Instant Pot Shredded Chicken [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 11 reviews

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is the quickest and easiest way to have a perfect and healthy chicken meal. Making chicken in the pressure cooker is convenient because the cooking time is drastically reduced, compared to conventional cooking methods.

You can cook any meat parts in it, but we will mainly focus on chicken breasts. Also, we will provide useful tips and tricks on the best ways to prepare the meat. These methods apply to cook fresh and frozen chicken breasts.

The beautify of the Instant Pot is that you can cook many delicious recipes in a fraction of the time. Another positive is that you can make many meals without defrosting meat. We already showed you how to Cook Perfect Rice in the Instant Pot and  How to Cook Ground Beef in the Instant Pot.

Image of instant pot shredded chicken.

Easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is perfectly moist, juicy and flavorful. We prefer to use chicken breasts when cooking in the Instant Pot. Why? Because they tend to be juicy, flavorful and cook pretty fast. You can also use boneless, skinless thighs in this recipe. However, over the past years, we mainly cooked chicken breasts, so we try to stick to what we love most.

You can use shredded chicken in sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, salads, and tacos or in a stir-fry. We love having pre-cooked chicken breasts on hand, as it’s always convenient for putting together last-minute meals.

Why make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken?

  • Having pre-made meat on hand will save you so much time!
  • Also, with a pressure cooker, you can cook a frozen chicken breast right away. The best part is that you don’t have to thaw the meat. This is such a time saver, especially when you are in a rush!
  • Cooking time is reduced by a lot in comparison to grilling or baking it in the oven, especially if you still need to wait to defrost it.
  • In addition, you will have juicier, healthier and more flavorful meat.
  • Lastly, it will take you minimum prep work for a great dinner!

Photo of chicken breasts and spices in the instant pot.

What You Will Need for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken?

  1. Instant Pot or any other electric Pressure Cooker.
  2. Fresh or frozen chicken breasts. For frozen meat, just make sure they are not stuck-frozen to each other. This is important, as it may not cook uniformly.
  3. Water, broth, or pineapple juice.
  4. Minced garlic or garlic powder.
  5. Seasoning.
  6. Butter – optional.

How to Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken?

Please feel free to watch the recipe video attached. You will see how simple this recipe is. The general steps are as follows:

For frozen chicken breast:

Before cooking the frozen breasts make sure they are not stuck together. If they are, try to place them in a cold water bowl, so you can break them apart into individual breasts. Otherwise, when cooked together, they tend to be under-cooked.

  • First, place the frozen chicken breasts in the inner pot of instant pot.
  • Next, add in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, water or pineapple juice.
  • Add some salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
  • For extra flavor, add some butter (this is optional).
  • Set pressure cooker to 15 minutes on high pressure and turn the valve to seal in the steam. If the chicken breasts are smaller than average, set the cooking time to 8-10 minutes.
  • Please note, it will take longer for your pressure cooker to reach pressure, due to meats being frozen.
  • After cooking time has elapsed, you will allow for 10-15 minutes of Natural Pressure Release (NPR) time.
  • Enjoy!

For fresh breasts (or thawed breasts):

  • First, place chicken breasts in an inner pot of pressure cooker.
  • Next, add in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, water or pineapple juice.
  • Add some salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
  • For extra flavor, add some butter (this is optional).
  • Set pressure cooker to 10 minutes on high pressure and turn the valve to seal in the steam. If the chicken breasts are smaller than average, set the cooking time to 8-10 minutes.
  • Allow some time for it to reach pressure.
  • After cooking time has elapsed, you will allow for 10-15 minutes of Natural Pressure Release (NPR) time.
  • Enjoy!

Instant pot shredded chicken with lime photo.

What if chicken breasts are not cooked fully?

A cooked chicken breast should have an internal temperature of about 165 degrees F before safe to consume. Once you have cooked it in the pressure cooker, we recommend you measure the internal temperature with a food thermometer.

If the internal temperature is less than 160 degrees, place the chicken breasts back inside, and cover the lid. Cook for another 3-5 minutes on high pressure.

