. Add 1 cup water and trivet. Always!
  2. Then lay chicken breasts or thighs on top. You can add as many as fit into a single layer. You do not want to stack them on top of each other.
  3. Seal the pot and cook on High pressure for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Wait 5 minutes and then Quick Release the pressure.

That’s it!

seasoned chicken breasts inside Instant PotInstant Pot cooked chicken breasts

How Long to Cook Chicken In Instant Pot?

Here is a cooking times chart as a rule of thumb:

  • Fresh, boneless chicken breasts or thighs under 2.5″ thick – 10 minutes.
  • Fresh, boneless chicken breasts or thighs 3″ and more – 12 minutes.
  • Frozen, boneless chicken breasts or thighs – 15 minutes.

Tip: No matter chicken you use, I recommend to wait 5 minutes after cooking has finished before releasing pressure.

Chicken Breasts or Thighs?

You can use either to make shredded chicken. Both shred well. Chicken breast is more lean and dry. Looks prettier than shredded thighs though.

Chicken thighs are more juicy and flavorful. It is dark meat and shreds just as fine.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken with meat claws on a board and cilantro nearby

How to Shred Chicken in Instant Pot

If you look around online, there are so many ways to shred chicken or meat in general.

You can do so using 2 forks. It requires a bit of muscle work and is best to be done on a cutting board.

I recently purchased these meat claws and they do shred any meat well. Especially beef and pork.

If you are making many lbs of chicken breasts at a time, I have seen people using a hand mixer or a standing Kitchenaid mixer. With hand mixer, if you drain the liquid and remove the trivet, you can shred chicken right in Instant Pot.

Can I Use Frozen Chicken in This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe?

Yes. A few things to know about cooking frozen chicken breasts or thighs in Instant Pot. You have to make sure chicken pieces are separated. You cannot cook even 2 frozen together chicken breasts in a pressure cooker because the center will be raw inside.

When cooking frozen chicken in Instant Pot, it takes pressure cooker to come to pressure a bit longer than with fresh chicken.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

How Long Does Cooked Shredded Chicken Last?

Shredded chicken will last for up to 5 days in the fridge. Perfect for meal prep on Sunday for a busy work week ahead.

You can also freeze shredded chicken for up to 3 months in an airtight container. To thaw, just place on a counter for 2-3 hours. I also remove the lid to speed up thawing.

You can also place a blob of frozen shredded chicken on a trivet in Instant Pot with 1/2 cup water and Steam for 2 minutes.

More Tips for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

  • Make sure chicken has cooled off a bit.
  • Warm chicken shreds more easy than cold chicken.
  • Instead of shredding, you can cube chicken. For example, for healthy chicken pot pie.
  • Add a bit of cooking liquid to shredded chicken – more juicy and flavorful.
  • No need to cook with broth.
  • Always make sure chicken is on a trivet.
  • Freeze in 2 cups portions for easy use in recipes.

Shredded Chicken Recipes

Other Simple Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips?! Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

Hope you enjoy this super easy Instant Pot shredded chicken. I often make this recipe after a trip to Costco.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken


Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

5 from 7 reviews

This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is so easy to make, then shred and meal prep for tacos, soups, salads and pastas. Moist shredded chicken breasts or thighs in a pressure cooker from fresh or frozen in 20 minutes.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: North American


  • 13 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs, fresh or frozen*
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. To the Instant Pot, add water and place trivet inside. Lay chicken pieces in a single layer (if using frozen make sure they are separated) and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly with tongs or hands.
  2. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 10 minutes for fresh under 2.5″ thick, 12 minutes for fresh 3″ and plus thick or 15 minutes for frozen chicken breasts or thighs.
  3. Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  4. After 10-15 minutes your chicken is ready, Instant Pot will beep and display will say OFF.
  5. Wait 5 minutes and do Quick Release by turning sealing valve to Venting position.
  6. Open the lid and your chicken breasts are ready for meal prep, casseroles, salads etc.
  7. Shred or cube, and save the stock at the bottom for soup.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.


Really, you just need chicken and water to make shredded chicken in Instant Pot. Because 90% of time I end up adding shredded chicken to recipes that have their own seasonings.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

14 comments on “Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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  1. Saving this my simple authentic Mexican street tacos. Using any meat they are simply meat, small diced raw onions (soaked in cold water to mellow them and chopped celantro. Alway served on corn tortillas that have been quickly grilled in a pan. And smooth
    Sauce for dipping. Easy peasy once the chicken is finished! Americanized are
    Called Baja with all of
    The spices and cheese, and other toppings piled on. Anyway I am trying the insti-pot for my chicken breast. Thank you for your easier way to do it.

  2. This is great! And what a time saver! I make a batch at the beginning of the week, and use throughout the week. In between gym workouts, long bicycle rides, and visits to the local pool. I’m hungry when I return, and reaching into the fridge to pull out this chicken is a Godsend. Throw it on a plate with some veggies, or rice, or wrapped in lettuce leaves, YUM111.

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