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 the meat. We already showed you how to Cook Perfect Rice in the Instant Pot and  How to Cook Ground Beef in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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 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!
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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?

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 cook 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 CHICKEN BREASTS (OR THAWED CHICKEN BREAST):

  • 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 cook 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

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 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.

WHAT IS NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE (NPR)?

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 which, 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 for any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.

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 into 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 into a plate. Using both hands, start tearing apart the chicken breasts and shred into small pieces.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

WHAT DO YOU SERVE INSTANT POT CHICKEN BREASTS WITH?

CAN I BROWN FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS IN THE INSTANT POT?

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.

Tips for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

  • 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 spicier kick, use some red pepper flakes.
  • You can use the same technique to cook thighs or chicken drumsticks.

Step by Step Recipe Video:

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
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5 from 8 votes

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lbs chicken breasts boneless and skinless fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth water or pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter unsalted optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning herbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

  1. If using frozen chicken, before you add the chicken to the Instant Pot make sure its not stuck together.
  2. Add chicken breasts to the Instant Pot. It is okay if the breasts overlap.
  3. Add liquid of choice and all the other ingredients.
  4. Place the lid and lock it, make sure to point the valve to sealing.
  5. Press manual and select 15 minutes for fresh/thawed chicken breasts or 25 minutes, for frozen chicken breasts. It will take the pot about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
  6. CHECK THE POST FOR TIPS ON COOKING TIME BASED ON CHICKEN BREAST SIZE.
  7. Once the cooking is done and the Instant Pot beeps, do a 10-15 minute Natural Pressure Release, after that open the valve to release the remaining pressure.
  8. Check the internal temperature of the chicken, it should be at least 165 degrees F.
  9. You can chop it and serve it as it is, or transfer the chicken to a large bowl and shred it. Use the cooking liquid to add it to the shredded chicken to make it moist and flavorful.
  10. Store the chicken in an airtight container, add the cooking liquid to it to keep it moist.
Calories: 285, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 150mg, Sodium: 674mg, Potassium: 905mg, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 48g, Vitamin A: 6.3%, Vitamin C: 9.1%, Calcium: 2.2%, Iron: 6%

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