Chicken Breasts Size matters:

We tend to use organic meat. Since they tend to have a smaller size than non-organic breasts, the cooking time for them is usually lower by 2 minutes in the pressure cooker. The below size can help you determine the appropriate cooking time:

  • 6-ounce chicken breasts: 15 minutes on high pressure for fresh/ 20 minutes on high pressure for frozen.
  • 8-ounce chicken breasts: 18 minutes on high pressure for fresh/25 minutes on high pressure for frozen.
  • 10-ounce chicken breasts: 20 minutes on high pressure for fresh/30 minutes on high pressure for frozen.

How to shred chicken breasts?

Shredding chicken breast by fork:

Probably the easiest and most commonly used technique is to shred the meat by hand. Once the chicken is fully cooked in the pressure cooker, remove it onto a plate. Then, simply hold one fork still in the center of your chicken and use a second fork to pull the shreds apart.

Use the liquid from the pot to mix some with the meat, to make it juicy and flavorful.

Shredding chicken breast by hand:

Once the meat is fully cooked in the pressure cooker, remove it into a plate. Using both hands, start tearing apart the chicken breasts and shred into small pieces.

Picture of instant pot shredded chicken in a bowl.



We strongly recommend not doing it. Do not attempt to brown frozen meat of any type. Another way to make the chicken tastier is after you cook it, quickly rinse the pot, select Sauté and brown it a few minutes.


A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm and wait 10 minutes. After this, you open the valve and let any leftover pressure to release.

Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and after that open the valve. A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta or steel cut oats. This method prevents any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.

Recipe Tips:

  • When cooking the chicken in the pressure cooker, make sure to have enough liquid. This is essential for a tender, moist and flavorful meat. As described above, use at least 1 1/2 cups of liquid when cooking the breasts. For deeper flavor, we recommend using broth or pineapple juice instead of water.
  • For a spicier kick, use some red pepper flakes.
  • You can use the same technique to cook thighs or chicken drumsticks.

Save Recipe
5 from 11 reviews
Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 35 mins



Calories: 285 Carbohydrates: 1 Protein: 48 Fat: 7 Saturated Fat: 2 Cholesterol: 150 Sodium: 674 Potassium: 905 Fiber: 0 Sugar: 0 Vitamin A: 315 Vitamin C: 7.5 Calcium: 22 Iron: 1.1
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I spend so much money on buying shredded chicken from I can make it at home in no time!! thanks for the recipe


Noel Lizotte

Lots of great tips in this post about using the instant pots to make shredded chicken. I usually use my slow cooker, which certainly takes so much more time than this! Shredded chicken has so many uses, it's good to keep on hand!


Cheese Curd In Paradise

I love my instant pot and the seasoning sound wonderful! I love making shredded chicken like this because we can use it for so many different recipes during the week!


Marisa Franca

You've certainly covered a lot of ground cooking chicken in an Instant Pot! We eat lots of chicken and shredded chicken is so handy to have. Tacos, soups, sandwiches, etc. I don't have an Instant Pot but I'm pinning this recipe in hopes I'll get one. I really like your seasonings suggestions.



So easy and yummy! Love to make this to have on hand during the week!


jessica | The Novice Chef

this is my new favorite way to shreds chicken! and great flavor!


Jacque Hastert

Love how versatile this chicken truly is. I would use it for so many meal prep recipes.


Jenni LeBaron

I love how quickly my Instant Pot can make excellent, juicy chicken breasts. I have never tried using pineapple juice in place of water to cook them, but I really want to try that now!


Allyson Zea

How versatile this shredded chicken is! I also love that I can use my instant pot to make it!


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

Love this Instant Pot recipe! I need to try this immediately, it looks so good!


Tricia Vix

Added some cumin in the pot, extra garlic, and paired with homemade guacamole, sour cream, cilantro. Jalapeño and fresh cheddar cheese after I pulled it out. Added extra chicken stock in the pot and it ended up more of a nice brothy flavorful soup which was delicious.



Wonderful recipe! I used liquid from first batch to make a second batch. Also followed chart for increased cook time. Thank you!


Happy that you liked it :)



Just made shredded chicken tonight following these instructions and it was cooked perfectly. It was so moist and easy to shred. My chicken breast were 10-12 oz and I followed the 10-ounce chicken breasts: 20 minutes on high pressure for fresh and the came out great. I did not follow the seasoning because the shredded chicken is for another recipe.


Happy to hear that Lauren. Glad you loved this recipe! Thanks for your feedback!


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